Genetically modified .... humans
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15-09-2017, 09:39 PM
RE: Genetically modified .... humans
(15-09-2017 09:32 PM)Coveny Wrote:  There will definitely loss in diversity which could cause us issues at some later date. Maybe color blindness is the only thing that protects us from something else, but we eradicated it because we thought it was just a negative trait?

Or maybe not.

Progress is prefferable to stagnation (inmost cases I suppose) and this is no exception. It could have (dire?) consequences but almost no endeavor is risk free.

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15-09-2017, 11:14 PM
RE: Genetically modified .... humans
Relevant song:




This subject also makes me think of the disaster-of-a-movie-but-can't-stop-watching Splice. I still say bring it on, I'm utterly fascinated by the possibilities, but I do hope they start with well understood genes. I'm not sure I want to see them trying to correct (along with the inevitable mess-ups) the "gay gene" or the numerous genes linked to autism or schizophrenia.

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16-09-2017, 12:04 AM (This post was last modified: 16-09-2017 02:12 AM by EvolutionKills.)
RE: Genetically modified .... humans
(15-09-2017 04:54 PM)Coveny Wrote:  Ethically and morally I see it as a positive thing. The ability to remove genetic diseases from the world is huge in and of itself, and I think it more than overcomes the possible abuse by parents to make perfect little designer babies. But we live in a capitalist world so is it just going to become yet another way that the 1% is “better” than the rest of us? Or on the other end what about genetic mistakes happening in third world countries doing bargain basement genetic modifications?

So do you think the benefits of genetically modified humans outweigh the negatives?

Yes, saddling the next generation with maladies that we could fix, but chose not to, would make us moral monsters.

[Image: gattaca-original.jpg]

I love the movie Gattaca (1997 - Etahn Hawke, Uma Thermin, Jude Law). It does a good job of painting the picture of a potential future, a world of haves and have-nots, between those born naturally and those who had been screened. It does it's best to make you sympathize with Vincent (Hawke) and his dreams of overcoming his status as an In-Valid, by masquerading as Jerome (Law), using his Valid status to persue Vincent's dream of going to space while using his salary to keep Jerome in the comfortable life of luxury he could no longer sustain on his own after an accident crippled him and left him wheelchair bound. It shows a world split by this, a populace so concerned with someone's genetic profile, that kiosks where you can get a complete genetic write-up of a potential suitor from them swabbing your lips after a kiss, is a thriving business. It's a somewhat dystopian future, created to make you empathize with Vincent's plight, of being discriminated against because of the contents of his genes (he has a potentially terminal heart condition). How he is denied opportunities and advancement, denied his dreams, because of what he is rather than who he is.

But you know what? Vincent is ultimately wrong. Borrowing an identity so that he could get onto a mission to Titan, hiding his potentially fatal heart condition from his fellow crewmates who's lives will depend upon him? That is wrong. It was also wrong for Vincent's parents to have conceived Vincent naturally, instead of taking the option to screen and have removed or significantly lowered his risk for that heart condition. While there is a larger societal conundrum at play here, with an individual's right to privacy and bodily autonomy versus the world's seeming obsession with genetic 'perfection', the world of Gattaca was improved by making humans better. One doctor explains to Vincent's parents before their second child...

Antonio: We were just wondering if, if it is good to just leave a few things to, to chance?
Geneticist: We want to give your child the best possible start. Believe me, we have enough imperfection built in already. Your child doesn't need any more additional burdens. Keep in mind, this child is still you. Simply, the best, of you. You could conceive naturally a thousand times and never get such a result.

Yes, there could be a somewhat painful transitioning period. But you know what? If there was a way to guarantee my children didn't have the same negative genetic predispositions that I have (such as astigmatism, necessitating glasses nearly my entire life), I would jump at it in a heartbeat. If the world were to become so transfixed on such improvement, one would hope that access to such techniques would become an inalienable human right; that every child conceived deserves the best possible chance at success with the combination of genes their parents supplied them with.

Now designer babies is slightly different. Not just weeding out potential flaws, but rather trying to sculpt the child with specific traits? Well, we know that smoking and drinking have negative affects on a developing fetus, and yet those actions are not illegal while a woman is pregnant, are they? Maybe they should be. But as of right now, it's is well within your rights to negatively affect a developing fetus in such a way, so I would find it hard to suss out current legal justification for outlawing positive or benign alterations. Plus, genes only get you so far. Take the smartest potential human baby and lock them in a basement for a decade without any human contact, and that now feral 10 year old's potential will have been squandered.

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16-09-2017, 05:34 AM
RE: Genetically modified .... humans
Everyone keeps freaking out about "designer babies". I recently read an article about how hard it actually is to achieve this and how early it is to talk about designer babies right now. Genetics isn't that simple and there's a good chance we won't get there before humans are extinct.

Now, even if it were possible, no, not everyone would look the same. There are many different colors, sizes and shapes that people around the world consider attractive. We wouldn't all look the same, we would all look attractive, and since beauty is in the eye of the beholder, well, we wouldn't look pretty to everyone.

Not to mention that many parents prefer their children to look like them, considering themselves more attractive than they actually are, or at least more attractive than conventionally attractive people. Finally, I'm pretty sure there'll be some kind of law to prevent you from "stealing" another person's face. Which would make sense, really.

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16-09-2017, 05:39 AM
RE: Genetically modified .... humans
Can you get these humans on eBay yet?

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16-09-2017, 05:52 AM
RE: Genetically modified .... humans
(16-09-2017 05:34 AM)undergroundp Wrote:  Everyone keeps freaking out about "designer babies". I recently read an article about how hard it actually is to achieve this and how early it is to talk about designer babies right now. Genetics isn't that simple and there's a good chance we won't get there before humans are extinct.

Indeed. There is a huge gap between making sure a specific allele sequence is turned on or off in order to prevent a specific genetic disorder; in comparison to the myriad balancing of factors that go into more subjective qualities such as height, mass, or intelligence.

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16-09-2017, 05:54 AM
RE: Genetically modified .... humans
(16-09-2017 05:39 AM)Banjo Wrote:  Can you get these humans on eBay yet?

What, you mean you haven't already? Consider

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16-09-2017, 05:57 AM
RE: Genetically modified .... humans
I'm a bit slow, mate. Smile

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16-09-2017, 07:09 AM
RE: Genetically modified .... humans
(15-09-2017 09:32 PM)Coveny Wrote:  There will definitely loss in diversity which could cause us issues at some later date. Maybe color blindness is the only thing that protects us from something else, but we eradicated it because we thought it was just a negative trait?

I can't even imagine being color blind - color is my thing. It's why I grow a garden. I soak in color like I soak in the sun rays. It is at the core of my happiness.

So that gets us to thinking about what diversity contributes. What if the penchant for beauty was lost and replaced with a fascination with numbers? Don't we need both in the population? What if the musician became an engineer, what if there was no arts, just science?

What if parent's choices were cyclical like fashion? Already we are tagged with names that parents seem to think are fashionable. Do we then have to limit numbers of engineers and scientists and artists etc. because some generations would be nothing but?

[Image: dobie.png]Science is the process we've designed to be responsible for generating our best guess as to what the fuck is going on. Girly Man
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16-09-2017, 07:16 AM
RE: Genetically modified .... humans
(16-09-2017 05:34 AM)undergroundp Wrote:  Everyone keeps freaking out about "designer babies". I recently read an article about how hard it actually is to achieve this and how early it is to talk about designer babies right now. Genetics isn't that simple and there's a good chance we won't get there before humans are extinct.

Well, operating on unborn babies used to be an impossible feat. We do that now. I never assume that something is too hard for us to achieve - the more decades I live, the more surreal the world starts looking because we have achieved so many immense changes in the last few decades.

[Image: dobie.png]Science is the process we've designed to be responsible for generating our best guess as to what the fuck is going on. Girly Man
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