sci-man

Designer baby's poll

should we allow it or not?  

9 members have voted

  1. 1. should we be able to genetically alter humans



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I've said no, but with the caveat that this applies to now and is a general prohibition. When we have a high level of confidence that a given amendment will eliminate a genetic disease, without risk, then such genetic alteration should be accepted. (This is probably already true in some instance.) Gene alteration for other reasons should wait until our ethics have caught up with our technology.

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i agree with you 54

On 2/12/2018 at 9:26 AM, Area54 said:

I've said no, but with the caveat that this applies to now and is a general prohibition. When we have a high level of confidence that a given amendment will eliminate a genetic disease, without risk, then such genetic alteration should be accepted. (This is probably already true in some instance.) Gene alteration for other reasons should wait until our ethics have caught up with our technology.

 

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People have already been "genetically altered" to cure various diseases. Sounds like a good thing (as long as it is tested for safety).

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Posted (edited)

The question could be put as: is eugenics a good idea?

Edited by StringJunky

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I think we should be able to genetically alter humans in the same way that we are allowed to alter humans in other ways. We alter hormones, organs, looks, structure, immune system, eyesight, hearing, color, smell, etc. Genes hold no 'special' place that makes them untouchable.

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I think its inevitable so it's not a matter of ought to. Once the tech will be here, for much much larger scale, who is going to stop people from using it? Perhaps we should ban it like nuclear weapons .. oh wait! 

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11 hours ago, tuco said:

who is going to stop people from using it?

In the west, it's ethics committees, elsewhere no doubt 'super soldier' will hop off the pages of comics at some point.

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5 hours ago, dimreepr said:

In the west, it's ethics committees, elsewhere no doubt 'super soldier' will hop off the pages of comics at some point.

In the west .. the law, the communists had committees like committees deciding who can have an abortion and who cannot. 

Since the OP did not specify, outside of much much larger scale, what kind of modification we talk about, we can talk about any. I will talk about the ability of parents to chose the gender of their baby.  Let's say it will not be allowed in the west but will be allowed elsewhere. I can also imagine parents traveling to where it's allowed. Then I can image pressure to change the law and law being changed simply because if there will be demand, there will be supply and it's the people, not committees who have the power to change the laws.

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I voted 50/50. I am on the fence. I understand the temptation to eliminate disease or other conditions but at the same type no one can see the future. Same mutation which is viewed as problematic today might be a benefit today. Sickle cell helps protect against malaria for example. Mutation exists in all living things. It is a critical component of natural selection. It is possible that a trait viewed as unfavorable today could be vital at some point in the future.

19 hours ago, StringJunky said:

The question could be put as: is eugenics a good idea?

We humans have a long history of being very superficial . It is hard for me to imagine things not going the way of Gattaca  to some degree.

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Posted (edited)

The problem in Gattaca was not that one was modified and the other was not, but discrimination based on such modification.

Our societies have a long way to go, new ethics, laws and approaches will need to be realized, implemented and developed, but unless the technology will be relatively easy to control/hard to obtain  - like nuclear technology for example - which from what I know about it it is not, I just do not see how could we prevent other people from using it. Of course, there will be some limits on what will be acceptable and whatnot but OP did not specify them. The devil is in details. 

edit: and indeed, eliminating certain traits, aggressivity for example in order to reduce violent crimes, can have unforeseen and even undesirable consequences, however, by allowing genetic engineering we are not necessarily eliminating certain trait from the gene pool. 

Edited by tuco

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50 minutes ago, tuco said:

In the west .. the law, the communists had committees like committees deciding who can have an abortion and who cannot. 

Since the OP did not specify, outside of much much larger scale, what kind of modification we talk about, we can talk about any. I will talk about the ability of parents to chose the gender of their baby.  Let's say it will not be allowed in the west but will be allowed elsewhere. I can also imagine parents traveling to where it's allowed. Then I can image pressure to change the law and law being changed simply because if there will be demand, there will be supply and it's the people, not committees who have the power to change the laws.

This ability already exists and it has nothing to do with genetically altering humans. It is sometimes done to avoid sex-linked disorders.

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I know it exists, that is why I mentioned it, unlike much much larger scale. Indeed, its sometimes done for the stated reason. But it's not done because the parents want it and I can imagine some parents wanting it. In similar fashion, like some parents would like to have a girl/boy, some could wish to have their baby to be pre-disposed for arts or sports. So in my eyes, it's not about should or should not, but where is the line?

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10 minutes ago, tuco said:

I know it exists, that is why I mentioned it, unlike much much larger scale. Indeed, its sometimes done for the stated reason. But it's not done because the parents want it and I can imagine some parents wanting it. In similar fashion, like some parents would like to have a girl/boy, some could wish to have their baby to be pre-disposed for arts or sports. So in my eyes, it's not about should or should not, but where is the line?

Yes it is. You can certainly do it in the US. And again, it has nothing to do with genetically altering humans.

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17 minutes ago, tuco said:

The problem in Gattaca was not that one was modified and the other was not, but discrimination based on such modification.

Both seem inevitable to varying degrees. Some would choose against modified (or not be able to afford it) while others would develop biases for or against. 

22 minutes ago, tuco said:

Our societies have a long way to go, new ethics, laws and approaches will need to be realized, implemented and developed, but unless the technology will be relatively easy to control/hard to obtain  - like nuclear technology for example - which from what I know about it it is not, I just do not see how could we prevent other people from using it. Of course, there will be some limits on what will be acceptable and whatnot but OP did not specify them. The devil is in details.

Evolution doesn't seek an upward trend. It is directionless like water running downhill following the least path of resistance. Purposely forcing genetic change with the goal of making things more perfect is something which has never been done. It could work out great or it could end in calamity.  

 

27 minutes ago, tuco said:

edit: and indeed, eliminating certain traits, aggressivity for example in order to reduce violent crimes, can have unforeseen and even undesirable consequences, however, by allowing genetic engineering we are not necessarily eliminating certain trait from the gene pool. 

It is only within the last couple decades we've have discovered billions of people have Neanderthal genes. We still have a lot to learn. 

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The biggest problem for me comes when we begin genetically engineering humans without a need for it. I.E. super strength, genius intelligence, etc. Things like that.

  • One, we can't ask the baby if that's what it would want in life. More then likely, if the parents get the child genetically engineered, it's because of something that parents want the child to be.
  • Two, it opens up a whole new ballpark for the government to start making superhuman soldiers. 
  • Three, it'll most certainly create a separation between the rich and the poor. The rich being able to afford it, will simply make their children insanely good. You think the poor have disadvantages now, wait until simply being rich means you're genetically predisposed to be better.
  • Four, unintended consequences of messing around with genetics are real. They can happen. If it's necessary to cure a disease or something, then it's a cost/benefit analysis. For fun, it's not.

 

I have no problem with genetically engineering people for doing good.

Genetically engineering them without a specific reason is something I think we should carefully consider.

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Posted (edited)
30 minutes ago, zapatos said:

Yes it is. You can certainly do it in the US. And again, it has nothing to do with genetically altering humans.

OK, it has nothing to do with genetically altering humans. Good catch. 

Now, how is picking the gender of a baby different from I dunno picking the height of a baby? Because one is genetic altering and the other one is not. Well, I do not think the issue here is whether an action is either gene altering action or not, I do not think people care about the mechanics in general, but about making choices. How does it matter whether we are able to identify and pick male or female embryo or identify and pick embryo short or tall growth potential? How it's done is pretty much irrelevant in my opinion. What is relevant is the ability to make such choice or not. This is the ethical choice, the rest is technological matter.

btw over here parents cannot choose the gender unless for the reasons you stated because it's against the law.

Edited by tuco

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6 minutes ago, tuco said:

OK, it has nothing to do with genetically altering humans. Good catch. 

Now, how is picking the gender of a baby different from I dunno picking the height of a baby? Because one is genetic altering and the other one is not. Well, I do not think the issue here is whether an action is either gene altering action or not, I do not think people care about the mechanics in general, but about making choices. How does it matter whether we are able to identify and pick male or female embryo or identify and pick embryo short or tall growth potential? How it's done is pretty much irrelevant in my opinion. What is relevant is the ability to make such choice or not. This is the ethical choice, the rest is technological matter.

This thread is about genetically altering humans.

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3 minutes ago, tuco said:

And its all yours. Bye

Don't get your undies in a twist. That's just the way things are done around here. If you don't like the topic opened by the OP you don't hijack the thread so that it follows the direction you'd rather it go, you instead open your own thread.

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Posted (edited)

First of all, the thread is incorrectly in "Genetics" because its an ethical issue. 

Secondly, I was on topic correctly and tactfully noting the above fact.

Thirdly, I do not understand what "getting undies in a twist" means but somehow I do not think it means "pointing out the obvious". 

Edited by tuco

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2 minutes ago, tuco said:

First of all, the thread is incorrectly in "Genetics" because its an ethical issue.

It is about the ethics of genetic modifications.

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