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Eugenics?


lrokwild
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Not only is negative eugentics (i.e. forced sterilization or extermination of those deemed genetically inferior) an unethical means of improving the genetic fitness of the human race, but it is also a rather ineffective means. Allow me to present the following simulation:

 

Lets say that condition X is caused by a rare autosomal recessive mutation. Assuming the population is in Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium, there will be p^2 without mutation x, 2pq carriers for mutation x, and q^2 affected with mutation x (where p is the allele frequency of the wildtype gene, and q is the frequency of the mutant gene). If the affected individuals are removed from the population, the new allele frequency becomes q/(p+2q). Now, lets say that this disease affects 1/10000 people, so q = 1/100. This means that after one generation, q is reduced by a factor of 1-1/1.01 = ~1%. At this rate, it will take approximately 100 generations (~2,500 years) to reduce the frequency of the mutant allele by half.

 

People often cite natural selection as support for why eugentics would work. However, what they fail to realize is that natural selection acts on a geological time scale. Any effects from a forced sterilization program would not be realized until thousands of years into the future. Therefore, merely from a practical standpoint forced sterilization is a bad idea.

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Not only is negative eugentics (i.e. forced sterilization or extermination of those deemed genetically inferior) an unethical means of improving the genetic fitness of the human race
what makes it unethical?

 

 

People often cite natural selection as support for why eugentics would work. However, what they fail to realize is that natural selection acts on a geological time scale. Any effects from a forced sterilization program would not be realized until thousands of years into the future. Therefore, merely from a practical standpoint forced sterilization is a bad idea.
it would have the effect of punctuated equilibrium if it were institued globally. even locally, it would have a large effect after a few generations.
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it would have the effect of punctuated equilibrium if it were institued globally. even locally, it would have a large effect after a few generations.

 

Unless you want to exterminate or sterillize a large portion of the population, a eugentics program would not appreciable reduce the frequency of mutant alleles for thousands of years. Any population geneticist will tell you this.

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Unless you want to exterminate or sterillize a large portion of the population, a eugentics program would not appreciable reduce the frequency of mutant alleles for thousands of years. Any population geneticist will tell you this.
if you only do it with a small portion of the population, it will have a small effect....can you say "duh!"?
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and it just kinda hits me how sad that is. That this is only being talked about on science forums, and will never be picked up. The weak and the disabled and the mental will continue to churn into society at a rate that doesn't seem to be under any control. The science itself, as we know, has been labeled "not a science." And the whole practically of the process is such a room for error. I hate even talking about it.

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If you look at the animal kingdom, the weak members play a vital role in keeping the community alive. They get preyed upon first, distracting the predators, and allowing the strong to run the hell away. They participate in recipricol altruism, and they increase the members of the species by reproducing and allowing for more genetic recombination.

A disease like sickle cell anemia doesn't seem so great, but neither does malaria. If we didn't have the reccessive genes that cause sicke cell (and makes people sick and "weak"), the african population could have been seriously been decimated by malaria.

The problem with eugenics, with playing God, is that you cannot predict the traits which may be valuable to our species in the future. What if you eradicate genes that could have future benefits, but seem "weak" in the present. Really we should be focusing on trying to better understand our genetic diversity before we try to take nature's job into our own hands.

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Not only is negative eugentics (i.e. forced sterilization or extermination of those deemed genetically inferior) an unethical means of improving the genetic fitness of the human race' date=' but it is also a rather ineffective means. Allow me to present the following simulation:

 

Lets say that condition X is caused by a rare autosomal recessive mutation. Assuming the population is in Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium, there will be p^2 without mutation x, 2pq carriers for mutation x, and q^2 affected with mutation x (where p is the allele frequency of the wildtype gene, and q is the frequency of the mutant gene). If the affected individuals are removed from the population, the new allele frequency becomes q/(p+2q). Now, lets say that this disease affects 1/10000 people, so q = 1/100. This means that after one generation, q is reduced by a factor of 1-1/1.01 = ~1%. At this rate, it will take approximately 100 generations (~2,500 years) to reduce the frequency of the mutant allele by half.

 

People often cite natural selection as support for why eugentics would work. However, what they fail to realize is that natural selection acts on a geological time scale. Any effects from a forced sterilization program would not be realized until thousands of years into the future. Therefore, merely from a practical standpoint forced sterilization is a bad idea.[/quote']

 

Natural Selection also doesn't permit a population to explode like the way we have, which did not occur on a geological time scale. There is a much much bigger gene pool for natural selection to work on in our huamn case.

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Natural Selection also doesn't permit a population to explode like the way we have, which did not occur on a geological time scale. There is a much much bigger gene pool for natural selection to work on in our huamn case.

 

Did not quite understand that. Explosive population growths have happened before, and still happen. locusts and frogs naturally, and cane toads, rats by deliberate manmade relocation.

 

One could argue that the explosive growth in human population is a plague, if one can forbear being anthropocentric. An extraterrestrial visitor might diagnose it as such instantly.

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Did not quite understand that. Explosive population growths have happened before' date=' and still happen. locusts and frogs naturally, and cane toads, rats by deliberate manmade relocation.

 

One could argue that the explosive growth in human population is a plague, if one can forbear being anthropocentric. An extraterrestrial visitor might diagnose it as such instantly.[/quote'] The locusts and frogs still have to worry about predation and other issues. The weak are still picked out of the crowd and the strong are more likely to be more successful, etc etc etc. Humanity is different in that it consciously plays an enormous role in the survival of it's members, no matter who they might be in many cases, and the members don't seem too particularly concerned with finding genetically viable mates (In part because civilization makes it easy to hide deficiencies)

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........and the members don't seem too particularly concerned with finding genetically viable mates (In part because civilization makes it easy to hide deficiencies[/i'])

 

Ah, so true, and very fortunate for most of us:-) . That damned mating urge is so irrational, isn't it. If we could rationalise it and do it by the numbers, who would need compulsory eugenics?

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I think you misunderstand what I'm saying. In the types of societies we reside in, aspects that we'd normally look for in choosing a good mate for our children are masked by a number of things. People just end up pairing up without any concern for the survivability of the mate. Granted, in today's world it doesn't seem much of an issue, but where might that lead far down the line? What happens if it spreads too far, and say fro some reason society eventually collapses? WOuld we be able to cope without our nifty safeguards?

 

hehe, just look at modern custody battles, people don't even want their chosen mates influencing their kids; hindsight as the truth is revealed :P

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:)

O.K. then, trying another tack:

Let'all bonk like rabbits for purely recreational purposes, buthen if we actually decide to procreate, we send each others gene profile to our chosen 'gene counsellor', compare notes, and proceed if o.k.

 

'gene counsellor'? now there is a future must-have career!

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what i meant was previously, we let the genetically weak die. thus letting evolution do it's thing and strengthening our species.

 

now, we keep those with genetic diseases around and let them spread their genes which weakens our species.

 

I see. But how can we manipulate evolution (thru eugenics) but still let evolution 'do its thing'? To really let evolution run its course we would back off and if Darwin was right (which he most likely was) then the 'bad' genes would just disappear. Evolution has worked for millions of years without our aid, why do we need to get involved when the moral side effects are so horrible (the effects being the forced Nazi-esque sterilization of all genetic ‘inferiors’)?

 

why is that so bad? it's not like they wouldn't be able to have children. They can still have sex. only difference is their genes won't be spread.

 

Eugenics is wrong because it intrudes on the rights of private citizens; it denies them human rights. Also, if you're an American, it violates the 4th amendment by 'seizing' their reproductive organs. Also, if you're sterilized, how can you have sex?

 

and genetic diseases are on the rise....hmmm, lets see why...

 

Are genetic diseases on the rise or have we just not noticed them fully up until now? Science has only advanced within the last century to the point where we can examine genetic disease; how can you say they 'are on the rise' with no comparable data from the Roman Empire or ancient China? It's more likely than not those genetic diseases have been around, but we only have had the capabilities (and knowledge) to observe them recently.

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I see. But how can we manipulate evolution (thru eugenics) but still let evolution 'do its thing'? To really let evolution run its course we would back off and if Darwin was right (which he most likely was) then the 'bad' genes would just disappear. Evolution has worked for millions of years without our aid, why do we need to get involved when the moral side effects are so horrible (the effects being the forced Nazi-esque sterilization of all genetic ‘inferiors’)?
Humans don't play by the same rules. We don't exist in a natural state of existence, and by doing so we are very clearly manipulating our genetics, negatively at that.

 

Eugenics is wrong because it intrudes on the rights of private citizens; it denies them human rights. Also, if you're an American, it violates the 4th amendment by 'seizing' their reproductive organs.
One person's rights have no weight against the suffering of countless children. By strictly adhering to absolute laws, we set ourselves up for trouble. The RIGHT thing requires flexibility, and sometimes the setting aside of lesser ideals for the greater ones.

 

Also, if you're sterilized, how can you have sex?
Sex is perfectly possible for the sterile. You see it all the time, procedures are done, and the people go about their merry way condom and baby-free.
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Humans don't play by the same rules. We don't exist in a natural state of existence, and by doing so we are very clearly manipulating our genetics, negatively at that.

 

I don't see how we intrude on the workings of genetics more than any other animal does. Yes, mating is usually done according to specific traits (appearance, temperament) but animals do the same thing for other traits (plumage, aggressiveness). So how are we different? I do agree, though, that we have the capability to negatively impact evolution: eugenics.

 

One person's rights have no weight against the suffering of countless children. By strictly adhering to absolute laws, we set ourselves up for trouble. The RIGHT thing requires flexibility, and sometimes the setting aside of lesser ideals for the greater ones.

 

What do you mean by 'the suffering of countless children'? By 'rights' I mean the rights of those children who, by your plan of eugenics, wouldn't even be alive. I think the right to live, and live freely, is the most important right of all.

 

Sex is perfectly possible for the sterile. You see it all the time, procedures are done, and the people go about their merry way condom and baby-free.

 

Didn't know that. Learn something new every day :)

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I don't see how we intrude on the workings of genetics more than any other animal does. Yes, mating is usually done according to specific traits (appearance, temperament) but animals do the same thing for other traits (plumage, aggressiveness). So how are we different? I do agree, though, that we have the capability[/i'] to negatively impact evolution: eugenics.
When anaimals choose their mates, they are faced with choosing mates that for some reason or another are the best at surviving; two peacocks in similar areas have different genes, one is better at getting food, he is stronger and has more energy to waste on growing vibrant, impressive plumes. These plumes display to the females that he is succesful. And humans? We have hairdye.

 

And while that is true, it's not the point, the major point is that there is nothing actively selecting against bad genes, because we give everyone equal opportunity to survive, and those with deadly genes are helped to live and breed, spreading the poor genes even further. We have no natural predators, or at least, the great majority of us don't. We don't have to struggle to find new ways of finding food or hunting down our prey. We are nothing like normal, naturally enduring species.

 

What do you mean by 'the suffering of countless children'? By 'rights' I mean the rights of those children who, by your plan of eugenics, wouldn't even be alive. I think the right to live, and live freely, is the most important right of all.
It's not our job to make sure that every child that can be born will be born. The morality of this point can be argued to death by people of varying degrees of sensitivity and the different concepts of "moral" that accompany them, but the key thing about genetic diseases is that the best method to stopping them is stopping them at their source. By letting them thrive ("them" the genes), even helping them do so, we are committing a crime against every generation that comes after us, and again a crime against the entire species.
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When anaimals choose their mates, they are faced with choosing mates that for some reason or another are the best at surviving; two peacocks in similar areas have different genes, one is better at getting food, he is stronger and has more energy to waste on growing vibrant, impressive plumes. These plumes display to the females that he is succesful. And humans? We have hairdye.

 

And while that is true, it's not the point, the major point is that there is nothing actively selecting against bad genes, because we give everyone equal opportunity to survive, and those with deadly genes are helped to live and breed, spreading the poor genes even further. We have no natural predators, or at least, the great majority of us don't. We don't have to struggle to find new ways of finding food or hunting down our prey. We are nothing like normal, naturally enduring species.

 

I understand what you are saying: we mate for different reasons than animals so there is nothing selecting against bad genes. So we, as sentient beings, should pick up the slack. People with bad genes, you think, shouldn't pollute the gene pool. I understand all of that.

 

But what I don't understand is how you justify that gross misplacement of power and the use of a highly unethical method to achieve your goal of genetic purity? Forced sterilization is a bad idea, that's my main point. Morally, it's utterly damnable. I really cannot fathom how anyone, anyone at all, justifies the use of forced sterilization on a population. It was bad when the Nazis did it, it was bad when the US did it, and it will continue to be bad no matter how much rhetoric is strewn about it. It is a moral atrocity.

 

It's not our job to make sure that every child that can be born will be born.

 

If the goal of science isn't to make sure people live, and live well, then what is it?

 

The morality of this point can be argued to death by people of varying degrees of sensitivity and the different concepts of "moral" that accompany them, but the key thing about genetic diseases is that the best method to stopping them is stopping them at their source. By letting them thrive ("them" the genes), even helping them do so, we are committing a crime against every generation that comes after us, and again a crime against the entire species.

 

Yes, well I am a bleeding-heart individualist. So, I guess I rank pretty high on the sensitive scale. But that aside, there are better ways to deal with these 'inferiors' than sterilizing them. Why not work towards a therapy for the genetic illnesses that plague these people? I mean we could end world hunger by bombing the hungry but that might be construed as a bit harsh, as would this. My point is to try to fix the problem, not destroy it.

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Eugenics is wrong because it intrudes on the rights of private citizens; it denies them human rights.
such as?

 

Also, if you're an American, it violates the 4th amendment by 'seizing' their reproductive organs.
no, it doesn't. the rights of the unborn cripled children outweigh those of the deformed forefathers.

 

think of it this way: would you want to be responsible for countless people suffering their entire lives?

 

 

Also, if you're sterilized, how can you have sex?
the same way you normally do.

 

I don't see how we intrude on the workings of genetics more than any other animal does. Yes, mating is usually done according to specific traits (appearance, temperament) but animals do the same thing for other traits (plumage, aggressiveness). So how are we different? I do agree, though, that we have the capability[/i'] to negatively impact evolution: eugenics.
we intrude on the workings, by keeping the weak around to reproduce.

you have yet to show how eugenics is unethical.

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But what I don't understand is how you justify that gross misplacement of power and the use of a highly unethical method to achieve your goal of genetic purity? Forced sterilization is a bad idea, that's my main point. Morally, it's utterly damnable. I really cannot fathom how anyone, anyone at all, justifies the use of forced sterilization on a population. It was bad when the Nazis did it, it was bad when the US did it, and it will continue to be bad no matter how much rhetoric is strewn about it. It is a moral atrocity.
morals are relative and you have yet to show how it is unethical.

 

 

 

If the goal of science isn't to make sure people live, and live well, then what is it?
i highlighet the important part.

 

 

 

Yes, well I am a bleeding-heart individualist. So, I guess I rank pretty high on the sensitive scale. But that aside, there are better ways to deal with these 'inferiors' than sterilizing them. Why not work towards a therapy for the genetic illnesses that plague these people? I mean we could end world hunger by bombing the hungry but that might be construed as a bit harsh, as would this. My point is to try to fix the problem, not destroy it.

1)no one said not to still treat them

2)bombing the hungry is a strawman, since we are not advocating killing

3)we fix two problems with eugenics: genetic disease, and the high number of kids in social services.

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such as?

 

no' date=' it doesn't. the rights of the unborn cripled children outweigh those of the deformed forefathers.

 

think of it this way: would you want to be responsible for countless people suffering their entire lives?

 

 

the same way you normally do.

 

we intrude on the workings, by keeping the weak around to reproduce.

you have yet to show how eugenics is unethical.[/quote']

 

Have you guys forgotten about Stephen Hawking? He has ALS. That's a fatal debilitating disease and are you trying to say that his accomplishments in science are far outweighed by the fact that he's crippled and allowed to procreate?

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Have you guys forgotten about Stephen Hawking? He has ALS. That's a fatal debilitating disease and are you trying to say that his accomplishments in science are far outweighed by the fact that he's crippled and allowed to procreate?

thank you for the strawman. have you read the post you quoted and the ones before?

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Many of you still have this Nazi stereo type of what Eugenics is. Eugenics was once the practice of killing people off that where already living. These dayz we can take it one step further and simply alter DNA in an embryo to produce a desired result. We simply need to start doing this and natural selection will kill off the genetically weak people on its own. As less and less people are being born with genetic weaknesses and predispositions to disease and illness, and the more genetically weak people are dying off, the stronger our species will become.

 

On the other side of the coin.....

 

Think if you where born severely handicapped, needed to be taken care of for the rest of your life and could only reach a maturity of a 3 or 4 years old. Would you even notice your life being cut short? Would you even care? I think if i needed to be fed through a tube, shit in a bag, breath on a machine and sit in a chair my whole life, i would rather die a million deaths then ever live a day on earth like that. I think by spending out time, money and resources on keeping utterly helpless humans alive, ones that would surely never live if it was up to natural selection, we are actually torturing them. If someone cant have the capability to express in anyway that he or she is enjoying life, then perhaps it would be better to let them die peacefully.

 

This is the type of Eugenics I am talking about. Lets modify some of our moral constructs and deem the termination of utterly hopeless and genetically screwed people acceptable. There would obviously have to be a threshold of some sort. Like i said, if someone can not live on their own, and cannot express any desire to live, or and desire period, those should be the ones we let die off peacefully.

 

Why would we do this you ask? Its obvious that they would not be reproducing if they were so damned in the first place. The question is, why where they damned? If it had to do with their parents genetics then perhaps we should be sparing the childs’ life, test the embryo, find out if it carries this genetic flaw, if it does then terminate it. You could let the parents try again, you could let them adopt, but you sure as hell shouldn’t let them bring a child into this world that has a horrible chance of survival, and no chance of living a normal healthy life.

 

Remeber im not talking about killing people, im talking about letting weak people die off on their own and then never letting weak people be born in the future.

 

Just think how much our economy would flourish if billions of dollars spent on keeping dead people alive was spent on keeping the living alive...or education. Or whatever you fancy important in today’s society.

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But what I don't understand is how you justify that gross misplacement of power and the use of a highly unethical method to achieve your goal of genetic purity?
I ahve nothing to say about genetic "purity," simply the removal of distinctly dangerous, disease causing traits. And I don't see it as unethical. I see doing nothing as the unethical choice. Being responsible means that sometimes you have to make a choice that isn't good for everyone, that to do the right thing, you have to do some wrong things. There are two choices, what must be done, and what should be done. Sometimes they don't agree, but what must be done is simply that, what must be done for the greater good.

 

Forced sterilization is a bad idea, that's my main point. Morally, it's utterly damnable. I really cannot fathom how anyone, anyone at all, justifies the use of forced sterilization on a population. It was bad when the Nazis did it, it was bad when the US did it, and it will continue to be bad no matter how much rhetoric is strewn about it. It is a moral atrocity.
And that is simply your opinion. Continuing to do what we are doing now is what I see as morally unforgivable. It won't be done because society is in the hands of cowards who refuse to do the right thing because it doesn't line up with being sensitive with the most mundane needs of individual people. That is an atrocity to every victim that will suffer for such misguided pity. The Nazis were prejudice, they didn't care about the well being of people, they cared about spreading their likeness and bringing down the rest. I and those who agree aren't talking about exterminating the Gays or the Ethnic groups or any races, we're talking about lifethreatening diseases.

 

As is it said "All that is necessary for evil to succeed is that good men do nothing"

 

If the goal of science isn't to make sure people live, and live well, then what is it?
The goal of science is understanding, discovering what we can about the world around us, and ourselves, the simple pursuit of knowledge. The goal of medicine is to help people, but it goes against the very goal of humans as as species, which frankly is to survive, something that we cannot do if we continue along this path.

 

Yes, well I am a bleeding-heart individualist. So, I guess I rank pretty high on the sensitive scale. But that aside, there are better ways to deal with these 'inferiors' than sterilizing them. Why not work towards a therapy for the genetic illnesses that plague these people? I mean we could end world hunger by bombing the hungry but that might be construed as a bit harsh, as would this. My point is to try to fix the problem, not destroy it.
No one is calling them inferior, but it can't be denied that they harbor a danger within them. Should they be punished no. But they shouldn't be let to harm the species. Therapy is only a temperary solution, unless we can find a fully effective method of purging the disease from their very genes (I believe we're still a long way off) we are simply continuing to allow the threat to spread, and there's a chance we won't always have our snazzy treatments to hold them off.
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Many of you still have this Nazi stereo type of what Eugenics is. Eugenics was once the practice of killing people off that where already living. These dayz we can take it one step further and simply alter DNA in an embryo to produce a desired result. We simply need to start doing this and natural selection will kill off the genetically weak people on its own. As less and less people are being born with genetic weaknesses and predispositions to disease and illness, and the more genetically weak people are dying off, the stronger our species will become.
we do not have that technology yet

 

 

Remeber im not talking about killing people, im talking about letting weak people die off on their own and then never letting weak people be born in the future.
that is not what we are talking about. AP and myself are saying we should continue to treat them, but not let them reproduce.
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