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View Full Version : Genetics, disease, and "modern medicine" (was DNP)


Ron Ritzman
October 21st 03, 01:17 PM
On Sun, 19 Oct 2003 08:59:49 -0500, Lyle McDonald
> wrote:

>> We can always count on Lyle to find a positive in everything....
>
>I am positive that the human race is going to be ****ed in a few hundred
>generations from what we have done to almost completely eliminate
>Darwinistic selection. Any genetic mutant, no matter how ****ed up, can
>be pretty much saved, preventing those genes from being weeded out of
>the pool like they were for the past millions of years.

Over on the phatza board (www.phatsa.org) a women who grew up
suffering from a whole laundry list of endocrine disorders, asthma,
etc. posted on how "modern life is making us sick" supposedly under
the impression that if she were born a few hundred years ago, she
would not have all these disorders. My first though was that if she
were born a few hundred years ago, she would not have survived past
childhood. Instead of directly saying that to her, I made a general
comment on how "modern medicine" is making more sick people by saving
those who would otherwise have died.

http://www.pimpcars.com/phatsa/viewtopic.php?t=133

Last year there was a thread on alt.fan.cecil-adams about "close
calls" and it amazed me of the number of people who came close to
being offed by something as a kid (disease or accident) but was saved
by "modern medicine".

So I have no doubt that we are becoming less "robust" as a species but
I think the most ethical solution would not be to prevent those with
genetic glitches from breeding (artificial selection) but learning how
to correct these glitches.

--
Ron Ritzman
http://www.panix.com/~ritzlart
Smart people can figure out my email address

Lyle McDonald
October 21st 03, 02:33 PM
Ron Ritzman wrote:
>
> On Sun, 19 Oct 2003 08:59:49 -0500, Lyle McDonald
> > wrote:
>
> >> We can always count on Lyle to find a positive in everything....
> >
> >I am positive that the human race is going to be ****ed in a few hundred
> >generations from what we have done to almost completely eliminate
> >Darwinistic selection. Any genetic mutant, no matter how ****ed up, can
> >be pretty much saved, preventing those genes from being weeded out of
> >the pool like they were for the past millions of years.
>
> Over on the phatza board (www.phatsa.org) a women who grew up
> suffering from a whole laundry list of endocrine disorders, asthma,
> etc. posted on how "modern life is making us sick" supposedly under
> the impression that if she were born a few hundred years ago, she
> would not have all these disorders. My first though was that if she
> were born a few hundred years ago, she would not have survived past
> childhood. Instead of directly saying that to her, I made a general
> comment on how "modern medicine" is making more sick people by saving
> those who would otherwise have died.
>
> http://www.pimpcars.com/phatsa/viewtopic.php?t=133
>
> Last year there was a thread on alt.fan.cecil-adams about "close
> calls" and it amazed me of the number of people who came close to
> being offed by something as a kid (disease or accident) but was saved
> by "modern medicine".
>
> So I have no doubt that we are becoming less "robust" as a species but
> I think the most ethical solution would not be to prevent those with
> genetic glitches from breeding (artificial selection) but learning how
> to correct these glitches.

Sure, and if we have genetic engineering to truly 'fix' them (i.e.
remove the genes from the pool), there is no problem.

That is not currently the case, we are maintaining extremely
disadvantageous phenotypes through modern medicine. GEnes that would
otherwise weed themselves out of hte pool are being maintained.

Lyle

Elzinator
October 21st 03, 07:44 PM
Lyle McDonald wrote in message news:
> Ron Ritzman wrote:
> >
> > On Sun, 19 Oct 2003 08:59:49 -0500, Lyle McDonald
> > > wrote:
> >
> > >> We can always count on Lyle to find a positive in everything....
> > >
> > >I am positive that the human race is going to be ****ed in a few hundred
> > >generations from what we have done to almost completely eliminate
> > >Darwinistic selection. Any genetic mutant, no matter how ****ed up, can
> > >be pretty much saved, preventing those genes from being weeded out of
> > >the pool like they were for the past millions of years.
> >
> > Over on the phatza board (www.phatsa.org) a women who grew up
> > suffering from a whole laundry list of endocrine disorders, asthma,
> > etc. posted on how "modern life is making us sick" supposedly under
> > the impression that if she were born a few hundred years ago, she
> > would not have all these disorders. My first though was that if she
> > were born a few hundred years ago, she would not have survived past
> > childhood. Instead of directly saying that to her, I made a general
> > comment on how "modern medicine" is making more sick people by saving
> > those who would otherwise have died.
> >
> > http://www.pimpcars.com/phatsa/viewtopic.php?t=133
> >
> > Last year there was a thread on alt.fan.cecil-adams about "close
> > calls" and it amazed me of the number of people who came close to
> > being offed by something as a kid (disease or accident) but was saved
> > by "modern medicine".
> >
> > So I have no doubt that we are becoming less "robust" as a species but
> > I think the most ethical solution would not be to prevent those with
> > genetic glitches from breeding (artificial selection) but learning how
> > to correct these glitches.
>
> Sure, and if we have genetic engineering to truly 'fix' them (i.e.
> remove the genes from the pool), there is no problem.
>
> That is not currently the case, we are maintaining extremely
> disadvantageous phenotypes through modern medicine. GEnes that would
> otherwise weed themselves out of hte pool are being maintained.

It's called Reverse Darwinism. It's our human altuistic nature at odds
with the rest of Nature. There may be pathogenic outbreaks in the
future (such as HIV, Ebola, SARS, West Nile, etc) that may limit the
influence, but I don't expect them to make a significant dent in the
current man-made selection process.

This is a highly emotionally charged issue because we are imprinted by
moral altruistic and ethical social constructs. It served a purpose
early in the evolution and civilization of our species but now it's
biting us in the ass.

MJL
October 25th 03, 04:46 PM
On Wed, 22 Oct 2003 12:13:29 -0500, DZ > wrote:

>Ron Ritzman wrote:
>> So I have no doubt that we are becoming less "robust" as a species
>> but I think the most ethical solution would not be to prevent those
>> with genetic glitches from breeding (artificial selection) but
>> learning how to correct these glitches.
>
>Some forms of artificial selection may be not all that
>outrageous from the current ethics point of view. The danger
>is when governments get involved. There'll soon be possible to
>do what can be called "family-based eugenics". James Watson
>(of DNA) basically supports the view that mothers should have
>a choice of selecting among possible sperm-egg combinations
>to optimize offspring characteristics, including intelligence
>and looks: http://www.achievement.org/autodoc/page/wat0int-1
>
>DZ
>
>

Genetics is one hell of a tyrannical master. I think that is true
regardless of the human value of "good bad" placed on emergent traits.

Proton Soup
October 25th 03, 10:36 PM
MJL > wrote in message >...
> On Wed, 22 Oct 2003 12:13:29 -0500, DZ > wrote:
>
> >Ron Ritzman wrote:
> >> So I have no doubt that we are becoming less "robust" as a species
> >> but I think the most ethical solution would not be to prevent those
> >> with genetic glitches from breeding (artificial selection) but
> >> learning how to correct these glitches.
> >
> >Some forms of artificial selection may be not all that
> >outrageous from the current ethics point of view. The danger
> >is when governments get involved. There'll soon be possible to
> >do what can be called "family-based eugenics". James Watson
> >(of DNA) basically supports the view that mothers should have
> >a choice of selecting among possible sperm-egg combinations
> >to optimize offspring characteristics, including intelligence
> >and looks: http://www.achievement.org/autodoc/page/wat0int-1
>
> Genetics is one hell of a tyrannical master. I think that is true
> regardless of the human value of "good bad" placed on emergent traits.

I heard somewhere recently that a man is more likely to stick around
and father his illegitimate offspring if the child is a boy.
Considering the insane drive that some women have to keep a man at all
costs, I wouldn't be at all surprised if we soon see a cheap fetal
sex-ID test, followed by a couple of articles in Cosmo, then a swift
5% increase in the percentage of manchild births.

Proton Soup
"thank heaven, for little girls..."