the archives

dusted off in read-only

  •  

Transhumanism and Genetic Engineering posted 21 Mar 2006, 03:03 by Warrior-Poet, Moderator

Im actually surprised that this topic hasnt been broght up before I was curious on your feelings towards Genetic Engineering and Transhumanism mostly the former. Do you feel manipulating genetic information is wrong or right? I feel that as long as we arent using it to make superhumans or other selfish wants, its ok. Manipualting DNA to solve problems with disease is perfectly exceptable. view post


posted 21 Mar 2006, 11:03 by Randal, Auditor

Why on earth shouldn't it be right? I mean, it will help people, it will hurt no people, (barring the inevitable mishaps and screwups, but those also happen with regular medicine and when you cross the road in rush hour.) so what can one possibly say against it? (apart from religious arguments.) There are risks involved, certainly. Careful testing and being pretty damn sure just what the gene therapy is going to do before applying are mandatory. But again, this goes for anything in the medical sciences. Frankly, I don't see the problem with making superhumans either, if that is at all possible. Using genetic manipulation to make everybody smarter? Stronger? Healthier? Sounds great to me. What's the downside? Humans aren't the be-all end-all of life on earth. We're just one stop along the road of evolution, and there are quite a few flaws with the product so far. Some "intelligent design" would go a long way towards rectifying that. (if you pardon the very lame pun.) Genetics is the next big frontier. In the nineteenth century, it was chemistry and mechanics. In the twentieth, the massive step was electronics and computers. In the twentyfirst, we'll master the art of genetic manipulation, and gain control over life like we never had before. view post


posted 21 Mar 2006, 11:03 by Warrior-Poet, Moderator

When I said superhumans i should have been more specific about what I dont like. When parents determine what characteristics their child will have such as blond hair, blue eyes, willl grow up to be 6'5 thats what I feel is wrong. Making their ideal son or daughter. view post


posted 21 Mar 2006, 13:03 by Dawnstorm, Candidate

The "no" vote was me. I associated "genetic engineering" with "social engineering" (of the behaviouristic bent), thoughtlessly clicked "no" and hit reply. Then read the topic. Uh-oh... That'll teach me to read first, vote then. Consider my answer a measurment error... :oops: *** I see no problem with manipulating genes; but some of the impetus to do so is scary; and that's what most often is behind the idea of creating "idealised" humans. A few examples: There's this SF short story by Greg Egan: "Cocoon", in which a biochemical firm discovers a "genetical cure" for homosexuality. The main character is a homosexual industrial spy. Interesting read. Interesting questions. Then, there's been a documentary about parents who lost their child, who are hoping for "cloning" techniques to bring her back. *Shakes head* But these aren't specific caveats; it's similar to my apprehensions about "non-restorative cosmetic surgery" (such as breast-augmentation). While I do think that people should have the right to undergo such operations, shows like MTVs "I want a famous face" bother me. What I don't like is the way that certain tendencies make it harder for people to be "imperfect", and usually all those tendencies work towards a unification, which, frankly, makes life boring. I see a continuity, there: Make-up/clotes --> Hairdo/Dying hair --> Tattoos --> Surgery/hormone & chemical treatments --> Genetic engeneering. These get increasingly harder to reverse, and genetic engeneering might prove to be irreversible. On a grand scale, this tends to cramp your freedoms of expression. I don't want a copyrighted body; and I don't want to be ousted for not having one. (I'm a SF reader, can you tell? ;) ) *** Anyway, long talk about what Warrior-Poet did NOT ask about. I have, actually, little to say about the responsible use of genetic engineering to understand/combat diseases (especially hereditary ones). New technology, old problem. We have to be more careful with genetic engineering than we have to be with, for example, breeding (because the results are even harder to predict; and the side-effects could only come out after generations...). But that's about it. I see no problem with genetic engineering, really. view post


posted 21 Mar 2006, 14:03 by gierra, Sorcerer-of-Rank

i'm not terribly against it, i think we're just so far from knowing enough about it that we would not be able to do something responsibly. it raises so many questions about regulations, where do you draw the line with what you can and cannot do. science and technology are part of our evolution.. we certainly didn;t get to the top of the food chain by the strength of our bodies! obviously it has a lot of good points. we can test fetuses now to see if they will get things like CP and MS, so if genetic engineering can correct that, then that's great. but then people will say, well we can tell our child will have bad eyesight, let's fix that. oh, our child will be more prone to obesity, let's fix that. oh, our child will have freckles, we don;t like that, let's get rid of them. and so on and so on. where do you draw the line? i haven't thought enough about it, or even knoiw enough about the subject to really form a solid opinion tho. view post


posted 22 Mar 2006, 01:03 by Zarathinius, Auditor

Obviously I am very much in favor of using genetic engineering to help those who are somehow genetically disadvantaged, but I also think the implications are many and varied, especially considering the fact that genetic engineering is still in its infancy. Will genetic engineering be reliable? Will there perhaps be subtle flaws or mutations that result from human tinkering, things that may not become apparent until after many years, posibly even many generations, of modified humans? We really have no way of knowing until genetic engineering reaches a point where anybody with enough money has the capability to change their children in innumerable ways. And when that happens, it might be too late to prevent social revolution. view post


posted 22 Mar 2006, 12:03 by Randal, Auditor

Whilst that is true, it also applies to almost any other innovation. How many medicines turned out to have additional side effects years after their introduction? How many years did scientists work with radium before they discovered the dangers of radioactivity? How many decades did we burn coal and oil before the ecological effects became apparent? The bottom line is that there are definitely risks involved in genetic engineering, as there is in any other new technology. We should certainly do our utmost to test these things and make them safe. But we cannot let the fear of possible future dangers cripple us into inaction. If something does come up in the future, surely people will then be able to discover a solution. view post


posted 22 Mar 2006, 12:03 by Xray the Enforcer, Auditor

I've never bought into the "slippery slope" (gods, I hate that term) argument on any given subject, although sometimes I get a bit wild-eyed and belligerent at the encroaching theocracy we got going on down here in the U.S. Anyway, I was going to make a well-reasoned argument against germline manipulation, but it seems my neurons are unwilling to cooperate this morning. Must goad them with more coffee. view post


posted 22 Mar 2006, 23:03 by Zarathinius, Auditor

[quote:ljl2imed]The bottom line is that there are definitely risks involved in genetic engineering, as there is in any other new technology. We should certainly do our utmost to test these things and make them safe. But we cannot let the fear of possible future dangers cripple us into inaction. [/quote:ljl2imed] Yes, I agree that most problems that are discovered after people have died of it can be rectified to prevent future damage, but there is a difference with publicly available genetic modification. Widespread genetic engineering of humans may have the potential to create a social division; one that really would be determined by virtue of birth rather than the superficial "noble blood" believed to exist in the past. When people would be born with a literal genetic legacy other than that of their ancestors, there could arise either a class of superhumans, or a class of degenerates. The extent, availabilty, and possible future implications of genetic engineering are largely unknown. This does not mean, of course, that it should be avoided or shunned, but it does mean that great care must be taken in its development. It also means that people who have something to gain from its distribution - medical corporations and commercial labratories - must be kept under close supervision. Capitalism does not favor long-term caution; it favors short-term profit. Despite the possible benefits, problems, or whatever else associated with genetic engineering, we must be careful not to jump into a situation without foresight. Vague references to the possible benefits are only speculation (think of nuclear fission energy), and the doomsayers are paranoids who fear change. In short, we should allow further study and development of genetic engineering (humans have never been very good at witholding progress), but we can't make any permanent decisions when we still have so far to go. view post


posted 23 Mar 2006, 00:03 by Randal, Auditor

I hadn't though of that, interesting. It's certainly possible that genetic engineering will further increase the differences between the rich and the poor if the rich are actually genetically enchanced by their parents. But I think this will not be a radical departure from the status quo. Right now, the upper class already has the advantage because their children receive better education, better nourishment. They already have a higher average intelligence than the lower classes, I suspect. In our current society, we try to combat this through systems like public schooling and scholarship grants. There's also the principle of equality before law, flawed though it may be in practice. Similar devices would have to be employed for the protection of the non-genetically enhanced in the future. Even so, it is possible this would cause far more bitter class struggles than we currently have. There's also the possibility of a religious backlash. All in all, increased inequality is a downside to genetical engineering, yes. Still, I don't think such troubles would last more than a couple of generations, nor do I think our current equal law system would collapse into a genetic caste society. view post


posted 25 Mar 2006, 12:03 by Zarathinius, Auditor

Fair enough. I suppose my point about the gap beteen the elite and the poor was that, in our modern world, the general attitude is: "If I can pay for it, I have a right to it." Although this seems fair as long as people stay within the realm of the law, it tends to perpetuate the division between the elite and everybody else. view post


posted 26 Mar 2006, 21:03 by Randal, Auditor

Yes, it does tend to keep the gap intact. But I doubt anything will ever break that down completely. Even when the communists in russia tried they ended up with stalinism instead. Then again, the division between the rich and the poor is much bigger in some places than in others. Here in Europe, things aren't so bad. Are you from the states? If so, that would go some way towards explaining our different outlooks as regarding this subject, I suspect. view post


posted 26 Mar 2006, 22:03 by Virus, Candidate

I voted no. Genetic engineering as an answer to imperfection prescribed by nature is absurd. We have too many people on this planet as it is. Patching up bad breeding with a quick fix would eliminate decent, diligent people striving to better themselves to find good mates. After all, why be responsible when you could abort/alter the product of crack binge sex? I believe nature knows best. To circumvent the long process of evolution which cultivates the noble and strong-willed for a prepackaged version is an insult both to nature and mankind. view post


posted 27 Mar 2006, 12:03 by Dawnstorm, Candidate

[quote="Virus":1a5garvt]I believe nature knows best. To circumvent the long process of evolution which cultivates the noble and strong-willed for a prepackaged version is an insult both to nature and mankind.[/quote:1a5garvt] On the other hand one could argue that the ability to manipulate genes is a result of the "long process of evolution" and will continue to be a factor in it (even this discussion might proof evolutionally relevent). In other words, unless you demonstrate how anything humans (= biological organisms) do can take place outside of evolution, I do not find this argument compelling. Also, I think you'll have to show how evolution "cultivates the stong-willed and the noble". To my mind evolution simply caters to the lucky, and those who have more lottery tickets are more likely to be lucky. The problematic elements seem to be the ability to reflect on evolution, and the desire to have evolution go in a way beneficial to humans (which evolution may or may not do). If I view evolution as a game, "genetic manipulation" is a "risk move", as far as adaption is concerned. It enhances our ability to react to change (a bit like a homeostatic system, really), but it also adds an unpredictable element of danger. So while we might better our chances, overall, we still have introduced a new risk, the extent of which we have yet to comprehend. view post


posted 27 Mar 2006, 23:03 by Zarathinius, Auditor

[quote:12kmyw8w]Then again, the division between the rich and the poor is much bigger in some places than in others. Here in Europe, things aren't so bad. Are you from the states? If so, that would go some way towards explaining our different outlooks as regarding this subject, I suspect.[/quote:12kmyw8w] Yeah, I'm from the US. Here we have capitalistic healthcare, a corrupted, entrenched government, and the Kansas board of Education (i.e. intelligent design). I suppose the problems we are discussing seem larger to me because of it; the U.S. has a greater ignoramus-per-square-mile count than all of Europe combined, I think. view post


posted 28 Mar 2006, 00:03 by Randal, Auditor

I strongly doubt that. Different culture, absolutely. Different prejudices. But we have them just the same. Last year, my countrymen were burning down schools and mosques after one filmmaker got murdered by a fanatic... how's that for enlightenment? Our government is mostly ineffective, our healthcare is collapsing under it's own weight. Different problems, but there all the same. Re: Virus [quote:4tv5ym2h]I believe nature knows best. To circumvent the long process of evolution which cultivates the noble and strong-willed for a prepackaged version is an insult both to nature and mankind.[/quote:4tv5ym2h] I disagree with this one. Evolution is very effective at achieving its own goals, which is creating lifeforms that are good at reproducing. Humans take the top spot here, as evidenced by current overpopulation problems. But, as those same overpopulation problems prove, evolution is flawed too. It doesn't adapt to rapidly changing circumstances. Due to the ways it works it is unable to solve problems in the most efficient way, it can only take small steps. Problems that do not directly influence reproductive capability remain unadressed. Evolution creates rugged, jury-rigged organisms. But a smart engineer with the proper tools in a controlled environment like the one we live in can do a whole lot better. We're busy developing those tools. I strongly doubt genetic engineering would make people less responsible. No matter how good your genes, you still need to learn and to work hard to get anywhere. Talent is useless if not applied. Nor would it affect "mate selection", since people don't chose their "mates" based on their genes anyway. And there's still nurture versus nature.... no matter how good the gene make-up, without a good education and good parenting the child won't get far. I fail to see the relevance of abortion and crack binge sex to this debate. Finally, I agree with Dawnstorm that evolution doesn't cultivate the "strong willed and noble". It cultivates the smart and the rapid-breeding. Are rats strong-willed and noble? Are cockroaches? Society will always favour the strong-willed. Education and upbringing will always have to instill the ideals of nobility. Evolution has precious little to do with this. view post


posted 28 Mar 2006, 03:03 by Virus, Candidate

[quote:2olgw89e]In other words, unless you demonstrate how anything humans (= biological organisms) do can take place outside of evolution, I do not find this argument compelling.[/quote:2olgw89e] I am not saying that humans are separate from evolution; only that artificially accomplishing what would normally require better people is not the answer. To accept it as such is to surrender to consumerism, to mediocrity. [quote:2olgw89e]Also, I think you'll have to show how evolution "cultivates the stong-willed and the noble".[/quote:2olgw89e] Think Darwin. [quote:2olgw89e]To my mind evolution simply caters to the lucky, and those who have more lottery tickets are more likely to be lucky.[/quote:2olgw89e] This is slave mentality. [quote:2olgw89e]It enhances our ability to react to change (a bit like a homeostatic system, really)[/quote:2olgw89e] Sure, if you need plenty of factory drones. [quote:2olgw89e]Evolution is very effective at achieving its own goals, which is creating lifeforms that are good at reproducing. [/quote:2olgw89e] Yes it is, and you can bet it will kill us off if we continue our arrogance. [quote:2olgw89e]But, as those same overpopulation problems prove, evolution is flawed too.[/quote:2olgw89e] How can evolution be flawed? [quote:2olgw89e]Due to the ways it works it is unable to solve problems in the most efficient way, it can only take small steps.[/quote:2olgw89e] What? What is the most efficient way? [quote:2olgw89e]Talent is useless if not applied. [/quote:2olgw89e] Exactly. Good genetics is a privilege. To be able to pass on your genes is a privilege. [quote:2olgw89e]people don't chose their "mates" based on their genes anyway.[/quote:2olgw89e] Oh? So what do they base it on then? [quote:2olgw89e]I fail to see the relevance of abortion and crack binge sex to this debate.[/quote:2olgw89e] I fail to see how your sentence is relevant either but I guess you missed the joke. [quote:2olgw89e]It cultivates the smart and the rapid-breeding. Are rats strong-willed and noble? Are cockroaches? [/quote:2olgw89e] So you admit that the human race’s current route is destined to the likes of these vermin? [quote:2olgw89e]Society will always favour the strong-willed.[/quote:2olgw89e] Does our society favor the strong or the highest bidder? I believe it is the latter. view post


posted 28 Mar 2006, 03:03 by Warrior-Poet, Moderator

Virus, harsh but most of what you said is completely correct. view post


posted 28 Mar 2006, 08:03 by Randal, Auditor

No, it's not. You claim evolution cultivates the strong willed and the noble. Then, when I bring up my rats and cockroaches example to prove that evolution does not in fact do so you express a fear that humanity is headed the direction of these creatures... that makes no sense. Cockroaches and rats evolved without any evil meddling with evolution, right? So they're strong willed and noble? If not, how is humanity different? How can evolution be flawed? Because it can only ever favour short-term advantages. Something that will only prove helpful generations down the line will never evolve. That's why our spines aren't suited for walking upright, and will give back-problems to vast quantities of people. That's why our eyes have blind spots. That's why there are tons of genetic disabilities and diseases, people born with defects so hideous they cannot survive for more than a couple of years or decades. Recessive traits survive a very long time even if they're disadvantageous. A human engineer can improve on problems such as these. Unlike evolution, which is a blind process, a human can see what he's doing, where he's going, what he wants to accomplish. He can attempt solutions far more ambitious than evoltion can, and far more quickly. And will evolution kill us of because of hubris? Ha! It's not a god or something... we have mastered the food chain. We might be decimated by some new disease, but other than that biological threats are few and far between. (and against diseases, genetic engineering may well prove the prime weapon) Man is far more likely to destroy himself with nuclear weapons or enviromental abuse than anything natural. view post


posted 28 Mar 2006, 12:03 by Dawnstorm, Candidate

[quote="Virus":cs52j2wc][quote:cs52j2wc]In other words, unless you demonstrate how anything humans (= biological organisms) do can take place outside of evolution, I do not find this argument compelling.[/quote:cs52j2wc] I am not saying that humans are separate from evolution; only that artificially accomplishing what would normally require better people is not the answer. To accept it as such is to surrender to consumerism, to mediocrity.[/quote:cs52j2wc] What do you mean by "articial" in an evolutionary context? [quote:cs52j2wc][quote:cs52j2wc]Also, I think you'll have to show how evolution "cultivates the stong-willed and the noble".[/quote:cs52j2wc] Think Darwin.[/quote:cs52j2wc] Survival of the fittest. Natural selection. Adaption. Nothing about strong-willed. Nothing about noble. Explain again. [quote:cs52j2wc][quote:cs52j2wc]To my mind evolution simply caters to the lucky, and those who have more lottery tickets are more likely to be lucky.[/quote:cs52j2wc] This is slave mentality.[/quote:cs52j2wc] Who's a slave to who/what? I'm not sure I know what you're driving at here. Evolution has no purpose. There's nothing to submit to. [quote:cs52j2wc][quote:cs52j2wc]It enhances our ability to react to change (a bit like a homeostatic system, really)[/quote:cs52j2wc] Sure, if you need plenty of factory drones.[/quote:cs52j2wc] How does modifying genetic material to (for example) better resist certain diseases equate to conformistic behaviour? *** view post


posted 28 Mar 2006, 13:03 by TollofDays, Peralogue

This discussion topic brings to mind that movie Gattica. view post


posted 29 Mar 2006, 02:03 by Virus, Candidate

[quote:1efldo2x]Because it can only ever favour short-term advantages.[/quote:1efldo2x] Short-term advantages? Some species are nearly as old as the planet itself! I believe you are talking about technology… [quote:1efldo2x]Something that will only prove helpful generations down the line will never evolve.[/quote:1efldo2x] Evolution is a never-ending process, what are you talking about? [quote:1efldo2x]That's why our spines aren't suited for walking upright, and will give back-problems to vast quantities of people. That's why our eyes have blind spots. That's why there are tons of genetic disabilities and diseases, people born with defects so hideous they cannot survive for more than a couple of years or decades.[/quote:1efldo2x] These defects are the product of bad breeding and nature intended this, She is not wrong. If a species grows slovenly then it will become extinct as deserved. By the way, where did you get that spine information? [quote:1efldo2x]Recessive traits survive a very long time even if they're disadvantageous.[/quote:1efldo2x] So what if eugenics takes long? [quote:1efldo2x]A human engineer can improve on problems such as these. Unlike evolution, which is a blind process, a human can see what he's doing, where he's going, what he wants to accomplish. He can attempt solutions far more ambitious than evoltion can, and far more quickly.[/quote:1efldo2x] Please explain how evolution is a “blind” process. Also, the majority of humans cannot “see what they’re doing” look at all the damage we have already caused the planet. [quote:1efldo2x]And will evolution kill us of because of hubris? Ha! It's not a god or something... we have mastered the food chain. We might be decimated by some new disease, but other than that biological threats are few and far between. (and against diseases, genetic engineering may well prove the prime weapon) Man is far more likely to destroy himself with nuclear weapons or enviromental abuse than anything natural.[/quote:1efldo2x] I was merely pointing out that nature finds a way toward balance. Man should discover and appreciate nature and this balance, since he is a part of it, rather than trying to conquer it. Also, you said yourself that overpopulation has become a problem. How about depletion of resources? When gene manipulation is as easy as making a choice it oversimplifies a vastly complex process. Nature gives us our frailties for a reason, or would you have us be immortal? [quote:1efldo2x]What do you mean by "articial" in an evolutionary context?[/quote:1efldo2x] Now you’re just playing semantic games. Get real. [quote:1efldo2x]How does modifying genetic material to (for example) better resist certain diseases equate to conformistic behaviour? [/quote:1efldo2x] Ok let me put it this way, would you take the time to raise your own child or have one molded to your liking using some magic machine? view post


posted 29 Mar 2006, 03:03 by Warrior-Poet, Moderator

Again Virus made all of my points for me. Nice Job Virus. view post


posted 29 Mar 2006, 11:03 by Randal, Auditor

I think you somewhat missed my points, virus. (but perhaps I didn't state them clearly enough) [quote:36t243tx]Short-term advantages? Some species are nearly as old as the planet itself! I believe you are talking about technology…[/quote:36t243tx] By this I mean that a change is [i:36t243tx]only[/i:36t243tx] beficial from evolution's point of view if it provides an [i:36t243tx]immediate[/i:36t243tx] advantage. If something mutates that will [i:36t243tx]eventually[/i:36t243tx] become something hugely beneficial, but doesn't help right now, it will not be retained and the beneficial trait will not evolve. Moreover, evolution can't take a step back. If something has evolved and is helping, it cannot be replaced from the ground up by a new ability that will do a better job, because that would involve a short term disadvantage to gain a long-term benefit. To take the spine example: it was originally evolved for species walking on 4 legs or swimming. When man started to walk upright, the spine was adapted, but it still wasn't truly suited for bearing the weight of the entire human body, giving humans never-ending back problems. It would have been better to design a new skeleton from the ground up, but that is not possible in evolution. You can't "unevolve" the first spine. (as for my info on the spine... it comes from a Dutch newspaper article I read some time ago. But a quick google search confirms it, for example [url=http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/evolution/library/07/1/l_071_02.html:36t243tx]here.[/url:36t243tx]) Additionally, evolution will only solve problems that directly affect the capability to breed. For example, dementia is not a disadvantage evolutionary speaking, because by the time a creature becomes dement he'll have finished breeding and raising his children, so if his brain melts away that's no issue. However, it's quite a big deal for humans who have to deal with their loved ones slowly becoming childlike strangers. Finally, evolution only works on the long-term. Our modern society is changing so mind-bogglingly rapidly that previous evolutionary advantages are now fast becoming crippling disabilities. For example, growing fat and being lazy are highly advantageous in evolution. If you're fat, you won't starve if bad times come, and it means you use the food you eat more efficiently. If you're lazy, you conserve energy until you really need it. This also means you'll need less food, and are far more capable of survival in meagre times. I need to explain what effect those traits have nowadays... [quote:36t243tx]These defects are the product of bad breeding and nature intended this, She is not wrong. If a species grows slovenly then it will become extinct as deserved. [/quote:36t243tx] Bullshit. Those defects are the product of evolutionary flaws, not bad breeding. They're inherent in the human species. Nature "intends" nothing, it is a mindless process. And where on earth do you get concepts like "nature isn't wrong" and "extinct as deserved" from? Evolution has nothing to do with survival of the "deserving." A species cannot "grow slovenly", it can merely be replaced by a better species, or perhaps fail to adapt to a changing environment. Deserving has nothing to do with this, no more than the moon "deserves" to orbit the earth, or light "deserves" to travel at 300000 kilometers per second. [quote:36t243tx]Please explain how evolution is a "blind" process[/quote:36t243tx] Evolution is a blind progress, because it's essentially trial and error. Things mutate, they either breed or they die. If they breed, the mutation is passed along, and continues to breed. Evolution is blind because it doesn't have a goal, it doesn't know where it is going. It's simply a matter of some things working and others not working, without knowing the reason. Humans have the advantage in this, because rather than relying on random chance to produce the wanted mutation, they can actively search for it. Moreoever, they can make improvements that would never evolve naturally, such as my dementia example. However, you are right in stating your doubts about human foresight. In many cases, we don't know what we're doing either. But that doesn't mean genetic engineering should be thrown out with the bathwater... it just means we should take care, and not attempt anything too ambitious until we've thoroughly tested simpler procedures. [quote:36t243tx]I was merely pointing out that nature finds a way toward balance. Man should discover and appreciate nature and this balance, since he is a part of it, rather than trying to conquer it. Also, you said yourself that overpopulation has become a problem. How about depletion of resources?[/quote:36t243tx] Nature may find a balance, but the fact is that as a species we've overcome this for the most part. There are no longer any predators but ourselves, famine no longer is a risk. (most every famine last century were caused by war, not a physical lack of food. Or they were the work of idiotic leaders like Mao.) Disease isn't a shadow of the threat it posed in the past. As you rightly pointed out, this has brought it's own problems with it, such as overpopulation and depletion of resources. I'll agree a balance must be found here, but it's not nature's balance. That would involve killing 90% of the earth's population in diseases and famines until we're reduced to numbers the world can comfortably support. We'll find our own way, with solar and nuclear energy to replace the natural resources we've used, with birth control and cultural changes to limit population, with engineering to drain seas and cultivate mountains. Perhaps, one day, we'll even be able to cultivate other planets, and so truly escape all bounds of nature. [quote:36t243tx]When gene manipulation is as easy as making a choice it oversimplifies a vastly complex process. Nature gives us our frailties for a reason, or would you have us be immortal?[/quote:36t243tx] No, nature did not "give" us frailties for "a reason." They either are things simply inconsequential to the evolutionary process, or flaws remaining from previous evolutionary steps. Some of our "weaknesses" would indeed have been instrumental in our evolution. If proto-man had been strong and fast with great sharp claws and teeth, he'd never have learned to use tools. And you'd have a point if you said that we're busy wriggling out from under the mechanisms of evolution, and that in doing so we may well be preventing future evolutionary improvements. But I don't care about any of that. Evolution isn't all that it's geared up to be, and personally I'm not about to wait another few million years for the next evolutionary steps. Humans can do better than natural processes. We're indeed trying to master nature, and a damn good thing that is too! I think we've just about succeeded. And as for immortality? That too may be down the line, if current theories on cell reproduction and decline prove correct. Not sure we're psychologically fit to handle that, but that's for another generation to worry about. Anyway, my bottom line would be that you're right to draw attention to risk of human failings messing stuff up, but that given the magnificent possibilities lying before us I do not think that should stop us, merely slow us down to a safer pace. And anyway, we're not talking about changing the entire human species right now, we're talking about curing all kinds of terrible diseases and disabilities by through genetic engineering. Would you truly have us do nothing just for the fear our solution may prove wrong? EDIT: and you still haven't shown how evolution cultivates the strong-willed and the noble rather than the cockroaches and the rats. view post


posted 29 Mar 2006, 11:03 by Dawnstorm, Candidate

[quote="Virus":1nnop6mo][quote:1nnop6mo]What do you mean by "articial" in an evolutionary context?[/quote:1nnop6mo] Now you’re just playing semantic games. Get real.[/quote:1nnop6mo] Yep, that's a question of semantics, in part. That's because I'm trying to understand what you're saying. But the point behind it is that introducing the "artificial vs. natural" into the context of human evolution is problematic (in the sense of "should be topicalised"). I do think I have a point to raise that semantic question. From the evolutionary perspective it doesn't matter at all what we do. We do one thing, we survive. We do another, don't. Or the other way round. There's nothing intended about it. What we "should or should not do", from a species' perspective within the context of evolution depends on what furthers the survival of the species. The assumption the evolutionary context places upon us here is that the species wishes to survive. At that point I'm not sure what you're arguing. Two possibilities I can see: 1. You might argue that "artificial" means of adaption do not favour the survival of the human species. 2. You might argue that "artificial" means of adaptation change the "rules of evolution" and what we end up with is in some way [i:1nnop6mo]inferior[/i:1nnop6mo] to what we would have had if we placed our trust in "natural" processes. Very likely what you're saying is something I can't think of right now. But since all the things I [i:1nnop6mo]can[/i:1nnop6mo] think of "hinge" upon the question of what "artificial" means in an evolutionary context, I thought clarification of the term would be a good way to start. For example: Was it wrong to invent the wheel? Is it wrong to live in rectangular houses? Is it wrong to light fires? Should we have done without plastic? Etc. [quote:1nnop6mo][quote:1nnop6mo]How does modifying genetic material to (for example) better resist certain diseases equate to conformistic behaviour? [/quote:1nnop6mo] Ok let me put it this way, would you take the time to raise your own child or have one molded to your liking using some magic machine?[/quote:1nnop6mo] Spontanous reaction: the former. But: How do you teach your child not to have a genetic disease, for example? How do you teach your child not to have inherited bad eyesight? Or are you saying that we should not attempt to rectify such situations, but instead we should accept this as the "natural" way? I [i:1nnop6mo]did[/i:1nnop6mo] say, in some post above, that I don't want a trademarked body. But that's no argument against genetic manipulation as such; it's more an argument against certain cultural trends (which include non-restorative plastic surgery, among others) which will find a new expression with genetic manipulation. *** If I'm confusing you as much you're confusing me, perhaps we should employ an interpreter? ;) view post


posted 29 Mar 2006, 12:03 by Dawnstorm, Candidate

[quote="Randal":1dj0rifd]Humans have the advantage in this, because rather than relying on random chance to produce the wanted mutation, they can actively search for it. Moreoever, they can make improvements that would never evolve naturally, such as my dementia example. ... Nature may find a balance, but the fact is that as a species we've overcome this for the most part. There are no longer any predators but ourselves, famine no longer is a risk. (most every famine last century were caused by war, not a physical lack of food. Or they were the work of idiotic leaders like Mao.) Disease isn't a shadow of the threat it posed in the past. ... But I don't care about any of that. Evolution isn't all that it's geared up to be, and personally I'm not about to wait another few million years for the next evolutionary steps. Humans can do better than natural processes. We're indeed trying to master nature, and a damn good thing that is too! I think we've just about succeeded.[/quote:1dj0rifd] Randal, I have similar issues with these quotes than I have with Virus' posts (which makes me think that the problem, indeed, lies with me. :oops: ) "Humans have the advantage in this..." That's unclear, I think. Do you mean that Human goeal centered-ness has an advantage over blind evolution? Do you mean that, within evolution, Humans have an advantage in this against other species? There is a sense in which the "goal centeredness" of human cognition has advantages [i:1dj0rifd]to[/i:1dj0rifd] humans that are not directly related to reproduction. We have not mastered nature (or evolution) in any way, I'd say. We're still part of the process of evolution. We may have begun to modify our surrounding to an unprecedent extent, but if the environment no longer supports such modifications, our advantages against other species decreases. The modified environments we live in do have an effect on our physical evolution, I'd say. Basically, I'm arguing that - in the context of evolution - man vs. nature might be a false dichotomy. For example, if you say that "most every famine last century were caused by war, not a physical lack of food," that's an imprecise comparison. Food [i:1dj0rifd]was[/i:1dj0rifd] physically lacking; the cause was war, rather than, say, a draught. How does saying this differ from: "Locusts don't move on because food is physically lacking, they move on because they've eaten it all." In both cases, behavioural patterns are the cause for food shortage. Humans tend to wage war and cause food-shortage in the process. I do hope I have a point, and I'm not just spouting semantics. But if we think we're wriggling out from under evolution, I think we're kidding ourselves. view post


posted 29 Mar 2006, 13:03 by Randal, Auditor

Yes, with "humans have the advantage" I mean that humans can actively search for solutions for specific problems, whilst evolution either needs hundreds of thousands of years to come up with something similar, or may fail to come up with a solution at all because the problems don't directly impact the capability to reproduce. I mean that genetic engineering would be able to solve problems natural selection never could by itself. You're right that I probably went too far when I stated that we are beyond evolution now. Got carried away by my argument, sorry. Your comparison of war with locusts is apt, I think. I do believe that many of the natural constraints of this world have been overcome by humans. In that sense, we [i:3b0mnpzr]are[/i:3b0mnpzr] above nature. But the principles of evolution do still apply, albeit at a social level rather than at a genetic level. view post


posted 29 Mar 2006, 16:03 by Dawnstorm, Candidate

Thanks for the clarification. :) [quote="Randal":3uvwcy6t]I do believe that many of the natural constraints of this world have been overcome by humans. In that sense, we [i:3uvwcy6t]are[/i:3uvwcy6t] above nature. But the principles of evolution do still apply, albeit at a social level rather than at a genetic level.[/quote:3uvwcy6t] Then, I think, that's where we differ. I see no substantially different approach to the rest of the animal kingdom at work. We modify our surroundings to suit our needs, but then so do ants. Sure, no species has done so, up to now, to the extent humans have. In that respect, I see technology as a by-product of evolution, a more complicated version of the stick a monkey may use to disturb tasty insects. Without rawmaterials, all our technology is void. If a Tiger mauls us we die. We're subject to the same standards as the rest of the planet. It's just that we're better insulated, which makes the process more complicated. I agree that social behaviour has an impact on evolution. But, I would argue, that that's true for all animals, especially social ones (ants, bees, wolves, chimps...), albeit to a lesser extent. I do see the differences you see (I think, unless I misunderstand), I just don't think they're evolutionally significant. *** [size=75:3uvwcy6t](Btw, off-topic, but: since you talked about the possibility of immortality; perhaps you'd enjoy reading Brain Stableford's SF-novel "The Fountains of Youth" - which I think should be called "Mortimer Grey's History of Death", like the novella it spawned from. Interesting thoughts in there and quite an entertaining read.)[/size:3uvwcy6t] view post


posted 29 Mar 2006, 17:03 by Peter, Auditor

Hmmmm, how about this interpretation of the most recent points in the argument. 1. There is such a thing as being evolutionarily good (i.e. increases chance of survival). So, man's capacity to develop complex tools to control his environment is evolutionarily good because it helps the species, man, survive and helps individual members if the species pass their genes along. Therefore all technology which helps man deal with its environment is evolutionarily good, including technology to alter our genes. A quick note this use of good is meant to be purely descriptive, there is no prescriptivity in it, so there is no notion that good is how things should be (should just has no place here). 2. There is such a thing as being good for humans (i.e. increases chances of survival, of being happy, content, of flourishing etc.). So, man's capacity to develop complex tools to help him control his environment is good for humans because it helps the people survive, it takes away their pain, satisfies their desires and allows them to flourish as people. Therefore all technology which helps man deal with his environment is good for humans, including technology to alter our genes. On a quick note for this use of good, it is not necessarily prescriptive in nature. It could be purely descriptive, although I would expect most people not to think of it in that way. It seems to me that Dawnstorm is arguing from 1 and Randal from 2. Both notions of good include survival as good, but the second has more content (in and of itself that is not meant to be a value judgement, more content is neither good nor bad for the theory, it depends on what that content is and what we value). I think that Randal views evolution in terms of the good it does for humans, so technology is different from evolution in that it offers a different approach to creating greater good for humans (and that it can do better than evolution). So, when Dawnstorm says that technology is just a more complex effect of evolution, he is saying that technology is good for survival. When Randal says that technology allows us to improve upon and overcome evolution he is saying that evolution is not as good for humans as technology is (or could be with enough work). If this is the case (and let's be honest here, I may have not only got the wrong end of the stick, I might have got the wrong end of the wrong stick), then really all we are seeing here is a discussion about the use of the word evolution. I would be inclined to see it more like Randal, but then I am not a scientist, and this certainly doesn't mean that Dawnstorm is wrong (just that I think Randal's account gives us greater scope for discussion of interesting notions). If I have totally misrepresented your views then I apologise. view post


posted 29 Mar 2006, 19:03 by Randal, Auditor

Nah, what you said sounds just about right to me. Dawnstorm: never heard of this Stableford fellow, but it's a concept I've come across in a number of different science fiction novels, though not as the main subject. I'll check this book out if I can find it somewhere. (which isn't a given here.) [/off-topic] view post


posted 29 Mar 2006, 23:03 by Warrior-Poet, Moderator

[quote="Randal":9d03dx7x]Yes, with "humans have the advantage" I mean that humans can actively search for solutions for specific problems, , or may fail to come up with a solution at all because the problems don't directly impact the capability to reproduce. I mean that genetic engineering would be able to solve problems natural selection never could by itself. You're right that I probably went too far when I stated that we are beyond evolution now. Got carried away by my argument, sorry. Your comparison of war with locusts is apt, I think. I do believe that many of the natural constraints of this world have been overcome by humans. In that sense, we [i:9d03dx7x]are[/i:9d03dx7x] above nature. But the principles of evolution do still apply, albeit at a social level rather than at a genetic level.[/quote:9d03dx7x] You say humans have an advantage because they can actively search for solutions for specific problems while evolution needs thousands of years or might fail completely, you also say that genetic engineering could solve problems like natural selection never could. Genetic engieering could be considered just another form of natural selection because genetic enginnering removes the unwanted trait, form the process because we as the environment deem that trait unsuitable for surivival. When most animals search for a mate what do they look for? Strength, cunning basically the best chance for surivival this applies even to humans, we may say that we chose someone because we truly love them but really before we even chose them for their personality our body had alreasy chosen that person for their genes. Infidelity is a major example of the problems this can cause, a woman or man may love their wife or husband but when they see another person who they find to have better traits you had better hope love comes through. [quote:9d03dx7x]whilst evolution either needs hundreds of thousands of years to come up with something similar[/quote:9d03dx7x] A couple thousand years is a good long trial isnt it, thats why evolution in the long term works better theres time to weed out problems and see what a change in genes effects years later genetic engineering fixes problems for the short term removing genes for the present constantly [u:9d03dx7x]blindly[/u:9d03dx7x] without knowing the full extent what these changes will have done. Scientists still dont know what many genes do if scientists remove a gene similar to the Sickle cell gene we could be sufering from some future disease(if you dont know what im talking about look up malaria and the effects Sickel Cell gene has on it.) Another example are genes that cause mental retardation which i personally believe carry the key to evolution because of their ability to solve problems and memorize. If the communication barrier and behavior is removed mental retardation wouldnt be such a bad thig to have. Mental retardation is just one of the many branches that evolution is testing for surivival over time it may prove to be a good gene to have. [quote:9d03dx7x]Yes, with "humans have the advantage" I mean that humans can actively search for solutions for specific problems[/quote:9d03dx7x] What exactly gave us this advantage? Whats the word im looking for.....o yeah we got that form thousands of years of "flawed" EVOLUTION. What gave us larger more efficient brains EVOLUTION. All animals have this advantage there means to solve problems is the only differences so to say humans have this advantage would be foolish. I think ievolution has done a pretty damn good job so far. view post


posted 30 Mar 2006, 00:03 by Dawnstorm, Candidate

You've represented my position very well, Peter. And you're also right that this is primarily a discussion about the term "evolution". Sorry to sidetrack the discussion, happens a lot with me. The pivotal point seems to be that evolution and genetic manipulation share a common process: the changing of genetic code. Genetic Manipulation appears to be a violation of the "laws of evolution", as - if we didn't mess with our gene-pool - our genetic code would change as it always did. So, instead of gradual or spontaneous mutation, we have genetic manipulation. I propose, for clarity's sake, to talk about "mutation vs. genetic manipulation", instead of "evolution vs. technology". Feel free to reject, improve, alter or ignore this proposal. (I've sidetracked this discussion long enough; my intentions were good...) *** [size=75:3w1448sr]Randal: [url=http://www.fantasticfiction.co.uk/s/brian-m-stableford/fountains-of-youth.htm:3w1448sr]Fountains of Youth (Link).[/url:3w1448sr] Don't be put off by the fact that it's the third in a series; they're standalones. I've never read any of the others, and still enjoyed that one quite a bit. If you haven't heard of Stableford, keep an eye open for short stories - they tend to pop up in Year's Best anthologies now and then, so you could possibly sample one in a bookshop.[/size:3w1448sr] view post


posted 30 Mar 2006, 12:03 by Randal, Auditor

Seconded. I was actually about to propose something similar with "natural selection" opposing "genetic engineering." But yours is even clearer, given that Warrior Poet sees genetic engineering as another form of natural selection. Warrior priest: I'd never dream of denying evolution is a marvellous system, and gets very good results. But neither would I claim the results are perfect. Humans can be improved upon in many ways, as I've outlined a couple of posts earlier. So, to take Dawnstorms definitions, I'll state that in my view genetic engineering is a good thing, because spontaneous mutations won't solve our problems, and won't do it fast enough. I acknowledge the risks Virus and Warrior Poet are pointing out, but I don't see that a legitimate reason to stop us. There always is a risk involved in innovation. The Wright brothers ran a pretty bloody big risk when they tried to fly in that ramshackly machine of theirs... but where would we be if they hadn't? [quote:2lnmi8uj]A couple thousand years is a good long trial isnt it, thats why evolution in the long term works better theres time to weed out problems and see what a change in genes effects years later[/quote:2lnmi8uj] I disagree with this one, warrior poet. That's not how natural selection works. It doesn't "try" anything out. Either sometimes mutates, or it does not, and if it mutates and it works, it becomes dominant. Whether or not there turn out to be side effects later on. Once a mutation has been accepted, there's no going back, unless a further mutation occurs. The thousand years aren't a trial period, they're a waiting period. Waiting for the right mutation to come along. view post


posted 30 Mar 2006, 20:03 by Warrior-Poet, Moderator

Why does me name keep getting twisted? [quote:894wdupz]Warrior priest:[/quote:894wdupz] Someone else called me Warrior-Prophet the other day. A little off topic sorry. I think genetic engineering should be pursued sorry if it seemed otherwise i was just pointing out the many problems with it, and was stating how i think evolution is still the better process of genetic change. view post


posted 31 Mar 2006, 02:03 by Randal, Auditor

Uh... oops? I noticed I had messed up your name, and went back to edit it... but missed that one, apparently. I suppose warrior-poets are counterintuitive or something. view post


posted 31 Mar 2006, 03:03 by Warrior-Poet, Moderator

Apparently view post


posted 31 Mar 2006, 22:03 by Warrior-Poet, Moderator

I thought this article was rather relevant [url:2fslla7e]http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/12088086/[/url:2fslla7e] Two champion race horses cloned with more to come. I think this is a major step forward for cloning and genetic engineering. EDIT: Although its not the first time. view post


posted 04 Apr 2006, 21:04 by Entropic_existence, Moderator

I should have been involved in this thread from the start but I missed on it because I usually don't check this section of the board as much as some of the others. Anyway given this is my field of expertise and knowledge I thought I'd chime in. The biggest issue socially is that if we allow say tampering in order to make humans better...stronger, faster, smarter, etc. it will increase the social divide. There will exist an upper class of "super" humans and a lower downtrodden class of the poor, destitute, an unenhanced. However if it was accessible to anyone who wanted it... I'd have no problem with it. With current regulations we don't allow permanent changes (as in hereditary changes), for instance any gene therapies targeted against genetic diseases won't affect whether the disease is passed on, it only affects the person who has the disease now. There is a good reason for this. Since we don't know all of the possible consequences genetically altering a persons gametes (sperm/egg producing cells) could cause new genetic problems in that persons offspring. So we don't allow it, which is smart. Theoretically the only complications that may arrise will come about in the patient and that is it. view post


posted 05 Apr 2006, 19:04 by Randal, Auditor

Cool, didn't know there were people working with this stuff on the forum. That guideline very sensible, and would I think alleviate some of the reservations people in this thread had. As for the social divide... that's the cause, not the effect. Genetic engineering will give the upper class yet another tool to consolidate their position, but only because they already have the dominant position. At worst, it will reinforce the existing divide, but I doubt it will create a new one. view post


posted 05 Apr 2006, 20:04 by Entropic_existence, Moderator

[quote="Randal":3rsvmwz5]Cool, didn't know there were people working with this stuff on the forum. That guideline very sensible, and would I think alleviate some of the reservations people in this thread had. As for the social divide... that's the cause, not the effect. Genetic engineering will give the upper class yet another tool to consolidate their position, but only because they already have the dominant position. At worst, it will reinforce the existing divide, but I doubt it will create a new one.[/quote:3rsvmwz5] It won't create a new one but it will widen the gap to an amazingly huge degree. Further stratification of society isn't really something we want to have happen in the western world. Except of course Capitalism itself is built on the backs of the disenfranchised :) The poor actually contribute more to the economy than the rich do. view post


posted 06 Apr 2006, 15:04 by Peter, Auditor

[quote:3t3c039s] The poor actually contribute more to the economy than the rich do.[/quote:3t3c039s] I am intrigued by this, what do you mean precisely? Is it that if we define the rich as a class (say 10% of society) then as a class they contribute less to the economy than the poor (say 60% of society, with everyone else being neither)? Or is it that on average a single rich person is a less good wealth creator than a single poor person? Also, I am not entirely sure what you mean by contributing to the economy... is it wealth-creation, increase in GDP, GDP per head (I don't think the first two are the same thing, but I could be wrong, it is two years since I last did any economics and I sucked at it badly)? If you meant the former, it isn't saying too much, if the latter... well I would be surprised in all honesty. Better education, better salary (hence higher spending which contribites to the economy) and jobs which are often involve larger scale decisions than lower down (which therefore affects the economy more) still means less contribution? [quote:3t3c039s] Except of course Capitalism itself is built on the backs of the disenfranchised[/quote:3t3c039s] Actually surely Capitalism is built on the back on capital. And to then say that someone is disenfranchised in this context can only mean that they are disenfranchised from Capital, so actually disenfranchisement is built on the back of capitalism... What I mean is that to be disenfranchised in the way I think you mean, we already need to have a capitalist system in place. Which is not to gloss over the iniquities of capitalism. Nonetheless many of these come from market failure (so if the markets were working properly there would be less pollution, fewer monopolies, less malpractice etc.). Although there the question becomes, can the market work better and if not, what are we going to do? Finally there are definitely areas the market should not go, such as education, healthcare etc. where efficiency must make way for fairness. Sorry, a little off topic... ahem. view post


posted 06 Apr 2006, 20:04 by Entropic_existence, Moderator

The rich have more buying power, but the poor actually buy more I guess is what I meant by the poor driving the economy and the capitalist model, rather than contributing moor to it. I should have phrased it a little different I guess. But yes the lower classes are more of a driving force than the rich. Think about what the rich do with their money, which is generally investment. No of course investment is very, very important I won't dispute that. No what else do they do? How about buying? Well the really rich tend to buy big ticket items that while pricey don't sell in large enough volumes to mean that much on a large scale (mansions and yachts for instance). Whereas the middle class and below tend to spend more on good and services that are sold en masse. And no you're right, I didn't mean the disenfranchised as in those people who have nothing. But one could argue that low income earners (people working 2-3 minimum wage jobs for instance) are how most mega corporations are able to make the amount of money they do (hiring 3 part-time workers is cheaper than hiring one full-time worker because part-timers don't need benefits, etc). One could certainly argue that these people in many ways are disenfranchised to some degree. (Sure they have a place to sleep, food in their belly, and can vote though) Anyway this is a little off topic and I'm not an economist, political scientist, or anything so I don't have much expertise in the area to debate the finer points. :) But as to the topic at hand, I think that under the current systems most western nations employ the technology, unchecked, would only lead to greater class divides in the western world which probably would not be good for stability, productivity, etc. view post


posted 07 Apr 2006, 12:04 by Sokar, Auditor

The problem with the shift this debate has taken is that it limits itself to the Western world. First off, capitalism in the West is different from that elsewhere. In fact, capitalism in US is different from the one in EU. And we also have the international institutions which again operate differently. Just as example you gave, in EU part-time workers do get benefits, they are as much a worker as full-time workers (at least according to EU Law, I suppose in practice there will be some differences, but they would still get the benefits!) Second, genetic modification elsewhere in the world will not bring about (or increase) this gap between the rich and poor. I believe there it will in fact decrease. The simple reason here is the advancement of technology, creation of new methods of production etc. Take the example of currently used GMO's, they have increased the food production in sofar as to be able to provide the whole world population. I don't remember the exact situation, but in some African (or South American) country after the intoduction of GMO's over 2 million people were saved. Of course, the capitalist pigs made the GM crops in such a way as to be grown only once. Yet, I beleive that this barrier will soon end and once production is not the main purpose, thus survival itself has been overcome, genetic modification of humans will not occur. The "culture" (though I have this term, I don't know a better one at this moment) will not allow them to change there bodies, no matter what the benefit. It is thus, for me at least, irrelevant whether the West will to the point (if ever) of modifying themselves genetically. That will not change anything in global terms. view post


posted 07 Apr 2006, 13:04 by Entropic_existence, Moderator

Actually GMO crops are made to be infertile for safety reasons, not for profit. I think it is required by government regulations. This is to prevent the spread of these crops into wild populations or to cross fertilize with neighboring fields, etc. The EU doesn't allow GM crops as far as I am aware although there might have been a change in that rather recently. Africa is a bad thing to bring into the mix, because the western world (which includes the EU :) ) has thoroughly screwed that continent up. I would agree that capitalism as practiced in Europe is, in my opinion, better than in the US. Canada is somewhere between the two (most part-time workers don't have benefits but then again we have socialized medicare). But I don't really think it would be cheap enough to have true universal access to the technology for non-medical purposes, not anytime soon anyway. view post


posted 07 Apr 2006, 15:04 by Sokar, Auditor

Interesting point you make.. not for profit but safety?? I would doubt that, but it could be true... Something I personally think. As it goes for EU, it does allow 17 GMO's that are used in foodstuffs, but it does not allow the actual growth of genetically modified crops. Finally, I don't think the term cheap (technology) fits to your meaning, at least if I got it correctly. The reason for technology to remain in the West, is dominance, and while dominant, there is no need for further spreading this technological advancement. See it from AIDS perspective.. There was no care about the virus until it spread itself to the West, the reason for concern about the virus is not the poor Africans, but the ignorant Westerners, thus care about AIDS is evident only in preservation of the self dominance. (though this in a way, of course, proves me wrong in the initial point) view post


posted 07 Apr 2006, 21:04 by Entropic_existence, Moderator

[quote="Sokar":3d472r8e]Interesting point you make.. not for profit but safety?? I would doubt that, but it could be true... Something I personally think.[/quote:3d472r8e] The companies obviously also want to limit the methods of reproduction so that they are the sole providor but government regulations based on safety are also in place in this regard. They also do it (in the case of Monsanto) so that someone can't get ahold of their product and plant it without actually buying it from them and then claiming that it was due to cross pollenization from a neighbouring field. So really it's a little of column A and a little of column B sort of deal. Without the regulation most producers would also want their crop to be sterile, although some companies would see that they could make profit by having theirs be fertile so we would see a mix I think. [quote:3d472r8e] As it goes for EU, it does allow 17 GMO's that are used in foodstuffs, but it does not allow the actual growth of genetically modified crops. [quote:3d472r8e] Yea I know that until recently they didn't even allow the import of GM crops from Canada and the US. [quote:3d472r8e] Finally, I don't think the term cheap (technology) fits to your meaning, at least if I got it correctly. The reason for technology to remain in the West, is dominance, and while dominant, there is no need for further spreading this technological advancement. See it from AIDS perspective.. There was no care about the virus until it spread itself to the West, the reason for concern about the virus is not the poor Africans, but the ignorant Westerners, thus care about AIDS is evident only in preservation of the self dominance. (though this in a way, of course, proves me wrong in the initial point)[/quote:3d472r8e][/quote:3d472r8e][/quote:3d472r8e] By cheap I mean the cost of the actual procedure (in the case of genetically modifing people). Yes market principle dictates that it would become progressively cheaper but by the time that happened I think negative social effects would have already come into play. So my analogy isn't really about the effect between countries but within individual countries. It would not be economically feasible to allow open access to everyone and so would be very expensive. Then only the upper class can afford it and start enhancing their children. By the time the lower classes can access the technology the enhanced are already grown up. Of course it might even itself out over the course of a decade or two, who knows. Like I said earlier I don't think the technology is inherently bad, but there would be unavoidable social consequences. view post


posted 09 Apr 2006, 14:04 by Sokar, Auditor

Since I have nothing to add to the comments you make (as I understood them from the international point of view, but in a way they do apply to both) I'll just say what my brother keeps on saying when it comes to dangers of technology: Do you think the inventors of a car would actually introduce it to the market if they knew how many people die from a car accident each year? view post


posted 09 Apr 2006, 22:04 by Entropic_existence, Moderator

[quote="Sokar":2l51wpi4]Since I have nothing to add to the comments you make (as I understood them from the international point of view, but in a way they do apply to both) I'll just say what my brother keeps on saying when it comes to dangers of technology: Do you think the inventors of a car would actually introduce it to the market if they knew how many people die from a car accident each year?[/quote:2l51wpi4] But because of those deaths governments implement guidelines on their use, safety regulations, etc. As it applies to my original argument I said I have no problems with the technology itself, I only cautioned that it would need to be used wisely and was pointing our possible drawbacks. view post


posted 19 Apr 2006, 03:04 by Virus, Candidate

It's a little late but... [quote:3o54ucjx]123. If you think that big government interferes in your life too much NOW, just wait till the government starts regulating the genetic constitution of your children. Such regulation will inevitably follow the introduction of genetic engineering of human beings, because the consequences of unregulated genetic engineering would be disastrous. [19] 124. The usual response to such concerns is to talk about "medical ethics." But a code of ethics would not serve to protect freedom in the face of medical progress; it would only make matters worse. A code of ethics applicable to genetic engineering would be in effect a means of regulating the genetic constitution of human beings. Somebody (probably the upper-middle class, mostly) would decide that such and such applications of genetic engineering were "ethical". and others were not, so that in effect they would be imposing their own values on the genetic constitution of the population at large. Even if a code of ethics were chosen on a completely democratic basis, the majority would be imposing their own values on any minorities who might have a different idea of what constituted an "ethical" use of genetic engineering. The only code of ethics that would truly protect freedom would be one that prohibited ANY genetic engineering of human beings, and you can be sure that no such code will ever be applied in a technological society. No code that reduced genetic engineering to a minor role could stand up for long, because the temptation presented by the immense power of biotechnology would be irresistible, especially since to the majority of people many of its applications will seem obviously and unequivocally good (eliminating physical and mental diseases, giving people the abilities they need to get along in today's world). Inevitably, genetic engineering will be used extensively, but only in ways consistent with the needs of the industrial-technological system. [20] TECHNOLOGY IS A MORE POWERFUL SOCIAL FORCE THAN THE ASPIRATION FOR FREEDOOM 125. It is not possible to make a LASTING compromise between technology and freedom, because technology is by far the more powerful social force and continually encroaches on freedom through REPEATED compromises. Imagine the case of two neighbors, each of whom at the outset owns the same amount of land, but one of whom is more powerful than the other. The powerful one demands a piece of the other's land. The weak one refuses. The powerful one says, "OK, let's compromise. Give me half of what I asked." The weak one has little choice but to give in. Some time later the powerful neighbor demands another piece of land, again there is a compromise, and so forth. By forcing a long series of compromises on the weaker man, the powerful one eventually gets all of his land. So it goes in the conflict between technology and freedom.[/quote:3o54ucjx] Ted Kaczynski The rest: http://www.apostate.com/politics/unabom ... festo.html view post


posted 24 Apr 2006, 04:04 by vercint, Peralogue

Nice, virus Of course, freedom is merely an illusion; we are all slaves of the darkness that comes before... There is no real trade off between freedom and technology. The first is a concept we like to pretend we have in order to make our lives seem significant, the second is a historical phenomenon that has fundamentally changed our lives and continues to do so, quite independently of whether we want it to or not. Of course, in order to maintain the illusion that our choices actually matter society debates whether to make further technological advances or not, when in fact progress -- or whatever you want to call it -- proceeds not through a collective decision by society or government, but through the aggregate of individual discoveries by scientists; just as history is not the result of large, visible events but of the sum of small, marginal events that are unrecorded because, indivdually, they don't matter. Nevertheless, it would be awesome to manufacture a Kellhus or ten and unleash on the world. After all, we've already got a holy war for him... view post


Dark corners posted 24 Apr 2006, 13:04 by MrJims, Commoner

I'm for genetic engineering. The fact is we our somewhat aware of it's capacity and potential. To not fully investigate the matter would be against man's inherent nature to know. As for the moral implications, G.E is a tool, and like the sword, gun and pen it has no intention other than that of it's wielder. As for superhumans, I don't see why not. Ultimately man's individual evolution is a matter of choice, or more accurately, choices. Though his beginings may be stronger and I don't think it would greatly effect his life. In this I mean he will still suffer, love, hate, be challenged by his own nature and nature of the things around him. On a species level I think it is our responcibility to improve ourselves in all manners in which we are capable, granted what an improvement is may be a matter of opinion. Finally I would rather enslave myself to a superhuman than a supercomputer. view post


Re: Dark corners posted 24 Apr 2006, 23:04 by Entropic_existence, Moderator

[quote="MrJims":25u1mcmm]I'm for genetic engineering. The fact is we our somewhat aware of it's capacity and potential. To not fully investigate the matter would be against man's inherent nature to know. As for the moral implications, G.E is a tool, and like the sword, gun and pen it has no intention other than that of it's wielder. As for superhumans, I don't see why not. Ultimately man's individual evolution is a matter of choice, or more accurately, choices. Though his beginings may be stronger and I don't think it would greatly effect his life. In this I mean he will still suffer, love, hate, be challenged by his own nature and nature of the things around him. On a species level I think it is our responcibility to improve ourselves in all manners in which we are capable, granted what an improvement is may be a matter of opinion. Finally I would rather enslave myself to a superhuman than a supercomputer.[/quote:25u1mcmm] Overall I'm for it as well, as a scientist (well soon to be Graduate student... same thing) I fell it is my duty to consider not only the ramifications of the technology at the scientific level but also be engaged in the moral and ethical questions that surround it. There is a very good reason why we don't do this with humans much, because the fact is we don't know as much as we sometimes think we do, at least not on the practical level. We build very good models of how things work, we haven't yet learned enough to make 100% accurate simulations. The trials for gene therapy for instance haven't been spectacular, and when two kids died there was a moratorium placed on alot of the research avenues, at least at the clinical stage. Its also the big reason why we will never use gener therapy on gamete producing stem cells to eradicate inheritable genetic diseases, the results could end up being worse than the disease. We'll only try and cure the individual, not their potential offspring :) view post


Not a scientist posted 25 Apr 2006, 03:04 by MrJims, Commoner

Sorry, still new to the system and can't quote. Or attach to a post for that matter. Buy anyway, Entropic_exsistence said. There is a very good reason why we don't do this with humans much, because the fact is we don't know as much as we sometimes think we do, at least not on the practical level. We build very good models of how things work, we haven't yet learned enough to make 100% accurate simulations. The trials for gene therapy for instance haven't been spectacular, and when two kids died there was a moratorium placed on alot of the research avenues, at least at the clinical stage. There is more learned in failure than sucess. Granted certain failures could be terminal to the species. I think that one of the main fears, though hidden behind many rationales is that man does not want to become second class, even to his own creation/evolution. With computers we can argure that they only enhance us as oppose to replace. Mind you I am the pizza man and my related scientific info on the matter could fit under your fingernails. As for human losses in the name of research it begs the mean question. What is the price of salvation. view post


posted 27 Jun 2006, 08:06 by Lucky Sevens, Candidate

Assuming some care is taken in how it is applied and what traits are selected to enhance, many of the concerns people have regarding genetic manipulation are terribly shortsighted. At this moment in time, even the best humans have a significant lack of foresight and, if this were left unchanged, would perhaps eventually lead to some cataclysmic event. However, what we are talking about creating is a positive feedback system. Smarter humans can create better techniques to manipulate genes, and use existing ones in a more thoughtful manner to prevent flaws from surfacing. Better techniques and better planning then allow us to produce even more sophisticated (i.e. intelligent, healthy, etc.) humans, who in turn can do even better, and so on. As things stand now, I'd be more worried about the consequences of forsaking these sorts of genetic developments and instead (as we seem compelled to do) focusing on creating ever-smarter machines. After all, the premise of [i:rxx4icfn]The Matrix[/i:rxx4icfn] really isn't so impossible in many respects. If humans fall behind machines in sophistication (something which is already beginning to be proven to be the case), they are leaving themselves much more vulnerable to being usurped as the dominant species on this (or any) planet. Evolutionarily fit indeed, heh. In short, smarter people plan better. view post


Re: Not a scientist posted 28 Jun 2006, 21:06 by Entropic_existence, Moderator

[quote="MrJims":xfedlbhj]Sorry, still new to the system and can't quote. Or attach to a post for that matter. Buy anyway, Entropic_exsistence said. There is a very good reason why we don't do this with humans much, because the fact is we don't know as much as we sometimes think we do, at least not on the practical level. We build very good models of how things work, we haven't yet learned enough to make 100% accurate simulations. The trials for gene therapy for instance haven't been spectacular, and when two kids died there was a moratorium placed on alot of the research avenues, at least at the clinical stage. There is more learned in failure than sucess. Granted certain failures could be terminal to the species. I think that one of the main fears, though hidden behind many rationales is that man does not want to become second class, even to his own creation/evolution. With computers we can argure that they only enhance us as oppose to replace. Mind you I am the pizza man and my related scientific info on the matter could fit under your fingernails. As for human losses in the name of research it begs the mean question. What is the price of salvation.[/quote:xfedlbhj] Sure, but we still don't want to tinker with gamete producing stem cell lines :) It's cool to try and fix a problem in an individual or enhance them (with their consent) but once you touch those gamete producers you are making a inheritable change which is simply too risky. For instance you could alter a gene to cure Cystic Fibrosis and end up causing a heritable Leukemia in its place. [quote="Lucky Sevens":xfedlbhj] At this moment in time, even the best humans have a significant lack of foresight and, if this were left unchanged, would perhaps eventually lead to some cataclysmic event. However, what we are talking about creating is a positive feedback system. Smarter humans can create better techniques to manipulate genes, and use existing ones in a more thoughtful manner to prevent flaws from surfacing. Better techniques and better planning then allow us to produce even more sophisticated (i.e. intelligent, healthy, etc.) humans, who in turn can do even better, and so on. [/quote:xfedlbhj] We don't know nearly enough about the human genome and how things fit in the big picture as far as intelligence and health to even attempt anything like that yet and it is still a long way down the road. Our biology is incredibly complex and things like intelligence rely on alot of interacting factors. We won't be tinkering here anytime soon I don't think. You would be better off enacting a selective breeding program for that at this point in time, kind of like the Dunyain :) view post


posted 29 Jun 2006, 04:06 by Lucky Sevens, Candidate

At this point in time, you are quite right. Although it's an exponential feedback loop, it's most certainly not easy to start up. As for selective breeding, I guess one could do that, and it might have some small measure of success, though it's a bit too messy of a process for my tastes. Might as well just start dumping amino acids and random proteins together and hope a perfect human walks out ready to roll. view post


posted 29 Jun 2006, 21:06 by Entropic_existence, Moderator

[quote="Lucky Sevens":3ddbjgye]At this point in time, you are quite right. Although it's an exponential feedback loop, it's most certainly not easy to start up. As for selective breeding, I guess one could do that, and it might have some small measure of success, though it's a bit too messy of a process for my tastes. Might as well just start dumping amino acids and random proteins together and hope a perfect human walks out ready to roll.[/quote:3ddbjgye] Actually you are far more likely to achieve concrete results doing selective breeding for intelligence or athleticism than you are trying to actually tinker on the gentic level to achieve it. After all intelligence has both a genetic component as well as a non-genetic one (how you are raised plays a rather large roll), and it definitly isn't just one gene. We know enough that we could probably tinker around to genetically to be bigger and stronger, its a little more straightforward but there could be a host of secondary complications with other genes that we don't know enough about weren't also tinkered with ;) You should take a look at an interaction map of the human genome sometime, it's a real mess and thats just the stuff we have identified concretely to some extent. view post


posted 30 Jun 2006, 21:06 by alhana, Auditor

I vote no, for several reasons. First of all, how can we say that the natural evoluation of the human gene line is "harmful" or "bad"? If we overtreat any disease, whether is it a simple virual infection or a severe genetic deformity, we limit the human gene line (I mean the larger gene line related by generation upon generation) from sponteously mutating and becoming stronger to resist that disease. While I am not against seeking treatment for a disease or illness, I am against any outside-man-made-genetic-tampering in the name of "health". Secondly, as mentioned above, genetic amnormalies and diseases are nature's way of "selection". The strong survive, the weak do not. This happens already with "fertility" treament. If one cannot bear children naturally, rather than adopt the thousands of unwanted children of the world, one can have the local OBGYN take sperm and egg, either from that couple or someone else and make the female of the couple pregnant. When it is a case of donor egg and sperm, then it is actually better because it has already been screened for imperfections. When a couple insists that they must use their own genetic material, then they are tampering with nature. Maybe there is a REASON they SHOULD not conceive. In the simple handling of the tiny egg/sperm combo, there is also the possibility of damaging occurring. There are enough people on the earth. Many people also lose young children to disease or deformity. This happened in my own family. Rather than fighting Nature to "save" the child, accept what is and celebrate the life that is/was. Let nature take its course, whether through infertility or disease or whatever. If a deformed person is to survive, then he/she will. In ancient cultures, those who were born with a specific deformaty were sometimes worshipped and though the physical body was weak, the mind and spiritual body was strong. We should not look upon those are genetically different as being "bad" and seek to erradicate our gene structure for these impurities. Most of the time, these ammonilies are random and there is nothing that can be done to prevent them anyway. Finally, when we remove the "imperfections" from our cultural, we remove the opportunity to express compassion and we limit the value of the human being to the some total of it's "gifts" or "perfections." A great movie that dealt with this very issue was "Gattica." Though the plot line was predictable, it gave a look to the future if we as a society allow genetic research to continue unchecked. Additionally, when we "enhance" human performance we may limit other abilities from naturally enhancing. Mankind continues to grow taller every generation indicating that so far in human history, those who have strength and height have strengthened the overall gene pool of all. Why rush this process and "make" super humans? The larger question is "Who decides what is appropriate uses of this technology?" I recognize that genetic engineering is already happening on both the human gene strain and other strains of both plants and animals. However, we condemn ourselves to the eventual creation of a monster when we step into the shoes of Creator/Unverisal Source/Mother Nature. view post


posted 01 Jul 2006, 09:07 by Randal, Auditor

I might see how things become more muddled if you add a creator/mother nature/universal source to things. (what, pray tell, is a universal source? Didn't know that one yet...) But I think this statement is a bit... arrogant. Who decides what is appropriate use of this technology, you ask. But who are you to decide that "we should not look upon those are genetically different as being bad"? We're talking about disabilities here. Not discrimination. We're talking about people for whom it will be next to impossible to lead a normal life thanks to conditions they were born with. People who live a dozen years in pain, and die. Because they had a genetical defect. Does it really help these people to say "you're simply genetically different, that's not a bad thing."? As for allowing natural selection to take place... why would we want that? Natural selection operates on a timespan of hundreds of thousands of years. Millions. It's neither smart nor reasonable to say such and such problem might be solved by natural selection in 102000 AD. Nor are many genetical defects likely to disappear through natural selection, because being recessive and rare, they are unlikely to prove disadvatageous to carriers of the defect. (who do not suffer from the actual disability) Yes, our society tampers with the "survival of the fittest" paradigm. The fittest no longer needs be the best hunter, strongest killer, fastest breeder. But this has been going on for centuries. And not through genetical engineering either, but through things like charity, taking care of those to weak to survive on their own. I think most people would agree this is not a bad thing. Moreover, as was pointed out to me earlier in the thread, this does not mean there is no more natural selection. The requirements just have changed. Physical strength or weakness is no longer as important as it used to be, instead the fittest is he who is the smoothest talker, the most accomplished business man, etc. I think it's cruel and arrogant to state we should "let nature take its course" and let people who had bad luck in the genetic draw suffer and die. There's no reason to suppose that the way things have been in the past is the way things are "meant to be" at all. And when you say we should do this so we do not lose our opportuny to express compassion... well. I am dumbfounded. You are not expressing much compassion here. Let people suffer so you can then show compassion for them? Do you not see the inherent contradiction in this? As for "creating a monster"... well, I somehow doubt the odds of that happening are very great. This is not a horror movie after all. Why should nature be inherently better than humans? But as you can read earlier in the thread, current gene therapies do not run this risk as they do not actually tamper with inheritable qualities. They just seek to treat the symptoms of disease and disability in the individual, much like ordinary medicine does, though different in its methods. view post


posted 05 Jul 2006, 18:07 by Virus, Candidate

[quote="vercint":m2feqs7h]Nice, virus Of course, freedom is merely an illusion; we are all slaves of the darkness that comes before... There is no real trade off between freedom and technology. The first is a concept we like to pretend we have in order to make our lives seem significant, the second is a historical phenomenon that has fundamentally changed our lives and continues to do so, quite independently of whether we want it to or not. Of course, in order to maintain the illusion that our choices actually matter society debates whether to make further technological advances or not, when in fact progress -- or whatever you want to call it -- proceeds not through a collective decision by society or government, but through the aggregate of individual discoveries by scientists; just as history is not the result of large, visible events but of the sum of small, marginal events that are unrecorded because, indivdually, they don't matter. Nevertheless, it would be awesome to manufacture a Kellhus or ten and unleash on the world. After all, we've already got a holy war for him...[/quote:m2feqs7h] You are right, of course, but I think that man is happier when he is outside. [quote="MrJims":m2feqs7h]Sorry, still new to the system and can't quote. Or attach to a post for that matter. Buy anyway, Entropic_exsistence said. There is a very good reason why we don't do this with humans much, because the fact is we don't know as much as we sometimes think we do, at least not on the practical level. We build very good models of how things work, we haven't yet learned enough to make 100% accurate simulations. The trials for gene therapy for instance haven't been spectacular, and when two kids died there was a moratorium placed on alot of the research avenues, at least at the clinical stage. There is more learned in failure than sucess. Granted certain failures could be terminal to the species. I think that one of the main fears, though hidden behind many rationales is that man does not want to become second class, even to his own creation/evolution. With computers we can argure that they only enhance us as oppose to replace. Mind you I am the pizza man and my related scientific info on the matter could fit under your fingernails. As for human losses in the name of research it begs the mean question. What is the price of salvation.[/quote:m2feqs7h] 1 all-dressed 1 pepperoni [quote:m2feqs7h]I think it's cruel and arrogant to state we should "let nature take its course" and let people who had bad luck in the genetic draw suffer and die. There's no reason to suppose that the way things have been in the past is the way things are "meant to be" at all. And when you say we should do this so we do not lose our opportuny to express compassion... well. I am dumbfounded. You are not expressing much compassion here. Let people suffer so you can then show compassion for them? Do you not see the inherent contradiction in this? [/quote:m2feqs7h] Pain is bad. We should pity people in pain. [quote:m2feqs7h]As for "creating a monster"... well, I somehow doubt the odds of that happening are very great. This is not a horror movie after all. Why should nature be inherently better than humans? But as you can read earlier in the thread, current gene therapies do not run this risk as they do not actually tamper with inheritable qualities. They just seek to treat the symptoms of disease and disability in the individual, much like ordinary medicine does, though different in its methods.[/quote:m2feqs7h] jesus immortality plz lol view post


posted 29 Sep 2006, 19:09 by DrunkenAfficianado, Commoner

The qustion which we voted on was too broad and too simplistic to be given a simple "yes" or "no" answer. I state "no" because I have no faith in the power structure that determines what traits are positive and what traits are negative. I am against forced eugenics, forced abortions, cloning, the theft of geneics from a "superior" specimin against his or her will in order to "protect" the genetic strain for the power structure. I am against the harvesting of human organisms for the benefit of other humans for cosmetic reasons or even for medical necessity. To argue that some humans should be harvested so that some other humans can have a life of less woe is literally throwing the baby out with the bathwater, or in poker terms throwing in the good money after the bad. In many cases, such as blindness and some forms of autism, the infirmity of the biological parents--syphallis in the case of blindness and herpes in the cases of autism-- is a direct cause. There was a choice made to not use protection, and a genetically defective human was created by people who were too unconcerned to take precautions. And while that would be worrying enough, I met several "scientists" while at university that thought such infants should be given over immediatly to medical research. The idea that scientists that use the multi-million dollar tools of university research faciltiies without a shread of ethics, let alone morality, fills me with abject dread. Some postualted that the Dunyain is a "good" entity, a beneficial lifeform, yet nothing could be farther from the truth. At viable levels, genetic engineering is expensive, thus only the rich will have access to it. Not all of the rich look like Paris Hilton. It is easy to say that eugenics is great, and that people should be able to order their babies like at a fast-food place. But an examination of the children from the eugenics camps of the Nazis in Norway proves a very different point. The Liebensborn as a rule did not end up in positions of power 50 years down the road. Many of them ended up lower middle class mechanics and such. It is the genetic diversity, American hybrid vigor, that is the most sought after conception of beauty in Hollywood. I can only think of the Southpark where Christopher Reid kept eating human fetuses for super strength, and never have I so shouted with support for Gene Hackman's Lex Luther.... I tell you what, let me experiment on you and your children first, then we might switch somewhere down the road.....does the eugenic plan still sound so good? view post


posted 30 Sep 2006, 15:09 by Entropic_existence, Moderator

Eugenics and Genetic Engineering ar not the same thing at all, Eugenics is restricted breeding on human beings akin to what we do with cattle. Pretty much everyone agrees that in practice it would be horrible. To Godwin the concept the Nazi's where very fond of the idea of Eugenics in order to make the human race better. I had already argued above about how Genetic Engineering on a wide scale with humans would probably be bad because of economic factors. All current gene therapies for humans only target somatic cells, not germ line cells. There is a twofold reason for this, one is ethical and the other is monetary (although that hasn't come into play yet.) The ethics behind it are simple, we don't know what the long term affect could be in subsequent generations if we targeted germ line cells. Sure we may cure Cystic Fibrosis, but we could also introduce a whole slew of cancers and childhood leukemias due to the methods used. The monetary issue hasn't come into play yet because right now all egen therapy that has been done has been experimental. IF such treatments ever become widespread and common the drug companies will probably have their hands in it. Better to treat the patient than future patients at the same time. Anyway it is very important to not confuse the issues of Genetic Engineering and Eugenics, they are quite different ideas but the two too often get equated with one another in bad science fiction. As for the autism and herpes comment it is important to note that that is one theory that has been put forward as possibly playing a role in autism. It is not fact. Autism definitly has a genetic component to it where clusters of genes do not appear to function properly. Then there is a complex enviromental trigger that has yet to be figured out. view post


posted 30 Sep 2006, 20:09 by Hellscythe, Auditor

Im not even gonna try making comments about what you all have said, but I will mention the one thing that maybe you guys either havent thought of, or didnt think it might pertain to the conversation at hand. You all have seen sci-fi movies or read book where genetic engineering is used to make military weapons and the like, bio-weapons that can kill hundreds of soldiers in minutes and stuff like that. Think about what genetic engineering might do to conflicts in the future, because I dont know about you guys, but I dont think there will be peace anytime soon. view post


  •  

The Three Seas Forum archives are hosted and maintained courtesy of Jack Brown.