sci-man

Designer baby's poll

should we allow it or not?  

7 members have voted

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



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The semantics aside, "designer babies" for anything other than medical reasons is a slippery slope, and not in a fallacious way. It has the potential to wipe out the human race, genetic diversity is essential for a healthy populace. After all, when have any of our attempts to control the real world ever been successful? And before you point to smallpox and similar, that is a way to simple/binary a problem, just add evolution/genetic diversity and the simple problem of rats/flu is seemingly unsolvable.

Edited by dimreepr

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3 minutes ago, dimreepr said:

The semantics aside, "designer babies" for anything other than medical reasons is a slippery slope, and not in a fallacious way. It has the potential to wipe out the human race, genetic diversity is essential for a healthy populace. After all, when have any of our attempts to control the real world ever been successful? And before you point to smallpox and similar, that is a way to simple/binary a problem, just add evolution/genetic diversity and the simple problem of rats/flu is seemingly unsolvable.

Internal combustion engines also have the potential to wipe out the human race. But the likelihood of either cars or designer babies doing so seems like hyperbole and not a strong reason to stop progress in that realm.

Each new step, from drugs to surgeries to test tube babies is met with fear. It is important that we keep the fear of change in reasonable perspective.

 

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16 minutes ago, zapatos said:

Internal combustion engines also have the potential to wipe out the human race. But the likelihood of either cars or designer babies doing so seems like hyperbole and not a strong reason to stop progress in that realm.

Each new step, from drugs to surgeries to test tube babies is met with fear. It is important that we keep the fear of change in reasonable perspective.

 
26 minutes ago, dimreepr said:

After all, when have any of our attempts to control the real world ever been successful? And before you point to smallpox and similar, that is a way to simple/binary a problem, just add evolution/genetic diversity and the simple problem of rats/flu is seemingly unsolvable.

And that's why I don't think it's hype. The more we reduce genetic diversity the closer we get to a smallpox virus. At this moment in time, there seems little reason to worry because only the rich can take advantage of the potential; but when did wealth shield one from flu or rats?

Edit, I'm not suggesting we stop exploring the medical benefits, but the title suggests this thread has little to do with that.

Edited by dimreepr

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11 minutes ago, zapatos said:

Internal combustion engines also have the potential to wipe out the human race. But the likelihood of either cars or designer babies doing so seems like hyperbole and not a strong reason to stop progress in that realm.

Each new step, from drugs to surgeries to test tube babies is met with fear. It is important that we keep the fear of change in reasonable perspective.

 

Internal combustion engines can't really be associated with genetic engineering. That's a far cry to say they both carry the same amount of risk.

 

It's like saying that we shouldn't fear nuclear weapons because tulips could evolve to kill everyone on earth as well.

Sure, they both carry risk, however you can't really say that it's an equal risk.

1 minute ago, dimreepr said:

 there seems little reason to worry because only the rich can take advantage of the potential

 

That's one of the things I have against genetic engineering. If only the rich can afford it, they very well could become an entirely different race.

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2 minutes ago, Raider5678 said:

That's one of the things I have against genetic engineering. If only the rich can afford it, they very well could become an entirely different race.

 

But one that seems doomed to fail.

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Just now, dimreepr said:

But one that seems doomed to fail.

They already appear to be an entirely different race sometimes......

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Just now, Raider5678 said:

They already appear to be an entirely different race sometimes......

Well, that's a different question.

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4 minutes ago, Raider5678 said:

Sure, they both carry risk, however you can't really say that it's an equal risk.

Why not? Can you put any numbers to the risk genetic modifications?

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Just now, zapatos said:

Why not? Can you put any numbers to the risk genetic modifications?

No, but we can certainly use common sense to figure out genetic modification can cause problems, and the chance of internal combustion engines to end the world is lower.

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9 minutes ago, dimreepr said:

And that's why I don't think it's hype. The more we reduce genetic diversity the closer we get to a smallpox virus.

There are a million steps between here and there. We've taken one. Calling out the worst case scenario at the end of a million potential outcomes is hyperbole.

1 minute ago, Raider5678 said:

No, but we can certainly use common sense to figure out genetic modification can cause problems, and the chance of internal combustion engines to end the world is lower.

No, it's higher with internal combustion engines than with genetic modifications. (I can make unsupported claims too.)

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2 minutes ago, Raider5678 said:

No, but we can certainly use common sense to figure out genetic modification can cause problems, and the chance of internal combustion engines to end the world is lower.

 

Not today but who knows what tomorrow may bring.

2 minutes ago, zapatos said:

There are a million steps between here and there. We've taken one. Calling out the worst case scenario at the end of a million potential outcomes is hyperbole.

No, it's a very real potential outcome.

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2 minutes ago, dimreepr said:

No, it's a very real potential outcome.

So is the end of humans by internal combustion engine.

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Just now, zapatos said:

So is the end of humans by internal combustion engine.

Ok let's go with that analogy, what car would you/most people choose if given carte blanche?

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3 minutes ago, dimreepr said:

Ok let's go with that analogy, what car would you/most people choose if given carte blanche?

:) Can't speak for most people. I like my minivan.

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1 minute ago, zapatos said:

:) Can't speak for most people. I like my minivan.

There's always the odd-ball and long may it remain ;)

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32 minutes ago, dimreepr said:

There's always the odd-ball and long may it remain ;)

What were you expecting for my response?

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We know different genes are associated with things like addiction, depression, anxiety, and etc yet aren't sure how it all works and integrates with the rest of the body. There will inevitably be a healthy amount of trial and error. We will know a lot more in 10yrs than we do today and I think this debate is only going to heat up over the next 10yrs.

*Side not, I hate when discussion devolve into arguments about analogies. All an analogy is meant to do is provided a little perspective from the individual using the analogy. They are not literal. 

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1 hour ago, dimreepr said:

The semantics aside, "designer babies" for anything other than medical reasons is a slippery slope, and not in a fallacious way. It has the potential to wipe out the human race, genetic diversity is essential for a healthy populace. After all, when have any of our attempts to control the real world ever been successful? And before you point to smallpox and similar, that is a way to simple/binary a problem, just add evolution/genetic diversity and the simple problem of rats/flu is seemingly unsolvable.

Sometimes it's better for 'God to play dice' than it is for us to play God.

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28 minutes ago, zapatos said:

What were you expecting for my response?

That.

29 minutes ago, Ten oz said:

 All an analogy is meant to do is provided a little perspective from the individual using the analogy. 

 

Kinda the point of an analogy, a little meaning.

32 minutes ago, Ten oz said:

They are not literal.

Can you show an instance, in this context, where meaning is literal?

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1 hour ago, dimreepr said:

Can you show an instance, in this context, where meaning is literal?

How about we focus on the threads topic?

1 hour ago, StringJunky said:

Sometimes it's better for 'God to play dice' than it is for us to play God.

It is inevitable at this point that people will proceed with genetic alterations. It will most likely become a common thing and many will use it purely for cosmetic reasons. So while I have strong reservations about it I also realize it is a question of how it should be used and not a question of if it should be. Knowing it will be used leaves me left wondering what possible constraints might be put in place. Protecting ones genetic privacy might be the best we can hope for. Even there (privacy) I can imagine issues. For example genetic alterations might end up replacing vaccines one day and schools might require information on who has had the alterations.

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32 minutes ago, Ten oz said:

How about we focus on the threads topic?

It is inevitable at this point that people will proceed with genetic alterations. It will most likely become a common thing and many will use it purely for cosmetic reasons. So while I have strong reservations about it I also realize it is a question of how it should be used and not a question of if it should be. Knowing it will be used leaves me left wondering what possible constraints might be put in place. Protecting ones genetic privacy might be the best we can hope for. Even there (privacy) I can imagine issues. For example genetic alterations might end up replacing vaccines one day and schools might require information on who has had the alterations.

Yep, that horse has bolted. I think it'll be a case of empirically-based regulation; mistakes will be made then regulation will be brought in.  When you think about the current privacy issues, this is the last frontier in terms of privacy loss. I'll  be dead by then. I think for the older generation - 40's up - we are used to a certain way of thinking and this technology has issues which are anathema to us but future generations will be brought up with it from birth and won't know any different.... big brother having access to every detail of your life and body will just be accepted.

Edited by StringJunky

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1 hour ago, StringJunky said:

I'll  be dead by then.

My grandmother was born 1909 in rural Nebraska. As a child they didn't have running water or electricity. The first commercial airline in the country didn't exist yet. At the time she past in 96' she had running water, electricity, cable TV, dial up internet, had flown on a planes leisurely several times, and countless other things which probably seemed impossible to her as a child. The world changes very fast. Much faster than people realize. 20 years ago I would've argued commercially available self driving cars, touch screen pocket size wireless computers (smart phones) with 130GB of storage & built in HD cameras, and people in the western world fearing China's economic strength are all things that would eventually happen but not during my lifetime. 

People can already choose the sex of their child for a fee. IVF allows doctors to select, not nature, the healthiest egg and sperm. While I think IVF is terrific I have ethical concerns about being able to select the gender of a child. The issues are already upon us.Less you suspect you'll be dead and gone within the next decade I think you'll see plenty of this unfold.  

 

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51 minutes ago, Ten oz said:

People can already choose the sex of their child for a fee. IVF allows doctors to select, not nature, the healthiest egg and sperm. While I think IVF is terrific I have ethical concerns about being able to select the gender of a child. The issues are already upon us.Less you suspect you'll be dead and gone within the next decade I think you'll see plenty of this unfold.  

 

1

Or you can do it like China. If she's a girl, choose to abort her, if he's a boy, let him live.

Wait. Wrong terminology.  If IT is a female, choose to abort it. If IT is a male, let it live.

Then we won't have those ethical concerns about being able to select the gender of a child through genetic engineering.

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50/50 from me.

Raider5678s quote jumps out here,   "do you know my son, with what little understanding the world is ruled?" 

I'll add, 'With what little understanding people act" 

 

Not quite the same, but pedigree Dog Breeders are a good example of values lost in the quest for 'improvement".

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