Should we start genetically engineering "perfect" babies?

#26
i think he was kidding hotshots
I thought that was pretty obvious...I'll never make a joke on Smogon again :/

In all honesty, I completely agree with Samuel L. Jesus, this whole thing is so fantastical. But if it were real, I would oppose it. I can't imagine any good coming from a society has become so superficial that we demand perfect-looking kids.
I realize there is a medical component to this as well (such as removing genes for a certain disorder I think), but I don't know much on that part, so I'm leaving that aspect out of my opinion.
 

xenu

Banned deucer.
#28
i'm just being the devil's advocate here, but the "perfection" of a "perfect" baby isn't necessarily limited to looks or mere superficial traits. if, for instance, a single generation of babies were to be genetically engineered to have them be intellectually superior to the average human being, would you still be against it?
 
#29
At the end of the day it all comes down to a fuckload of A, C, T, G combinations... Just like a fuckload of 0's and 1's (which I know absolutely nothing about btw). He's kind of right. People RNG to get the right combination of 0's and 1's that will produce a superior Pokemon. Biology is much the same, except it's not as controlled at this point. Right now we're pretty much at the "Hey, lets get the egg and hatch it, then check IVs. If the IVs are good, I'll use it as a parent till I get the result I want" If we genetically modify shit we could skip the entire guessing part and go straight to the seed (or whatever) that produces the flawless pokemon. Obviously genetics are not nearly as simple as 31 ivs and natures, that's not what I'm saying. And that's not what M. Rock was saying either.
There is a difference between electronic data and life.
Humans have been genetically modifying crops for thousands of years. Except we did it in a more "natural" way. Some random deity didn't give humans an ear of corn with 90%+ oil content... We very very slowly Selected for what we wanted. The same thing like the egg the old man gives us... Lets say we started with a parent with 9 speed IVs, and eventually after replacing the parents with offspring that has higher and higher speed IVs, the chances of us getting to 31 are higher. Same shit with the corn. This one has slightly more oil content (or whatever other trait you want, such as size, flavor et. cetera) so let's use this one as a parent.
Leaving aside the Social Darwinism that seems to be in that paragraph (not 100% sure, though), crops are just plants. No intelligence, etc. at all. Humans? YEAH, we have intelligence. So plants to humans is sort of like apples to oranges.
With RNG you can skip all that random bullshit and save tons of time. Just figure out what combination of 0's and 1's will result in 31 speed IVs. Just figure out what combination of A, C, T, G will result in what you want. It's honestly not such a horrible comparison imo...
And one of the cores to the matter. "what you want." What about what the child would rather have had? Or what about what society needs? We can't all be football superstars or rocket scientists. We need people with different skills, and forcing the children into a role determined beforehand by genetic manipulation is removing their freedom.
 

Stratos

Banned deucer.
#30
if this was true i would make it illegal to have a baby born who put the letter "a" in "definitely"

in a similar manner, any child who abbreviated et cetera as ect would get their parents put to death.
 
#31
@-intelligence

Don't you guys think that if intelligence were a purely positive trait, then you would see a lot more intelligent people?

Ever notice how the most brilliant-genius people are the least capable of functioning in society?

Even reasonably intelligent people who become insanely successful financially/politically/etc., usually only have 1 or 2 kids. It's the lower/middle class family with 6+ kids and relying on society's support that get the real reproductive success.

Clearly, intelligence =/= evolutionary fitness.

People's genes don't succeed unless they are sufficiently dumb.
 
#33
If this were true I would make it illegal to have a baby born who put the letter "a" in "definitely."

In a similar manner, any child who abbreviated et cetera as ect would get their parents put to death.
*

If we're going to play the spelling/grammar game since we don't have anything smart to say.
 
#36
maybe the issue there is that the general population/society is too dumb
The smart people are the ones deciding to have only 1-2 kids :|

They're the ones who choose to obsess with having a high standard of living, when having a high standard of living isn't necessary to be reproductively successful (from a Darwinian view point).

Smart people are also the ones who created the welfare system that allows poor families to survive despite having many mouths to feed. You need a certain minimal livelihood even for poor people in society to avoid social disrest-- supporting the poor is necessary for rich to have their standard of living kept.

Ultimately, evolution hasn't seemed to wire us only to be reproductively successful. If it did, the really smart people would just get together, have sex with reckless abandon, and put up a lot of kids for adoption...

The Cuckoo bird has such a complex and difficult evolution in order to parasatize the efforts of others to raise its offspring...

...but we humans institutionalize it with no one willfully trying to abuse the system. From an evolutionary standpoint, this is pretty incredible.
 
#37
There is a difference between electronic data and life.
Thank you for pointing that out... I honestly had no idea these were different... /sarcasm

Leaving aside the Social Darwinism that seems to be in that paragraph (not 100% sure, though), crops are just plants. No intelligence, etc. at all. Humans? YEAH, we have intelligence. So plants to humans is sort of like apples to oranges.
Oh. Well, it's a good thing we humans haven't over the course of thousands of years selectively modified the genotypes of "intelligent" life forms to produce entirely new species more adequate to our needs/wants. Only crops and plants right. Think of the horror that would result if we did this to "intelligent" life forms such as dogs, cattle, or cats... oh... wait... We have. So my example/comparison is still valid. It doesn't mean I'm saying Data and Life are exactly the same. I never said or implied that. Nobody ever did.
And one of the cores to the matter. "what you want." What about what the child would rather have had?
>Implying that random or more natural forms of genetics gives the offspring what it would rather have.
Or what about what society needs?
>because "natural" genetics give society what it "needs"

We can't all be football superstars or rocket scientists. We need people with different skills, and forcing the children into a role determined beforehand by genetic manipulation is removing their freedom.
Genetics do not determine what an individual will do with his or her life. Sure we might be able to make individuals which have superior physical attributes than the average, but just because we build a perfect football player doesn't mean this person will become a pro football superstar (unless we are making this dude do that, which no longer has anything to do with genetics). A person with elite sports abilities can become a rocket scientist also... You're making the assumption that genetics can determine what a person does with his or her life. This might be true to a very small extent, but it is more than likely not the case. We have a good example in twins. Twins have the same exact genetic makeup, yet they're frequently very different. They have different personalities, and make different individual choices that sets them on different paths in life. So you're wrong. Genetic manipulation would not be removing the freedom of an individual.
 
#39
I disagree with the idea of making "perfect" babies, both because everybody has a different idea of "perfect", and because some choices shouldn't really be put into the parents hands.

That said, I am all for genetically engineering objectively better humans. If making our species better is playing God, then so be it.
 
#40
Is this thread going to turn to the subject of rape?
Hopefully!!! Will be able to find and destroy the rape gene???

Oh God greentexting just kill this thread now
This.

What we really should be talking about is overpopulation. What does it matter if my grandchild is good looking when he will probably die in a war over stuff like oil in 30-50 years? The whole world can't live like Americans so really we should focus on more important things right now. Though i agree with above, like healthcare, it should be free. If not it will just end up being another reason for mindless fighting eventually.
 

tehy

Banned deucer.
#42
The smart people are the ones deciding to have only 1-2 kids :|

They're the ones who choose to obsess with having a high standard of living, when having a high standard of living isn't necessary to be reproductively successful (from a Darwinian view point).

Smart people are also the ones who created the welfare system that allows poor families to survive despite having many mouths to feed. You need a certain minimal livelihood even for poor people in society to avoid social disrest-- supporting the poor is necessary for rich to have their standard of living kept.

Ultimately, evolution hasn't seemed to wire us only to be reproductively successful. If it did, the really smart people would just get together, have sex with reckless abandon, and put up a lot of kids for adoption...

The Cuckoo bird has such a complex and difficult evolution in order to parasatize the efforts of others to raise its offspring...

...but we humans institutionalize it with no one willfully trying to abuse the system. From an evolutionary standpoint, this is pretty incredible.
The problem with just having 5-6 kids and calling it a day is that, when you're poor-or even in general-and you have 5-6 kids, then a lot of them are less likely to succeed. As much as shows like the Brady Bunch show off how big families all take care of each other, in reality, you've just got a bunch of kids with not enough attention. Poor families generally had 5-6 kids by accident, not on purpose.

The really smart people SHOULD do that, but stupid people want to have "Their own kids", as if that really matters. Once you've had a kid for a while, he's yours.

And i think evolution wired us to be differently successful. In a lot of ways, evolution wires you to have the best kids you can have, and you'll notice that creatures like elephants don't just spam babies, because babies take a lot of nurturing. Humans are the same way-our society functions on 18 years of being taken care of by adults. Even if you throw that aside, it's at least 10 years or so.
 
#44
@tehy-- you seriously do not understand the theory of evolution.

Evolutionary success: Having more offspring, having offspring with higher chances to produce their own-- spreading your own progeny is the bottom line. It's the bottom line of life-- the bottom line for every type of life form in existence. Everything else, doesn't matter in terms of evolutionary success.

Keep this in mind. This is the only type of "success" used in my previous statements.

My argument: Humans have gained great success by evolving superior intellect and cooperation-- let's call it level X1 intelligence, the human average.

At some point though, a higher degree of intelligence, X2, seemed to do the exact opposite, and be very unsuccessful at reproduction. Intelligence higher than X1 seems to be an unfit trait for evolution.

The problem with just having 5-6 kids and calling it a day is that, when you're poor-or even in general-and you have 5-6 kids, then a lot of them are less likely to succeed.
No, you're wrong. There is little or no support for the idea that they are less likely to succeed. If 5-6 kids are born in America, the odds that they will survive to reproductive age and have their own offspring has literally almost nothing to do with what social class they are born into, or how many siblings.

A drug-dealing/using gas station worker living in a slum is just as likely (if not more likely) to have children as a banker / lawyer / doctor. Through some combination of welfare, community support, and the general stability of society, the odds that the drug-dealer-daddy kid will NOT die before the age of 18 and WILL somehow find a partner and reproduce, are just as good (if not better) than a lawyer's private school brat also not dying and having offspring.

If anything, in a 1st world country, people of poor education/upbringing are more likely to reproduce, and reproduce in greater numbers.

The really smart people SHOULD do that, but stupid people want to have "Their own kids", as if that really matters. Once you've had a kid for a while, he's yours.
Not according to evolution. Offspring is only yours, and you were only reproductively successful if you birthed your own progeny with your own DNA.

Remember: The crux is that Smart People often don't act smartly to reproduce their own DNA. Therefore, intelligence is not a self-perpetuating trait genetically.

It's an inhibiting trait, as if you found a gene to create massive bulls with twice the strength, but completely unable to get a hard-on.

If you, like many intelligent people, buy into the idea that a child without your DNA is your own child, than you are proving my very point. High intelligence (higher than current average intelligence), doesn't seem to be a successful trait in human evolution.

And i think evolution wired us to be differently successful. In a lot of ways, evolution wires you to have the best kids you can have, and you'll notice that creatures like elephants don't just spam babies, because babies take a lot of nurturing. Humans are the same way-our society functions on 18 years of being taken care of by adults. Even if you throw that aside, it's at least 10 years or so.
I have no idea what you are trying to say.

The point I'm getting at is that the behavior demonstrated by highly intelligent people isn't optimal for evolutionary success.

Evolutionary success is having the most progeny.
High intelligence is most often averse to producing a lot of progeny.
Therefore, high intelligence is not a trait that is evolutionarily successful.
 
#47
The point I'm getting at is that the behavior demonstrated by highly intelligent people isn't optimal for evolutionary success.

Evolutionary success is having the most progeny.
High intelligence is most often averse to producing a lot of progeny.
Therefore, high intelligence is not a trait that is evolutionarily successful.
Saying that a certain trait is always not successful is a very myopic way of thinking. K-type reproductive strategists tend to have fewer progeny due to their prolonged lifespans and high maintenance of their children. As the number of children being cared for rises, the difficulty of raising rises exponentially. Therefore, in order to produce optimal progeny that has a higher chance of being a suitable and well-adjusted mate likely to reproduce, one must limit the amount of children they have to a number that has at minimum care costs that match the returns the child produces. Having as many children as possible is, therefore, not the greatest idea.
 
#48
My argument: Humans have gained great success by evolving superior intellect and cooperation-- let's call it level X1 intelligence, the human average.

At some point though, a higher degree of intelligence, X2, seemed to do the exact opposite, and be very unsuccessful at reproduction. Intelligence higher than X1 seems to be an unfit trait for evolution.
Yeah, I would agree with you. Intelligence in the human population seems to be under stabilizing selection rather than directional selection.
 
#50
Gattaca was a boring and honestly kind of stupid movie... but typical for the genre of "TECHNOLOGY BAD IT CAN NEVER BE USED FOR GOOD". Pretty sure most of the problems of that movie could easily be avoided by having privacy laws or something similar. Also, a lot of you are mistaking genetic engineering for pure genetic determinism. Even if you could theoretically make the perfect football player (so probably someone with whatever we assume to make people better runners and whatever we assume to make people REAL STRONG), there's no reason that person had to become a football player unless he was forced into it by someone (parents?) as opposed to something else... like a genetic engineer, or some other athlete. Just because you have natural talent, doesn't mean you're going to end up doing it.

Also, Harrison Bergeron is a bad comparison, since I don't think the stated point is for everyone to be equal at everything.
 

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