Make 'em moar orky! 10 replies

  • 1
  • 2

Please wait...

Nemmerle Forum Mod

Voice of joy and sunshine

298,325 XP

26th May 2003

0 Uploads

28,144 Posts

5 Threads

#1 9 years ago

[INDENT]A Los Angeles fertility clinic has kicked up a controversy by offering parents the chance to design their own babies, including eye color, hair color, and gender: The science is based on a lab technique called preimplantation genetic diagnosis, or PGD. This involves testing a cell taken from a very early embryo before it is put into the mother’s womb.

WORLD Magazine | Community | Blog Archive | Designer babies[/INDENT]

For those of you unfamiliar this is basically the allele selection thing we’ve been doing for a while now to screen for genetic diseases but applied to screen for hair color, gender, etc. It’s pretty much a zero risk thing in terms of genetics, not even proper genetic engineering. It shouldn’t present any problem in terms of genetic diversity unless everyone selects for the same characteristics over the space of a few generations. Still some people are having problems with it, ethical, emotional, what have you. Some even have a problem that this interferes with the natural evolution of the human race. Not that, if you believe in a difference between made by man and made by nature, there’s anything natural about our evolution.

And I join those people with a problem with it. My problem is it’s not going far enough; my problem is it gives enough over to the random mess that evolution is making of our species.

Evolution is just interested in making you good enough to pass on your genes most successfully, after that it doesn't matter anymore. From an evolutionary perspective the bacteria is a far better design than the human. And it is these human bacteria; the people who reproduce in vast numbers with little concern for their social responsibility; that evolution, both social and genetic, is eventually going to favour. The people on estates who have five or six children and live without doing a day's work will increase in number; while the person who goes to university, then secures a nice job, a house and so on, spends their time finding the right person; rather than just screwing the first thing that stands still long enough; and then has a kid, is going to be increasingly marginalised.

We know that intelligence is in large part genetic; heck just look at some of the retards who get screwed by faulty genetics; we may not know what exact factors contribute but simple observation tells us that they do.

So you have the groups: Group A: Reproduce in vast numbers, little use for larger intellectual capacity. Group B: Reproduce in small numbers, greater use for larger intellectual capacity.

Over time Group A will become the dominant vector of the species and that will eventually be reflected in the genetics because, under the current social system, intelligence is not an adaptive trait or behaviour. In order to reproduce within our current society it is actually beneficial to you to be stupid; to leave school as early as possible, to not go to university, to not bother with safe sex, to not get a job, not to spend your time reading or gaining knowledge. The more of your time put over to fucking the more successful you are according to evolution. The beneficial thing is to start breeding as soon as you get your first period or can get it up.

In nature this, broadly speaking, balances. You get R and K type reproduction patterns. One of which has lots of offspring and invests lightly in them hoping that sheer number will pass on the genes and one of which invests heavily in a few offspring in order that they survive to carry on the genes. We’ve broken the balance though, with our welfare systems, our misplaced compassion; you can be a low investment breeder and still expect the majority of your offspring to survive. And that's what evolution, both social and genetic, is selecting for these days: people with no social responsibility, and at best an underutilised intelligence.

If the current system persists then the smart people are going to be slowly; over the course of a couple of hundred to a few thousand years or so depending upon differences in birth rates; bred into extinction. It’s a war in a way; all wars are really about two things: Birth-rate and ideology. Both factors are present here.

So why should we have genetic engineering? The same reason we have social engineering institutions like schools and police and so on. To raise the level of the human species; to offset the rot. If schools are a reflection of our desire to alter the social evolution of a group by communicating different success values to them then genetic engineering can be our, far more successful, attempt to maintain the integrity of the species on a genetic level. Nothing about our evolution is natural. If our welfare system functioned differently we’d be seeing hyper polarisation between the R and K type breeders in terms of wealth and survival potential; genetically speaking you’d have the inverse effect. Nature had its chance, we’ve burned that bridge.

Selecting for blonde hair and blue eyes, or whatever, is a rich person’s game, and if it convinces even some of the people who actually have desirable traits to reproduce in greater numbers then I’m all for it. But it’s not really going far enough. Firstly we need government underwriting of the whole deal, we can’t really advance if we just diverge as a species between the hyper rich on the one hand who have genetically enhanced intelligences and the incredibly poor on the other who are screwed from birth; the poor will weigh down the rich and the standard of the whole will suffer since the rich will be obliged to take care of the poor in some form – similar to our own welfare system of today no doubt – in order to restrain their potential for violence. Secondly we should be looking towards designing a more desirable human – finding which genes correlate with intelligence is a start, but we can do so much more: denser muscle mass, more resistance to aging, etc.

Evolution is in a sense trying to fuck us over; so screw it; it’s time we took control of our own genetic destiny. There's nothing noble in yielding to the random forces of whatever comes.




Guest

I didn't make it!

0 XP

 
#2 9 years ago

Theres a good movie you should watch, its called GATTACA It presented a situation where this had become the norm in the future. However there are always unforseen consequences to all great achievements. In the case of the movie there was much discrimination to in-valids, those who were not genetically enhanced before birth. Essentially they were an under-class who could get little more than menial labor jobs, and considered universally inferior. Ultimately you could theoretically create a whole new class division. Now would you want a future like that?




Tas

Serious business brigade

50 XP

4th September 2004

0 Uploads

7,275 Posts

0 Threads

#3 9 years ago

Movies are fun but i don't think you should take them as predictions of the future even if they make sense.

Assuming this technology becomes available to all, the "choice" of parents not to have their children "tweaked" could be seen as the choice parents make not to have their kids inoculated, or the choice they make to home-school them.

There's far reaching negative affects to all these parental choices and it's all legal. If people can't take steps to give their kids an advantage when people can deny them all sorts of things... :uhoh:




Nemmerle Forum Mod

Voice of joy and sunshine

298,325 XP

26th May 2003

0 Uploads

28,144 Posts

5 Threads

#4 9 years ago
nanobot_swarm;4828557Theres a good movie you should watch, its called GATTACA It presented a situation where this had become the norm in the future. However there are always unforseen consequences to all great achievements. In the case of the movie there was much discrimination to in-valids, those who were not genetically enhanced before birth. Essentially they were an under-class who could get little more than menial labor jobs, and considered universally inferior. Ultimately you could theoretically create a whole new class division. Now would you want a future like that?

That would be why I said it should be government funded so that we didn't end up creating an underclass of non-modified people. Ideally we should look into mechanical enhancements as well to compensate for other biological shortcomings. The guy in Gattaca would have been fine if he'd simply had a decent mechanical heart.

For most people Gattaca was a utopian future. Though shown primarily from the perspective of someone who fell on the underside of the system doubtless our own society would look equally monstrous if displayed from the underside of our own system. We already have massive class inequality, if anything what I'm advocating is simply that we take more holistic measures to stop that gap growing, when the welfare system falls apart, or correcting itself in the wrong direction.




Nemmerle Forum Mod

Voice of joy and sunshine

298,325 XP

26th May 2003

0 Uploads

28,144 Posts

5 Threads

#5 9 years ago

I don't intend government funding for cosmetics; rich people can pay for it themselves and the poor hardly need to be encouraged to breed; I was just taking that as a point to start from and say we weren't going far enough with it. Here we are pissing around with whether we should allow people to select for hair color or not when we really should be pushing the frontiers of this stuff as far as they will go; first with government funded research and then with eventual nation wide implemenation.




Nittany Tiger Forum Mod

*Shrug*

289,096 XP

15th September 2004

0 Uploads

27,136 Posts

0 Threads

#6 9 years ago

Ok. Why are we focusing on genetically altering vain features instead of preventing diseases?

UK fertility experts are angered that the service will distract attention from how the same technology can protect against inherited disease.

I couldn't have said it better myself. Are we changing aesthetics and gender because it's easier? We should be focusing on what good this could be doing to combat genetic and hereditary disorders despite the difficulty.

Aesthetic and gender genetic modification will have to be a by-product or a semi-side project of genetic research, not the main focus.

Also, big warning. Religion is going to get involved in this big time.

For me, one question revolves around God’s sovereignty. Is God sovereign over souls created — or not created — through this method?

As of now, I have no opinion towards or against this based on my beliefs. There are some questions they (I) can raise, though.

Nemmerle And it is these human bacteria; the people who reproduce in vast numbers with little concern for their social responsibility; that evolution, both social and genetic, is eventually going to favour. The people on estates who have five or six children and live without doing a day's work will increase in number; while the person who goes to university, then secures a nice job, a house and so on, spends their time finding the right person; rather than just screwing the first thing that stands still long enough; and then has a kid, is going to be increasingly marginalised.

So true. I'm 25 and have never had a girlfriend mostly due to focus on school. And, as stated above, I'm picky. I'm only saying this to state that the above is true for the intellectual.

Congratulations Mike Judge. You just successfully predicted the future. We're headed towards an Idiocracy.

But it’s not really going far enough. Firstly we need government underwriting of the whole deal, we can’t really advance if we just diverge as a species between the hyper rich on the one hand who have genetically enhanced intelligences and the incredibly poor on the other who are screwed from birth; the poor will weigh down the rich and the standard of the whole will suffer since the rich will be obliged to take care of the poor in some form – similar to our own welfare system of today no doubt – in order to restrain their potential for violence.

Then we must give up some freedom. Just hope that some governments don't become corrupted or populated by the rich. It probably will, though. Governments designed to keep things in balance for everyone (like Communism) seem to fail because of the human element (mainly power - the ability to get what they want).

What about genetic modification of already-born children and adults (like in Bioshock)?

Also, what if our children don't like what we made them to be? She really wanted red hair and he really wanted to be a girl. Now what?




Mr. Pedantic

I would die without GF

234,620 XP

8th October 2006

0 Uploads

23,127 Posts

0 Threads

#7 9 years ago

More orky...gross...

Anyway, on topic...

Imagine how much effort you would need for this (and therefore the cost). For some more exotic traits such as red hair, especially in combination with other traits, hundreds of embryos would potentially have to be screened to provide the proper combination of traits...because of one major flaw in the method; they're not changing anything. It wouldn't be able to be automated to a great degree (both the extraction of the cell, as well as the extraction of said DNA would have to be done by hand, since its quite fiddly), so potentially hundreds or even thousands of man-hours would be wasted for a single baby.

Which is why I don't think it's practical to have widespread government funding for this. The costs involved are just way too big, and it is not like an investment, where the government will get money back from this in ten, twenty, or thirty years' time. The 'asset' borne from such money would be intangible. The color of your eyes is completely irrelevant to how far you advance humanity in any facet, technologically, scientifically, socially, etc.

And I join those people with a problem with it. My problem is it’s not going far enough; my problem is it gives enough over to the random mess that evolution is making of our species.

Evolution is just interested in making you good enough to pass on your genes most successfully, after that it doesn't matter anymore. From an evolutionary perspective the bacteria is a far better design than the human. And it is these human bacteria; the people who reproduce in vast numbers with little concern for their social responsibility; that evolution, both social and genetic, is eventually going to favour. The people on estates who have five or six children and live without doing a day's work will increase in number; while the person who goes to university, then secures a nice job, a house and so on, spends their time finding the right person; rather than just screwing the first thing that stands still long enough; and then has a kid, is going to be increasingly marginalised.

We know that intelligence is in large part genetic; heck just look at some of the retards who get screwed by faulty genetics; we may not know what exact factors contribute but simple observation tells us that they do.

So you have the groups: Group A: Reproduce in vast numbers, little use for larger intellectual capacity. Group B: Reproduce in small numbers, greater use for larger intellectual capacity.

Over time Group A will become the dominant vector of the species and that will eventually be reflected in the genetics because, under the current social system, intelligence is not an adaptive trait or behaviour. In order to reproduce within our current society it is actually beneficial to you to be stupid; to leave school as early as possible, to not go to university, to not bother with safe sex, to not get a job, not to spend your time reading or gaining knowledge. The more of your time put over to fucking the more successful you are according to evolution. The beneficial thing is to start breeding as soon as you get your first period or can get it up.

In nature this, broadly speaking, balances. You get R and K type reproduction patterns. One of which has lots of offspring and invests lightly in them hoping that sheer number will pass on the genes and one of which invests heavily in a few offspring in order that they survive to carry on the genes. We’ve broken the balance though, with our welfare systems, our misplaced compassion; you can be a low investment breeder and still expect the majority of your offspring to survive. And that's what evolution, both social and genetic, is selecting for these days: people with no social responsibility, and at best an underutilised intelligence.

If the current system persists then the smart people are going to be slowly; over the course of a couple of hundred to a few thousand years or so depending upon differences in birth rates; bred into extinction. It’s a war in a way; all wars are really about two things: Birth-rate and ideology. Both factors are present here.

So why should we have genetic engineering? The same reason we have social engineering institutions like schools and police and so on. To raise the level of the human species; to offset the rot. If schools are a reflection of our desire to alter the social evolution of a group by communicating different success values to them then genetic engineering can be our, far more successful, attempt to maintain the integrity of the species on a genetic level. Nothing about our evolution is natural. If our welfare system functioned differently we’d be seeing hyper polarisation between the R and K type breeders in terms of wealth and survival potential; genetically speaking you’d have the inverse effect. Nature had its chance, we’ve burned that bridge.

...:confused:

I'm not against what you said, in fact, I'm in total agreement. However, it does sort of beg the question, what does this have to do with screening for hair color? Intelligence, strength, height, etc, are all traits involving multiple genes on multiple chromosomes, relying on the action of transcription factors, gene activators and such, and we have little comprehension of how these components of DNA work in a quantative way sufficient for the highly specific purposes that genetic engineering would need them for. And all this is a world away from what we are doing right now, which is basically just looking for traits among embryos.




Mr. Pedantic

I would die without GF

234,620 XP

8th October 2006

0 Uploads

23,127 Posts

0 Threads

#8 9 years ago
I was just taking that as a point to start from and say we weren't going far enough with it. Here we are pissing around with whether we should allow people to select for hair color or not when we really should be pushing the frontiers of this stuff as far as they will go; first with government funded research and then with eventual nation wide implemenation.

But then you get the usual people who complain it's morally not correct to allow genetic engineering (which is what it will be), and in any case my point still stands. The costs, even discounting selection of traits like hair color, etc, will still be immense. Indeed, with all the work that would actually go into modifying the genes would make practical government funding for it will be even more than in my previous post, because of the extra work that will go into first identifying and isolating so many genes, factors, and modifiers on so many chromosomes (in fact, first you have to separate out the chromatin to give it some semblance of order so scientists can work with it), and then changing them to increase intelligence, strength, or whatever, will be far more than just screening for simple traits like eye color.




Nemmerle Forum Mod

Voice of joy and sunshine

298,325 XP

26th May 2003

0 Uploads

28,144 Posts

5 Threads

#9 9 years ago
Mr. Pedantic;4828683But then you get the usual people who complain it's morally not correct to allow genetic engineering (which is what it will be), and in any case my point still stands. The costs, even discounting selection of traits like hair color, etc, will still be immense. Indeed, with all the work that would actually go into modifying the genes would make practical government funding for it will be even more than in my previous post, because of the extra work that will go into first identifying and isolating so many genes, factors, and modifiers on so many chromosomes (in fact, first you have to separate out the chromatin to give it some semblance of order so scientists can work with it), and then changing them to increase intelligence, strength, or whatever, will be far more than just screening for simple traits like eye color.

I wonder what's the cost of not doing it is. The welfare system cannot hold forever; when that falls through you have a potentially even greater cost in terms of civil disorder, lives lost, and so on. Everything is expensive when it's new. Once you have the process down you can conceivably automate it and the cost then plummets.




Mr. Pedantic

I would die without GF

234,620 XP

8th October 2006

0 Uploads

23,127 Posts

0 Threads

#10 9 years ago

Sure, cost of welfare is exorbitant. However, let's face it. It can't be done now. First off, the technology isn't here yet to do it well. I don't think anyone's tried actually modifying a gene in a human before, so the moral hurdles everyone will throw around that will have to be overcome first. And then we have the fact that the population of the Earth is huge, and not all of them are at the same level. If you wanted to implement your plan right now, you would only cause the very thing you wanted to avoid, only on a much larger scale: instead of the stratification being only within a single society, it would be across the whole planet: Western society would struggle with this, but we would manage this if we struggled enough for it. However, what about third-world countries? We have to raise them to a Western level of quality of living to provide the wealth to allow their respective governments to fund this for themselves; even though the West is rich, we aren't rich enough to provide for every single child born on Earth to get this sort of treatment.

And all of this still avoids the fact that the cost of this would be extremely cost-prohibitive. Last year we went on a trip as part of an accelerate programme to a research facility in the University of Auckland Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences, where they are conducting research on genetic factors involved in diabetes, cancer, etc, and they gave us a go at isolating DNA, using gel electrophoresis equipment, and comparing our DNA sample against a standard (similar to a maternity test in procedure, I guess).

Anyway, we were only allowed one sample of DNA to six of us, and we had to take turns micropipetting them into different holes in the gel for the electrophoresis. Even then, given the lifetimes of the equipment we used (not including the DNA, which was kindly given by the Faculty), the maintenance and replacement costs for equipment alone that one go between the six of us would have been $120 each, if it had not been funded by the government.

So, take that $720 just for the DNA profiling, and then factor in the equipment for the cell collection, DNA isolation, DNA modification, screening, implantation of the embryo, monitoring of the health of the embryo, plus regulations that have to be paid to be adhered to, paperpushers to be paid to administer this sort of thing, as well as the scientists who will have to be paid (the ones who guided us were volunteers or PhD students), for every single child born from now until the end of time. As it is, It's liable to push 50 or 60k, even when it becomes a well-established industry, and when it first starts off, the procedures are new, there are lots of failures, the scientists are unfamiliar with the methods, equipment, etc? Several million per child, thanks.




  • 1
  • 2