Genetic Modification
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05-04-2011, 09:07 PM
RE: Genetic Modification
Just give me my tail and I'll be happy =p

Modifying humans has a genuine concern in the fact that it will be something rich people do, and their babies will have advantages. Not that rich babies don't already have advantages. It will happen, and it will help enough people. But it will be extremely expensive.

The main concern about modifying humans though is removing them from the evolutionary cycle completely. If humanity becomes too similar a disease can wipe out the entire population. Genetic differences allow for a portion of humanity to survive whatever naturally occurs.

I actually made a retort to the designer babies complaint in an ethics class discussing how each person's ideal baby is as unique as babies already are. So designer babies would end up pretty unique anyway. Though of course there would be trends each year, certain traits every baby must have. It would be a weird world.

I'm not a non believer, I believe in the possibility of anything. I just don't let the actuality of something be determined by a 3rd party.
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05-04-2011, 09:18 PM
RE: Genetic Modification
(05-04-2011 09:07 PM)Lilith Pride Wrote:  The main concern about modifying humans though is removing them from the evolutionary cycle completely. If humanity becomes too similar a disease can wipe out the entire population. Genetic differences allow for a portion of humanity to survive whatever naturally occurs.

I think that is a very good point. I hope that is a problem we will be able to work around. As for only the wealthiest being able to afford it, that is unfortunate, but I don't see it as a reason not to do it. Even if we can "fix" only a small part of the population, their genes will eventually spread, and everybody will gain from it in the long run.

And of course you can have your tail! It's on me! (that came out wrong Sad )

I want to rip off your superstitions and make passionate sense to you
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05-04-2011, 10:31 PM
 
RE: Genetic Modification
I don't object to human modification due to ethical reasons, but due to what would happen. Not only would people be identical and be vulnerable to a kill-all disease, but there's also the problem of strength. If you can alter the human genome to become more powerful, you're making humans even better at staying alive than they already are.

I know this is a little morbid, but if humanity suddenly gained the ability to have all of their offspring be super resistant to almost everything and very powerful, it certainly wouldn't help us in the whole overpopulation issue.
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05-04-2011, 10:57 PM
RE: Genetic Modification
People would not be all the same genetically. Thats ridiculous. Not only would mutations be happening all the time but the people modifying embryos (or however they would do it) could simply add neutral variation into the genes. 90% of mutations are neutral, not affecting the polypeptides coded for by the genes, and so no real harm would be done whilst effectively stopping viruses and bacteria getting a free trip.

A good example of a gene that could be fixed in humans is the vitamin C gene. Think of it. cats don't need to eat oranges, but we do (or other fruits, etc) otherwise we die of scurvy. Considering just how many millions of people have died from scurvy, all that could be stopped - not that many people die from scurvy nowadays, but certainly some people suffer from the deficiency.

Regarding the idea that we would overpopulate the earth; not necessarily. Who says we should have loads more children? If we were to decrease reproduction (such as decreasing the reproduction rates of muslims, amish, catholics, quiverfulls, indians) then we wouldn't have to worry about the overpopulation issue so much. And is it humane to let people suffer in order to better help our survival? If we are responsible about it, which I admit many people and organisations aren't, then the problems won't be that severe.

As for the wealthy getting the benefits, but not the poor; I don't think such research would go unnoticed. The government would fund such research and applications on humans provided the safety requirements were met, so the middle class at least could benefit from it. Don't think many africans could for a while, though.

@Stark The insulin gene is added to bacteria genome making the bacteria genetically modified organisms.

"I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason and intellect has intended us to forego their use." - Galileo

"Every man is guilty of all the good he did not do." - Voltaire
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06-04-2011, 07:13 AM
RE: Genetic Modification
(05-04-2011 10:57 PM)daemonowner Wrote:  is it humane to let people suffer in order to better help our survival?

In a large part of the world outside of the current societal reign it is seen as essential to focus on your numbers and make sure your tribe does not become too large for the resources available. So it's not really like this is unheard of. It's also humane to kill off excess deer so they don't overpopulate. Also the groups that have large numbers of children as you mentioned and the many other groups aren't just going to stop. You would need to enforce something like China and that is less humane than accepting that humans can die.

I'm not particularly against human modification but it's one point where I hold off a bit, because the humans in this country have already bred the worst shit possible. When we can keep the water allergic babies alive till 20 they'll start procreating. After Nazism, eugenics has become a faux pas, but that doesn't remove it's importance. There is no control at all put on humans, and they aren't going to just all the sudden say "Hey we need to be responsible". These are humans, if you want them to follow orders you better make them demands. Our current situation globally it would be more ethical to invent a virus and infect large numbers of people than let them live longer.

Why do we kill overpopulating deer? Because they take too much from a location and starve it of resources. How much of that action do you think humans have been doing for decades? Humane is a bullshit word because it means to do the right thing unless humans are involved, in which case you be as irresponsible as possible.

I'm not a non believer, I believe in the possibility of anything. I just don't let the actuality of something be determined by a 3rd party.
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06-04-2011, 02:04 PM
RE: Genetic Modification
I would disagree with the analogy of killing deer to stop them overpopulating in that they are being 'humanely' killed. With humans, we are talking about alot of suffering that could be alleviated and deaths that could be prevented.
As for china's option being less ethical, is it less ethical than deliberate global genecide? With the deer, you don't have consider which deer you would kill aside from not killing pregnant females, for example. But with humans, a whole range of problems are raised when you ask how and who would best be removed from the gene pool. Something like that could turn very unethical very quickly. And as for a virus, that may not be the best way to do it, viruses are known for mutating into a pain in the ass.
It seems the human race is too immature, and not ready for such advances. perhaps the better choice would be to leave such applications of research until we can better handle it.

Oh, and if I may add: we have the genes for a tail, and some people are even born with one. So wanting a tail is not out of the question at all. =P

"I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason and intellect has intended us to forego their use." - Galileo

"Every man is guilty of all the good he did not do." - Voltaire
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06-04-2011, 11:17 PM
RE: Genetic Modification
I know they are it's the defect I most wish I had!!!!!

I'm not a non believer, I believe in the possibility of anything. I just don't let the actuality of something be determined by a 3rd party.
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07-04-2011, 01:38 PM
 
RE: Genetic Modification
(05-04-2011 10:57 PM)daemonowner Wrote:  People would not be all the same genetically. Thats ridiculous. Not only would mutations be happening all the time but the people modifying embryos (or however they would do it) could simply add neutral variation into the genes. 90% of mutations are neutral, not affecting the polypeptides coded for by the genes, and so no real harm would be done whilst effectively stopping viruses and bacteria getting a free trip.
Of course not everybody would be the same, but odds are, they would be given the same resistance genes. Unless it's privatized, of course, and those that pay more get better resistances. The point being that they'd still mostly have the same resistances, which is the risk with viruses because once one virus mutates enough to get past this resistance, it will have a huge impact if a way to combat it isn't quickly found. This is one of the biggest arguments against using GMO plants, because people fear a super bug/virus, and it's a very valid concern.

Quote:A good example of a gene that could be fixed in humans is the vitamin C gene. Think of it. cats don't need to eat oranges, but we do (or other fruits, etc) otherwise we die of scurvy. Considering just how many millions of people have died from scurvy, all that could be stopped - not that many people die from scurvy nowadays, but certainly some people suffer from the deficiency.
Of course, reasons like this are why I support Genetic Modification in humans, although there is the concern regarding making humans too strong.

Quote:Regarding the idea that we would overpopulate the earth; not necessarily. Who says we should have loads more children? If we were to decrease reproduction (such as decreasing the reproduction rates of muslims, amish, catholics, quiverfulls, indians) then we wouldn't have to worry about the overpopulation issue so much. And is it humane to let people suffer in order to better help our survival? If we are responsible about it, which I admit many people and organisations aren't, then the problems won't be that severe.
How are you going to go about decreasing the rate of reproduction? Even if you got rid of all religions, people are still widely irresponsible with using protection, especially the poor. Also, it may not seem humane, but is it humane to let children be born into a world where they will only suffer their entire lives because there is no food for them to eat, no space for them to live and no air for them to breathe? The earth does have a carrying capacity for humans, and if humans suddenly gained the ability to become even closer to immortality, the rate we reach this carrying capacity would grow exponentially.

Quote:As for the wealthy getting the benefits, but not the poor; I don't think such research would go unnoticed. The government would fund such research and applications on humans provided the safety requirements were met, so the middle class at least could benefit from it. Don't think many africans could for a while, though.
I assume it would be mostly privatized. Pharmaceutics and GMO's are a prime example of this today. The government is widely involve, but they are also expensive as are the private corporations, leading to the poor having very little accessibility.


(06-04-2011 07:13 AM)Lilith Pride Wrote:  In a large part of the world outside of the current societal reign it is seen as essential to focus on your numbers and make sure your tribe does not become too large for the resources available. So it's not really like this is unheard of. It's also humane to kill off excess deer so they don't overpopulate. Also the groups that have large numbers of children as you mentioned and the many other groups aren't just going to stop. You would need to enforce something like China and that is less humane than accepting that humans can die.
I love this example. There are countless invasive species and even native species of animals that are on a "to kill" list endorsed by the government. We are allowed to hunt these animals so they don't overpopulate, because we all know that's bad for the environment. But there is no invasive species more destructive than human beings, yet we practically apply this same logic to our species.

Quote:I'm not particularly against human modification but it's one point where I hold off a bit, because the humans in this country have already bred the worst shit possible. When we can keep the water allergic babies alive till 20 they'll start procreating. After Nazism, eugenics has become a faux pas, but that doesn't remove it's importance. There is no control at all put on humans, and they aren't going to just all the sudden say "Hey we need to be responsible". These are humans, if you want them to follow orders you better make them demands. Our current situation globally it would be more ethical to invent a virus and infect large numbers of people than let them live longer.
Eh, that's a very controversial view. While nature is cruel, I don't mostly support Eugenics. If the person is functioning but has a mental or physical disability, I don't see why they deserve to live with modern help. Unless this a call to resort to our prehistoric ways.


(06-04-2011 02:04 PM)daemonowner Wrote:  I would disagree with the analogy of killing deer to stop them overpopulating in that they are being 'humanely' killed. With humans, we are talking about alot of suffering that could be alleviated and deaths that could be prevented.
If the earth reached the carrying capacity of humans, but humans kept on reproducing like no tomorrow, i assure you, they'd be better off dying at birth. Imagine india, except twice as populated, and applied to the entire world. Anybody born into that, even the rich, will suffer greatly. The poor? Oh man, their lives will be a living hell. Not preventing that when we could have, is that humane?
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07-04-2011, 06:52 PM (This post was last modified: 07-04-2011 07:23 PM by SoCATrueAtheist.)
RE: Genetic Modification
(03-04-2011 10:57 AM)Lilith Pride Wrote:  but a large number o people fall into this. The expectation is that something wrong will happen and there is no going back.

Maybe part of it is that fact that while we're perfecting the technique even those who are most qualified are bound to make mistakes along the way.

Like killer bees. Although killer bees aren't genetically engineered but the point is that they were a human mistake that got loose. It could happen. Although I'm not saying I'm against the idea of genetic engineering either. I'm just expanding on what you said and saying that that could be part of the fear factor.
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07-04-2011, 08:02 PM
RE: Genetic Modification
I think we can count on our scientists to figure out which modifications are safe, and which are a bad idea. I think this is one of the cases where a little government control isn't such a bad idea.

I want to rip off your superstitions and make passionate sense to you
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