So how do you feel about the issue?
It is consistent with pro-life values (pro-life)
7.1% (2)
7.1% (2)
It is not consistent with pro-life values (pro-life)
7.1% (2)
7.1% (2)
It is consistent with pro-life values (pro-choice)
10.7% (3)
10.7% (3)
It is not consistent with pro-life values (pro-choice)
39.3% (11)
39.3% (11)
Only the "to save the mother" part is consistent (pro-life)
10.7% (3)
10.7% (3)
Other (please explain)
25% (7)
25% (7)
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Poll: Internal Logical Consistency in the Pro-Life Movement

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Seanchaidh:
While I agree with you that Social Darwinism and most (if not all of the common) ideas of eugenics suffer from misinterpretations of the theory of evolution by natural selection, I don't think that those misinterpretations constitute an argument against some form of engineering or directing of the human genome as such.

I quite agree.. I mean, as and when someone invents a gene therapy to remove human senescence, for example, I'd want to be first in line to get my shot and never have to go through ageing. I have absolutely no problem with intervention into the human genome, and I would never consider "nature" to be a justification of anything. I don't believe in a natural law or a human nature which must be vociferously adhered to, even the system of bioethics which I've advocated in this thread is something I recognize as entirely historically relative and contingent.

This is, however, the precise motivation behind the opposition to eugenics, because eugenics (even the stupidly broad definition of eugenics being proposed here which, in my view, isn't even eugenics - the word literally means "the science of good breeding" or "the science of noble birth") is a system based on very clear ideas of moral right and wrong and really.. these notions just seem so laughably unscientific. The "betterment of mankind" bullshit is just so fucking quaint because it implies that life itself operates on these stupid moral laws which, coincidentally, are remarkably similar to valued human social concepts. Gee, it's almost like people are projecting their own weird fantasies onto nature, isn't it?

The fact is, the gene therapy which lets me live to 500 without ageing could be the absolute worst thing for the human race, but I'd still take the risk.

To me, the consistency comes from a scale of justice. I view allowing a rapist to pervert the entire justice system in order to further torment his victim as being a greater evil than turning a blind eye to a rape victim choosing to abort a constant reminder of her attacker. I certainly respect a mother who would choose not to have an abortion, but allowing criminals to use the justice system to continue their criminal victimization, with the potential for the rapist to use the family court system to remain in his victim's life for decades to come, is a more slippery slope than ignoring the (very)small percentage of abortions that have to do with rape.

That being said, I don't understand why pro-abortionists feel the need to cling to rape pregnancies, and molar pregnancies, and all sorts of statistically insignificant pregnancies to try and support their pro-abortion stance. After all, if the reasoning behind giving women the choice to have abortions is sound, shouldn't it apply to the vast majority of abortions which are done for convenience, without needing to make an emotional play on the 1:1000 scenario of a rape pregnancy/abortion?

evilthecat:
And this is where my most fundamental criticism lies, a criticism you have utterly failed to answer. Socially valued traits do not denote evolutionary fitness. Who the fuck are you to tell people what is "better" when the environment can already do that on its own?

If evolutionary fitness is the only thing that is important then we have absolutely no need for civilization. Socially valued traits ARE IMPORTANT. because our environment is that of social and technological origin and not that of nature laws. we have changed the environment and evolution does not work according to this new environment. We have made sure that enviroment does not do that on its own and we called it medicine.
In fact, if enviromental fitness is the only thing you seek after, then humanity has devolved a lot over the last 2000 years. A peasant back then were more physically strong and resistant than our olympic athletes now.

evilthecat:
If something is "harmful", if it reduces my ability to deal with the environment, then over time it will be deselected. If a gene has "gone dormant" and has no effect, then it has no effect. That change in itself is the product of selection. If it does have an effect, then it is subject to evolution by natural selection.

Or not. evolution is not some higher being that tuns bad genes off. evolution is RANDOM and based on survival of more fit genes. if we remove the dangers of enviroment (something we call civilization) then evolution remains completely RANDOM and not towards betterment of species.
The dormant genes whose use is obsolete could be modified to a more pleasing active genes without having to incur on another useful genes.

1) Firstly, "modern medicine" has been around for a matter of generations at best. It's not even an evolutionary heartbeat. Even agriculture and urbanization have been around for less than 500 generations of human beings and humans have changed very little over that time despite the radically different environment. I mean, they've changed a little, but that only brings us to the following..

but thats exactly my point. our enviroment changed rapidly - our nature - didnt. its lagging behind and needs a push.

2) Natural selection is still very much alive today. The evolutionary pressures have simply changed.

The "survival of the fittest" mentality in which natural selection is merely the ability to survive is not the end of the story. There are countless factors in modern society which influence a person's chance of passing on their genes, and over time this will result in evolution based on environmental pressures.

In this argument we got two groups: one who claims that genes can influence human interaction. in such case getting better genes out there would be a plus. eugenics wins.
another group is one that claism that genes do not influence personality, in which case, breeeding out physical deformities would not influence this, but also that means your claim that evolution works in society is wrong. In which case eugenics does not harm.

So... inbreeding is good because it results in more extreme variations on the human form, and if we just kill all the ones with haemophilia and birth defects we'll be left with some kind of master race.

Yeah, I'm not even going to touch on this because it's so completely stupid.

SO you call evolution is stupid? evolution IS killing all with undesired traits and leaving those with desired ones, eventually leading to "master race" (its an expression, okay?).

You're missing the point. There is no such thing as "progress", there is only fitness. Fitness is entirely relative to the environment.

Yes, word progress may have been misused here. But what you did was basically grammar nazi argument. whether you call it progress, fitness, advancement, it doesnt matter. it makes human race better. and to say that this is not sought after is stupid.

Let's say you create your inbred master race, but let's say one of the genes which makes them "superior" in your eyes results in a lack of immunity to a future strain of influenza. I'll tell you what happens. They all die, and the "degenerate" janitor whose parents weren't fucking stupid enough to bang their close relatives and who thus has resistance to said theoretical disease gets to survive. He goes off, has lots of sex, makes lots of babies and is more fit to do so than a single one of your genetically superior master race ever was.

and the whole point of genetics is to make sure that they dont lack that immunity. but you seem to not even understand the meaning of eugenics. its helping evolution, not fighting it.
and that janitor who breeds like a rabbit leads to this, or this.

I'm not opposed to human genetic engineering. Heck, in the right circumstances I'd accept all kinds of gene therapy to change things about myself, but that's not eugenics. Genetic engineering doesn't deserve to be carrying around a useless early 20th century theory, and in fact it is unimaginably held back by doing so.

but it is. Genetic engineering is a modern tool and part of eugenics. im sorry if your perception of eugenics is stuck in 20th century, as i said, the theory has evolved like any other theory did.

That being said, I don't understand why pro-abortionists feel the need to cling to rape pregnancies, and molar pregnancies, and all sorts of statistically insignificant pregnancies to try and support their pro-abortion stance. After all, if the reasoning behind giving women the choice to have abortions is sound, shouldn't it apply to the vast majority of abortions which are done for convenience, without needing to make an emotional play on the 1:1000 scenario of a rape pregnancy/abortion?

because people like to give extreme examples. All the time. and it is those extreme examples that prove whether the general theory is sound or not. if it stands even in extreme circumstance, then it stands.

Lonewolfm16:

On the point on babies, sentience is a important charecteristic and they do possess parts of it.

Yes, sentience is just a matter of degree when it comes to consciousness. Adult humans have a consciousness of high degree, so they possess sentience in its most meaningful term - adult humans possess cognitive capabilities that are truly unique to human beings, such as the ability to reflect, dream, question etc.

The problem is that babies, especially newborn babies do not have a high degree of consciousness(yet). In fact, their level of sentience is far below than that of some animals - my example was adult pigs. You can also add adult dolphins, monkeys, apes, etc. Even elephants are considered to possess a high degree of self-awareness and creativeness for animal standards - they console themselves, there was an elephant who liked to paint(even if the pictures are merely lines drawn across one another) and then there was an elephant called Happy, who actually recognized himself in the mirror.

Newly born children won't recognize their parents for several days, often even for weeks. A baby's degree of sentience is far less than that of the animals mentioned - so if sentience is truly what's worth moral consideration, then we must conclude that the mentioned animals are more valuable to human infants and should be given preference if the need arises.

Lonewolfm16:

They are curious, emotinal creatures who are devlopitience, in a period of transition and I feel they exhibit enough sentient feaures (not raw problem solving, but tings like emotion, curiosity, social bonds, and self recogntion.) to be considered sentient.

While that may be, many adult animals have the same features to a higher degree and extra features to boot, such as problem solving, self-recognition, ability to predict the consequences of their actions etc.

Lonewolfm16:

In addition I believe we can justify babies as being more morally protected than adults by simple logic as to why killing is wrong. Killing is wrong because it deprives a person of their life, yet they will eventually die. It is notlike, if left alone, they would be imortal. You are reducing the time they get to spend alive, and as such killing a baby reduces that time very significantly. you take a conscious, partially-sentient being and prevent it from living out its life.

I don't see how this is consistent, as sentience was supposedly the criteria for rights, not the amount of time they have left to be alive.

Secondly, babies need to be atleast 6 months (probably even more) old to be considered partially sentient. Newly born babies are not sentient in any meaningful sense. They don't recognize their parents, they have no capacity for self-awareness and they are at that point merely organisms of instinct.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eCNz95E-3Wg

Peter Singer: ''I don't think that saying a 4 month year old baby is not a person is problematic. I think it's simply true.''

Lonewolfm16:

I would compare abortion more with preventing yourself from having a child. You could claim that if I was aborted I would never have lived, therefore that would have been harm done, but I would counter that potential life is not equivilant to life. As a example, you coul claim that if a rapsit concieved a child by his victim, then that child has all the rights to life. However could you then claim that since the rapist brought him into this world his actions were morally justified? Of course not. I would compare abortion to not having a child more than killing one since the fetus simply posesses none of the conscienceness of even a infant.

The problem I have is that I consider the fetus to be an actual human being, not a potential one. Developing consciousness is no different from developing arms, fingers, a nervous system, brain etc - Mechanically it's the same. It's just a matter of time as long as the fetus is given a supporting environment and enough nutrition.

Abortion does kill an already existing, developing human in this sense. While he does not have a functioning sentience, he would inevitably get one, just like a baby would inevitably reach full-sentience if only the baby would get the chance.

Lonewolfm16:

As a counter to your claim that since you are already born my gun example doesn't work I offer you this. My belief is that actions must be judged by their consequences when considering them. As such I don't care that a fetus lacks rights currently, if you intent to carry it to term then you shouldn't drink or smoke. Yes your actions don't result in any harm now, but they lead to future harm, and I think it is your moral obligation to avoid that harm.

From a consequentialist perspective - is it more important for you to maximize happiness or minimize suffering?

I would think that a consequentalist would be anti-abortion for the following reasons:

1. If abortion is not allowed, the consequence would be - that woman would have slightly limited freedom for 9 months and she would have to through a short-term hardship to give birth to her child.

The child can be given up for adoption, but in any case - a human being has now been created who will get to experience a lifetime full of dreams, happiness, hope, suffering, depression and other experiences attributed to the human condition.

After birth, the mother would most likely continue her life where she left it off.

2. If abortion is allowed, the consequence is that a new human being will not come ''into existence'' per say, and the mother will continue with her life with no hardships given.

It would appear to me, that a woman keeping her pregnancy will amount to a far positive consequence.

Lonewolfm16:

I don't care when this harm occurs, the point is that it does occur. So if a child is born without hands because you smoked during your pregnancy then that is clearly your fault. I don't care that he didn't have rights at the time, if your actions result in harm to a sentient being, even in the future, you should avoid them. Meanwhile you are under no obligation to create sentient beings.

So this is a case where it is quite okay to limit a woman's freedom?

Lonewolfm16:

Finally I will reask a old question since I am curious about the awnser. Do other examples of sentient life forms have rights, despite not being human, and if so why? How do these rights compare to other non-sentient life froms?

If we take sentience to be the criteria for life - then clearly the answer is that yes, other sentient forms of life - especially that of higher animals - have rights.

If these animals have rights, it would be inexplicable why certain animals, such as adult pigs, should't be held to a higher regard over a human baby, who is less sentient. You did not answer my question, in fact you didn't address my post about pigs at all - from a sinking ship would you save 10 newborn babies or 10 adult pigs. The pigs are more intelligent and sentient than newborn babies?

Our current premise is that sentient life comes before non-sentient life. Therefore, the more sentient a being is the more value we attribute it. That's why we value adult human beings more than pigs, because adult human beings have a higher degree of sentience. The question is that why should we value a human baby over an adult pig, because the baby has a lesser degree of sentience in comparison to the pig?

Strazdas:
In fact, if enviromental fitness is the only thing you seek after, then humanity has devolved a lot over the last 2000 years. A peasant back then were more physically strong and resistant than our olympic athletes now.

200,000 years ago. Yes.

2000 years ago. No.

The reasons why humans went through a period of losing muscle mass is because big muscles were actively deselected. They are incredibly wasteful. It requires enormous food consumption to support them, and once you're using tools more sophisticated than a stone hand axe the strength is no longer required.

Again, this is another example of eugenicists blindly labelling a trait as "good" without really understanding the evolutionary pressures behind it. It isn't a case of "evolution" and "devolution" towards or away from a specific goal. It's a very careful balancing act.

Strazdas:
Or not. evolution is not some higher being that tuns bad genes off. evolution is RANDOM and based on survival of more fit genes. if we remove the dangers of enviroment (something we call civilization) then evolution remains completely RANDOM and not towards betterment of species.

There's a huge difference between "complicated" and "random". Random is just a bad excuse for not attempting to understand the process.

And again. Where the hell is with this pointless abstract idea of the "betterment" of the species being pulled straight out of? In fact, do you have any idea how weird and ironic it is to watch you accuse me of anthropomorphising evolution when you're pulling out this. Life does not give one single cosmic shit what you think is good and bad.

And if you genuinely think evolutionary pressures no longer exist, then you have a defective view of evolution.

Strazdas:
SO you call evolution is stupid?

No. But I certainly call inbreeding stupid.

If inbreeding resulted in the greater likelihood of "extreme" traits leading to superior fitness, it would have been selected for just like sexual reproduction. The reality is that the opposite is true, very little is gained when genetically similar populations fuck.

Strazdas:
whether you call it progress, fitness, advancement, it doesnt matter. it makes human race better. and to say that this is not sought after is stupid.

Yes, it does. They're entirely different things.

Progress is a move towards a morally virtuous objective.

Fitness is adaptation towards the needs of a particular environment.

This is actually my whole problem with Eugenics, when you boil it down. The inability to recognize any distinction between these two completely different things.

Strazdas:
and the whole point of genetics is to make sure that they dont lack that immunity. but you seem to not even understand the meaning of eugenics. its helping evolution, not fighting it.

..and because you've magically pre-decided what is and isn't "helpful", there's no way you can actually guarantee that immunity. Immunity to diseases is not a single genetic switch which you can turn on and off, it's entirely down to the specifics of the disease in question.

The reason humans have survived against the constant evolution of new diseases and the other disasters which have affected them is because they have been diverse enough to ensure some measure of immunity exists somewhere in the population. You're talking about homogenizing human genetics along the lines of what you see as "good". The environment, however, has absolutely no obligation to agree with you as regards what is "good".

Again. Life does not care about the moral value you assign to particular traits.

Strazdas:
but it is. Genetic engineering is a modern tool and part of eugenics. im sorry if your perception of eugenics is stuck in 20th century, as i said, the theory has evolved like any other theory did.

No, it is still exactly what the word itself actually means, the "science of good breeding". The problem is that there is no such thing as good breeding. It was a stupid concept. Anyone who owns a pedigree dog will be able to tell you it was a stupid concept.

Eugenics would reduce genetic engineering to a moral process of creating an imaginary "good breeding". It isn't. There's no transhistorical moral substance to the things genetic engineering makes possible. It's science, it doesn't need your bullshit moral philosophy tacked onto it.

Strazdas:

evilthecat:
And this is where my most fundamental criticism lies, a criticism you have utterly failed to answer. Socially valued traits do not denote evolutionary fitness. Who the fuck are you to tell people what is "better" when the environment can already do that on its own?

If evolutionary fitness is the only thing that is important then we have absolutely no need for civilization. Socially valued traits ARE IMPORTANT. because our environment is that of social and technological origin and not that of nature laws. we have changed the environment and evolution does not work according to this new environment. We have made sure that enviroment does not do that on its own and we called it medicine.
In fact, if enviromental fitness is the only thing you seek after, then humanity has devolved a lot over the last 2000 years. A peasant back then were more physically strong and resistant than our olympic athletes now.

You have show a lack of understanding of evolution rather quickly in your post. We have not devolved. Someone who is super strong? They're not more fit in this environment than other people. We are well suited for the current environment we are in. If we were not we'd be dying. We've altered our environment and we are suited for the environment we've created.

evilthecat:

200,000 years ago. Yes.

2000 years ago. No.

Muscle mass? no. Testosterone and dopamine levels to make up for it - yes.

There's a huge difference between "complicated" and "random". Random is just a bad excuse for not attempting to understand the process.

in a sense, all gene mutations are random, its just that many of them do not even reach a stage that they can replicate due to complicated processes of our bodies, our reproduction and eventually environment.

Yes, it does. They're entirely different things.

Progress is a move towards a morally virtuous objective.

Fitness is adaptation towards the needs of a particular environment.

And that "morally viruos objective" cannot be fitness because?

..and because you've magically pre-decided what is and isn't "helpful", there's no way you can actually guarantee that immunity. Immunity to diseases is not a single genetic switch which you can turn on and off, it's entirely down to the specifics of the disease in question.

Which is why i said that we dont know enough YET to attempt any implication of Eugenics....

You're talking about homogenizing human genetics along the lines of what you see as "good". The environment, however, has absolutely no obligation to agree with you as regards what is "good".

humans have a trait no other species posses. instead of adapting to environment we started to adapt environment to ourselves. do you have a house? yeah, your part of it too.

No, it is still exactly what the word itself actually means, the "science of good breeding". The problem is that there is no such thing as good breeding. It was a stupid concept. Anyone who owns a pedigree dog will be able to tell you it was a stupid concept.

Thats like saying that socialism is still marxism....

Strazdas:
humans have a trait no other species posses. instead of adapting to environment we started to adapt environment to ourselves. do you have a house? yeah, your part of it too.

anthills, beaver dams, bird nests, beehives, trapdoor spiders...

Strazdas:
Muscle mass? no. Testosterone and dopamine levels to make up for it - yes.

Testosterone, like most androgens, has a steroidal effect. It doesn't magically make you stronger, it promotes the growth of muscle, since the size and density of muscles are the only way you can have physical strength (outside of comic books and anime). You're describing these two things like they're different things, but they're actually the same process. Testosterone is actually one of the hormones through which the body regulates muscle mass.

However, there's no evidence that people in the past were genetically predisposed to produce more testosterone. Many people probably did because they did more exercise and physical labour, but there's really no way of demonstrating any of these claims.

Also, dopamine is a neurotransmitter. I have trouble seeing how a neurotransmitter can make someone super-strong.

Strazdas:
And that "morally viruos objective" cannot be fitness because?

Because it's not the same thing.

They might overlap in particular cases, sure, but "fitness" does not work like you're suggesting it does. Fitness only exists in relation to an environment, if the environment changes (such as the evolution of a new disease) traits which previously denoted fitness may suddenly become catastrophically disadvantageous.

The world is full of creatures which became over-specialized to a particular environment and went extinct as a result even though they were incredibly well adapted. What is good for one single environment or context is not intrinsically inherently "good" or "progressive".

There is no "goal" here beyond survival and reproduction of DNA. Eugenicists would like to pretend that certain traits are inherently and universally "good", but the basic realities of evolution disagree. Something is only "good" in evolutionary terms as long as it helps your DNA to survive, and that's entirely dependent on what you're trying to survive.

Strazdas:
Which is why i said that we dont know enough YET to attempt any implication of Eugenics....

Neither will we ever, because you're asking people to predict not just one environment but every environment which will ever exist. Every new disease which will ever evolve. Every natural disaster which will ever happen. Every social configuration or reproductive norm which will ever exist. You're simply assuming, like all eugenicists, that there's one "ideal" human configuration which fits all of these things and that we should work towards it, and what little we do know about this process outright tells us that there isn't.

Strazdas:
humans have a trait no other species posses. instead of adapting to environment we started to adapt environment to ourselves. do you have a house? yeah, your part of it too.

And that adaptation produced new evolutionary pressures. Not everyone in our society is equally likely to reproduce.

To assume that evolution or natural selection simply "went away" when we started altering the environment (which as mentioned countless non-human organisms do because the ability to do so is itself something which has been selected for in many species) is just plain silly. It's still here, the environment has simply changed, as environments tend to do.

The question is, do you want to adapt yourself based on your imaginary conception of what is "good" for this environment when your children and their children may not live in the same environment at all? Is that's what good for humanity, or is it just what you imagine is good for you?

Strazdas:
Thats like saying that socialism is still marxism....

Actually, "socialism" predates Marxism, so you've got it the wrong way around.

But in the modern sense, you really can't be a socialist without accepting certain basic Marxist assumptions. Just like you can't be a eugenicists without accepting certain weird moral assumptions about the value of biological processes.

You don't get to arbitrarily decide what the words you use mean, particularly when they have such an incredibly tainted history as eugenics.

Lonewolfm16:

And with incest it is even worse, as the event is no longer as tramatic, and the women had a choice (assuming rape and incest are mutually exclusive).

It might actually be plenty traumatic after the fact, and the "choice" may be limited. The problem of disability is actually less an issue than the problem of control. If the incestuous relationship involves a parent or aunt/uncle, for example, there is a power issue at hand that doesn't necessarily leave choice in the mix. There really is an issue of undue influence and coercion which goes beyond the archaic notion of "flipper babies." Comparison to Hitler is also awful because people choosing not to pass in their own "defects" is a far cry from Nazis rounding up the undesirables and executing them.

Transitioning to the larger topic, one still has to consider the wellbeing of the mother, whether one considers abortion murder or not. Especially if one is one of those folks who believes a child needs their parents. If their parents are related, or if Daddy is a rapist, this should be considered even by pro-lifers simply because of the torture they are advocating.

But the pro-life camp has gotten more fanatical, and even danger to the mother's LIFE is no longer protected by them. I expect no less from people who compare an abortion to Hitler.

evilthecat:

Testosterone, like most androgens, has a steroidal effect. It doesn't magically make you stronger, it promotes the growth of muscle, since the size and density of muscles are the only way you can have physical strength (outside of comic books and anime). You're describing these two things like they're different things, but they're actually the same process. Testosterone is actually one of the hormones through which the body regulates muscle mass.

However, there's no evidence that people in the past were genetically predisposed to produce more testosterone. Many people probably did because they did more exercise and physical labour, but there's really no way of demonstrating any of these claims.

Also, dopamine is a neurotransmitter. I have trouble seeing how a neurotransmitter can make someone super-strong.

<...>

They might overlap in particular cases, sure, but "fitness" does not work like you're suggesting it does. Fitness only exists in relation to an environment, if the environment changes (such as the evolution of a new disease) traits which previously denoted fitness may suddenly become catastrophically disadvantageous.

The world is full of creatures which became over-specialized to a particular environment and went extinct as a result even though they were incredibly well adapted. What is good for one single environment or context is not intrinsically inherently "good" or "progressive".

There is no "goal" here beyond survival and reproduction of DNA. Eugenicists would like to pretend that certain traits are inherently and universally "good", but the basic realities of evolution disagree. Something is only "good" in evolutionary terms as long as it helps your DNA to survive, and that's entirely dependent on what you're trying to
survive.

<...>

And that adaptation produced new evolutionary pressures. Not everyone in our society is equally likely to reproduce.

To assume that evolution or natural selection simply "went away" when we started altering the environment (which as mentioned countless non-human organisms do because the ability to do so is itself something which has been selected for in many species) is just plain silly. It's still here, the environment has simply changed, as environments tend to do.

The question is, do you want to adapt yourself based on your imaginary conception of what is "good" for this environment when your children and their children may not live in the same environment at all? Is that's what good for humanity, or is it just what you imagine is good for you?

You actually made good points there. I Have to back down here.

Neither will we ever, because you're asking people to predict not just one environment but every environment which will ever exist. Every new disease which will ever evolve. Every natural disaster which will ever happen. Every social configuration or reproductive norm which will ever exist. You're simply assuming, like all eugenicists, that there's one "ideal" human configuration which fits all of these things and that we should work towards it, and what little we do know about this process outright tells us that there isn't.

But thats not what we need to do. The breeding of better genes are not about "you are resistant to this enviroment only" thing. it can easily be about "these genes allow the person to adapt much quickler to any enviromental changes". we just have to set the right goals before we start anything. and to do that we still need more knowledgeo n our genome. heck, we havent even mapped a mice genome yet, who knows what we can find in human genome when we fully explore it. your assuming that there isnt an "ideal" gene that allows a person to adapt to any enviroment. but the truth is we simply dont know if there is one.

Actually, "socialism" predates Marxism, so you've got it the wrong way around.

But in the modern sense, you really can't be a socialist without accepting certain basic Marxist assumptions. Just like you can't be a eugenicists without accepting certain weird moral assumptions about the value of biological processes.

You don't get to arbitrarily decide what the words you use mean, particularly when they have such an incredibly tainted history as eugenics.

I am well aware socialism predates Marxism. (and eugenics predates early 20th century too). But most people know socialism as Marxism-Leninism splinter of the philosphy. And same is done to eugenics by making it about "Breeding some chosen gene". its not. just because thats the most popular social concept of it does not make it right. 10 year ago gamers were thought of as a bunch of nerd kids, were they correct? While eugenics is smited upon, it still managed to evolve as a concept beyon just "breeding airian race".

Strazdas:

But thats not what we need to do. The breeding of better genes are not about "you are resistant to this enviroment only" thing. it can easily be about "these genes allow the person to adapt much quickler to any enviromental changes". we just have to set the right goals before we start anything. and to do that we still need more knowledgeo n our genome. heck, we havent even mapped a mice genome yet, who knows what we can find in human genome when we fully explore it. your assuming that there isnt an "ideal" gene that allows a person to adapt to any enviroment. but the truth is we simply dont know if there is one.

The thing people must understand is that we can not possibly know which are " good genes" or bad genes to have because genes play mutliple roles. For example, what we may consider a bad mutation due to one disease, very well may be the mutation we filter out that is able to save mankind from extinction one day. For example, the Sickle cell mutation also offers resistence to malaria:
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/evolution/library/01/2/l_012_02.html

"Researchers found that the sickle cell gene is especially prevalent in areas of Africa hard-hit by malaria. In some regions, as much as 40 percent of the population carries at least one HbS gene.

It turns out that, in these areas, HbS carriers have been naturally selected, because the trait confers some resistance to malaria. Their red blood cells, containing some abnormal hemoglobin, tend to sickle when they are infected by the malaria parasite. Those infected cells flow through the spleen, which culls them out because of their sickle shape -- and the parasite is eliminated along with them."

So what we may think is an "undesireable mutation" we wish to " breed out", could actually reduce the ability for them to survive in the future. I would think Biodiversity would be the most important factor in determining survival in the future, simply because we do not know what the environmental changes in the future will be, and the more variation of a populace would increase their ability to survive due to not everyones immune system responding the same way. Currently, due to biodiersity, our immune systems respond different than one another to medication, illnesses, injuries and exposure to different environmental factors. Attempting to change that, would also increase the probability for a single disease to wipe out the entire population. It is due to these differences that we are able to survive in the first place.

Attempting to filter those out when we could not possibly know what they may be exposed to in the future, and how it will react to those genetic differences would be an extremely ignorant thing to do considering we cannot possibly understand how they would react in the first place. What we may view as a good gene now may be the gene that makes us vulnerable to new or currently unknown diseases in the future. The truth is there simply is more we do not know yet, than what we do know to be able to determine what would be " beneficial" and what would "not", nor do I see us overcoming that anytime soon.

Now that is the damage we could inflict just by doing this in the first place, when you actually get down to the process of implementing these things, There are other risks involved as well creating new problems that we didn't have to begin with:

"The mitochondrial genome undergoes random reorganization during reprogramming," explains James Adjaye. "Cell lines can arise in the process that carries disease-causing mutations. Genetic mutations in the mitochondrial genome may be responsible, for example, for various metabolic disorders, nervous diseases, tumours and post-transplant rejection reactions. Therefore, it is essential that cell lines intended for clinical use be tested for such mutations," he adds.

One of the reasons why the mitochondrial genome is so vulnerable to mutations is that mitochondria do not have the ingenious molecular repair mechanisms found in the cell nucleus at their disposal. In addition, free radicals - particularly reactive molecules that can trigger mutations - arise in the cellular protein factories during cellular respiration. "
http://www.geneticstimes.com/research/Mitochondrial_genome_mutates_when_reprogrammed.asp
The issue here is if what they need to be testing for is still unknown, they wouldn't be testing for it in the first place. They can only look for what they know exists.

Strazdas:
Heck, we havent even mapped a mice genome yet, who knows what we can find in human genome when we fully explore it. your assuming that there isnt an "ideal" gene that allows a person to adapt to any enviroment. but the truth is we simply dont know if there is one.

In the real world, everything is a trade-off.

You want to be more intelligent? Well, you need a larger or denser brain. That brain is going to require more energy and oxygen to function, so you're going to need to eat and breathe more.

You want to be stronger? Well, you need bigger muscles. Again, muscles require energy and oxygen to maintain, so you're going to need to eat and breathe more.

You want to be able to survive on less food and resources? Well, you're going to need to be smaller and/or have a smaller brain.

Intelligence is probably the closest you'll ever get to a trait which increases adaptability within the same individual, which is why intelligence has been selected for in human evolutionary history even at the expense of other attributes like strength and food consumption. However, there's always going to be a point where the price is simply too high to pay.

Overspecialization has never been a good evolutionary strategy.

Strazdas:
And same is done to eugenics by making it about "Breeding some chosen gene". its not. just because thats the most popular social concept of it does not make it right. 10 year ago gamers were thought of as a bunch of nerd kids, were they correct? While eugenics is smited upon, it still managed to evolve as a concept beyon just "breeding airian race".

There's a difference between the use of a word changing organically over time and simply denying that a word which is justifiably associated with a hopelessly outdated concept means what it actually means. We don't need Eugenics in any sense. We don't need it to explain modern genetic engineering or bioethics because it doesn't, it was never meant to. We don't need Eugenics to explain what we're doing with these things, they have their own justification and rationality which is entirely separate from a defunct theory which doesn't even adequately explain them.

It's like tying a dead horse to a live one in the hope that, as the live horse moves around the dead one will move and appear to be alive again and then you can ride it. There's no point. You don't need that dead horse any more because you have a living one standing right next to it. Ride that, and leave the dead one in the glue factory where it belongs.

evilthecat:
No, it is still exactly what the word itself actually means, the "science of good breeding". The problem is that there is no such thing as good breeding. It was a stupid concept. Anyone who owns a pedigree dog will be able to tell you it was a stupid concept.

Wait, pedigree dogs are a example of Eugenics failing? I would have thought them more a proof of concept for artificial selection producing traits that are advantageous. For example, sheep dogs were breed to herd sheep, so now they have a natural advantage at herding sheep, and are a good thing to have around if happen to have sheep to herd. Many dogs exhibit improvements at specific tasks due to specialized breeding. Of course they also exhibit diseases which are often frighteningly common to specific breeds due to that specialisation. Still I would think our ability to domesticate and change animals to suit our needs is proof that we can select features we find advantegous to our needs and breed them into a specific section of a species. Care to elaborate?

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