Politics in Science


1. Evolutions versus Creationism:

In spite of specious claims to the contrary by right-wing conservative politicians and evangelicals, the science that underpins Darwinian Evolution has an extremely robust experimentally support and is well accepted by a wide-range of scientific fields including chemistry, biochemistry, physics and mathematics. It is a fundamental scientific principal that pervades biology and medicine including cancer. On the contrast, the philosophy of Creation cannot be tested by any experimental science. Teaching Evolution alongside Creation demonstrates a fundamental misunderstanding of the scientific method that will clearly doom students to an underclass stature on the World scientific and technology stage.


2. Cancer Atlas Project:

A clear understanding of mutators and cancer fundamentally suggests that sequencing tumors to identify genetic patterns (Cancer Atlas) is likely to be an enormous waste of valuable research resources. This is because mutational patterns in tumors that develop via increased mutation rated (genomic instability) will contain numerous unselected “passenger” mutations embedded with “driver” mutations. Moreover, as the tumor continues to develop the cells that make up the tumor will contain significant genetic heterogeneities making the determination of the actual genes involved in tumorigenesis extremely difficult to impossible. Dr. Fishel strongly supports the notion that NIH resources be spent on hypothesis-driven scientific inquiry not genetic fishing expeditions driven by old (gene sequencing) technologies. As part of the development of personalized medicine and therapeutics, the tumors of individuals are beginning to be sequenced. This is a natural extension of human health care across the US and Europe. Such analysis will eventually be fully or partially paid for in the US under the Affordable Care Act (ACA or ObamaCare). A far more cost effective approach than the NIH Cancer Atlas would be to set up an information exchange under HIPPA guidelines that would ultimately collate real patient tumor sequences for the type of iterative analysis that is currently draining NIH dollars.

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