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And Then?

 
 
Reply Thu 29 Dec, 2005 09:08 am
Suppose that someday we understand the human and lower animal genetic codes well enough to intervene at will, and to be able to design or alter babies as readily as toy designers can design toys.

Suppose that people about to have babies were free to have their embryos analyzed and modified to achieve anything they pleased. What might then happen?

At the least, families might try to give their children immunity from disease, extremely high IQs, and Superman-like strength. Genetic engineering businesses would probably compete in selling packages of beneficial modifications. But I am sure that a lot less pleasant things could also happen.
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Type: Discussion • Score: 0 • Views: 713 • Replies: 12
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boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Thu 29 Dec, 2005 09:28 am
I think it has already been shown that you can't "engineer" IQ. Those egg donor/sperm bank for the smart have not worked out so well.

Immunity from disease sounds like a good plan but a lot of people don't even have their kids vaccinated. There is a lot of hub-bub about that new vaccine for cervical cancer. Apparently a lot of religious fundamentalist think such a vaccine would give girls license to have sex.

I think you're getting worked up over nothing.
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Brandon9000
 
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Reply Thu 29 Dec, 2005 09:31 am
boomerang wrote:
I think it has already been shown that you can't "engineer" IQ. Those egg donor/sperm bank for the smart have not worked out so well.

Immunity from disease sounds like a good plan but a lot of people don't even have their kids vaccinated. There is a lot of hub-bub about that new vaccine for cervical cancer. Apparently a lot of religious fundamentalist think such a vaccine would give girls license to have sex.

I think you're getting worked up over nothing.

I think your imagination is limited as to potential uses of really advanced genetic engineering. What about really weird attempts to give kids super abilities? What about parents who modify their kids in ways that are beneficial to them, the parents, but not to the kids? What about dictatorships that breed perfect soldiers? And besides things that are undesirable, there may be things that will transform society beyond recognition.
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boomerang
 
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Reply Thu 29 Dec, 2005 09:32 am
Like what?
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Brandon9000
 
  1  
Reply Thu 29 Dec, 2005 09:34 am
boomerang wrote:
Like what?

Perhaps super-beings who don't even look that human....
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boomerang
 
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Reply Thu 29 Dec, 2005 09:42 am
There are ALREADY people who are WAY smarter or WAY stronger or have WAY better vision or can jump WAY higher or can run WAY faster or who can do all manner of things WAY better than the average person.

Usually we clebrate those people.

There are ALREADY people who, through genetic mishap or accident, don't look what we consider "normal" humans.

But that doesn't mean that any one of these people are not human.
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Brandon9000
 
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Reply Thu 29 Dec, 2005 09:47 am
I'm talking about (1) abuses, (2) societal changes.
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boomerang
 
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Reply Thu 29 Dec, 2005 09:49 am
And I'm trying to figure out what kind of "abuse" and "societal changes" you think will be a result of this.
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Brandon9000
 
  1  
Reply Thu 29 Dec, 2005 09:57 am
I don't think it's plausible that parents and dictatorships would gain the power to mod people any way they please and society wouldn't change. What about people created in the lab for the express purpose of being sold as slaves, and given personality characteristics to make them feel content to be slaves?

I'm going to let a few other people weigh in.
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boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Thu 29 Dec, 2005 10:20 am
Okay, I'll wait to....

While I'm waiting I'll specualte on a sociatal change:

We are able to modify people so that they no longer have a desire to use/abuse drugs and alcohol. Nobody uses them, nobody becomes addicted.

We can therefore....

Eliminate most foster care programs.

Save the expense of arresting, trying and jailing drug users.

Eliminate a lot of crime that is done to pay for drugs.

Save a lot of lives.

Save a fortune on medical care.
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spendius
 
  1  
Reply Thu 29 Dec, 2005 02:15 pm
I once read a review of a book in a literary magazine edited by the saintly Auberon Waugh which dealt with a lady who got herself pregnant regularly and during the gestations drank various poisonous household fluids with a view to creating a menagerie of specimens suitable for exhibiting in fairground booths.It was an American book but I was never tempted to even think of reading it.It seems that the theme was that if there is a demand there will be a supply.

The review was written by a lady.
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boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Thu 29 Dec, 2005 02:45 pm
The book is "Geek Love" by Katherine Dunn.

It was a finalist for the National Book Award.

It really is a very good book.
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spendius
 
  1  
Reply Thu 29 Dec, 2005 03:29 pm
That may well be boomer but I couldn't see myself reading it just the same.I think in terms of Mr and Mrs Average rather than Mr and Mrs Nutcase.
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