Public access to study artifacts which serve to illuminate mankind’s social, morphological and genetic history should not be denied based upon property conventions of any tribe, culture, owner, propriety, government, nation, intelligence group or institution. Knowledge is a basic human right; and in particular, it is a basic human right to access freely the knowledge of where mankind came from and the pathway which brought us here as a species.
The Atacama Mummy is the prior art property of all of mankind and not of a single trivial haplogroup, nation nor organization. Our understanding of such matters of science ethics urgently needs to evolve.
I read an article today written by a group of social skeptics, concerning a recent study of the Atacama ‘Mummy’. Ata, as she is called in short, is the 6 inch long anomalous preterm foetus, mostly human female skeleton, analyzed inside the following, unprecedented study:
Bhattacharya et al.; Whole-genome sequencing of Atacama skeleton shows novel mutations linked with dysplasia; Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press: Genome Research; March 22, 2018, doi: 10.1101/gr.223693.117 Genome Res. 2018. 28: 423-431; 2018; https://genome.cshlp.org/content/early/2018/03/21/gr.223693.117
A critique article (not a study) was pre-released this week, which concerned me ethically a great deal. This regards an aspect of human rights which I have been contemplating over the last three decades of private interest work. The article was authored by a group of social skeptics obviously upset by the astounding nature of the original Bhattacharya Study above. A knee-jerk form of anger with which I have been long acquainted inside my study of fake skepticism.
Halcrow et al.; On engagement with anthropology: A critical evaluation of skeletal and developmental abnormalities in the Atacama preterm baby and issues of forensic and bioarchaeological research ethics. Response to Bhattacharya et al. “Whole-genome sequencing of Atacama skeleton shows novel mutations linked with dysplasia”; Genome Research, 2018, 28: 423–431. Doi: 10.1101/gr.223693.117; https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1879981718300548?via=ihub
The Halcrow Article
The Halcrow Article made a number of boasts, complimented by several apparently valid objections related to the morphological expression of various genetic conditions contended inside the Bhattacharya Study. I am not an expert in such matters so I will not comment technically upon them; however, I am an expert in the ethical philosophy of science and skepticism. The article attempts to brand itself as a scientific study by raising peer-review styled questions regarding these purported bone morphologies and in relation to our current understanding of the genes which influence them. But the article buries a deceptive lede in the process. This peer review doubt is employed as a disguise, an artifice the authors abused in order to interleave elements of oppressive personal bias inside a series of scientific claims. Like a dude trying to dress up as a hott chick in order to gain entry into a fashionable nightclub or a patent inventor attempting to patent a new device along with slipping in an itemized claim to have invented gravity as well. They did not pull it off well however – heck, even a layman like me caught it.
The real purpose of the article was to slip its supplemental fluff opinion segments by as if they were peer reviewed outcomes of science. This was not a refutation of the core Bhattacharya Study analysis (see below), as Forbes (a notorious fake ‘science communication’ outlet) inexpertly contends in the propaganda piece referred to on the right, rather only a questioning of peripheral morphological analyses and the overall age of the creature when it died. Aside from these observations, the article is disingenuous and dishonest (this will not be the only time) in this hybrid-costumed approach – attempting to pass off social agendas and pseudoscience, nestled inside of and pretending to also constitute real science or peer review.
The article stands as a textbook ethical skepticism example of the control-minded among us cultivating ignorance. Moreover, below I have outlined a couple comments from within the fluff opinion sections of the Halcrow Article which should greatly concern us all.
“Although this testing was not sensu stricto necessary, once her humanity was confirmed, analysis should have stopped and her body should have been repatriated to Chile.”
This is not entirely true. In fact this is an ethically ludicrous assertion. Such thinking defines a false Machiavellian virtue which we must face down and overturn as humankind. Regardless of Ata’s provenance – the fact remains, that a substantial percentage of artifacts which challenge our understanding are going to arrive through less than pretty sources. Mandate that governments or cultures immediately need confiscate (and most often historically, sequester and stagnate) such artifacts, and one ensures that such evidence will never surface again, being delivered straight into silent private collections. Science will inevitably become partially occult under such oppression. Ethics dictate that academics and scientists not own the sources of scientific observation, critically when it regards a challenge to current understanding and particularly when DNA analysis is involved. Competition is critical inside science, and let’s be clear – the Halcrow et al. Article is not posed inside a competitive context, nor does it actually even constitute peer review; rather it is a quashing of science through pluralistic ignorance and appeal to authority. DNA maintains first precedent among the epistemological resources available to mankind and should not be subjugated to religious politics attempting to manage the direction and investigation domain of science. The morphology of the skeleton did indeed raise Ockham’s Razor plurality. It was odd enough to justify scientific curiosity, and even if that were not enough, the ethical mandate to test a one of a kind foetus should have piqued study to begin with. So given all this, in ‘sensu stricto’ the testing was fundamentally as science, necessary. The fact is that these researchers who originally produced Ata, introducing it into the public domain for study, indeed executed an ethical act. They realized that Ata would eventually retire to its owners – however they took the risk in order to further mankind’s understanding.
If we allow the Halcrow et al. authors of the world publicly demean such finders and researchers; and further then to dictate a call for confiscation of study material, then that will be the end of true scientific ethics, like those just exhibited by Ata’s original finders. ~TES
The artifact remains should be repatriated to Chile and the applicable native South American tribe, only after a full set of study has been completed, AND samples are retained for future, more highly advanced, DNA analysis. This is how ethical science works inside the context of human rights. Human right to the truth contained in DNA, takes precedent over any institution, tribe, government or other social virtue agenda. The right parties will eventually get their mummy – but they do not have the right in the meantime to withhold vital information from mankind. This would constitute a form of racial bigotry in its enforcement.
The artifact exists in a temporarily indivisible duality: it is simultaneously both a physical object and a public domain information set. The asset or cultural ‘owner’ of the artifact only owns the physical item; they do not own the information which it contains – nor do they bear the right to restrict access to such information. This is a type of easement, similar to a property easement which is administered for the benefit of everyone, and not just the property title holder. Each of these dual entities involves differing legal, moral and ethical implications; and until they are separated by study and documentation of the contained intelligence into the public domain, no one party can claim authority over both sides of this unique duality. Maintaining this duality in pressure upon obfuscating governments and institutions will ensure the competition and efficacy of science. Both the physical object owner and the public information owners will want analysis completed in as expedient a fashion as is reasonable. Lawyers are you listening? Because such a case is going to be tried, and eventually won. ~TES
Nonetheless, let’s continue on with the next in the series of ridiculous and oppressive contentions.
“In the case of Ata, costly and time-consuming scientific testing using whole genome techniques was unnecessary and unethical.”
This constitutes a red herring fallacy, yet even aside from such deception, is also not ethically valid, nor is it even accurate. Aside from the fact that humans lie and DNA does not, the cost and time involved in whole genome sequencing is not anything near its recent past levels. The authors admit themselves that “only one of us (MK) is a specialist in human genomics”. Has Michael Knapp been involved in any genome sequencing lately? I have. I have paid for or helped fund several studies. The first one cost nearly $250,000. That, a mere pittance in comparison to the knowledge gained. However, such studies are a mere fraction of the cost and effort involved even 5 years ago – equating to somewhere around $4,000 to draft sequence an entire human genome today.1 Where has this guy been? Where has this team been?
Unnecessary? To the ‘researchers’ assembled for this study, apparently there was no connection between an unprecedented morphological being and an unprecedented DNA whole genome sequence. No, ends typically do not justify means as the apothegm goes, however in this case we are not ‘justifying the means’; rather the case for starting science to begin with. Science advances on both ‘true’ and especially ‘false’ outcomes. It never advances upon anti-curious social normatives. This is a key tenet of ethical science. To shut down scientific inquiry such as this is a dangerous precedent – exemplary of the jackboot and pluralistic ignorance which exists inside socially manipulated science today. Was Ockham’s Razor surpassed? Yes, manifestly. The authors of this propaganda piece contend that this artifact should not have never been studied in the first place, based simply upon the old tired stricture pseudoscience: they don’t like the people involved, nor where the study was headed. Apparently to Halcrow et al., science should never begin by surveying the environment and asking a question, rather should begin by ignoring the environment and tendering answers (buried as lede inside pretend studies). Shutting down scientific inquiry during the sponsorship stage, by declaring that ‘study is unnecessary’ – is corrupt, purposed for power, and in no way resembles anything near to something called science.
Unethical? Unethical to whom? A close genetically related haplogroup of today? That is scientifically questionable, and is often racially bigoted in its exercise. The Government of Chile? That is even more questionable. I am not sure that their rights to do what they will with an artifact (information) – outlast the rights of humanity to access knowledge about its own origins or progression as a species. Again, men lie. They need to be held accountable, and no level of virtue ethics spinning can countermand the rights of the rest of humanity on this and similar matters. No one may possess the right, to deny the rights of others by means of information control. And let’s be clear, this find is information – as a priority over its being a dead being. It is intelligence. It is the prior art property of all of mankind and not of a single tribe or nation. Its physical ownership or putative genetic affiliations stand as secondary, or even tertiary in importance.
So, based upon the ridiculous attempts exhibited in this article at squelching knowledge through an appeal to authority, let’s establish a normative of ethical skepticism now:
Basic Human Right to Knowledge of Mankind’s Origins and Progression
/philosophy : human rights/ : Public possession of information or artifact study rights serving to illuminate mankind’s origins, or social, morphological, and genetic history should not be denied based upon property conventions of any haplogroup, culture, owner, propriety, government, nation, intelligence group or institution. Knowledge is a basic human right; and in particular, it is a basic human right to access freely the knowledge of where mankind came from and the pathway which brought us here as a species. The knowledge involved in such endeavor is the property of mankind before they are the property or propriety of any and all other entities. Public access to objective evidential, physical, morphological, phenomenological, and DNA study is the first duty of all paleontology, archaeology, and study of modern phenomena.
A. The free study of found artifacts should not be impinged based upon provenance alone, provided that such artifacts are eventually retired to their cultural owners. Cultural or national propriety over found artifacts only takes precedence once all appropriate study has been completed and communicated into the public domain.
B. The knowledge of any hybrid, exceptional, novel, extra or ultra-terrestrial, technological, extinct, predecessor or otherwise equal or advanced intervening culture of any form, whether past or present, shall not be the property of any single or collective group based upon haplogroup, culture, property, propriety, government, nation, intelligence group or institution. Such knowledge is, as the supreme and immediate priority, the irrevocable property of mankind.
C. Access to such knowledge shall not be denied, and no law shall be written nor considered legally binding, which restricts the free access thereof.
Now that my channel with Thomas Jefferson has ended, let us continue with the litany of ridiculous information-squelching contentions made inside this hit-piece.
“We caution DNA researchers about getting involved in cases that lack clear context and legality, or where the remains have resided in private collections.”
No, we caution you Halcrow, et al. The authors overstep their bounds here; coursing into an imperious display of religious bias and incompetence. The reality of ‘lack of context’ you identify here is wholly and solely the fault of your Cabal; which is irrationally interested in suppressing information based upon its source, involved personalities, channel and implication. The market simply reacts to an unfair monopoly here. This responsibility involves a principle outlined earlier in this blog article, which your cadre of fake skeptics consistently fails to grasp, Haspel’s Paradox.
Haspel’s Paradox – a suppressed idea mutates to ever more virulent forms, these are then invoked to justify its continued suppression.
We can make any law – that does not mean we cannot work ethically to change oppressive ignorance-promoting laws. See the above statement on human rights to knowledge. You, as scientists, do not own this right to develop & qualify information. You hold no right to caution anyone. Neither does a tribe or nation own this artifact, ethically. Humanity does.
You guys in academic socialism are just going to have to get used to private collections, as they are a reality and in part, your fault. Private collections are an expression of mistrust, on the part of individuals who know that your Cabal lies on a regular basis, and want to know the truth, if only for themselves.2 If we can use their contained artifacts for study and the owner recognizes that they own the ‘piece’ and not its information – well possibly that beneficial understanding might just stem from our new ethical view on the matter (as outlined in this blog). But such understanding on the part of private collection owners will never come about with the Halcrow et al.’s of the world threatening them with loss of their property and with warnings to DNA researchers. These are actions of social skepticism. Knowledge will ironically be obfuscated ‘because of science’. Anything short of this new realization, then the ‘owners’ are doing nothing different than is the ‘country’. They will both continue claiming to own – and more importantly hide from analysis – that which is not theirs to hold in the first place.
“In the end, even the novel genetic variations discovered in Ata’s genome are of uncertain significance.”
Given the context of the article, I find the statement that Ata’s genome is of ‘uncertain significance’ to not be credible. It is deceptively and equivocally worded. The article makes it clear that the genome study was unnecessary and of null significance in the eyes of the authors – so this statement was a lie. The equivocal statement only serves to engender mistrust at this point, tucked away at the end of the article and worded so as to appear unbiased and objective. Bullshit. I do not believe you. And dear reader, please recall that the article authors tried to pass these types of statements off as peer reviewed outcomes of science, by tucking them inside a technical review of bone/DNA morphologies. Contending or implying that there was no connection between an unprecedented morphological being and an unprecedented DNA whole genome sequence inside a study masquerade, constitutes incompetence and desire to deceive, on a grand scale.
DNA Does Not Lie – Agency Conflict of Interest Scientists However Do
Moreover, these large-scale single nucleotide, block indel and structural variants in no way constitute simple ‘novel genetic variations’ as the article frames them; rather they involve [Bhattacharya et al.; Whole-genome sequencing…]:
i. 3,356,569 single nucleotide variations (SNVs),
ii. 518,365 insertions and deletions (indels), and
iii. 1047 structural variations (SVs) were detected as compared to a human reference genome.
None of this was even mentioned in the Halcrow Article. The only time it was alluded to, the above variance was downplayed as part of a desperate grasp at the plausible deniability of ‘nitrate exposure’ and to question the haplogroup and human they used as the genomic reference. In other words, desperate rhetoric. Again, show me the precedent for such large scale and functional ‘mutation’. To make the implication that this is not a mystery is just plain old agenda-spinning ignorance. To suggest that no morphological feature of this artifact should have served to raise a scientific question at all, is corrupt in its crafting. The DNA simply serves to confirm this.
In order to place this DNA divergence into perspective – this genetic distance represents slightly more than the separation break between Homo sapiens and Neanderthal, at about 3 million base pairs.3 This represents 300,000 years differential evolution at the Scally/Sykes rate of observed natural genetic mutation.4 5 Three hundred millennia of evolution comprised inside one single generation of in-species birth. Technically, we encountered a completely new species of man in the case of Ata. However, we panicked so badly as to how to spin this information for damage control (as are the Halcrow Article authors now), we failed to take note of the scientific observation. An observation just as exotic in nature as the discovery of Denisova hominins, Homo naledi, Homo neanderthalensis and Homo floresiensis. Finding human DNA inside a set of remains, does not logically constrain our conclusion therefore to that of the remains being modern human, as the article has incorrectly contended. Each of the four predecessors just listed, as it turns out all have human DNA in them – this does not serve to make them modern Homo sapiens.
The study of this little mostly human foetus could serve to turn our understanding of the mechanisms underpinning evolution upon its ear, or advance us decades into the future of our understanding of speciation. Yet, we think it is ethical to bury this evidence back in the ground. Much like having the Royal Navy sink Darwin’s ship HMS Beagle, replete with all his work, because it did not pay its port departure fee. I swoon at such virtuous action!
Halcrow Article experts, query your human genetic representative, Michael Knapp. Have him email me with even ONE SINGLE precedent for a single generation mutation which has attained this level of variance from its parental genome – and lived long enough to be analyzed as a creature for that matter. In fact, I challenge all the study authors to explain to me – one highly involved in genetic studies, just how this 3.4 million SNV genetic distance was attained in a single generational reproductive context. I await your expert response.
My email is email@example.com
Men lie, organizations lie, skeptics lie, scientists lie, intelligence agencies lie, governments lie. Even tribes will lie in order to obtain compensation. None of these entities can be entrusted with authority over a basic human right. This is not how human rights work – they are not granted nor dispensed at the authoritative discretion of a group of humans. Even if the humans claim to represent science, or scientists. We have learned this from our fake skepticism movement – trust must reside in the strictures of ethical procedure (goals of value, clarity, risk and suffering mitigation), and not in the hands of men. We left the days of rule by demi-god and royalty centuries ago. It is time we abandon the draconian practices of information control in the name of fake third world virtue as well. Mankind bears the legacy of this mandated ignorance even now, its cat-o-nine stripes emblazoned across our collective backs. It is time we evolve as a species – face our foibles, face with courage the information which is buried in our institutional vaults and under our feet. As one species and not as a group of privileged tribal interests.
DNA does not lie. This avenue of integrity is where we owe our first allegiance. Humanity is where we owe our overarching fealty; nowhere else – especially in the case of ad hoc ethics adopted as a pretense employed to rob humanity of its past and squelch the spread of information we do not like.
The Ethical Skeptic, “Quashing Study of Ancient Artifacts Violates a Basic Human Right” The Ethical Skeptic, WordPress, 21 Jul 2018; Web, https://wp.me/p17q0e-7ZO
- The Cost of Sequencing a Human Genome; https://www.genome.gov/27565109/the-cost-of-sequencing-a-human-genome/
- The Ethical Skeptic, “Eternal are the Embers which Conflagrate the Library of History”; The Ethical Skeptic, WordPress, 16 Oct 2021; Web, https://theethicalskeptic.com/?p=53225
- LiveScience: Neanderthal: 99.5 Percent Human; 15 Nov 2006; https://www.livescience.com/1122-neanderthal-99-5-percent-human.html
- Scally A, Durbin R.; Revising the human mutation rate: implications for understanding human evolution; Nature Reviews: Genetics. 13 (10): 745–53. doi:10.1038/nrg3295. PMID 22965354.
- Sykes, Bryan (July 2001). The Seven Daughters of Eve. W.W.Norton & Company Inc. (320 pages). ISBN 978-0-393-02018-2