Cleansing the Human Gene Pool

What would you do if?

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Choakem
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Cleansing the Human Gene Pool

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Post by Choakem »

This is an argument that I've had with a theist friend of mine...
Background. Throughout evolution all life that has had defective genes have failed to reproduce or have died out. We(humans) are the only species that helps those with disabilities to pass on their defective genes to their off spring costing the tax payers Billions in education extras and support etc...


Assumption - We have full knowledge of the human DNA code....

Lets assume I'm overlord of the world:

I wish to pass new legislation that would put the following into LAW.

All pregnant women when having their 1st scan will have a small piece of DNA taken from the unborn child. The DNA is analyzed and if there are genetic markers that indicate defective genes then that child MUST be aborted. Within just a generation or two we could eradicate many genetic disorders.

Here is a small sample of what we could remove from the human gene pool
Down Syndrome, Cystic fibrosis, Haemophilia etc

It could be possibly argued that Cancer, Alcohol , Drug dependency could be factored by our Genes...

Who knows - Lets kill all Gay people (Is Gay genetic?) -

Taking the argument to extreme I suppose but you all get the general idea. I'm talking from an advancement of the Human Race here from a Genetic point of view...

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McCulloch
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Post by McCulloch »

Oh, would that genetics were that simple! Sometimes the genes for something really bad are just exaggerations of good stuff or are tied in some way to beneficial ones. The tinkering you describe would not be advisable until we know way more about genetics than we currently do.
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Re: Cleansing the Human Gene Pool

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Post by Bust Nak »

Choakem wrote:We(humans) are the only species that helps those with disabilities to pass on their defective genes to their off spring costing the tax payers Billions in education extras and support.
You could argue that we are the only species that are any good at passing on their defective genes, but many species tries to help their own kind with disabilities.
All pregnant women when having their 1st scan will have a small piece of DNA taken from the unborn child. The DNA is analyzed and if there are genetic markers that indicate defective genes then that child MUST be aborted. Within just a generation or two we could eradicate many genetic disorders.
Problem 1: many genetic disorders are not hereditary. You can't eradicate them.
I'm talking from an advancement of the Human Race here from a Genetic point of view...
Problem 2: genetic diversity is the key to evolution. This plan of yours will hurt the Human race from a Genetic point of view.

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Post #4

Post by olavisjo »

McCulloch wrote: Oh, would that genetics were that simple! Sometimes the genes for something really bad are just exaggerations of good stuff or are tied in some way to beneficial ones. The tinkering you describe would not be advisable until we know way more about genetics than we currently do.
Choakem covered that when he said...
Choakem wrote:Assumption - We have full knowledge of the human DNA code....
I understand his OP is about the ethics of playing God with the human species.
"I believe in no religion. There is absolutely no proof for any of them, and from a philosophical standpoint Christianity is not even the best. All religions, that is, all mythologies to give them their proper name, are merely man’s own invention..."

C.S. Lewis

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Post #5

Post by Artie »

I don't know if Stephen Hawking has the hereditary form of ALS, but just assuming, who's to say what would have become of him if he didn't get the disease? He himself says "I don’t have much positive to say about motor neuron disease. But it taught me not to pity myself, because others were worse off and to get on with what I still could do. I’m happier now than before I developed the condition." http://media-dis-n-dat.blogspot.no/2011 ... t-his.html Having or not having a disease is just one of many factors that determines what is a "good" life.

You might be interested in the movie Gattaca. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0119177/

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SailingCyclops
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Post #6

Post by SailingCyclops »

olavisjo wrote:I understand his OP is about the ethics of playing God with the human species.
This is a question I have pondered over the years. If, as I believe, there is no god, are we not playing the role of a god by interfering with the very processes which have brought us to the evolutionary point we now hold?

Is it good for the species to artificially extend life, allowing those who would otherwise die to live, and to reproduce? What are the long-term consequences for our species if we continue along this path? Would it not weaken Homosapiens?

If this meddling were indeed to be proved harmful, wouldn't it of necessity be immoral? Unethical?

I am happy that I will be long dead before I have to participate in any such decisions; but these are very interesting questions, which, if our species lives long enough, future humans will likely have to deal with.

Religion flies you into buildings, Science flies you to the moon.
If we believe absurdities, we shall commit atrocities -- Voltaire
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Post by bluethread »

It's aleady been tried by Nazi germany. Of course, they did not have the genome to work with. However, judging from some of the posts, waiting to see how they come out before destroying them would result in less "mistakes". The philosophy proposed in the OP was very popular in the latter 19th and early 20th centuries. In fact, the founder of Planned Parenthood was an eugenecist. To a lesser degree it still continues to have social support where it supports the PC agenda. That is the problem with using eugenics to develop public policy. Who gets to decide what is an improvement, skin color, IQ, physical fitness for a particular task, . . . ?

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Post #8

Post by Artie »

bluethread wrote:Who gets to decide what is an improvement, skin color, IQ, physical fitness for a particular task, . . . ?
See the movie Blade Runner for some chilling possible consequences of trying to enhance physical fitness for particular tasks...

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SailingCyclops
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Post #9

Post by SailingCyclops »

Artie wrote:
bluethread wrote:Who gets to decide what is an improvement, skin color, IQ, physical fitness for a particular task, . . . ?
See the movie Blade Runner for some chilling possible consequences of trying to enhance physical fitness for particular tasks...
I don't think that's what the topic is about. Making genetic diseases extinct is what I read into it. Something which natural selection has been doing for a long while, and we have interfered with somewhat. I don't think breeding for what we consider beneficial mutations would be a good course to take. That would be interfering in a much bigger way. Letting nature take it's course seems far removed from eugenics.

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If we believe absurdities, we shall commit atrocities -- Voltaire
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Ooberman
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Post #10

Post by Ooberman »

McCulloch wrote: Oh, would that genetics were that simple! Sometimes the genes for something really bad are just exaggerations of good stuff or are tied in some way to beneficial ones. The tinkering you describe would not be advisable until we know way more about genetics than we currently do.
Agreed, but in principle, it's a good question. I think many arguments could be made for it, but then we'd have a race to the top, with wealthy families getting more and better scans.

But, if we presume even this is a known quantity, I wonder if humanity would have the stomach to reinstate infanticide...

I think the question answers itself. Of course we would if we could. We have already toyed with the idea, AND women are screened and given the odds of certain disorders, some choosing to abort.

Ought we do it? There are no "oughts" in a godless world, beyond those we make for ourselves.

There are also no "oughts" in this world, whether there is a God or not. People will do what people will do.

Technological singularity, cloning, atom bomb, etc... Man has been playing with all kinds of powerful toys for as long as we've been alive.

My answer is:
I personally couldn't be the overlord to declare such a law, but I could see it being adopted by an increasingly overpopulated world.

I could see Chinese, with their 1 child policy, trying to get the best 1 child they could. As those babies grew and outpaced the rest of the world in fitness, we'd all have to follow suit or perish.
Thinking about God's opinions and thinking about your own opinions uses an identical thought process. - Tomas Rees

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