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Emperor
Maniac (V) Mad Scientist with Finglongers

From: Cell 53, East Wing
Insane since: Jul 2001

posted posted 05-05-2003 05:52

This article (such a whopper they cut it int 2 parts):
www.guardian.co.uk/weekend/story/0,3605,947228,00.html
www.guardian.co.uk/weekend/story/0,3605,947377,00.html

Discusses the prospect of genetically enhanced humans, etc.

I don't find his arguements very persuasive - like:

quote:
What will you have done to your newborn when you have installed into the nucleus of every one of her billions of cells a purchased code that will pump out proteins designed to change her? You will have robbed her of her chance of understanding her life. Say she finds herself, at the age of 16, unaccountably happy. Is it her being happy - finding, perhaps, the boy she will first love - or is it the corporate product inserted within her when she was a small nest of cells, an artificial chromosome now causing her body to produce more serotonin?

If your child is designed to be sweet-tempered, social and smart, what can she take pride in? Her good grades? She may have worked hard, but she'll always know that she was spec'd for good grades. Her kindness to others? Well, yes, it's good to be kind - but perhaps it's not much of an accomplishment once the various genes with some link to sociability have been catalogued and manipulated.



as you could argue the same about people with normal genes which favour them in those categories above others.

I do agree about the increasing gaps between the Geneered and the Normals/Mundanes.

I think my main concern is about the quick fix culture and what impact getting rid of anxiety, depression, anti-social thinking, etc. might have on art, creativity, normal human life - without the dark can we appreciate the light? If we lived in a world of perpetual happiness would we apprciate it? Would we just end up a bunch of grinning Stepford Wives? On a more physcial basis what if we introduce a gene to give us all lean figures - eliminates obesity but shouldn't we be addressing the underlyin issues of too much fatty and sugar filled and what about the onset of the next Ice Age (which seems to be able to switch on in a few generations), when having sme body fat wil suddenly become awfully useful, or has global warming done away with that worry (the answer is no - in fact melting ice cpas might switch off the North Atlantic Drift current pos. speeding things up).

It seems they may crudely target fairly minor traits which may also have positive benefits that we may not appreciate.

___________________
Emps

FAQs: Emperor

WebShaman
Maniac (V) Mad Scientist

From: Happy Hunting Grounds...
Insane since: Mar 2001

posted posted 05-05-2003 12:06

Heh. Gattaca , hmm?

Well, I read the article. Though interesting, I personally feel that the guy is off his rocker, and totally out in left field, somewhere. I mean, let's get some things straight - human genetics will become a reality (and is already underway) whether we like it or not. If we don't do it, someone else will. This is a matter of cold, hard fact. As the possessor of the A-Bomb, for example...and it spread, as well...now we are trying to stuff it back into the hat...for everyone else, that is. We intend to keep ours. So, too, is it with human genetic engineering. The country that has it, and has perfected it, will be on top - no question about it. Those that don't, will suffer accordingly.

Human Genetic Engineering will be the way of the future. Where it will go, and what problems it will bring with it, we don't know, but come it will. There is just too many benefits to be gained from it, to discard it because of the inherit dangers. Is Mankind ready for such a technology? Who knows? Probably our generation is not, assuredly. But as generations grown up with this technology as normal, everyday stuff, I suspect it will be accepted. Are we, as a race (or races, if you prefer) mature enough for it? Well, I think that it's a little too late to start pointing that out now...in fact, way too late. Instead, we should be more concerned over laying out the groundwork, both legal and social, for what is to come. How to regulate the new, coming technology? What rights are being threatened, and how to avoid it? What about access? And so on...

Personally, it's an exciting time to be alive, in Human history...I'm very interested in seeing where this is going...maybe, just maybe, there will be life longevity in my future...now that would be cool. I wouldn't mind living a couple of hundred years...not at all. And that, in prime health, with a clear mind...or even with surperior abilities, to those I have now...why not?

mahjqa
Maniac (V) Mad Scientist

From: The Demented Side of the Fence
Insane since: Aug 2000

posted posted 05-05-2003 20:40

As Webshaman said, Gattaca is a great movie about the subject. I believe that sooner or later genetic engineering will become necessary to 'maintain' the human race... In 'ye olde days' (think about 50/60 years ago) most families had 5 children or more.. why? Because of those 5 children 1 or 2 simply wouldn't make it. Medicine was bad, hygiene was ugly... You know, if Survival of the Fittest still existed to humankind... I'd be dead. I've got glasses, and entered this life via a Caesarean. If that hadn't happened both my mother and me would've died.

As medical science advances more people can be kept alive that would've died because of certain defects. In nature, they would've been eliminated.

So, to counteract the 'degradation' we get by tossing Darwin out of the window (quite rightfully, I think) we're going to need a way to get our genes better in line... but that's going to give a complete batch of new problems.

DL-44
Maniac (V) Inmate

From: under the bed
Insane since: Feb 2000

posted posted 05-05-2003 22:52

IMO anything we do to 'improve' human genes will only result in negative consequences.
I think we're starting to mess with far too many things that we should not.

Of course the question then becomes "where do you draw the line?" And for that, I don't have a satisfactory answer...

I do think it's amazing that we haven't completely destroyed the human race and/or the planet already.

Gilbert Nolander
Maniac (V) Inmate

From: Washington DC
Insane since: May 2002

posted posted 05-05-2003 22:57

Emps - Your description brought to mind the brady bunch for some reason. A bunch of happy ass people hanging out and not caring about anything. I am sort of busy now so I can't type to much, but just thought I would mention this.


Ozone Quotes

WebShaman
Maniac (V) Mad Scientist

From: Happy Hunting Grounds...
Insane since: Mar 2001

posted posted 05-06-2003 09:49

Well, DL, I can understand your concern...but one must remember, that Mankind has been messing about with genetics for hundreds, if not thousands of years...

Certainly not along the lines of Nature. The fact that we are moving into an era, where we can directly affect this process, instead of indirectly, is, I think, not necessarily a negative thing...it depends on what exactly is done with the technology, IMHO.

Remember all the 'fuss' with Atomic energy? And the bomb? The cold war? Fact is, we are still here, after what? Over 40+ years, of Atomic bombs and we still haven't destroyed the Earth through an atomic holocaust. Though the danger was real, certainly...and there were occasions, where we were very close, Mankind always seemed to manage to 'back away' from the cliff-edge...in fact, we have never had an 'atomic exchange' anywhere on the planet so far...and even India and Pakistan have managed to avoid that so far.

So I believe that we will also manage to get through this one, too...certainly, there will be problems, and hurdles. Of that, I have no doubt...but I hardly think that Mankind will destroy itself through total mis-use of the technology...maybe totally change things...yes, but not destroy.

Gilbert Nolander
Maniac (V) Inmate

From: Washington DC
Insane since: May 2002

posted posted 05-06-2003 20:56

Yea,
I agree with Webshaman..I think it does pose some concerns, but I am all for being a super-human. It's like how real old people say that TV was going to ruin this planet, and sort of old people say that the internet is ruining the planet, well...there will always be people afraid of change and technology. I think this is wonderful. I doubt that it will acually have an effect on art, because there is no way to ruin creativity and individual thinking. I mean, it may change art, but eliminating it is pretty doubtful.


Quotes

Wangenstein
Maniac (V) Inmate

From: The year 1881
Insane since: Mar 2001

posted posted 05-06-2003 22:28

It would be interesting to go back into history and see what each generation, when older, thought of as 'ruining the planet' that we (or at least, successive generations if we no longer use it) think of as harmless or even beneficial to Mankind.

Of course, there's also the thought that 'ruining the planet' and 'beneficial to Mankind' aren't always opposing concepts...

counterfeitbacon
Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: Vancouver, WA
Insane since: Apr 2002

posted posted 05-07-2003 00:30

As for a superhuman, and I think that this has been discussed before, is "classes" of human beings. I mean, will superhumans be considered supereor, or will normal people be considered superior?

GrythusDraconis
Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: The Astral Plane
Insane since: Jul 2002

posted posted 05-07-2003 00:43

I guess if i'm going to watch the human race improved... I'd rather see genetic manipulation instead of cyborg implants and or forced breeding patterns. Alhthoug I'm all for stopping stupid people from breeding.

GrythusDraconis
"I'm sick of hearing that beauty is only skin-deep. That's deep enough. Who wants an adorable pancreas?" - Unknown

Gilbert Nolander
Maniac (V) Inmate

From: Washington DC
Insane since: May 2002

posted posted 05-07-2003 04:49

Why does it seem that stupid people have so many kids, where as a lot of smart people have none. I know this one real smart guy who isn't going to have kids because he doesn't want to contribute to the rising population levels. I try and tell him that he should have kids to try and balance out the ratio of stupid to dumb, but he won't listen.


Quotes

counterfeitbacon
Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: Vancouver, WA
Insane since: Apr 2002

posted posted 05-07-2003 05:10

But stupid people can have smart kids, right? And smart people can have stupid kids? Your friend just might have a kid that is just as stupid as the rest of the rising population. On the other hand, he might not. It really is just dumb luck, influenced slightly by genetics. I know brilliant people, married, who have had perfectly stupid kids. And vice versa.

GrythusDraconis
Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: The Astral Plane
Insane since: Jul 2002

posted posted 05-07-2003 05:53

GN - The reason is rather simple. Educated people have fewer children... NO qualifiers no nothing... they just have fewer children. Intelligence seems to work wonders on how people see the world.

GrythusDraconis
"I'm sick of hearing that beauty is only skin-deep. That's deep enough. Who wants an adorable pancreas?" - Unknown

counterfeitbacon
Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: Vancouver, WA
Insane since: Apr 2002

posted posted 05-07-2003 05:58

Or, maybe when there mind was developin, they traded intelligence for social abilities, resulting in them not being able to communicate well and therefor being less likely/able to start and maintain a relationship that would result in kids.

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