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Should we start genetically engineering "perfect" babies?

Discussion in 'Congregation of the Masses' started by Avatar Korra, Oct 1, 2012.

  1. 6A9 Ace Matador

    6A9 Ace Matador veni, vidi, vici, VERSACE, VERSACE VERSACE

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    disclaimer: we do not have history together

    in fact, i too dislike children and find them annoying (who knows, maybe my outlook on them will change as i grow older) for this reason i decided i wanted to adopt children past their toddler years. in particular i have always wanted to adopt a chinese kid and teach him kung fu and a jamaican lad and pit them against eachother in fights, i think the jamaican one will stare down the chinese kid. i am sure my dream girl, brigitte bardot will understand. also i know the jamaican will turn out a better reggae artist and the chinese one a better mathematician than anything my loins could produce.
  2. xenu

    xenu just another kid chillposting at the laundromat...
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    we're really overestimating the effects of the "genetic drive to reproduce" in humans. what usually happens in debates about reproduction is that people tend to "animalize" humans - i may sound anthropocentric, but human beings are the only instance of 'intelligent species' on planet earth, and that should probably count for something; the 'genetic drive' is more of a tendency to reproduce rather than the "primal urge to procreate" you guys are treating it as, lol.

    back on topic, like a lot of people itt i think genetic engineering should be used on humans only to the extent of eliminating objectively harmful inherited conditions (sickle cell anaemia, for instance). it's an inherent risk of any technology, however, to be influenced so much by consumer demand that it deviates entirely from its original goal to become a cheapened version of its original self - a consumer good. there's a high risk of genetic technology being repurposed for purely cosmetic intentions - which, as nice and future-y as it sounds to the technofetishists so rampant on gaming forums, is evolutionary harmful on several different levels.

    also,

    huh?
  3. mrite

    mrite

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    Slightly off topic, but there is apparently a society who wants to take negative utilitarianism to its extreme, by completely eliminating the ability of the populace to feel pain/malaise, thus making society happier, whether this is good or bad, or leading us on a path to consume soma depends on how its implemented: http://www.hedweb.com/
  4. Princess Bubblegum

    Princess Bubblegum

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    I think Trax is alluding to the belief that genetically modified food can cause adverse side effects on humans. Its an interesting debate left to another thread.
  5. Lord Jesseus

    Lord Jesseus

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    Sickle cell anemia isn't even objectively harmful; carriers of the gene are actually much more resistant to Malaria. That's why it's so common in Africa; the sickle cell gene is actually being selected for there due to the prevelance of Malaria.

    Obviously this isn't true of all inherited diseases, but what I think is worth taking from that is that some genes may have benefits that aren't plainly evident, and their removal could be unexpectedly harmful.

    That said, with thorough research I think that genetic modification definitely has worthwhile potential, but I don't think we have enough understanding of biology at this stage.
  6. elcheeso

    elcheeso
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    Being kind of pedantic here, but sickle cell anaemia is actually harmful... just less obviously so than malaria. It lowers your life expectancy by something like 10-30 years since it can cause complications later on in life. The reason it's selected for in a lot of countries in/near Africa is because 1. While SCA will kill you eventually, most likely after you have kids, malaria is happy to kill you at any point in your life, and 2. Because the malaria species most common in Africa causes the most deadly form of the disease.

    That being said, I absolutely agree. Not all inherited diseases are 100% negative, and even if we did have the ability to safely target and remove the specific genes responsible for them without any negative side effects, we'd still need to carefully weigh the pros and cons of doing so without letting our own stupid ass biases get in the way.

    Edit:
    Forgot about this. He's actually referring to some recent studies that came out showing 2 brands of GM foods having said negative side effects on rats... though I believe in the former case the main problem was the pesticide involved, more so than the transgene itself.
  7. BlakBlastoise

    BlakBlastoise

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    He said carriers of the sickle cell trait. Sickle cell is a recessive trait so those who have only one gene for sickle cell have normal blood cells and are resistant to malaria.
  8. elcheeso

    elcheeso
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    Man, that was stupid of me. Though in my defence, the trait can (rarely) cause issues as well! I think at least some of the blood cells are abnormal in carriers, just not all of them like the disease itself.
  9. Jorgen

    Jorgen World's Strongest Fairy
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    Are you sure this is a real group and not, like, a fan site dedicated to a villainous organization from star trek?
  10. X5Dragon

    X5Dragon

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    If by perfect you mean genetic disease free babies then yes, otherwise this just gonna be another Gattaca enactment.

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