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  1. #11
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    It is untrue that 'nature doesn't weed out the unfit anymore.' This is evidenced by the number of computer programmers and physicists that can't get laid, while a semi-aware Bible thumper can pop kids out by the dozen. You can dislike the criteria used, but natural selection is definitely in play.

    I see nothing wrong with eugenics in and of itself. Humans have used it with success since the first plant and animal were domesticated. However, there are certain problems inherent in applying it to humans.

    First, we don't really understand genetics all that well, or even what is caused by genes versus environment. This is demonstrated by the poster above who believes that it is moral to sterilize the mentally disabled when many of their conditions are either not heritable, or involve rare regressive genes that are unlikely to be passed on. This was actually practiced in the past, resulting in people who were actually perfectly capable of having 'normal' children being sterilized.

    Second, human systems tend to become corrupted by special interest groups and politics. Set up a system to reduce life threatening or debilitating conditions, and soon people are forbidden to reproduce because their child is likely to be unintelligent or unattractive.

    Third, we don't know what genes may be most viable in the future, or what might happen if we succeed in eliminating certain conditions. As an example, look at sickle-cell anemia, which is purely disadvantageous except in areas where malaria is present. Imagine a strain of malaria appeared that killed 99.9% of people infected, but scientists had eradicated the sickle-cell gene (meaning no carriers with an adaptive advantage). It could mean the difference between an entire population being wiped out and enough people surviving to continue on. An unlikely scenario, but something like it becomes more and more likely the more we try to build the 'perfect' human by removing 'faulty' genes.

    In my opinion, the only time that sterilization might be appropriate in the current social and political climate is if a person has a provably heritable condition that would significantly impact the child's viability or quality of life, cannot understand the consequences of reproducing due to a mental defect, and is likely to behave in a manner that will result in conception. As for everyone else, they have a vested interest in their child's future, so provide them with the tools they need to ensure that children will be born healthy, including things like genetic screening and birth control.

  2. #12
    Nerd King Usurper Edgar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dala View Post
    It is untrue that 'nature doesn't weed out the unfit anymore.' This is evidenced by the number of computer programmers and physicists that can't get laid, while a semi-aware Bible thumper can pop kids out by the dozen. You can dislike the criteria used, but natural selection is definitely in play.
    I don't I agree with your concept of "natural selection". For example, government subsidizing breeding behavior, i.e. giving money to people who are so incompetent as to view an additional couple a hundred of bucks a month as a reason enough to have a child, is not something that I would consider "natural selection" by any definition that I know.

    Also, judging by the rest of your post, I gather you either didn't read or understood the post(s) preceding yours.
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  3. #13
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    The sad truth that some of you don't want to face is that some of those "Bible thumpers" are good looking, healthy, strong, have 20/20 vision, and wouldn't have a problem faring in the wild.

    Some computer programmers are physically weak, have extremely poor vision, and couldn't function in the wilderness if they had a Native American guide.

    Things like plastic surgery, lasik surgery, and any number of other artificial means of improving one's health or looks are impeding "natural selection" more than the government is.

    Besides, my psych professor said that genius can actually be looked at as a disability, and that it's also not necessarily genetically transferred to offspring (two average people can give birth to a genius, and a genius can give birth to an average person), so there's no real proof that these scientists should be breeding. Maybe their purpose is to serve society in a different way, and leave the fucking and child rearing to people who are sexually attractive and have people skills.

    Just another perspective.

  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marmie Dearest View Post
    Besides, my psych professor said that genius can actually be looked at as a disability, and that it's also not necessarily genetically transferred to offspring (two average people can give birth to a genius, and a genius can give birth to an average person), so there's no real proof that these scientists should be breeding. Maybe their purpose is to serve society in a different way, and leave the fucking and child rearing to people who are sexually attractive and have people skills.
    That's regression to the mean, a common phenomenon in genetics. However, you embed the word can as if it solves the issue, but its introduction complicates the treatment of the problem much more than it might sound from your post. Two very smart people have nonzero probability of producing a terribly dumb child (i'm not saying academic, I really mean slow), yet this probability is relatively small. Two very tall people will often have children that are shorter than them, yet usually the won't have very short children (vice versa for very short people). Etc etc. so over generations genetic determinism becomes more and more irrilevant, yet it does have some relevance when we look at direct parent-child relationships.
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    Quote Originally Posted by FDG View Post
    That's regression to the mean, a common phenomenon in genetics. However, you embed the word can as if it solves the issue, but its introduction complicates the treatment of the problem much more than it might sound from your post. Two very smart people have nonzero probability of producing a terribly dumb child (i'm not saying academic, I really mean slow), yet this probability is relatively small. Two very tall people will often have children that are shorter than them, yet usually the won't have very short children (vice versa for very short people). Etc etc. so over generations genetic determinism becomes more and more irrilevant, yet it does have some relevance when we look at direct parent-child relationships.
    Of course the two extremes are not mutually exclusive, most people fall somewhere in the middle of that continium, but I balk at the suggestion that people who have a particular *type* of intelligence are more fit to breed that people who actually have a perfectly acceptable average level of intelligence and good physical health and other abilities. Also, I don't think money =/= smart, either. A person can come from a very wealthy family, or even be upper middle class, and they aren't necessarily passing along better genes than the working class.

  6. #16
    pathwise dependent FDG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marmie Dearest View Post
    Of course the two extremes are not mutually exclusive, most people fall somewhere in the middle of that continium, but I balk at the suggestion that people who have a particular *type* of intelligence are more fit to breed that people who actually have a perfectly accept average level of intelligence and good physical health and other abilities. Also, I don't think money =/= smart, either. A person can come from a very wealthy family, or even be upper middle class, and they aren't necessarily passing along better genes than the working class.
    Yeah sure. There is no "right" to breed or not to breed. Most things happen by chance, if we look at humanity as a whole.
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  7. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by FDG View Post
    Yeah sure. There is no "right" to breed or not to breed. Most things happen by chance, if we look at humanity as a whole.
    Well it's true. You can be beautiful and poor, ugly and rich, smart and poor, stupid and rich...I mean, the only people who absolutely should not be breeding are people who are inbred or mentally disabled.

    Inbred people should not continue breeding. Of course, sometimes they produce someone relatively good looking, like Prince William.

  8. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Edgar View Post
    I don't I agree with your concept of "natural selection". For example, government subsidizing breeding behavior, i.e. giving money to people who are so incompetent as to view an additional couple a hundred of bucks a month as a reason enough to have a child, is not something that I would consider "natural selection" by any definition that I know.

    Also, judging by the rest of your post, I gather you either didn't read or understood the post(s) preceding yours.
    Natural selection is "the process whereby organisms better adapted to their environment tend to survive and produce more offspring," and the parasitic behaviour you just described is adaptive in the current environment (in that people who exhibit it have more children on average than people who don't). Whether policy should exist that encourages this behaviour is another question altogether. I'm getting the impression that people are assuming natural selection only applies to 'natural' criteria, when in reality social factors such as this are extremely relevant.

  9. #19
    Nerd King Usurper Edgar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dala View Post
    Natural selection is "the process whereby organisms better adapted to their environment tend to survive and produce more offspring," and the parasitic behaviour you just described is adaptive in the current environment (in that people who exhibit it have more children on average than people who don't). Whether policy should exist that encourages this behaviour is another question altogether. I'm getting the impression that people are assuming natural selection only applies to 'natural' criteria, when in reality social factors such as this are extremely relevant.
    So what do you consider "artificial selection" then?
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  10. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by dala View Post
    Natural selection is "the process whereby organisms better adapted to their environment tend to survive and produce more offspring," and the parasitic behaviour you just described is adaptive in the current environment (in that people who exhibit it have more children on average than people who don't). Whether policy should exist that encourages this behaviour is another question altogether. I'm getting the impression that people are assuming natural selection only applies to 'natural' criteria, when in reality social factors such as this are extremely relevant.
    I get what you're saying. Social factors totally play into this. Survival tactics are survival tactics and adaptive behavior is adaptive behavior.

    Saying that they should have a particular social standing or income is just another social construct, because the people in question actually HAVE adapted to a social construct.

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