What Others Are Saying

December 12, 2007

President Bush has proudly increased the funding for abstinence-only sex education programs since taking office. He is pushing Congress for an additional $28 million for 2008 to add to the $175 million spent last year.

Now comes the news that for the first time in 14 years, the birth rate for American teenagers increased last year. A coincidence? Only those who still believe in the stork think so. The Bush administration should bear the blame for the inevitable consequences of the 3 percent increase in the teen birth rate: a growing number of teen moms who will not finish high school and who will likely end up on welfare.

Congress for too long has allowed the president to get away with a health care policy based on ideology rather than science-based evidence. It needs to block further increases in funding for abstinence-only programs.

Teaching teens about the value of abstinence and how to deal with social pressures should be part of all sex education programs. But repeated studies show the most effective programs are those that promote abstinence while also providing contraceptive information.

- San Jose (Calif.) Mercury News

Someday, DNA analysis will unlock a treasure-trove of lifesaving personalized medical treatments, and scientists eagerly await that revelatory day.

Meanwhile, here's one thing DNA analysis can, gratifyingly, do already: Put racists in their place.

The racist in this case being James D. Watson, who won the Nobel Prize in 1962 for helping to discover the double-helix structure of DNA.

That was then.

In his old age, though, Mr. Watson has become a bigoted blowhard - a man who most recently made headlines by announcing that he is "inherently gloomy" about the future of Africa, which is probably doomed because "all our social policies are based on the fact that their intelligence is the same as ours - whereas all the testing says not really."

But it turns out - as now we learn, thanks to a clever company that took it upon itself to decode Mr. Watson's personal genetic blueprint, which he posted online this year - that 16 percent of the Watson genes were likely to have come from a black ancestor of African descent. Which is around 16 times higher than what you'd expect to find in the average white European.

Having your own DNA undermine your idiotic genetic argument, eh?

Well, next time your kid asks for the definition of irony, there you have it.

- Daily News (New York)

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