Author Topic: Do we hinder natural selection?  (Read 1285 times)

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Offline Kimberly

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Do we hinder natural selection?
« on: May 07, 2012, 06:39:54 PM »
Do you guys think at the current rate of production and reproduction that eventually life on earth will become I entirely artificial? (Aside from ourselves of course.. well that could be open for debate too with medical advances when will our lives become more artificial than biological?)

Do you guys think eventually we will have to enforce laws to slow down human production and reproduction to protect the future of our species?

I'm no good at math so idk how to crunch those numbers but it seems like we consume a lot of the Earth and we continue to grow at an alarming pace. We also use science to help stop natural occurrences from controlling our population. It just seems we could be the cause of our own demise by allowing the weak to survive and preventing a lot of natural selection to control our population.

Anyone care to share their thoughts on this?
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Offline jetson

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Re: Do we hinder natural selection?
« Reply #1 on: May 07, 2012, 06:54:18 PM »
Paraphrasing The late George Carlin...one day this planet will shake us all off like a bad case of fleas"

Offline Argyle

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Re: Do we hinder natural selection?
« Reply #2 on: May 07, 2012, 07:57:25 PM »
If we become too large a population to live off of the resources we have, then some of us will die, and those that are the strongest, or most intelligent, or most capable of manipulation will survive, or whatever the survival model that works best turns out to be (it may be that those who cooperate best win out.)

I'm not certain what you mean by all life on earth becoming "Artificial". Do you mean that all of the living organisms will become genetically engineered? Are you aware that micro-organisms in your body outnumber the actual human cells? We are many yes, but only for our size. We are drastically outnumbered by species which are invisible to us.

As for enforcing laws to control reproduction, managing reproduction through legislation and public programs is a part of every countries political system now, China for example has enforced sterilization and family size restrictions, so what do you mean by eventually?

Just some food for thought.
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Offline Kimberly

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Re: Do we hinder natural selection?
« Reply #3 on: May 07, 2012, 08:38:36 PM »
Ty Argyle ... I was aware of China's laws but I meant more broad spectrum ... besides that don't most people oppose China's methods? It seems to me that most people want the freedom to reproduce at will.

I wasn't specific enough in my OP. Still getting used to being back on forums. By artificial I meant man made or mutated. I look around and I see us creating new homes businesses products etc. Where there once was nature and life there's now more human structures. Inside our homes most of our stuff is automated.  As I'm typing on my Kindle I feel like I belong on the bridge with Picard.

I read about the latest foods not to feed our kids because the process we use to create the food is harmful.  It's my own fault but most of what I consume is manufactured and processed.  Idk what half the ingredients are... I'm sure most of it can't be found in nature....

Then I think about the six vaccines my baby has to get so that and epidemic doesn't kill her or spread the disease to a child who was not vaccinated yet causing their demise if I choose not to vaccinate .... I wonder how many lives are saved this way and I'm glad to vaccinate my baby but I wonder where our species would be if disease were allowed to control our population.  Would we be super humane? Or extinct?

Then I consider my "carbon footprint " and wonder if earth would be better with out us. Which leads me to wondering what it would be like with out man destroying it....

Hope that wasn't too scattered to understand ... I combined a lot of topics in to one. But as I said I've been gone for a long time and have a lot of unsorted ideas!
« Last Edit: May 07, 2012, 08:50:08 PM by Kimberly »
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Offline Kimberly

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Re: Do we hinder natural selection?
« Reply #4 on: May 07, 2012, 08:44:13 PM »
Are you aware that micro-organisms in your body outnumber the actual human cells?

I forgot to answer this. No, I don't think I was aware of that. I'm not sure I understand either. Are you referring to diseases, parasites, etc?
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Offline Kimberly

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Re: Do we hinder natural selection?
« Reply #5 on: May 07, 2012, 09:36:10 PM »
Apparently another thread already exist that is very similar to this one. Should this thread be closed? I can discuss this there....

 http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/forums/index.php/topic,22125.new.html#new
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Offline screwtape

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Re: Do we hinder natural selection?
« Reply #6 on: May 08, 2012, 08:55:43 AM »
It is a moot question.  Humans will be extinct in about 150 years.
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Offline EV

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Re: Do we hinder natural selection?
« Reply #7 on: May 08, 2012, 09:11:49 AM »
I would refer more to our interfering with natural selection with technology.

For instance, I have a degenerative eye condition. It may be genetic, but it's not really understood very well. The basic point is that in the 'wild', I would have died out because my vision is like -6, and I have moderate double vision on top of that. I would probably have fallen off a cliff that I thought was actually existent, but of course it was just an image. So if it was genetic, then that gene would die out.

In this case natural selection has been hindered because I wear glasses that enable me to see much better than before. Next time you go out, consider how many people actually wear eyeglasses, and then you'll realise that we may be spreading the gene for short-sightedness by not having the natural selective process to allow that harmful mutation to die out... At least that's what I would infer from that observation.

Obviously I am not advocating a mass 'cull' of glasses wearers, that is just silly! But it's an interesting point in my opinion. The NHS in England is spending more money on providing people with glasses every year, because of the presumed spread of the gene.

Kimberly, is that is the sort of thing you had in mind? We are interfering with our natural evolution by promoting certain genetic faults by being 'all-inclusive'...? Not that it makes much difference in the eye example, because stem cell research looks set to eliminate that problem in the next 10 years or so... :P
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Offline Anfauglir

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Re: Do we hinder natural selection?
« Reply #8 on: May 08, 2012, 09:39:45 AM »
.....you'll realise that we may be spreading the gene for short-sightedness by not having the natural selective process to allow that harmful mutation to die out...

That's what I thought at first - but I guess it depends on what you call "the environment".  The environment we live in isn't just falling off cliffs and chucking spears at mammoths - our environment includes eyeglasses and laser surgery and contact lenses and so forth, so can it really be considered a "harmful" mutation?

I suppose it depends how far you want to extend things back.  Are eyeglasses a tool?  Could we perhaps say that spears and flints were a mechanical contrivance to get past the "harmful mutations" of being unable to outrun and outfight a sabre-toothed tiger? 

But I know where you're coming from - will we now physically stagnate as a species because any problems with our bodies can now be far more quickly solved with technology than by letting them die out?

Equally, I suppose, is there any scope now for us to physically change for the better, given the amount of natal investigation and intercession that goes on?  Or, maybe, are we scientifically correcting for things that seem bad, but which if left alone might make us better as a species? 
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Offline Hatter23

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Re: Do we hinder natural selection?
« Reply #9 on: May 08, 2012, 09:54:20 AM »
Do you guys think at the current rate of production and reproduction that eventually life on earth will become I entirely artificial? (Aside from ourselves of course.. well that could be open for debate too with medical advances when will our lives become more artificial than biological?)

Do you guys think eventually we will have to enforce laws to slow down human production and reproduction to protect the future of our species?

I'm no good at math so idk how to crunch those numbers but it seems like we consume a lot of the Earth and we continue to grow at an alarming pace. We also use science to help stop natural occurrences from controlling our population. It just seems we could be the cause of our own demise by allowing the weak to survive and preventing a lot of natural selection to control our population.

Anyone care to share their thoughts on this?


I predict that there will be a problem, whether from a disease, or a drought, or a blight that affects the "narrow band" of grains selected only for maximum production, or from not having the fuel to transport food that will cause massive massive fallout to the human species. Billions will die. If we haven't made it to the point of no return, the problem of overpopulation will be so obvious that people will enact laws controlling reproduction.

As to the weak surviving, yes, I think we will see some problems with that, but I also think "Gattica babies" will arise long before that becomes a major issue.
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Offline Kimberly

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Re: Do we hinder natural selection?
« Reply #10 on: May 08, 2012, 10:15:10 AM »
Kimberly, is that is the sort of thing you had in mind? We are interfering with our natural evolution by promoting certain genetic faults by being 'all-inclusive'...? Not that it makes much difference in the eye example, because stem cell research looks set to eliminate that problem in the next 10 years or so... :P

Yes, that is a perfect example! I thank you for writing it out so eloquently. So multiply that scenario by how many other scenarios exists like yours and I wonder where we as a species would be. (For better or worse.)

But then I also compound my quandary by wondering the impact we have on the earth by not allowing certain genes to eliminate the "weaker[1]" of our species.
 1. I'm not implying you are a weak link and should be eliminated :D
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Offline Timtheskeptic

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Re: Do we hinder natural selection?
« Reply #11 on: May 08, 2012, 10:16:57 AM »
It is a moot question.  Humans will be extinct in about 150 years.

well i'll be dead before that happens. But if it does, then it's all their fault.
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Re: Do we hinder natural selection?
« Reply #12 on: May 08, 2012, 10:19:03 AM »
if i was born long before technology or anything we have today, i would have died as an infant. fml. :'(
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Offline Kimberly

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Re: Do we hinder natural selection?
« Reply #13 on: May 08, 2012, 10:19:42 AM »
As to the weak surviving, yes, I think we will see some problems with that, but I also think "Gattica babies" will arise long before that becomes a major issue.

I had to google that, did you mean Gattaca babies? If so I think understand what you mean, the term is new to me. What problems do you see arising from them?
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Offline Kimberly

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Re: Do we hinder natural selection?
« Reply #14 on: May 08, 2012, 10:21:41 AM »
if i was born long before technology or anything we have today, i would have died as an infant. fml. :'(

Don't feel bad, I should have died years ago, several times over. Not that I have had any life threatening scenarios in modern day terms, but I can think of plenty of interventions that have saved me from death.
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Offline Hatter23

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Re: Do we hinder natural selection?
« Reply #15 on: May 08, 2012, 10:43:18 AM »

I had to google that, did you mean Gattaca babies? If so I think understand what you mean, the term is new to me. What problems do you see arising from them?

Yes, sorry about the misspelling

None really, except there will be a social tension between a genetically superior form of human versus natural born humans. Plus, a likely greater shift of power from 1rst world versus 3rd world, rich and poor, because those who are from rich faimilies will be healthier, faster, stronger, and smarter as a matter of genetics. Heck they could even genetically engineer out the need for sleep, which would allow them to become better educated faster on top of it and engineer in  longevity allowing them to accumulate wealth more easily.


An Omnipowerful God needed to sacrifice himself to himself (but only for a long weekend) in order to avert his own wrath against his own creations who he made in a manner knowing that they weren't going to live up to his standards.

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Offline EV

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Re: Do we hinder natural selection?
« Reply #16 on: May 08, 2012, 05:52:40 PM »
Yes, that is a perfect example! I thank you for writing it out so eloquently. So multiply that scenario by how many other scenarios exists like yours and I wonder where we as a species would be. (For better or worse.)
Not a problem!I like clarifying things. You could always say it was a psychological complex to clarify that which I visually see not clarified... Slight blind joke there :P
But then I also compound my quandary by wondering the impact we have on the earth by not allowing certain genes to eliminate the "weaker[1]" of our species.
 1. I'm not implying you are a weak link and should be eliminated :D
Well, technically I am a weak link. I don't want to pass this condition onto my child, and so am hoping that it will not be hereditary... Anfauglir summed it up well here:
But I know where you're coming from - will we now physically stagnate as a species because any problems with our bodies can now be far more quickly solved with technology than by letting them die out?

Equally, I suppose, is there any scope now for us to physically change for the better, given the amount of natal investigation and intercession that goes on?  Or, maybe, are we scientifically correcting for things that seem bad, but which if left alone might make us better as a species? 

I think that as a species, we are evolving so fast mentally, yet so slowly physically. The problem is that now as technology is so advanced, we can cure things that are actually hereditary... I would go as far as to say that our bodies may end up actually being completely redundant one day. It is always a possibility.

Interestingly, you can use religion as an example of a reversion to natural selection. Look at Jehovah's Witnesses. I know we have JSTwebbrowsing at the moment, and I'm sure he'd agree with the doctrine of the JW's that you are not allowed to accept blood transfusions. Obviously blood transfusions are not entirely 'natural', and as a result possibly people who are more prone to cancer or kidney failure will need transfusions. If all people were JW's, then besides them all getting very bored at having nobody to pester ( ;) ), the resistance may become the dominant gene...

Religion counters many scientific advancements. Luckily, we can play Darwin, (quite a nifty pun I thought...) and actually use techniques such as amniocentesis to discover whether a foetus will have a debilitating disability such as Down's Syndrome. If we applied our natural selection to this, then we could potentially eliminate the faulty genes. Of course it is ethically questionable, which is the crux of the matter:

Do we follow our morals, or follow our rationality?

I would go as far as to say that we should follow our rationality to a large respect. As somebody who is partially disabled myself, through my shitty eyes(!), I would rather have existed than not existed. Obviously, what I have done with my life is music, and some of the greatest composers had debilitating illnesses- particularly Beethoven who was actually deaf near the end of his life. I write music, which some people think is good.

But if someone in a laboratory had analysed my DNA, and realised that I was going to develop Keratoconus, would my entire being have been destroyed?

It is a very difficult question to ask ourselves. Of course, logically, those born with such serious mental disabilities that the quality of life for both them and their parents, should, in my view, be spared the suffering. But for minuscule things like eye problems (which are solvable by technology- specifically stem cell research), they should be considered carefully. Because it is not worth destroying a potential life purely for the perfect of creating the perfect human being.

Because of course, that timeless question comes into play.

If everyone is perfect, then what makes somebody an individual? Is it right for us to design children? I believe in abortion personally, as it can be a very good thing. But culling Human lives for the sake of genetic perfection... That is more of a grey area.
« Last Edit: May 08, 2012, 05:54:15 PM by EV »
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Offline Kimberly

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Re: Do we hinder natural selection?
« Reply #17 on: May 09, 2012, 05:43:27 PM »
Sorry for the delay in my response EV. I wanted to wait to write it out until I had adequate time.

I think that as a species, we are evolving so fast mentally, yet so slowly physically. The problem is that now as technology is so advanced, we can cure things that are actually hereditary... I would go as far as to say that our bodies may end up actually being completely redundant one day. It is always a possibility.

Wouldn't that be something? IDK I rather enjoy my senses. I guess we could automate pleasure and pain but something tells me it wouldn't feel real. But I suppose if one lived in a time where they had always experienced automated senses they wouldn't know the difference.

I think there would be a minority of people who resist such a technology, but a lot of our jobs are already lost to automation so I do see how one day our bodies would be irrelevant.

This technology could be good for drug addicts, alcoholics or people with mental disabilities. I guess we already try to do this on a smaller level through medication that increases the "normalness" of their brains.

Religion counters many scientific advancements. Luckily, we can play Darwin, (quite a nifty pun I thought...) and actually use techniques such as amniocentesis to discover whether a foetus will have a debilitating disability such as Down's Syndrome. If we applied our natural selection to this, then we could potentially eliminate the faulty genes. Of course it is ethically questionable, which is the crux of the matter:

Do we follow our morals, or follow our rationality?

Glad you brought that up. I struggled with this during both of my pregnancies. I was too far along when I found out I was pregnant with my first so have the amniocentesis done, so I didn't really have to evaluate this very thoroughly the first time around.

But the 2nd time around I found out soon enough to have the test done. I really struggled with the decisions. My morals, rationality, and emotions all clashed entirely. I had conflicting morals and emotions and I could not rationalize one argument more than the other.

I don't like the risk of the test, I don't like the procedure itself (I'm squeamish) and I can't foresee myself ending my own pregnancy due to a test result. I understood the risks, my own selfishness, and I rolled the dice. I refused the test. It turned out okay, but it was not a decision I took lightly.

At the end of the day I just could not do it. I don't think my decision was right or wrong, but my point is that I could not play Darwin. I struggle with the idea of anyone doing it, but I respect the rights of others to do it if they please.

I would go as far as to say that we should follow our rationality to a large respect. As somebody who is partially disabled myself, through my shitty eyes(!), I would rather have existed than not existed. Obviously, what I have done with my life is music, and some of the greatest composers had debilitating illnesses- particularly Beethoven who was actually deaf near the end of his life. I write music, which some people think is good.

But if someone in a laboratory had analysed my DNA, and realised that I was going to develop Keratoconus, would my entire being have been destroyed?

That was part of my problem. I was unable to remove person hood from my fetus. I was already too attached to her, before I ever even knew her. I knew it was not rational and that I should have valued the potential quality of life over life itself but I could not.

It is a very difficult question to ask ourselves. Of course, logically, those born with such serious mental disabilities that the quality of life for both them and their parents, should, in my view, be spared the suffering. But for minuscule things like eye problems (which are solvable by technology- specifically stem cell research), they should be considered carefully. Because it is not worth destroying a potential life purely for the perfect of creating the perfect human being.

It is indeed difficult. It reminds of me what HAL used to always ask in our abortion debates. "Where do you draw the arbitrary line?"

I tried numerous times to define that while debating him and I never could. I still can't. And the question applies here too since we are talking about medical abortion after all.

At what point do we determine the quality of life of the fetus would be worthy of abortion? How do we know what the child would be able to overcome, or what medical advances will increase the quality of life? Likewise how do we find the income to pay for the medical needs? How do we explain to them why they aren't different? How do we pretend that other people won't snicker behind the child's back? Etc Etc Etc....

Sure we can answer some questions, and come to a general consensus in most scenarios based on current technology and by looking at others living in similar situations. But we can never really know, as good as technology is it can't predict the future... yet.

Because of course, that timeless question comes into play.

If everyone is perfect, then what makes somebody an individual? Is it right for us to design children? I believe in abortion personally, as it can be a very good thing. But culling Human lives for the sake of genetic perfection... That is more of a grey area.

I think individuality is more chemical and experience related than physical. If we alter the DNA to make a perfect human does that mean that they won't have unique thoughts, ideas, and emotions? I guess technically we could alter DNA enough to remove the need for emotions and unique thoughts. I guess we could essentially create the human Borg. I can't really wrap my head around how that would work though....

Unless we were able to control every persons environment and interactions I don't think you can remove individuality... IDK I could be wrong...
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Re: Do we hinder natural selection?
« Reply #18 on: May 14, 2012, 11:30:11 PM »
It is a moot question.  Humans will be extinct in about 150 years.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-05-15/report-says-australia-seventh-worst-polluter-on-earth/4012070/?site=melbourne



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The Living Planet Report found that high-income countries have an ecological footprint on average five times that of low-income ones.
Across the globe the footprint has doubled since 1966.
"We are living as if we have an extra planet at our disposal," WWF International director general Jim Leape said.
"We are using 50 per cent more resources that the Earth can sustainably produce and unless we change course, that number will grow fast - by 2030 even two planets will not be enough."
The survey, compiled every two years, reported an average 30 per cent decrease in biodiversity since 1970, rising to 60 per cent in the hardest-hit tropical regions.
The decline has been most rapid in lower income countries, "demonstrating how the poorest and most vulnerable nations are subsidising the lifestyles of wealthier countries," WWF said.
Globally, around 13 million hectares of forest were lost each year between 2000 and 2010.
"An ever-growing demand for resources by a growing population is putting tremendous pressures on our planet's biodiversity and is threatening our future security, health and well-being," the group said.
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Offline EV

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Re: Do we hinder natural selection?
« Reply #19 on: May 15, 2012, 04:10:51 AM »

Wouldn't that be something? IDK I rather enjoy my senses. I guess we could automate pleasure and pain but something tells me it wouldn't feel real. But I suppose if one lived in a time where they had always experienced automated senses they wouldn't know the difference.


I see what you mean. I meant more in the terms that we’d be able to sit in our rooms all day and everything is available on the internet… Sort of like in that film ‘WALL-E’ where the humans are all in those floaty chairs and do bugger all day. They ended up losing the facilities of many of their limbs…

I think there would be a minority of people who resist such a technology, but a lot of our jobs are already lost to automation so I do see how one day our bodies would be irrelevant.

Yes I would agree with this. I think that there is a lot of moral issues with making our bodies irrelevant. Is it really humanity to be no longer human? It is interfering a LOT with the nature of the world, think if we put ourselves inside virtual worlds with our real bodies looked after by machines… We’d never be bored, but we’d lose part of our humanity.

This technology could be good for drug addicts, alcoholics or people with mental disabilities. I guess we already try to do this on a smaller level through medication that increases the "normalness" of their brains.
Yes possibly. I agree that it is necessary to help drug addicts and people with mental illnesses recuperate.

Glad you brought that up. I struggled with this during both of my pregnancies […..…..] but I respect the rights of others to do it if they please.
A moving account. I would agree completely with your choice. It was well reasoned, and probably the right decision for you.

That was part of my problem. I was unable to remove person hood from my fetus. I was already too attached to her, before I ever even knew her. I knew it was not rational and that I should have valued the potential quality of life over life itself but I could not.
Yes. This makes a lot of sense. It’s very difficult to actually draw that line. It’s understandable to be unable to remove the potential of human life from someone, even though as a ball of cells a few micrometres across, there is not much consciousness inherent in it. I think that it is a motherly instinct to protect the child.

 
It is indeed difficult. It reminds of me what HAL used to always ask in our abortion debates. "Where do you draw the arbitrary line?"

I tried numerous times to define that while debating him and I never could. I still can't. And the question applies here too since we are talking about medical abortion after all.

Indeed. I would not be able to participate in a formal debate regarding abortion as the ethical issues inherent are so much larger than one person. The law needs to be that it Is possible if a person needs or requires it, but after that it is individual choice.
At what point do we determine the quality of life of the foetus would be worthy of abortion? How do we know what the child would be able to overcome, or what medical advances will increase the quality of life? Likewise how do we find the income to pay for the medical needs? How do we explain to them why they aren't different? How do we pretend that other people won't snicker behind the child's back? Etc Etc Etc....
It is largely down to individual circumstances. I think that every  situation is different, and that it needs to be analysed on a case to case basis. I know that if I knew my child was to be severely mentally disabled, I would save them the  difficulty of existence. Medical advancement is incredibly fast at the moment. I’d be very wary of a decision, because to an extent, theism’s hold over medical ethics is finally being reduced.

I think individuality is more chemical and experience related than physical. If we alter the DNA to make a perfect human does that mean that they won't have unique thoughts, ideas, and emotions? I guess technically we could alter DNA enough to remove the need for emotions and unique thoughts. I guess we could essentially create the human Borg. I can't really wrap my head around how that would work though....
Even if every human is genetically identical, you have to look at it through the philosophical concepts of innatism and ideas. Locke famously proposed the notion that at birth we are a tabula rasa, and that every experience we have essentially builds our personality up. This is contrasted to the views of others who thought that we have some kinds of knowledge and ideas built in through evolution.

We can show that actually this is not the case and that we are probably to a large extent tabula rasa because identical twins are genetically identical and can often have completely different personalities. 

DNA altering wouldn’t do much for the personality, but the implications would be psychological. Would the child itself actually want to have its DNA altered? Would it agree in later life?
Unless we were able to control every person’s environment and interactions I don't think you can remove individuality... IDK I could be wrong...
It is probable that this is the case. Experiential factors are so important that if you remove any stimulus, you essentially have the tabula rasa left, and are left with the instinctive behaviour of the Human without any culture: a thought that makes me feel rather uncomfortable. Thoughts?
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Offline Kimberly

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Re: Do we hinder natural selection?
« Reply #20 on: May 15, 2012, 09:13:05 AM »
I see what you mean. I meant more in the terms that we’d be able to sit in our rooms all day and everything is available on the internet… Sort of like in that film ‘WALL-E’ where the humans are all in those floaty chairs and do bugger all day. They ended up losing the facilities of many of their limbs…

Ahh! I see what you meant, WALL-E; what a great movie and actually a pretty clever analogy for this subject since they destroyed all life on earth. I don't think we are truly all that far from that form of life style[1]. For instance, I work at home, sitting in a chair, on a computer, answering phone calls all day. The only part of my job that is not automated is my voice and data entry. That is similar to the life of the captain in that movie. Except I report to my human boss and I still walk to the bathroom.

Yes I would agree with this. I think that there is a lot of moral issues with making our bodies irrelevant. Is it really humanity to be no longer human? It is interfering a LOT with the nature of the world, think if we put ourselves inside virtual worlds with our real bodies looked after by machines… We’d never be bored, but we’d lose part of our humanity.

I think here you're talking more about Surrogates than the humans on WALL-E. Am I correct? I don't really have a more dilemma with that type of technology. I think it would be a fun leisure activity, but I do agree with you that we would lose a piece of humanity. Like in the movie Surrogates I fear I would use it to escape the harsh realities of life, never cope with turmoil, and really cease existing as "Kimberly".

Yes. This makes a lot of sense. It’s very difficult to actually draw that line. It’s understandable to be unable to remove the potential of human life from someone, even though as a ball of cells a few micrometres across, there is not much consciousness inherent in it. I think that it is a motherly instinct to protect the child.

IDK if it was motherly instinct or my own irrational thought processes. You do make it sound more comforting so perhaps I will stick with your verbiage instead of my own! :D

Indeed. I would not be able to participate in a formal debate regarding abortion as the ethical issues inherent are so much larger than one person. The law needs to be that it Is possible if a person needs or requires it, but after that it is individual choice.

It's hard for me to debate it because I'm too emotional driven in my reasoning. I have my own beliefs and ideas about what is morally acceptable but I also don't believe everyone else should have to adhere to my morals. So, I typical stay out of such debates because I've essentially rendered my own beliefs irrelevant.

It is largely down to individual circumstances. I think that every  situation is different, and that it needs to be analysed on a case to case basis. I know that if I knew my child was to be severely mentally disabled, I would save them the  difficulty of existence. <cut>

I agree with you here; and wish I could come to the same conclusion; I'm just not able to. Luckily I won't be making any more babies, unless artificially inseminated by god of course. 

Even if every human is genetically identical, you have to look at it through the philosophical concepts of innatism and ideas. Locke famously proposed the notion that at birth we are a tabula rasa, and that every experience we have essentially builds our personality up. This is contrasted to the views of others who thought that we have some kinds of knowledge and ideas built in through evolution.

We can show that actually this is not the case and that we are probably to a large extent tabula rasa because identical twins are genetically identical and can often have completely different personalities.

Thanks for a new term to study! Me and my fiance actually debated this a lot while I was pregnant. I think my official opinion is that there are also primitive instincts[2] but that for the most part we are a blank slate at birth. 

DNA altering wouldn’t do much for the personality, but the implications would be psychological. Would the child itself actually want to have its DNA altered? Would it agree in later life?

IDK, I suppose it would depend if it increased or decreased their quality of life. But kids are always going to disagree with something their parents did. I don't think it would be questioned any more than why the parent decided for or against vaccinations.

It is probable that this is the case. Experiential factors are so important that if you remove any stimulus, you essentially have the tabula rasa left, and are left with the instinctive behaviour of the Human without any culture: a thought that makes me feel rather uncomfortable. Thoughts?

I don't know that it makes me as much uncomfortable as it does curious. What could we[3] do with a blank slate and no preconceived notions? Do we need our prior knowledge to prevent us from repeating the heinous acts of our past? Or would we come up with something new that greatly increased the overall value of all of our existence? I lean towards the former, which can be a scary thought. But the possibility of the latter is what makes me so curious.
 1. sedentary lifestyle
 2. Which seems to be what Locke concluded.
 3. as a species
« Last Edit: May 15, 2012, 09:19:25 AM by Kimberly »
Thank you for considering my point of view; however wrong it may be to you.

Offline screwtape

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Re: Do we hinder natural selection?
« Reply #21 on: May 15, 2012, 09:59:04 AM »
It is a moot question.  Humans will be extinct in about 150 years.
...my bold

I'm an optimist.
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Offline kin hell

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Re: Do we hinder natural selection?
« Reply #22 on: May 15, 2012, 12:20:34 PM »
It is a moot question.  Humans will be extinct in about 150 years.
...my bold

I'm an optimist.

me too   or in my case it could be deliberate ignore-and-it's-bliss
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Offline screwtape

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Re: Do we hinder natural selection?
« Reply #23 on: May 15, 2012, 02:49:42 PM »
I was talking to my dear sister, Wormwood, yesterday.  She is currently abstaining from seafood because of the horrendous condition of our oceans and what commercial fishing as done to them.  She said she was confused by some people's optimism.  Everyone seems to shrug their shoulders and say, "we'll figure something out.  We always do."  We always do?  I wondered, when have we ever?
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Online nogodsforme

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Re: Do we hinder natural selection?
« Reply #24 on: May 15, 2012, 03:15:55 PM »
I was talking to my dear sister, Wormwood, yesterday.  She is currently abstaining from seafood because of the horrendous condition of our oceans and what commercial fishing as done to them.  She said she was confused by some people's optimism.  Everyone seems to shrug their shoulders and say, "we'll figure something out.  We always do."  We always do?  I wondered, when have we ever?

I am also pessimistic about the long term human prospects, although optimistic about the short term. In the past when population got too tight for the resources available, what we "figured out" was to go somewhere else and steal someone else's land, food, water, etc. At some point there will be no "somewhere else" to go to...And then we will see that all the religious people were wrong. The only way to survive will be to use human knowledge: science, technology and human creativity. Gods and supernatural beings will not save anybody.
Extraordinary claims of the bible don't even have ordinary evidence.

Kids aren't paying attention most of the time in science classes so it seems silly to get worked up over ID being taught in schools.

Offline Quesi

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Re: Do we hinder natural selection?
« Reply #25 on: May 15, 2012, 03:23:20 PM »
We are rapidly depleting the world’s resources.  Right now, there is enough food for everyone, but food distribution is not one of our priorities, so a huge percentage of humanity is hungry or malnourished. 

Farmland in Africa is being bought up by first world corporations and hedge funds and other private interests, (including some major universities who have endowments to invest)  who understand that in the very near future, food will become the new gold. http://www.nature.com/news/african-land-grabs-hinder-sustainable-development-1.9955  Ironically, much of this land is being purchased in the regions suffering millions of deaths from starvation in the past year due to the drought.  The first world contributed to the climate change that is causing these droughts, but rather than owning up to our responsibility to humanity, we are buying up land to ensure that when there are too many people for the planet to sustain, we will be among those with access to the most important resource of all. 

It is obvious that the earth cannot continue to maintain the current levels of population growth.  And since it doesn’t seem likely that we’ll be moving folks to Mars to put up greenhouses under glass domes any time soon, we really need to address population.  We really like living longer, thanks to modern medicine.  And something has got to give somewhere, so it is going to have to be birth rates. 

How embarrassingly arrogant of us, at this crucial point in human history, to be squabbling about the rights of fetuses and the morality of women who use birth control. 

But I am an optimist, and I believe humanity will survive the upcoming food crisis.  Not all of humanity, obviously.  But a percentage of us will survive.  However, if it is the descendents of those who carefully orchestrated these landgrabs who survive, I mourn for the future of humanity.   

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Re: Do we hinder natural selection?
« Reply #26 on: May 15, 2012, 03:30:41 PM »
But I am an optimist, and I believe humanity will survive the upcoming food crisis. 

I don't.  I don't see how there will be enough life left on the planet to support any people.  It will not be done through birtrates.  The idea of having people's choice to reproduce being taken away is too unthinkable.  It will be done through war - probably nuclear - and starvation. 

When we are done with it, the planet will only be inhabited by micro organisms.
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Online nogodsforme

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Re: Do we hinder natural selection?
« Reply #27 on: May 15, 2012, 03:46:22 PM »
^^^^And Charleton Heston.
Extraordinary claims of the bible don't even have ordinary evidence.

Kids aren't paying attention most of the time in science classes so it seems silly to get worked up over ID being taught in schools.

Offline Kimberly

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Re: Do we hinder natural selection?
« Reply #28 on: May 15, 2012, 04:28:06 PM »
But I am an optimist, and I believe humanity will survive the upcoming food crisis. 

I don't.  I don't see how there will be enough life left on the planet to support any people.  It will not be done through birtrates.  The idea of having people's choice to reproduce being taken away is too unthinkable.  It will be done through war - probably nuclear - and starvation. 

When we are done with it, the planet will only be inhabited by micro organisms.

I'm not very optimistic either. Those in power won't willingly give up their power and those of us not in power will be collateral damage. But I don't have an ETA on our demise. Who knows maybe we will evolve to be a less selfish and a less consuming race before it's too late. But I don't think it's in the nature of the majority of those in power to change like that. And no one wants to sacrifices any of their personal liberties to help the cause either.
Thank you for considering my point of view; however wrong it may be to you.