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Genetic engineering

User Thread
 42yrs • M •
A CTL of 1 means that think4yourself is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
Genetic engineering
I would like to discuss the pros and cons of genetic engineering, I'm hoping someone can give me some insight into this subject.

Some of the cons I hear/think about are, and some arguments against them:

1. We don't understand how we're made sufficiently to mess around -- the consequences could be disasterous!

Unless we immediately start to 'engineer' on a global scale, the effects of any screw ups would be localized. With all the arguments against genetic engineering, I don't believe it will be done on a massive scale until the vast majority of the problems are ironed out. There *might* be a sneaky problem we unknowingly introduce into our genes that won't haunt us for 200 years, thus allowing it to spread, but what is the likelyhood that such a catastrophic problem would arise, especially given our awareness of the consequences? There are many problems that *might* wipe us out, and many that are actually quite likely to that we *do* foresee. Many of those problems wouldn't exist if the general population had a 200 IQ. Isn't upgrading ourselves worth the risk?

2. If some people choose not to engineer their kids, social problems are bound to arise, as this 'inferior' natural breed is bound to be discriminated against.

This is a problem facing anyone who rejects virtually any form of progress, to some extent, not just genetic engineering. What's different in *this* case? If you're anti-technology, you have no place in today's world. If you don't like computers, tough luck. If the technology is there to have perfect vision, why should my kids have poor eye sight just because someone else is against progress? Should we all be equal to the dumbest, blindest, least athletic people in the world, so everyone can feel good about themselves, or should we give everyone the opportunity to go as far as they choose? If we're gonna set the bar for everyone, why not set it high? Also, improving people reduces human error, which can save lives. People die and suffer due to lack of knowledge or technology. Aren't social problems secondary to that?


The benefits of genetic engineering are obvious, and potentially enormous. The world is out-growing our ability to manage it. Either we have to change to keep up, or the world needs to drastically slow down or stop (if not backtrack a few notches).

Okay people, have a go!

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 43yrs • F •
A CTL of 1 means that rollergirl is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
hmmm... i'm on the fence with regards to this topic. as with another controversial subject - abortion - i can see the benefits, but am wary of "messing around" with nature.

1. We don't understand how we're made sufficiently to mess around -- the consequences could be disasterous!
i think there are bound to be some "bad" results in initial tests and implementation. who's going to be the first person to offer their children for genetic engineering modification experiments? what if they end up with three eyes instead of better eyesight? what if it kills them?

however, short-term complications don't necessarily mean the advances for humanity and science aren't good in the long-run...

to turn it around in another question: if you could kill one person to find the cure for cancer, would you?


2. If some people choose not to engineer their kids, social problems are bound to arise, as this 'inferior' natural breed is bound to be discriminated against.
i could see this happening; however, it already exists. i think that regardless of what the media wants us to believe, black kids that are born in ghettos are socially discriminated against even today. even though these kids have no control over the choices their parents made, they are judged based on it.

while i suspect you may have posed this question for a "gattaca" time in the future - where it is more common to be engineered than not - i think another barrier exists. not only will it be a "personal" or "moral" choice, i don't think everyone is going to be able to AFFORD to engineer their kids. thus, creating an even bigger rift between the upper and lower classes.

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"get busy livin' or get busy dyin'..."
 37yrs • M •
rnr_9 is new to Captain Cynic and has less than 15 posts. New members have certain restrictions and must fill in CAPTCHAs to use various parts of the site.
How I look at it is that any new Idea is going to have some sort of problem with it and there will always be some sort of opposition to it. Genetic engineering is no different. Most people are scared of change.

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 40yrs • M •
A CTL of 1 means that Crimson_Saint is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
I'm all for genetic modification. In humans its perhaps a bit more dangerous, and we should experiment with animals a lot more before trying.
Hower, I can see huge benefits. Not nescessarily to upgrade our intelligence, but simply health. It would make negative recessive genes no longer a problem and any congenital diseases would disappear.

The 200 year down the road and DISASTER argument is invalid. First because not everyone will be modified, second because you can always just keep a copy of the normal genes.

And even if something goes wrong, so what? Has any scientific advancement happened without error? You can't make an omelette without breaking some eggs.

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"AIDS is God's way of sending Catholics to heaven."
 41yrs • M •
celundin is new to Captain Cynic and has less than 15 posts. New members have certain restrictions and must fill in CAPTCHAs to use various parts of the site.
I would like to say that not all genetic engineering is done on gamete cells that will then enter into the population's gene pool in the future. Genetic engineering can be done on a single person's somatic cells and therefore will not be passed onto the offspring. I have done research on adding nucleotides to telomeres to help limit the effects of aging and research on P-53 gene therapy in non-small cell lung cancer. Neither method outlined any effect on gamete cells. In my opinion the risks will be taken on mainly by individuals and not by a population. The future world where people are 'improved' will probably never come to pass. I can say this because I believe that intelligence and physical development are not entirely determined by genetics and therefore trying to modify your children will be of little use. From what I have read I believe that intelligence is more linked to neuronal development (synaptic connections) caused by the child's contact with the world. To me genetic engineering will bring longer lives to the average humans through more food (modified crops and livestock) and better healthcare.

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"To not discus is to not believe, to not listen shows ignorance, to the edges of Earthly knowledge is never too far when in persuit of truth."
 34yrs • M •
A CTL of 1 means that Mr. Humble is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
I agree with your statement about inteligence being based on contact with the outer world, to some degree. I must however note the fact that Albert Einstein was born in a family who didn't pay much attention to him, and that the reason he was considered a genious was because he had an extraordinarily large hypothalamus. That was probably due to genetics don't you think?

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""How do you know we exist? Maybe we don't exist." -Vivi FF9"
 40yrs • M •
A CTL of 1 means that Crimson_Saint is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
There is no doubt intelligence is related in a large part to genetics. Otherwise we wouldn't be smarter then chimps. Of course its possible to not perceive someone's intelligence because of his environment (as with Einstein in his early life and many nervous/ridiculed/shy kids I hear about)

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"AIDS is God's way of sending Catholics to heaven."
 49yrs • M •
A CTL of 1 means that Aladinsane is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
It's going to happen someday whether we like it or not. Future generations will be used to the concept a little more and it won't be as shocking. There is massive historical precedent for this happening.

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""One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors.""
 33yrs • M •
living_life is new to Captain Cynic and has less than 15 posts. New members have certain restrictions and must fill in CAPTCHAs to use various parts of the site.
Genetic engineering is going to be here, so are nanobots.
Whats the use of trying to stop something that cannot be stop?


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"living large is not as important as living life."
 34yrs • M •
A CTL of 1 means that Mr. Humble is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
You do have a point. But not a fully valid one. Gen. Eng. might not happen at all, and if it does, there might be such a rebellion against GE that it could easilly be snuffed out. Not to mention the fact that most people would be uncomfortable having such differences in "race" if you will that racism would actually be justifiable!

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""How do you know we exist? Maybe we don't exist." -Vivi FF9"
 40yrs • M •
A CTL of 1 means that Crimson_Saint is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
With GM you can have freedom from congenital diseases, more food production, protection of food and healthier people and animals.

I would if people keep protesting to GM.

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"AIDS is God's way of sending Catholics to heaven."
 34yrs • M •
A CTL of 1 means that Mr. Humble is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
Ah, now that is different. I am %1000 for GM of foods, and for imunity of diseases. I was just talking about GM for IQs or looks (ie blonde hair blue eyes heh heh). You know, Don't change anything that makes a person *that* person.

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""How do you know we exist? Maybe we don't exist." -Vivi FF9"
 40yrs • M •
A CTL of 1 means that Crimson_Saint is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
I don't see why parents shouldn't have a choice in how their child is made.
What should decide how your child is made, the random 50/50 mix of mom and dad's genes or the parents themselves?

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"AIDS is God's way of sending Catholics to heaven."
 34yrs • M •
A CTL of 1 means that Mr. Humble is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
Hmm, I think you are missing my point. How could you put people who are very "gifted" in with normal people? It wouldn't work. The GM people would be better at sports, thinking, and pickin' up chicks! All of the normal children would possibly be picked on. On top of that, the kids being picked on wouldn't have a choice of being "enhanced" It would be their parents choice. How would you like to be the only person in a school that is not succesful because of a choice your parents made?

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""How do you know we exist? Maybe we don't exist." -Vivi FF9"
 40yrs • M •
A CTL of 1 means that Crimson_Saint is a contributing member of Captain Cynic.
They could always just separate the kids into different schools. I don't think we shouldn't be alowed to improve ourselves because some parents want to keep their children "natural".

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"AIDS is God's way of sending Catholics to heaven."
Genetic engineering
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