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Old May 26th 2009, 02:27 PM
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Default Super Babies

We are apparently on the threshold of a whole bunch of new technologies for "improving" on nature's design for one's children. Genetic screenings, genetic modifications, computer implants, the list is endless.

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WE ARE on the brink of technological breakthroughs that could augment our mental powers beyond recognition. It will soon be possible to boost human brainpower with electronic "plug-ins" or even by genetic enhancement. What will this mean for the future of humanity?
This was the theme of a recent Neuroscience in Context meeting in Germany, where anthropologists, technologists, neurologists, archaeologists and philosophers met to consider the implications of this next stage of human brain development. Would it widen the gulf between the world's haves and have-nots - and perhaps even lead to a distinct and dominant species with unmatchable powers of intellect?
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What do you think of this? Do you support or oppose this? Do you think it might cause some political problems? Should the government regulate this activity?
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Old May 26th 2009, 03:00 PM
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Default Re: Super Babies

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Originally Posted by Michael View Post
We are apparently on the threshold of a whole bunch of new technologies for "improving" on nature's design for one's children. Genetic screenings, genetic modifications, computer implants, the list is endless.



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What do you think of this? Do you support or oppose this? Do you think it might cause some political problems? Should the government regulate this activity?

Its just another step in the dehumanizing path of domestication that began with the agricultural revolution and the division of labour.

I oppose it.

This is closely related to some ideas on technology i have been struggling with as of late. Specifically, whether or not technology is 'neutral' as common wisdom holds it to be. Or is it the case that such statements like "technology is neutral" is in itself a value based (or biased) judgment on technology.

Does technology subjugate humans? The idea of super babies seems to be a case of technology shaping humanity, rather than humanity shaping some neutral value free technology?

Andrew
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Old May 26th 2009, 04:50 PM
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Default Re: Super Babies

I have mixed feelings about it. On the one hand I'm not opposed to parents getting to do these sort of things any more than I am to them being able to terminate a pregnancy after the tests usually run during early pregnancy. On the other hand there would be a barrier due to price so that rich people could have children this way but many could not which could lead to two very separate classes of people which doesn't seem like a good idea either. I guess there needs to be a line somewhere but not a complete ban but I really don't know enough to say where it should be.

I also think that as with most technologies there would be a huge cost in the beginning but it would fall over time and eventually be available to more people. Also I could see why it might be a good idea to have some charities and such to provide these to more people since I think it's in everybody's interest to have a more intelligent society.
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Old May 26th 2009, 06:34 PM
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Default Re: Super Babies

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Originally Posted by partofme View Post
I have mixed feelings about it. On the one hand I'm not opposed to parents getting to do these sort of things any more than I am to them being able to terminate a pregnancy after the tests usually run during early pregnancy. On the other hand there would be a barrier due to price so that rich people could have children this way but many could not which could lead to two very separate classes of people which doesn't seem like a good idea either. I guess there needs to be a line somewhere but not a complete ban but I really don't know enough to say where it should be.

I also think that as with most technologies there would be a huge cost in the beginning but it would fall over time and eventually be available to more people. Also I could see why it might be a good idea to have some charities and such to provide these to more people since I think it's in everybody's interest to have a more intelligent society.
I think you covered off most of the key points here. I too have "mixed feelings" about it. I just don't know if this stuff is going to end up taking us all to hell or if it will be benign and beneficial (or more likely, somewhere in between, or a mixture of both).

I can easily see some nasty political consequences developing here though - wouldn't surprise me to see serious opposition to this kind of development. Very difficult issue it is!
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Old May 26th 2009, 07:43 PM
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Default Re: Super Babies

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Originally Posted by Michael View Post
I think you covered off most of the key points here. I too have "mixed feelings" about it. I just don't know if this stuff is going to end up taking us all to hell or if it will be benign and beneficial (or more likely, somewhere in between, or a mixture of both).

I can easily see some nasty political consequences developing here though - wouldn't surprise me to see serious opposition to this kind of development. Very difficult issue it is!
True but then those that want to develop it can take it to friendlier places and then if that gives them a advantage it may lead the U.S. to adopt it to compete.
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Old May 26th 2009, 09:18 PM
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Default Re: Super Babies

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True but then those that want to develop it can take it to friendlier places and then if that gives them a advantage it may lead the U.S. to adopt it to compete.
And make it all compatible so as to make controlling people all the easier for our Masonic overlords.
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Old May 26th 2009, 10:42 PM
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Default Re: Super Babies

My province actively discourages the adoption of children from other "races". Wouldn't it be kind of funny if we designed our own children with different skin colours, hair textures, eye colours, nose shapes, etc. just to challenge bullshit like this?

Seriously though, I find the concept scary. We do it enough with animals and plants already and have been breeding them without direct genetic manipulation for thousands of years. I enter into evidence exhibit A:



Do we really need to mess with things any further than this?
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Old May 27th 2009, 10:37 AM
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Default Re: Super Babies

I guess I support it if we exclude the possibility of the creation of a sub-class of humans as a result.

If they could implant me with a chip that gave me, say, photographic memory when I so choose, I'd already be on my way over there (I'd ace all my exams easily with that). And I wouldn't hesitate to do whatever it takes to give my offspring the best possible starting point. In that regard, a little jiggery-pokery is much like giving the child intellectual stimuli and nutrition for optimal development. Poor people's kids don't get that either.

But, of course, I don't believe in souls or stuff like that, and say we should just get out there and go as far as we can before we're extinct.

Also, I'm the kind of guy who would try to persuade a pregnant girlfriend to abort a baby with Down's syndome. I really would.
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Old May 27th 2009, 12:26 PM
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Default Re: Super Babies

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Originally Posted by Greendruid View Post


Do we really need to mess with things any further than this?
Very good point!

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Originally Posted by Multiplum View Post
I guess I support it if we exclude the possibility of the creation of a sub-class of humans as a result.
The "sub-class" of humans are those that won't have the enhancements. Pug-humans (figuratively speaking).
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Old May 27th 2009, 07:21 PM
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Default Re: Super Babies

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Originally Posted by Michael View Post
We are apparently on the threshold of a whole bunch of new technologies for "improving" on nature's design for one's children. Genetic screenings, genetic modifications, computer implants, the list is endless.

What do you think of this? Do you support or oppose this?
Hypothetically, as a father, my duties are twofold: to give my children the best possible life, and to raise my children to be the best possible adults. This technology dramatically expands on my options and my ability to do both, and redefines "best possible" in ways that we cannot yet imagine.

If such things become available, it would be immoral not to capitalize on them, just as it is immoral not to provide your children the best nutrition, the best education, and the best emotional support that you can. And if such things are possible when I am ready to have children, I will do absolutely anything within my power to ensure that they have them, whether the obstacles are financial, political, or other.

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Do you think it might cause some political problems?
Yes. The lowly crawling things that do not believe we deserve to play in God's sandbox will all come out from under their rocks in force to prevent us from reaching for glory. The whining liberals, in the name of "neurodiversity" and "equality of opportunity", will try to halt the progress of human evolution itself to keep the children of the rich from having advantages over the children of the poor, and to celebrate the rich cultural legacy of cripples and retards. And, of course, our entire cadre of political parasites will pander to one side or the other to ensure that only their children and the children of the chosen elite are allowed to benefit from these technologies.

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Originally Posted by Michael View Post
Should the government regulate this activity?
Only to prevent fraud. And possibly to prevent the deliberate infliction of disabilities on children, as the deaf, little people, and autistic communities can be assured to attempt. I'm not certain I trust the government to regulate the latter without sticking its meathooks into useful enhancements, however.

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Originally Posted by partofme View Post
On the other hand there would be a barrier due to price so that rich people could have children this way but many could not which could lead to two very separate classes of people which doesn't seem like a good idea either.
Well, at the very least, the world's most expensive genetic enhancement can be made available to the child of the poorest woman for the cost of a one-night-stand. If retroactive genetic enhancements were possible, I'd take out loans for as many as possible, dose up on fertility drugs, and do my damnedest to pay off the loans one handshake at a time.

Heh. There's more than one way to beat Genghis Khan.

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Originally Posted by partofme View Post
Also I could see why it might be a good idea to have some charities and such to provide these to more people since I think it's in everybody's interest to have a more intelligent society.
I absolutely support this. This is a much cleaner and more humane form of eugenics than has ever been practiced before-- and it practically ensures the preservation of genetic diversity, unlike other proposed systems.

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Originally Posted by Greendruid View Post
My province actively discourages the adoption of children from other "races". Wouldn't it be kind of funny if we designed our own children with different skin colours, hair textures, eye colours, nose shapes, etc. just to challenge bullshit like this?
You have no idea the depths to which such policies sicken me. As if adopted children were any less real than biological children, and the less genetically similar, the less real they are? Or is it that somehow genetic traits conveyed a sense of culture, and that raising genetically dissimilar children is somehow unnaturally depriving them of their rightful culture?

The only thing such policies encourage is depriving needy children of worthy homes, and perpetuating racial divisions.

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Originally Posted by Multiplum View Post
I guess I support it if we exclude the possibility of the creation of a sub-class of humans as a result.
Inevitable. Even if the enhancements were deeply subsidized by government and private charities, what do you think is going to happen to the children of people whose moral or religious beliefs forbid genetic enhancement?

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Originally Posted by Multiplum View Post
Also, I'm the kind of guy who would try to persuade a pregnant girlfriend to abort a baby with Down's syndome. I really would.
Almost sounds like you're apologizing for it. You shouldn't. You'd be saving yourself and her a whole lot of heartache, and if getting married because you're having a normal kid is a bad idea...
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