Arguments are statements that lead from a premise to a conclusion. There a many types of arguments that we can evaluate on a daily basis. We rarely think about evaluating our own arguments however such thing can be done if we hear closely to what we say and practice determining what type of argument we are stating. There are many parts to an argument but we will now consider the reasons or supportive evidence of two articles. We will determine how the author uses the reasons and evidence to conclude if such argument is true. This journey will lead us to think critical and to put our brain into action. Predictive Probes-Article One In Article one, we meet Ms. Wexler, a 38 year old woman who might have inherited a deadly gene from her mother. This woman struggles to whether she should take this predictive probe test that will determine if she has been living with any in genetic influence disease, including Huntington’s Disease.
This article talks about how technology can help to determine many future illnesses and how they can be treated including from birth. This new technology that helps doctors determine future diseases more accurate was able to discover a genetic variation that is in relationship with the Huntington’s Disease. This was found in a test done in a 135 members of a Venezuelan family. Although this disease can be determine around the age of 30, this probe test allowed doctors to find a similarity genetic material that leads to it. This test can help to pre determine many future genetic illnesses, cancers and much more. The downside to this is that society may not like the idea of know what other people have, because such thing can happen.
In this article we find three different types of evidence; experimental, correlative and speculative. The first evidence is experimental. In this article we see that for a long time doctor have been predicting some illnesses but there is so little they can determine. However now with this new probe test and new technology there are more chances of determining accurately and also begin pre treatment. This is stated here, “Genetic probes, however, will change predictive medicine. The probes are synthetic versions of genes that cause disease. Tossed into a test tube with a small sample of a person’s own genetic material—his DNA—the probes cling to and identify their natural counterparts” (Bishop, para. 8). The second evidence to this article is correlative. This evidence is correlative because the information gathered from the probe test done in the Venezuelan family showed unusual genetic variation that is related to this Huntington Disease. These test result were no able to identified the disease itself but did identified some genetic material that goes along with it. We find this evidence here, “With the aid of experimental genetic probes, James F. Gusella, a doctor at Massachusetts General Hospital, and his colleagues studied the genes of 135 members of a large family in Venezuela that is plagued by Huntington’s disease. While the team didn’t find the gene itself, they did discover an unusual genetic variation that seems to accompany the mysterious gene when it is passed along” (Bishop, para. 12).
The third evidence we find is speculative because many cancer researchers believe that this new probe test has help them practice true prevention on patients. They speculate that this type of testing can determine some cancers, “Scientists now are finding evidence supporting a theory proposed a few years ago by Alfred G. Knudsen, a doctor at Philadelphia’s Fox Chase Cancer Center. While studying a type of childhood eye cancer known to be inherited, he speculated it took two “hits,” or events, for the eye cancer to occur. The first hit would be the inheritance of a gene (or the absence of a gene, as it actually turned out) that had the potential of causing cancer. Then a second hit had to occur before the gene (or lack of a gene) turned a cell malignant and led to a tumor. The hypothesis is holding up in the case of certain childhood cancers, Dr. Knudsen says, adding, “It’s a good bet that at least some adult cancers are caused by the same mechanism” (Bishop, para. 13). In the first article the author uses the experimental evidence as his main reason. He states that this new technology and test will change predictive medicine.
His supportive reason is the evidence found in the test he mentioned about done to the Venezuelan family. This evidence allows us the readers to understand how the probe test issues are becoming true facts. Our last evidence tells us how it is relevant to the situation. Because of these new ways of determining gene illnesses, cancers researchers have also benefit from the probe test. Some words used to evaluate this article were predict, determine, and suspicions. Some transitions are although and nowhere that connect one evidence with another. The logical connection would be, “If Dr. Knudsen’s hypothesis is true, then genetic probes would tell a woman if she inherited the first-hit gene” (Bishop, para. 16). This sentence here tells us that if the probe test is true soon they will determine other illnesses, where logically there would be a connection.
New Test Tells Whom a Crippling Disease Will Hit and When-Article Two
In this article, we find a college student who has decided to be tested for a gene that causes ataxia. Her father passed away due to this same illness and because of that she is concern if she has it also. She doesn’t mind knowing if she does because that way she can prepare for the future. This article also explains about two researchers who discovered the gene that is responsible for ataxia and some cancers that are related to. It talks about how some health conditions can be determined and receive treatment for it but it also explains how it really is when people find out how this disease will start breaking them down.
In this article the experiment takes place when the two researchers discover the gene that causes ataxia, “The gene responsible for ataxia was identified earlier this year by Harry Orr at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis and Huda Zoghbi at the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. The researchers then made another significant discovery: The gene, known as SCA1, has a flaw, a strikingly visible mutation that is common to other inherited neurological disorders, as well as some cancers”. Here we find the evidence that assures that people like Ms. Snider, the college student, can be tested for this gene. The author describes how this discovery can help to accelerate the discovery of other genes too. The correlation evidence in this article provides with supportive details but one having a positive outcome and one negative.
The author states that those patients that have a cancer gene can soon start to get treatment, but for those other ones that have non curable diseases it is like the Judgment day for them when they find out what they have. Here is the positive outcome,” Bearers of the cancer gene may be dismayed to find out they have it, but they will be in a position to get constant monitoring and early treatment, which could save their lives”. The negative outcome can be found here, “For victims of an incurable genetic disease such as ataxia, testing is like judgment day. Moreover, they face a new and chilling kind of biological prophecy, because the number of triplet repeats within the SCA1 gene can be used to forecast roughly when and how severe the onslaught of ataxia may be”. The speculative evidence that tell us that something can or cannot happen is this, “The neurons targeted by ataxia are tucked away in the cerebellum and brain stem, beyond the reach of current gene-therapy tools, says Dr. Orr.” Although what Dr. Orr states sounds a very difficult goal to reach I believe that soon this will be possible. Researchers have gone this far, and yet they still are working on more projects to help those people with these types of diseases. And let us not leave behind today’s technology and how advanced it is.
Overall this articles has a lot of words that can determine which are evidence. The transition from the gene discovery to how it has been used is very well organized by the author. The logical connections he makes make us understand how some people will benefit from this type of investigation. It is very crucial to know that soon you will die or that you have an incurable illness, but such information is essential for others. Arguments in this article have enough evidence support to determine if one is pro or against this type of information be available to the patients.
These articles have yet demonstrated us that critical thinking is far more than just breaking your head about things. It is stepping outside the box and evaluating in detail what it is that you are reading or listening.
Good arguments: An introduction to critical thinking (4th ed.) ,Deciding to accept an Argument: Compare the evidence.