In The News…

Congenital Disease May Have Caused Lincoln’s Gait

Okay, so there’s about a 25% chance that Honest Abe had a congenital
disease that caused his oft-noted clumsiness. So some researchers want
his DNA to find out.

To get it, they’ll have to exhume his body and get bone and hair
samples. A panel ruled that the researchers should not have access.
Naturally, the researchers are annoyed. They say that proving he was
disabled will give hope to disabled americans and perhaps encourage a
little easier treatment for them. They also say that it is “of
historical interest.” Naturally, they neglect to mention that if they
can prove that he did, it makes them as researchers gain notoriety and
enables them to publish their findings. Basically, the positive here is
that a few people get to feel destigmatized and a few researchers can
get another grant for adding a footnote to the man’s history.

There are a couple of problems though. Firstly, there are the wishes of
his descendants. Now, he has no surviving direct descendants, but about
100 years ago one of his sons was slill alive when his tomb was being
renovated. This son went on record at that time requesting that his
father not be disturbed again.

So the negatives would be disregard for the wishes of this great
American’s own family and some (albeit likely smallish) damage to his
non-replaceable body.

I’m sorry professor, but I’m glad that panel shot you down. Respect his relatives’ wishes. Let the man rest in peace.

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One Response to “In The News…”

  1. zamiel Says:

    Much as I’m for exhuming pretty much everyone and tinkering with their bodies (mainly because I don’t hold human flesh sacred; its not like you’re nudging them awake or somesuch), I have to pretty much agree with your ultimate position because the original thesis is so incredibly stupid. What, the physically handicapped (or “cripples,” as I put it) are supposed to get some kind of emotional relief just because some famous guy was some kind of horrid mutant, too? Folks all over the world are about to stand, light streaming down on them like a gift from above, and blink from the sudden Enlightenment that … what? They shouldn’t be jerks?Humanity has 100,000 years of active xenophobia toward cripples, and with sound genetic reasons. To suggest, “Hey, Lincoln was screwed up, too!” isn’t going to hit anyone anywhere special.

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