Saturday, July 3, 2010

‘Significant’ UK Scientific Breakthrough

Reuters - Details are still sketchy, but, in an astonishing scientific breakthrough, it appears that British scientists have finally discovered the gene that actually prevents Scots from governing themselves.

If confirmed, the project, completed in the final days of the last UK Labour administration, will amount to nothing less than the Holy Grail for those Scots who argue that an independent Scotland would be a violation of the laws of nature. As such it will also be a godsend for those in the UK Labour Party and the Scottish and British media – especially the BBC, the Scotsman, Glasgow Herald and Daily Record – who until now have been forced to argue this without evidence.

Called traitors by their own countrymen, these Scottish ‘unionists’ – an assorted rabble of politicians, hack journalists and second rate economists, all with a vested interest in keeping their jobs in the UK political machine – were last night jubilant that they could finally explain why Scots were able to act as British prime ministers, British Empire governors, founding fathers for the United States, New Zealand and Canada, heads of banks and corporations around the world today, and yet be strangely incapable of running their own affairs.

A visibly shaken Alex Salmond, First Minister of Scotland and champion of Scottish independence, was devastated at the news.
“It’s a total bombshell. Think of all the years we’ve wasted campaigning for something that was always beyond reach. Of course, we’ll be disbanding the Scottish National Party within a few days. I feel like we’ve let every North British person down. There was just no way we could have known.”

When asked if he had any specific comment on the findings, Salmond was reflective.
“Och, well,” he sighed. “At least this solves the puzzle of what Labour’s Scotland Office was actually doing with its £7.2 million budget. We thought it was trying to prove the existence of alien life, but now we know.”

An ecstatic ex-Scottish Secretary Jim Murphy last night explained the true significance of the discovery, on a hotline from the wilderness:
“It’s what we’ve been saying all along. We’ve finally proved beyond doubt that Scots need exposure to English culture to learn governance, which is England’s gift to the world. Thank God Gordon Brown and I got our English culture from our wives. Without that contact, our genetic makeup would have put us at a serious disadvantage. We’d both be wife-beating alcoholics by now.”

When asked about Scots’ solid record of leadership over the centuries, Mr. Murphy was defiant:
“Yes,” he yelled hoarsely, struggling to be heard over the tundra gale, “but England gave those countries their culture. So indirectly, it’s the English context that Scots needed to succeed, not our genes, which in fact hold us back. It’s only our acquired English culture that allows us to succeed.”

And the fact that Scotland was an independent nation for over eight centuries before the Union, and as such one of the oldest nations on earth? At this point Mr. Murphy seemed to grow irate.
“Look pal, don't give me that medieval pish. We were never a real country. And any real leaders we had all left to settle the Empire. It’s only the genetic dross that’s left.”

When asked if he included himself in this category, Mr. Murphy abruptly terminated the interview.


muddypaws said...

Using Reuters as an inspiration for your post has its dangers; as you say details are sketchy and Reuters do tend to popularise if not sensationalise.
Strictly, the research referred to focuses on transgenerational epigenetic inheritance and so it would be wrong to imply any change to the underlying DNA sequence. For once Jim Murphy appears to be up to speed on the subject; the influence of environmental factors like "English culture" may well be relevant to how this transgenerational inheritance effect manifests in the phenotype but this is far from proven and it would be pity if politicians high-jacked this important science to score party political points.

The implications of an epigenetic discovery of this type requires a revolution in thinking about genetics, Darwin, evolutionary theory and will of course influence the whole "Dawkins debate".

Your readers might benefit from taking a look at Lamb and Jablonka (2005) "Evolution in four dimensions: genetic, epigenetic, behavioural and symbolic variation in the history of life"
ISBN 0-262-10107-6
Simply googling "epigenetics" isn't enough

OutLander said...

Thanks, MP!

Appreciate the additional info. And thank you for firming up the details of the research. I was a little skeptical at first, but you’ve removed the lingering doubts I had. It’s always good to get the facts.

I’ve forwarded your comments to the Scottish National Party. Apparently they are already in disarray at the findings and the end is only a matter of days away. Hopefully, your link will hasten their demise and we can all move on from this unfortunate chapter in Scotland’s history.

Keep up the great work!

The End of the Union is Nigh said...

Hey Muddy Paws,

I think I understand what you are saying.

Does that explain why the snouts of so many Westminster MPs are in the trough? Is systemic political corruption part of the English cultural influence?

Thanks for clearing it up.

muddypaws said...

I am unaware of any research that evidences the proposition that avaritious behaviour, criminal aquisitiveness or indeed systemic political corruption has a genetic link, nor am I willing to speculate on a putative hypothesis regarding “English culture”. Nor can I share whatever suspicions you may have regarding the reason for different DNA retention laws north and south of the border; my own view is pedestrian and mainstream in this regard and that it was entirely motivated by civil liberties considerations and had nothing to do with a conspiracy to engineer an incomplete DNA database. I appreciate that there appears a reluctance for Scottish Police forces to investigate criminal activity with political connections, but the suggestion that this has to do with suppressing any public record of genetic anomaly in sub-populations of elected representative is quite fanciful.

@ Outlander
Fabulous news Outlander, quite, quite fabulous