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Thread: Our Future "Genetic Load"

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    Advisor Angela's Avatar
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    Our Future "Genetic Load"

    Just in case you need a little more doom and gloom.

    "Although the human germline mutation rate is higher than that in any other well-studied species, the rate is not exceptional once the effective genome size and effective population size are taken into consideration. Human somatic mutation rates are substantially elevated above those in the germline, but this is also seen in other species. What is exceptional about humans is the recent detachment from the challenges of the natural environment and the ability to modify phenotypic traits in ways that mitigate the fitness effects of mutations, e.g., precision and personalized medicine. This results in a relaxation of selection against mildly deleterious mutations, including those magnifying the mutation rate itself. The long-term consequence of such effects is an expected genetic deterioration in the baseline human condition, potentially measurable on the timescale of a few generations in westernized societies, and because the brain is a particularly large mutational target, this is of particular concern. Ultimately, the price will have to be covered by further investment in various forms of medical intervention. Resolving the uncertainties of the magnitude and timescale of these effects will require the establishment of stable, standardized, multigenerational measurement procedures for various human traits. "

    See: http://www.genetics.org/content/202/3/86


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    survival of the fittest
    it doesn't work any more

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    Just be happy we live at the begging of this. If they had non-lactose milk in 2000 BC, I wouldn't have my lactose-persistent mutations.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fire Haired14 View Post
    Just be happy we live at the begging of this. If they had non-lactose milk in 2000 BC, I wouldn't have my lactose-persistent mutations.
    These alleles are handy to have, but let's not exaggerate. The Chinese (about 1/4 of the human race?), other East Asians, Latin Americans etc. plus Africans have done just fine without it.

    @Bicicleur,

    Indeed. It's also happening at the same time that automation and other technological innovations are removing the need for manual labor. It's a recipe for disaster.

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    Fitness of our brain becomes more important than our body's, in general. Good fitness of our brain will develop new technologies, which in turn will genetically fix our bodies. We'll be fit again as whole, to the perfection this time...
    Last edited by LeBrok; 16-03-16 at 20:28.
    Be wary of people who tend to glorify the past, underestimate the present, and demonize the future.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Angela View Post
    Indeed. It's also happening at the same time that automation and other technological innovations are removing the need for manual labor. It's a recipe for disaster.
    I find it all a bit worriesome. We're mocking with nature.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bicicleur View Post
    I find it all a bit worriesome. We're mocking with nature.
    Me too.

    It seems to me that this will invariably lead to more and more social instability. It's already begun, as the great leveling effect of unionization is reversing, and we have a bigger divide between higher level white collar workers and the rest of the population.

    As LeBroc says, it should be possible not terribly long in the future to genetically engineer babies and correct not only for health but for intelligence. However, who will be able to afford the technology. If it stays in private hands, the offspring of the rich will become supposed "super-humans", and the offspring of poorer people and countries will remain the same, or, if this is correct, even less adapted to life in the "brave new world". On the other hand, government could control it, but I, for one, don't trust them to know what they're doing or to do it benevolently.

    Most important of all, selection has worked because of all the variety of genetic materials available. What are the unintended consequences of removing that variety for the species as a whole?

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    indeed, natural selection and survival of the fittest is not the same as engineering babies
    the mechanism kicks in only after the seeds are sown and not before

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    Genetic engineering may solve this problem in the future.

    On the other hand, encouraging some non-invasive eugenic policies might be good.

    By non-invasive I mean not violating basic human rights.

    BTW - natural selection is still working in some of the poorest Third World countries.

    Quote Originally Posted by Angela
    As LeBroc says, it should be possible not terribly long in the future to genetically engineer babies
    Have you seen "Elysium", though?

    Genetically engineering your baby will not be affordable for every "commoner", I guess.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Angela View Post
    As LeBroc says, it should be possible not terribly long in the future to genetically engineer babies and correct not only for health but for intelligence. However, who will be able to afford the technology. If it stays in private hands, the offspring of the rich will become supposed "super-humans", and the offspring of poorer people and countries will remain the same,
    The beauty of technology is that it is actually a great equalizer. There is certainly a lag between technology receiving for rich and poor, but eventually and rather quickly technology gets very cheap and democratic. There was a time that only rich had cars, phones, cell phones or flew on a plane, but with technological progress few decades later everybody could enjoy the same. And the lag is shrinking and technology makes everything inexpensive. 15 years ago first genome was sequenced for a price of 2 billions, now 16 years later it is just 10,000 dollars. 15 years in the future cost will be few bucks and every doctor will have the sequencer in his office.
    There is no reason to suspect that modifying human DNA will be expensive, and only for upper class.
    It is not going to be a quick revolution type change. It will be a slow process highly regulated by government. Don't worry, no Frankenbabies.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tomenable View Post
    Have you seen "Elysium", though?

    Genetically engineering your baby will not be affordable for every "commoner", I guess.
    You wouldn't want to watch a movie about a boring word where people are safe, equal, beautiful, smart and good, would you?
    Hollywood needs dramma to sell the movie.
    Check my post above.

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    Genetic engineering is very dangerous. I don't think any scientist or government is stupid enough to use it as much as in sci-fy movies. If genetic engineering was sold by private companies, the rich people's children would become a super race. If it was controlled by the government, they'd have to have a lot of knowledge to make sure they don't cause any harm. I say, why can't we just be happy with what we have? Yeah, advancing in technology is good, but at some point we have to say enough is enough.

    The more we advance the potential for harm grows greater and greater. I'd rather life in the Stone age than a futuristic society, where the biology of every human is controlled by the government, with communist economics where everyone works like drones for the "common good", and you're killed if you rebel against the social-order designed to create a flawless society. If we decide how our world works on hardcore logic, we'll lose our humanity. Pain and suffering is good, and is needed to be a healthy human being.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fire Haired14 View Post
    Genetic engineering is very dangerous.
    You have no grounds to think so. Don't base your opinion and fears on fictional movies. You have more information about danger of cars and fear them.

    I don't think any scientist or government is stupid enough to use it as much as in sci-fy movies. If genetic engineering was sold by private companies, the rich people's children would become a super race. If it was controlled by the government, they'd have to have a lot of knowledge to make sure they don't cause any harm. I say, why can't we just be happy with what we have? Yeah, advancing in technology is good, but at some point we have to say enough is enough.
    I wish you said enough before you bought your computer with internet connection. Let people decide about their lives and their children.


    The more we advance the potential for harm grows greater and greater.
    And yet we live longer and healthier, and there is more of us than ever. Potential doesn't equal reality. I have a feeling that you are ever more afraid of the outside world and any changes.

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    I'm out of here.
    It is a dangerous evolution because we're of the beaten track.
    What will happen now, it is all speculation.

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    Bicicleur is right: we're all just speculating. A lot of it boils down to whether we trust government and scientists with something so elemental. Personally, I don't. Correcting for disease is wonderful, but beyond that I think it's dangerous.

    @Tomenable,
    How could a "eugenics" program not be invasive and interfere with human rights, other than a personal decision not to procreate? This is fascist, Nazi ideology.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Angela View Post
    Bicicleur is right: we're all just speculating. A lot of it boils down to whether we trust government and scientists with something so elemental. Personally, I don't. Correcting for disease is wonderful, but beyond that I think it's dangerous.
    Objection, leading. ;)

    How will we know if it is working for us or not, if we are even afraid to try? If I could make an observation about human nature, and food for thought. All of you are displaying ultra conservative position on the subject. You would rather stick to the old ways, than try and experiment with something unknown. Just a thought of new and unknown seems to evoke feeling of fear and avoidance.

    Conservative position is good and beneficial in many situations, because the new is not necessarily better than old. Conservative position is a safe bet most of the time, sticking to the ways that work before. However, keep in mind that without trying something new, experimenting with new ways and new things, we still would be sitting in caves or on trees being afraid of fire.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LeBrok View Post
    Objection, leading. ;)
    How will we know if it is working for us or not, if we are even afraid to try?
    There has to be controlled studies. That is how we achieved cures and other achievements which we literally take for granted these days. Many of them especially opening people up for operations and so on used to cause a certain degree of furor amoung people. There were times when experimentation used to be done underground, by time control studies have become more rigid and to much higher standards.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Maleth View Post
    There has to be controlled studies. That is how we achieved cures and other achievements which we literally take for granted these days. Many of them especially opening people up for operations and so on used to cause a certain degree of furor amoung people. There were times when experimentation used to be done underground, by time control studies have become more rigid and to much higher standards.
    I edited my post in meantime. Sorry.

    Exactly. It is all in the open, controlled and done with most brilliant minds. We are not talking about implementing random mutations, throwing a dice, to check how it works. Actually, imagine backlash in society if we did experiments the nature way, doing changes to DNA and checking if someone lives or not. Now, when we want to use mind and logic to make people better, that's a no no. What if we screw up? What if rich benefit of it first?
    The issue with this seems to be more psychological or equality-justice tybe thing, than anything else.

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    Gentlemen, it doesn't really matter what controls western governments attempt to put into place. The genie, or the technology, is out of the bottle. China will do what it wants, so will Russia, so maybe will North Korea, so will some billionaire who wants the "perfect child". This discussion is just an intellectual exercise on our parts. What will happen, will happen.

    Yes, LeBroc, I'm rather fatalistic, as well as pessimistic, as well as conservative...well, in most things. :) It's the result of a perfect storm of genetics and life experience.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Angela
    How could a "eugenics" program not be invasive and interfere with human rights, other than a personal decision not to procreate?
    For example - financial incentives for certain people to stop procreating, and for other people to start procreating. Currently the institution of "welfare state" is encouraging less intelligent or less able people to breed fast, and does nothing to increase fertility of people who are more ambitious and continue education or pursue careers. So social policies in a welfare state are perhaps dysgenic.

    This is fascist, Nazi ideology.
    Nazis adopted eugenicism for their own purposes, but they didn't invent eugenics - it has a much longer history.

    And I'm not aware of Fascists implementing any eugenic policies. Only Nazis did, AFAIK.

    Did Fascists in Italy or elsewhere support eugenics ???

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tomenable View Post
    For example - financial incentives for certain people to stop procreating, and for other people to start procreating. Currently the institution of "welfare state" is encouraging less intelligent or less able people to breed fast, and does nothing to increase fertility of people who are more ambitious and continue education or pursue careers. So social policies in a welfare state are perhaps dysgenic.



    Nazis adopted eugenicism for their own purposes, but they didn't invent eugenics - it has a much longer history.

    And I'm not aware of Fascists implementing any eugenic policies. Only Nazis did, AFAIK.

    Did Fascists in Italy or elsewhere support eugenics ???
    Can you see a western political democracy passing laws based on the finding that certain groups or classes or individuals are "superior" and therefore should be given a stipend for each child produced, or vice versa, offering money to those defined as "inferior" if they accept sterilization?

    Nazis were fascists, just a particular type of fascist.

    There was no euthanasia or forced sterilization in Italy or Spain or in the authoritarian regimes in eastern Europe, to my knowledge, the way there was in Germany. There, they were even sterilizing young girls who had been hospitalized for depression. Interesting you bring this up, I watched a you tube video on the Lebensborn program just a few days ago.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wcOCILT40Dw

    Monstrous, these people, just monstrous. More monstrous is how many of them there were who would lend themselves to it.

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    @Lebrok,

    First, we have to get the knowledge to determine every trait in a baby. I'm pretty sure we're not even close to that. No one has any idea what causes curly hair or certain personality traits or why some people are taller than others. Science is far away from hardcore genetic engineering.

    Ok, but hypothetically lets say at some point in time hardcore genetic engineering is possible. The most important thing to do is make sure people don't use it harmfully. That alone is very difficult. As we become more advanced, good security becomes more and more difficult to have. If you think today, top secret knowledge is more secure than it was in 1900, give your argument. I don't think it is. The fact US Presidents in the past had little security when with the public, and even had open-house parties, is a reflection of how things have changed security wise.

    Lets say hypothetically a perfect security system is put in place so no one can miss use genetic engineering, and it is regulated by the government. In that case I think some degree of genetic engineering is good. When it takes away our humanity that's when I think it is wrong.

    Yeah, our lives today are easier than ever. But in a lot of ways modern life has takes away our humanity. Starring at a screen for hours every day, having too much entertainment and food, and having little physical activity, is unhealthy. Having a cushioned protected life, where you don't learn skills and face hardships, like discipline and exhaustion and bullying and physical pain and etc, you won't be a healthy human being. We need pain to be healthy. Unless you change what being human is, literally making us unhuman, we have to certain experiences and hardships to be healthy humans.

    Inequality is apart of humanity. Human society can't work if everyone is equal and flawless. This is where I think genetic engineering is wrong, just as I think anti-bullying campaigns go too far. This is sort of getting off topic, but to take away shame and inequality is stupid. Shame is what keeps everyone from acting like idiots, it's vital to human interaction. Inequality is needed in human society, just as you need inequality in Wolfe society.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fire Haired14 View Post
    @Lebrok,

    First, we have to get the knowledge to determine every trait in a baby. I'm pretty sure we're not even close to that. No one has any idea what causes curly hair or certain personality traits or why some people are taller than others. Science is far away from hardcore genetic engineering.
    That's why I'm not advocating designer babies now, but way in the future when we deciphered all DNA.

    Ok, but hypothetically lets say at some point in time hardcore genetic engineering is possible. The most important thing to do is make sure people don't use it harmfully. That alone is very difficult. As we become more advanced, good security becomes more and more difficult to have. If you think today, top secret knowledge is more secure than it was in 1900, give your argument. I don't think it is. The fact US Presidents in the past had little security when with the public, and even had open-house parties, is a reflection of how things have changed security wise.
    It is rather a rare occurrence that parents would desire to make their baby worse. But even if they did, it can't be much worse than some of today's parents kill their kids or cripple them for life, and I don't mean unborn. I'm sure there will be a protective law in place.

    Lets say hypothetically a perfect security system is put in place so no one can miss use genetic engineering, and it is regulated by the government. In that case I think some degree of genetic engineering is good. When it takes away our humanity that's when I think it is wrong.
    We can define humanity and keep people human.

    Yeah, our lives today are easier than ever. But in a lot of ways modern life has takes away our humanity. Starring at a screen for hours every day, having too much entertainment and food, and having little physical activity, is unhealthy.
    Well, we can borrow Bears DNA and have our muscle grow even without exercise, like in hibernating bear.


    Inequality is apart of humanity. Human society can't work if everyone is equal and flawless.
    This is where I think genetic engineering is wrong, just as I think anti-bullying campaigns go too far. This is sort of getting off topic, but to take away shame and inequality is stupid. Shame is what keeps everyone from acting like idiots, it's vital to human interaction. Inequality is needed in human society, just as you need inequality in Wolfe society.
    This is coming soon and without help of DNA. In few decades robots will do everything for us. Will have stuff without working. Communism will sneak in through the back door.

    Having said that, I'm not sure if it is for good or bad. I'm just observing where the future is leading us to, and I like talking about this.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Angela
    I watched a you tube video on the Lebensborn program just a few days ago.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wcOCILT40Dw

    Monstrous, these people, just monstrous.
    Are modern sperm banks really "much less monstrous", though ???

    Pay attention especially to information from "Ethnicity" column:

    https://www.europeanspermbank.com/sp...erm_donor.php#

    Looks like one group is hugely overrepresented among sperm donors.

    I wonder why this group, is high supply caused by high demand?

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    Maybe that's why:

    https://www.europeanspermbank.com/sp..._screening.php

    "Donor Screening
    Initially the donors are selected by the Nordic Cryobank staff (...)"

    But why exactly by this institution?

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