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Should "designer babies" be created? Watch

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    (Original post by PerigeeApogee)
    No reason why they shouldn't.

    Parents already attempt to mould the characteristics of their children in the way that they bring them up.

    We try to make our children physically fit by taking them to dance classes, teaching them to play sports and getting them on teams, etc. We try to make our children intelligent by teaching them how to read, giving them books, making them watch educational stuff on TV, etc. We try to instil them with values and principles which we think are right, etc.

    Why shouldn't we also be allowed to give them a genetic component to their upbringing as well as an environmental one? It's the same thing being done in a different way.

    And for people who say that i'll lead to a homogenity among the species as people choose the same characteristics for their children... don't be daft. If that were the case then we'd already have done that naturally through sexual selection. If EVERYBODY had the same idea what what 'intelligent' meant or what 'beauty' meant, then we'd already have homogeneity in the species as everybody went after the same qualities. But we don't... we are inherently varied in what we think counts as beauty, fitness, intelligence, etc, and that variety would show in how we choose to 'design' our children's genetics.
    Firstly, I credit you for bringing about a fresh argument to this topic :]

    As to the points you made, do you think that children with certain genes enhancing their intelligence/fitness will help to reduce, for instance, some of the rising health problems, such as obesity? If children already have a gene to make them fit/intelligent, will they be as encouraged to improve their health/intelligence?

    Also, sexual selection does not lead to homogenity because intelligence, beauty, fitness and many other characteristics vary in individuals. Whereas if you were to genetically modify genes, then parents will most likely choose genes boosting similar traits as almost everybody look for the same characteristics (namely intelligence, fitness, beauty, as you said). This leaves little for variation as you cannot choose the level of intelligence or the level of fitness one should have. Though you can have many variations in beauty, many are likely to choose the most sought after characteristics in height, eye colour and so on. I agree that these do vary according to the individual's tastes, but it will still leave little for variation as many characteristics will be lost in the process. Also, not all individuals exactly choose the most intelligent, fit partner as not everybody may be in that position to be choosy - they may only choose somebody that they feel are to their level. As unfavourable traits become lost, variations will decrease. (by unfavourabe traits i mean those we consciouly choose not to like, although the same unfavourable trait may boost survival. eg. aggression, stress, carriers of certain diseases like Cystic Fibrosis...)

    Please excuse any spelling mistake/grammatical error - i'm so tired and sleepy :|
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    Whats wrong with everyone being smart, beautiful, athletic, perfectly healthy? It would certainly solve a lot of problems.
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    (Original post by Some random guy)
    Whats wrong with everyone being smart, beautiful, athletic, perfectly healthy? It would certainly solve a lot of problems.
    Nothing. But are you saying ugly people won't solve problems, or differently-able people can't integrate in society?
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    Yes, society will become a better place imo.
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      Designed... babies? :wtf:



      Creationism in its sickest form
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      (Original post by F.I)
      Nothing. But are you saying ugly people won't solve problems, or differently-able people can't integrate in society?
      I don't understand what you mean. If everyone was - for want of a better word - a superhuman, then yes they would be of better stock than current humans.
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      (Original post by PerigeeApogee)
      No, not really. All you've done is add more words... the argument is essentially the same - "don't let people choose their children's traits BECAUSE IT'LL LEAD TO BAD THINGS".

      You've provided to evidence to suggest that the negative consequences you speak of would occur - that's just your hunch.
      are you seriously denying that the negative things about designer babies wouldn't happen?
      are you seriously saying that you have that much faith in people?
      I sure don't.

      also, it seems that lately, only stupid people reproduce ... so making smarter, more intelligent babies just makes less offspring xD
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      Although intuitively it strikes me as wrong, I can see nothing rationally wrong with allowing humanity to be improved by having more intelligent/attractive people. Certainly, raising the average IQ could only be a good thing. However, from a social perspective, what I see happening is (and I'd like to point out it's very rare for me to give a left-wing argument) is that society would be split between those who could afford to "design" their babies and those who could not. As a result, the offspring would be equally split, and after a few generations there would very much be a two-tiered society, between those who were genetically modified and so have all of the genetic advantages, and those who weren't. The difference between that and a financial split is that it is impossible to change your genes once you're born, making it much less likely that social mobility would be possible.
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      Yeah, why not. Parents want whats best for their children, why limit that to just the way they bring them up? So called arguments Ive heard against it all seem to be either "no its wrong" without explaining why, or "no, only God should be able to create" (and the flaw in reasoning is rather stark there)
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      (Original post by PerigeeApogee)
      All new technologies start off very, very expensive, and as a result, there's always an initial point when people say that it will be divisive.

      Computers, mobile phones, the internet, automobiles, etc, etc. They all started off ridiculously expensive, and people predicted that it would strike a divide in society, where the poor would be held back by their inability to access these vital tools, and those who had access to them would shoot ahead.

      Historically, such trends are short-lived, and as a the learning curve of the technologists is traversed, and the market opens up to competition, etc, the price of the technology falls and everybody can afford it.

      More related is genetic counselling and genetic medicine. It took 13 years and 2.7 billion dollars to sequence ONE human genome in the 90s, and even when they were finished they didn't really know what to do with it yet. Today it takes around 6 weeks and you can get it done for $12,000, get your human genome given to you on a CD, with a complete list of all the illnesses and disorders you are predisposed to, and can basically live your life around this important information. In another 10 years you'll get it done for a few grand and it'll take a week, and in another 10 years after that you'll get it done as easily and cheaply as you get a blood test.

      These technologies do not take very long to drop in price.

      Cars, mobile phones, computers, the internet were, not too long ago, restricted to the rich. Not they are ubiquitous, and there's no reason to believe that this technology wouldn't take an uncharacteristic route.
      I'm not saying it necessarily would happen, but I think with genetics, it's more likely to be divisive, because it's self-perpetuating. As the price of mobile phones drops, more people can have them, and that's all fine. There's nothing to stop someone who had no mobile phone getting one. However, when it comes to genetics, you obviously can't change yourself, and the people who are "designed" are, presumably, more likely to be successful, and outdo competition, pushing the people who couldn't be designed down further. I don't know whether this would be the case, but I think the arguments for it strike me as stronger than those relating to mobile phones or cars, because you can work to save money to get one of those, but you can't work to save money to change your genes.
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      (Original post by PerigeeApogee)
      Well not one single person in this thread has managed to elucidate what these 'negative things' are. They just keep referring them to as 'negative effects', 'negative consequences', 'bad things', 'immoralities', etc, without ever being straight and just saying what it is they're foaming about.

      I don't know how the world would react to this technology, and neither do you. That's the point in research and reaching new frontiers - we are usually unable to comprehend their influence on the future and how they will be used.

      Just because a few people have a 'bad feeling' about something isn't a reason not to go through with it. They might be wrong, it might work out great, and we might kick ourselves for even considering not going through with it once we begin reaping the benefits from it.

      Generally, that's what's happened in history. All sorts of breakthroughs and technologies have had their naysayers, and very few of those technologies have proved to be as harmful as they were predicted to have been.

      And as I've said already - people already design their children by designing their environment in such a way that it will induce certain characteristics in them. This is just a new way of achieving the same results.
      It's one thing to be attempting to induce certain characteristics by modifying the environment around the child ... but it's a whole different story when you're messing with the actual biology of the child. I don't agree with designer babies unless it's to remove genetic defects that is illnesses. That is all.
     
     
     
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