Tainari88 wrote:You mentioned elite athletes and bodybuilders, skipped over the entire reality of huge variation within groups.
I'm thinking in marketing terms--who's the market? You know an interesting one would be the very wealthy. Older wealthy people are always interested in aging. Now consider the ethical implications of a welfare state. A welfare state would be fine with Mike Bloomberg, Donald Trump and Mitt Romney looking to extend their lives by modifying genes associated to aging; however, they'd pay for it themselves. If it were proposed for Medicare and it extended people's lives even 2-3 years, it could destroy Medicare and Social Security budgets overnight.
Tainari88 wrote:The capitalist machine types and neoliberals keep thinking they can dictate and change the world into how they want it to go. They can't even repair the damage they have done to the environment, to the planet, and to the people who live in deep poverty and struggle to live and eat everyday and resign themselves to living in poverty for the rest of their lives. They can't even FIX that damn problem BJ! How are they going to ''re-design"the human race eh? You tell me.....
I don't believe in a collective utopia, nor the whiggish/progressive view of a one directional march toward everything getting "better." Were native Americans poor or rich? Sophisticated, or "noble savages"? History has seen the collapse of the Greek, Roman, Mongolian and Chinese empires. We've seen conflicts between the iron age Celts and the Roman classical civilization, and then seen Rome fall and a resumption of Dark Age/Middle Age life. Living most of my life in California, I'm seeing right now the effects of a substantial regression and the absurdness of modern law as it tries to grapple with the situation. For example, I can take a shit on the sidewalk and shoot up heroin in front of a cop in San Francisco while both acts are patently illegal and nothing will happen to me, but if I drive while talking on my cell phone and hurt nobody I will get a $950 fine and it will be enforced. That's the paradox of modern civilization run by capitalist progressives, leftists and "woke" people. I don't see that being sustainable, and why I relish watching Nancy Pelosi melt down like the Wicked Witch of the West in the Wizard of Oz. However, what replaces the welfare state when it collapses? Probably something like feudalism again. It won't be pretty, but it already isn't pretty.
So are we talking about genetic engineering or political science? You seem to conflate the two quite a lot, and you use "we" as though a collective decision would be made about everything. We haven't made a collective decision that we're going to make 10% of our population alcoholics and heroin addicts, for example. We don't all agree that we're each going to drink two coca colas today. There are a lot of choices that happen without a collective decision.
As a computer head, it's much easier for me to simply abandon the notion of equality for an abstraction like dignity. I certainly understand the appeal to rationalism. However, I see the concept of "equality" in political terms as becoming problematic, because it forces looking at the world in a certain way that doesn't necessarily capture the essence of the world as it is and progressives and socialists do not seem to like to be limited in scope. In formal logic, the opposite of equality is inequality. It's not necessarily ordinal--greater than or less than. Yet, that's precisely the argument I get each time I indicate that I'm no longer an egalitarian, but still a libertarian. There is a presumption that if you don't see equality, you must see an ordinal rank rather than a series of inequalities.
Genes aren't as well understood as we would like them to be, but that is changing and it's changing very rapidly. It makes people very uncomfortable to even discuss such notions.
When Obama was president and was constantly trolling people on race (face it, he was as much a troll as Trump is), I found it entertaining to bring up The Bell Curve, precisely because academia refused to debate it seriously and simply used what Clinton acolytes called "The Politics of Personal Destruction" to trash Charles Murray and Richard Herrnstein along with the research they predicated the book upon. The Bell Curve was not a thesis that said, "White people are smarter than black people." It was a book that was arguing that ditching vocational training (something that is now politically acceptable to discuss as Marco Rubio and Steve Bullock have shown, provided IQ or race is not mentioned anywhere) and trying to force everyone to go to college was not sound policy, because people were not equally equipped intellectually for graduate and post-graduate academic work. Herrnstein died not too long after the book was published, but Murray revisited the topic--this time omitting race altogether in a book called "Coming Apart"--addressing inequality among whites in America. Many other works have shown deep segregation in society based not upon race, but upon intelligence levels. Income distribution graphs overlay IQ distribution graphs very nicely. Conversely, people with serious social problems overlay people with low IQ very nicely as well.
I remember arguing this years ago, whether it was rates of sexually transmitted disease or violent crime rates, these distributions were the unmistakable central tendency--again, not absolute, not a ignoring outliers, etc. Just a central tendency.
Since intelligence is such a complex subject, it does not lend itself easily to this discussion. It's been shown that intelligence is a strongly heritable trait. There are over 50 genes identified with strong correlations to intelligence, which is too complex to hash out on a phpBB site. Yet, some genes have been shown to be linked with particular biologic functions and behavior patterns. For example, the Monoamine Oxidase A gene (MAOA) shows a high degree of anti-social behavior in people with a knock out of the gene and in people with the 2-repeat allele, and a somewhat more attenuated, environment influenced tendency toward anti-social behavior in people with a 3-repeat allele. That's not seen in people with a 4- or 5-repeat allele.
Knockout of the MOAO gene is an extreme outlier. I believe it was identified in a Dutch family, who were impossibly violent rapists who attacked police, etc. Yet, it's an extreme outlier. In African-American populations, it's upwards of 5.5% of their population. It's almost unheard of in whites and Asians. Among the more environment-influential 3-repeat allele of MAOA, about 55% of African-Americans have a 3-repeat allele, and about 33% of white Americans do--I'd have to go back and look that up for exact statistics if the "woke" people haven't scrubbed all of the studies from the internet. This 3-repeat case is interesting, because this is where social welfare demonstrates an influence in attenuating anti-social behavior--something that progressives, socialists, leftists, egalitarians, whatever you want to call them want to be true of ALL people. Yet, it's not. So in some people, social welfare policies simply aren't going to help. Having a 2-repeat allele of MAOA doesn't automatically make you a criminal; however, in pubescent and adult males until, oh, about 40 or so, they are dramatically more likely to have been detained and/or incarcerated by the police if they have a 2-repeat allele of MAOA, and it's not even close--I mean like 80% more likely. The police aren't even close to smart enough to do genetic profiling--it's not something they can see, smell, taste or feel. It's simply a matter of behavior.
A 2-repeat allele of MAOA is something you could target with CRISPR cas-9. Identified and treated very early, we could potentially replace a 2- or 3-repeat allele of MAOA with a 4- or 5-repeat allele of MAOA. That's where you start getting into serious and protracted ethical debates, because the identification of the issue (while politically debatable) and a remedy (technically feasible) is within our grasp--the ethics, and the knowledge of WHY 2-repeat and 3-repeat alleles occurred isn't as well known. The knowledge about why isn't widely studied, in my view, because of racial/ethnic matters and any political implications. My pet theory is that people adapted to environments with very low-amine diets may have been more cognitively functional with a 2- or 3-repeat allele of MAOA. Whereas, in a modern society, high amine diets are common and may adversely affect people in the same way that high sugar diets affect the insulin sensitive, insulin resistant and diabetic populations. If you focused on MAOA knockout people, it would be a freak occurrence of administering a remedy. Probably nobody would disagree. If you focused on people with a 2-repeat allele, you are talking mostly about people with ancestry from Central West Africa--black people. Racism! With a 3-repeat allele, it's a much more mixed population, and the social need isn't as obvious and welfare statists would not want to reduce the need for their services and thus put themselves out of work. Where people freak out is that if you even talk about it as an OPTION, some people can only see the world in totalitarian terms. Murray Gell-Mann's theorem: that which is not prohibited is compulsory.
So there are some specific genes and alleles associated with certain behavior traits. CRISPR cas-9 can identify specific genes and replace them. The Brave New World is near...
PS: your second post lost all your responses. That's an issue with phpBB and a syntax error. Sometimes it's easier to respond in a text editor and post your response; otherwise, all your well thought out retorts can get lost in the mix. Happened to me numerous times...
"If one commits the act of sodomy with a cow, a ewe, or a camel, their urine and excrements become impure, and even their milk may no longer be consumed. The animal must then be killed as quickly as possible and burned."
-- Ayatollah Khomeini