Prominent atheist and genome advocate Dick Dorkins is genetically hardwired to treat human beings as chattel, according to some interpretations of preliminary results from the amateur analysis of his genome.
The findings come from Project Dick, the widely publicized effort to sequence and analyze the Dorkins DNA. After initial setbacks, Project Dick has become one of the most over-hyped genomics efforts, which is saying something. While Project Dick started as a conventional private sequencing effort, in recent months it has become a group project. Dorkins approved the posting of DNA data online and solicited analyses from the online community—a type of public science made possible by “open-source” genome analysis programs. Like the popular online encyclopedia, content may be contributed by anyone, although it is subject to editorial approval before it goes live. So-called “genome bloggers” have contributed markedly to the analysis of the Dorkins genome. “It’s a Dorkipedia,” said one Project Dick spokesman.
A recent Dorkipedia post, contributed by the genome blogger “SnipDaddy” compared Dorkins’s DNA to that of 5 antebellum plantation owners and found a common set of single-nucleotide polymorphisms, or SNPs. SnipDaddy’s three roommates, none of whom own slaves, do not have the mutations. SnipDaddy concludes that the SNPs constitute a genetic signature for slaveholding. SnipDaddy concludes, “Dorkin grate grate grandad like wippin ppl—he lik wippin em 2. Its inz jeans.” Analysis of the post suggests that SnipDaddy is implying the existence of a slaveholding gene that is correlated with sadism.
The findings could be related to the recent discovery of a genetic predisposition to violent crime. Attention will be focused on finding any basis whatsoever to the claims.