By Mr. Curmudgeon:
Dr. H. Wayne Carver, a Connecticut medical examiner, asked University of Connecticut geneticists to examine the DNA of Adam Lanza, the alleged shooter in the Sandy Hill Elementary School massacre. According to ABC News, scientists “not directly involved in the study said they are likely looking at Lanza’s DNA to detect a mutation or abnormality that could increase the risk of aggressive or violent behavior. They could analyze Lanza’s entire genome in great detail and try to find unexpected mutations.”
The implication, of course, is that abnormalities found in Lanza’s DNA may provide genetic red flags for nanny-state planners to act upon sometime in the future –facilitated by ObamaCare’s vast, totalitarian medical database.
Dr. Harold Bursztajn, professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, is a little apprehensive. “Given how wide the net would have to be cast and given the problem of false positives in testing it is much more likely we would go ahead and find some misleading genetic markers, which would later be proven false while unnecessarily stigmatizing a very large group of people,” Busztajn told ABC.
In his paper “Pride and Prejudice: Avoiding Genetic Gossip in the Age of Genetic Testing,” Bursztajn says “medical records containing genetic information may lead to an increased tendency toward ‘group think,’ such as overconfidence in interpreting often-ambiguous genetic information. In such a situation, clinically useful information regarding genetic potential can be reduced to the equivalent of sound bites …”
If this blending of science fiction and political thriller sounds familiar, that’s because the issue of precognitive crime-fighting was first explored by sci-fi legend Philip K. Dick in his 1956 short story “Minority Report.”
Set in the future, Commissioner John Anderton heads New York City’s Precrime division, where three human mutants (“precogs”) predict murders before they occur. Computers process the prophecies, note where they overlap, and issue a “majority report” for Precrime police to act upon.
Unlike Steven Spielberg’s film version, Anderton is not an action hero as portrayed by actor Tom Cruise. The short story depicts Anderton as “bald and fat and old,” which makes perfect sense. Since pre-perpetrators are unaware they are about to kill, or that police are hot on their pre-trail, there isn’t a need for physical altercations, gun battles or long chases down city streets. Police simply apprehend the surprised and perplexed pre-suspect before he or she can perform their dastardly deed. Fat and happy Precrime cops are an inevitable consequence of this totalitarian dystopia.
When Anderton himself is forecast to commit murder, and the system turns on him, he continues to believe in the virtues of the clairvoyant police state he helped create. This infuriates his wife, “You have to be taken in – if Precrime is to survive,” she says, “But think for a moment about the system. Which means more to you – your own personal safety or the existence of the system?”
“My safety,” admits Anderton.
His wife continues, “If the system can survive only by imprisoning innocent people, then it deserves to be destroyed. My personal safety is important because I’m a human being.”
Of course, that’s not the case in authoritarian societies. You’re a number (Social Security or otherwise), a member of a dependent and controllable group or a tidy alphabetic sequence of nucleic acids – which nanny-state clairvoyants may someday divine as criminally predisposed … perhaps of those nestled in the womb.
It smacks of the same depravity Winston Churchill warned would sink the Western World “into the abyss of a new Dark Age, made more sinister, and perhaps more protracted, by the lights of perverted science.”
And it’s worth remembering that Hitler and his gang of cutthroats were obsessed with genetic “purity” long before the discovery of DNA.