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Friday, February 08, 2008

Fighting crime with science

It looks like Richard Dawkins is well on the way to getting his wish for a criminal justice system based on science rather than eyewitnesses as expressed in A Devil's Chaplain:

Police officers in Daytona Beach are swabbing the mouths of persons of interests during traffic stops with special DNA kits in the hunt for an elusive serial killer, sources close to the investigation told Local 6.

Hey, if we simply took DNA samples at birth, we could eliminate crime! Better yet, implant tracking devices with AV broadcast capabilities then too, so that everyone can be monitored at all times!

If you can't understand how a justice system designed around scientific evidence rather than testimonial evidence is significantly inferior due to its intrinsicly authoritarian nature, perhaps this will help you. And, as always, when it turns into an authoritarian nightmare, scientists will throw up their hands and plead innocent. Either it was "bad science" or they only handed the bad, evil nasty people the gun, they didn't actually pull any trigger... hey, look - vaccines and electronic toys!

After all, who could possibly have foreseen how the fruits of their wonderful discoveries could be misused? This myopic perspective goes to show that intelligence and wisdom are two entirely different things. And suddenly, I find myself wondering about the potential propaganda value of all those CSI variants that seem to make up about two-thirds of the American TV dramas currently airing.

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