Eugenics(sp?)

I’m interested in hearing everyone’s opinion on Eugentics(sp?) (the theory that children should be raised in such a manner that they can become the most intellegent, attractive, etc. as possible-----regardless of what types of measures must be taken to acheive such a result).

I personaly highly disagree with Eugentics. But, many well-know people throughout history have been supporters of it is some way or another (i.e. Plato, Hitler, and former President William Clinton, I think).

I’m guessing that many of you guys will also disagree with it, but I may be totaly wrong. :wink:

Well its a terrible idea on paper, but it works great in real life.

No wait, strike that. Reverse it.

Eugenics is very sloppy genetic engineering. It can be difficult to get the results you want. Plus it takes a good long while before you know exactly how your ‘crop’ pans out.

Its also a bit arrogant. It assumes you know exactly what traits are the most useful. The circumstances you select for can make your ‘crop’ unsuitable for the circumstances they face. Right now you might breed with the goal of producing intelligent peaceful offspring. Then a terrible natural disaster might take place and the new environment would be inhospitable to the new ‘crop.’

Biodiversity is more flexible than specialization.

In one of Piers Anthony’s novels he writes of a future where the world government instigates a program to eliminate the races. Humans are set to interbreed until there are no different races, just humans. I think it is one of the most fascinating ideas for a beneficial use of eugenics.

If we bred our children as well as we bred our dogs…
I must agree with xanderman, the .coms looked pretty good there for a while, and a new ice age may put an end to the sunworshipers.
Though I wouldn’t fear for our survival, we are the mammalian cockroach.

I would never support a system that required a person to do something they didn’t want to knowingly do.
Deception is, at it’s root, a left side action.

Eugenics is one topic which I’m very divided between. Our current trend is dysgenic as those who would have previously died from a condition are now surviving, and more intelligent people choose to have less children because children are economically a bad investment and are less likely to have accidental pregnancies than lesser intelligent people. That is a generalisation though. There is a negative correlation between intelligence and fertility. I’m in favour of doing something to stop our current genetic decline through changing the current system.

If we don’t slow the dysgenic trend though we may end up with a minority of elites with the greater population not that bright. This dysgenic trend may be one of the reasons why there is a widening gap between rich and poor.

We must look at eugenics in a manner to where they could be most useful, and with restrictions.

I personally disagree with the use of eugenic expiramentation on the public masses. However, in the lowest form of eugenics we have what is the country of Japan. Colonists from China picking out the best and brightest to form a new nation. Japan is a perfect example of noninteractive natural eugnenics. What I mean by that is there was no tampering involved in the growth of Japan. A selective choice was made at the start and the entire colony was left to breed without limits or boundries. This is why you can go to a Japanese high school and expect to find few or no fat people whatsoever. (Japanese school girls are hot mind you be. :wink: )

In books and movies we have seen the use of eugenics in certain applications given the resulting pros and cons. The book Brave New World is an excellent example of eugenics on a more public spectrum, while the movie Soldier takes the application to a more private spectrum, namely, the military.

In my opinion, it isn’t a useful objective to approach eugenics on a public spectrum (like in the movie Gattaca or numerous references to Star Trek). However, it would seem the only useful field eugenics could be applied is in the private military sector. Selective breeding and genetic manipulation could result in manufacturing the perfect soldier, but to what end?

I think Brave New World take’s eugenics to its’ logical conclusion, and my guess is that we’d better have a carefully thought out position in another 10-15 years. We haven’t heard much about human cloning lately, but it’s just around the corner. The efforts will be crude at first, but it seems likely that within 50 years ‘designer’ clones will be possible. The ethical and moral questions raised by this possibility is a 10 Excedrin headache. I’d like to think that such capabilitiy will be used for the betterment of the human species. Unfortunately, I don’t believe that. We’ve exploited for profit everything else in the world, why not the human genome? Damn. I’ve got to take a couple excedrin just to finish this. :frowning:

JT

I would say that the biggest problems with eugenics are (as have been mentioned) 1. the inability to forsee new/different environments outside one’s own in which different ablities to be successful are needed 2. inadequate understanding of the human being, lack of knowledge about what consequences various traits have, about their relative value 3. a spiralling inbreeding effect

  1. As mentioned some change in environmental facotrs (i include anything outside of yourself as environmental here) could make supposed benefits worthless, or even a hindrance to success

  2. It is incredibly hard to say what traits are good. While most might say that intelligence is good, what if intelligence actually breeds discontent, and truly it the the unintelligent who are happy. A large discontented population combined with the resources of intelligence and any other genetic gifts could wreak serious havoc on themselves/the world.

  3. As genetic engineering create more and more people with similar attributes (even with various modifications…some might want super athletes, other artists, etc. but I am assuming some core traits would be found in common at least among large groups of similar people…i.e. Americans generally have a similar picture of what traits are good, Japanese have a slightly different idea) it would become more and more difficult to find other traits as being worthwhile. Basically, you create an elite (genetically, and most likely they are already the financial/power elite being that they can afford the genetic engineering) who constantly reinforce the idea that their own traits are the best. Thus it would become more difficult to break out, and develop new and better traits.

Basically I think in the end, diversity and free growth and change allow for the best chances for any individual, society, or species