T Nation

Chinese Scientists Genetically Modify Human Embryos

[quote]Aragorn wrote:

[quote]Varqanir wrote:

[quote]Aragorn wrote:
No, not late April Fools. Yes, for real. The scientific journal Nature is about as elite and solid a science source as you can possibly get. Not a joke–Nobel prize winners still dream about publishing papers in Nature. They report:

Let’s talk about the monumental move that just occurred. What happens now? [/quote]

Perhaps they’ll cure some diseases.
[/quote]

You have no qualms about the ethics involved with experimenting on human embryos? Or editing them even assuming the success rate is 100%?

That would surprise me.[/quote]

If embryonic stem cell research can provide a cure for what the Chinese seem to perceive as the most dire ailments afflicting their race, namely impotence and hypogonadism, and it keeps them from harvesting tiger penises and rhinoceros horns from Asia and Africa, I’m all for it.

And hey, there are a billion and a half Chinese… I think they can afford one or two thousand embryos not being carried to term.

Seriously, though, the amount of mutagens and teratogens we ingest and inhale on a daily basis has certainly altered our genome in the three centuries since the industrial revolution (not to mention the ten millennia since the agricultural revolution), in uncontrolled and unpredictable ways. Why not play around a bit in controlled and predictable ways, especially assuming (though it’s an unrealistically optimistic assumption) a one hundred percent success rate.

[quote]Bismark wrote:

[quote]countingbeans wrote:

[quote]Bismark wrote:
It is the harbinger of the leaps and bounds to come in human evolution. Technological advances will upsurp natural selection in favor of artificial selection. A process that takes millions upon millions of years will be reduced to decades. [/quote]

Central Planning works so well in an economy, just look at how well communists do.

How could it turn out bad speaking of genetics?

[/quote]

Where in my post did I advocate centrally planned genetic augmentation? Certainly not in the last sentence. You reached that erroneous conclusion of your own accord. Put down the torch, witchhunter.
[/quote]

Wasn’t my intention to label you in any sort a way. I figured after my 1984/Huxley reply to Aragon my tone would be obvious.

My bad man.

I’m being flippant as I think this is rather shitty news given human’s track record with things over long timelines. Likely won’t effect me or my grandkids, but a 100 years from now?

[quote]Bismark wrote:

[quote]Sloth wrote:

[quote]Bismark wrote:
Cybernetic Homo sapiens are the future. [/quote]

The future of what? The future slave of AI so advanced that we’re less than ants relative to their own intelligence? I mean how much consideration do you give to the well-being of an ant?[/quote]

My post predicted the synthesis of man and machine, and I explicitly withheld normative judgement.[/quote]

I wasn’t criticizing any stance you may or may not hold.

Instead, I simply picked up your comment and added some thoughts of my own to it. How I feel about that particular bit of futurism (a common prediction, actually).

[quote]Varqanir wrote:
Ah, but Bismark, my friend, you forget that this is PWI, wherein if one states a fact or references another speaker stating a fact, without making a clear moral pronouncement against the statement in the same sentence, it is assumed by all that one shares the position of the speaker
[/quote]

Except that didn’t actually happen in this case.

[quote]Sloth wrote:

[quote]Varqanir wrote:
Ah, but Bismark, my friend, you forget that this is PWI, wherein if one states a fact or references another speaker stating a fact, without making a clear moral pronouncement against the statement in the same sentence, it is assumed by all that one shares the position of the speaker
[/quote]

Except that didn’t actually happen in this case.[/quote]

I was speaking in general terms, not specifically referencing your or Beans’ comments.

My example was specific, as well, from the Scottish sniper thread of years past.

Back on track for a moment, I personally think it would be cool as shit if eventually our understanding of how to manipulate the human genome progressed to the point where you could just go in and, say, cause a genetic mutation which would inhibit myostatin, which would result in significantly increased hypertrophy and strength; maybe at the same time tweaking the LRP5 gene, increasing bone density so the point where you would be practically unbreakable.

Just for fun, I might also trigger the CCR5-delta 32 mutation, which confers immunity to HIV in about 1% of Caucasians, the Glycophorin A somatic cell mutation, which allows Tibetans to withstand altitudes in excess of 7,000 meters without altitude sickness, or perhaps the mutation triggering production of Apolypoprotein A-1 Milan, which minimises the deleterious effects of high serum cholesterol.

No, as a matter of fact, I would not mind at all being a high-altitude, superhuman mutant with unbreakable bones, super strength, super immunity against lethal STDs, and carte blanche to eat as many steak, cheese and bacon omelette breakfasts as I want.

And if a few non-viable Chinese embryos had to be sacrificed in the process, I would shed zero tears, nor lose a minute of sleep.

If this makes me a bad person, then so be it.

[quote]Aragorn wrote:

[quote]kneedragger79 wrote:
None of the embryos survived because scientists are still stupid enough to think they understand how and why Nature actually works.

With embryonic stem cells, NOTHING will ever be cured, ever. Embryonic stem cells have yet to clock a single persons life. Adult stem cells have cured an untold number of people.

[/quote]

Kneedragger, this is my thread. Kindly stick with science and rational philosophy instead of wild hyperbole. Not to mention calling scientists that do this for a living as I do “stupid” when you have NO scientific training, NO scientific paper authorships, NO grad school in biochemistry, genetics, physics, chemistry, or biotech. If you can no none of the above kindly GTFO of this thread.

You don’t need to be a scientist to be in on this thread–if that were the case then almost nobody would respond and I would like a good discussion of the impending ethical dilemmas and other interesting things. So by all means please respond. Criticize away. I have serious issues with this.

But respond rationally and forego insulting the people who practice my chosen profession when you know sweet mother fuck-all about it. You are not qualified to call them stupid.

And if you’re going to say that adult stem cells have “cured an untold number of people” I expect some serious sourcing going on, because that’s patently false if you know anything about the entire field of stem cell research.

And the embryos died because they were completely unable to be born with or without the genetic meddling. Implant them in a womb, they’ll still die. Because they had a lethal error. That’s why they are called “nonviable” embryos in the first place. Nothing could have made them live babies. That is why the authors state that they tried to head off part of the ethical outrage by picking them for the experiment–they would not be killing potential live babies because the embryos were INCAPABLE of developing that far. [/quote]

Now just you watch: karma being not without an ironic sense of humour, the first disorder the Chinese will manage to remedy through their research will be brachial plexus avulsion. Which will throw Kneedragger into the mother of all ethical quandaries. He will claim that he would NEVER avail himself of a cure that resulted from the loss of even one non-viable human embryo, but I would pay good money to hear his internal dialogue as he considers the prospect.

[quote]Sloth wrote:
Obviously this’ll pretty much be a big ticket item for the wealthier amongst us. At least for a good long while. Now, that could change sooner rather than later with entitlement program changes so as to subsidize the ability of the lower income individual to put their child-product together as they see fit. Otherwise, you’re going to have two completely separate worlds. Think an increasing income gap is an issue (which would just be exacerbated with high-priced designer babies), wait until looks, intelligence, health, and athleticism (all at once) is selected for by those with means.

[/quote]

So essentially what you are saying, Sloth, is that you would prefer natural selection over intelligent design.

[quote]Varqanir wrote:

[quote]Sloth wrote:
Obviously this’ll pretty much be a big ticket item for the wealthier amongst us. At least for a good long while. Now, that could change sooner rather than later with entitlement program changes so as to subsidize the ability of the lower income individual to put their child-product together as they see fit. Otherwise, you’re going to have two completely separate worlds. Think an increasing income gap is an issue (which would just be exacerbated with high-priced designer babies), wait until looks, intelligence, health, and athleticism (all at once) is selected for by those with means.

[/quote]

So essentially what you are saying, Sloth, is that you would prefer natural selection over intelligent design.[/quote]

Very, very different.

[quote]Varqanir wrote:

[quote]Sloth wrote:
Obviously this’ll pretty much be a big ticket item for the wealthier amongst us. At least for a good long while. Now, that could change sooner rather than later with entitlement program changes so as to subsidize the ability of the lower income individual to put their child-product together as they see fit. Otherwise, you’re going to have two completely separate worlds. Think an increasing income gap is an issue (which would just be exacerbated with high-priced designer babies), wait until looks, intelligence, health, and athleticism (all at once) is selected for by those with means.

[/quote]

So essentially what you are saying, Sloth, is that you would prefer natural selection over intelligent design.[/quote]

Oh, that was clever. Well played sir, well played.

In this case, seeing that humans aren’t omniscient nor omnipresent…Yes.

I do wonder at any correlation between the “human population must be closely managed” and “genetic engineering of the human race, go for it” mentality. Are both views usually held, as opposed to one or the other?

In which case I have to wonder at their low opinion of humanity. Stop producing it, and replace it.

The quest to make our generation the last and immortal generation. Is that everyone’s secret hope?

Must cut-down on/cut off the new arrivals, while figuring out how to extend our own stay (hopefully indefinitely).

[quote]Varqanir wrote:

[quote]Sloth wrote:
Obviously this’ll pretty much be a big ticket item for the wealthier amongst us. At least for a good long while. Now, that could change sooner rather than later with entitlement program changes so as to subsidize the ability of the lower income individual to put their child-product together as they see fit. Otherwise, you’re going to have two completely separate worlds. Think an increasing income gap is an issue (which would just be exacerbated with high-priced designer babies), wait until looks, intelligence, health, and athleticism (all at once) is selected for by those with means.

[/quote]

So essentially what you are saying, Sloth, is that you would prefer natural selection over intelligent design.[/quote]

Btw, I actually view natural selection as part of the design.

[quote]Sloth wrote:
I do wonder at any correlation between the “human population must be closely managed” and “genetic engineering of the human race, go for it” mentality. Are both views usually held, as opposed to one or the other?

In which case I have to wonder at their low opinion of humanity. Stop producing it, and replace it.[/quote]

Qualitaet ueber Quanitaet, nein?

[quote]Sloth wrote:

[quote]Varqanir wrote:

[quote]Sloth wrote:
Obviously this’ll pretty much be a big ticket item for the wealthier amongst us. At least for a good long while. Now, that could change sooner rather than later with entitlement program changes so as to subsidize the ability of the lower income individual to put their child-product together as they see fit. Otherwise, you’re going to have two completely separate worlds. Think an increasing income gap is an issue (which would just be exacerbated with high-priced designer babies), wait until looks, intelligence, health, and athleticism (all at once) is selected for by those with means.

[/quote]

So essentially what you are saying, Sloth, is that you would prefer natural selection over intelligent design.[/quote]

Btw, I actually view natural selection as part of the design.
[/quote]

But not cladogenesis, correct?

[quote]Bismark wrote:

[quote]Sloth wrote:

[quote]Varqanir wrote:

[quote]Sloth wrote:
Obviously this’ll pretty much be a big ticket item for the wealthier amongst us. At least for a good long while. Now, that could change sooner rather than later with entitlement program changes so as to subsidize the ability of the lower income individual to put their child-product together as they see fit. Otherwise, you’re going to have two completely separate worlds. Think an increasing income gap is an issue (which would just be exacerbated with high-priced designer babies), wait until looks, intelligence, health, and athleticism (all at once) is selected for by those with means.

[/quote]

So essentially what you are saying, Sloth, is that you would prefer natural selection over intelligent design.[/quote]

Btw, I actually view natural selection as part of the design.
[/quote]

But not cladogenesis, correct? [/quote]

Not correct.

[quote]Bismark wrote:

[quote]Sloth wrote:
I do wonder at any correlation between the “human population must be closely managed” and “genetic engineering of the human race, go for it” mentality. Are both views usually held, as opposed to one or the other?

In which case I have to wonder at their low opinion of humanity. Stop producing it, and replace it.[/quote]

Qualitaet ueber Quanitaet, nein? [/quote]

Whose?

[quote]Sloth wrote:

[quote]Bismark wrote:

[quote]Sloth wrote:

[quote]Varqanir wrote:

[quote]Sloth wrote:
Obviously this’ll pretty much be a big ticket item for the wealthier amongst us. At least for a good long while. Now, that could change sooner rather than later with entitlement program changes so as to subsidize the ability of the lower income individual to put their child-product together as they see fit. Otherwise, you’re going to have two completely separate worlds. Think an increasing income gap is an issue (which would just be exacerbated with high-priced designer babies), wait until looks, intelligence, health, and athleticism (all at once) is selected for by those with means.

[/quote]

So essentially what you are saying, Sloth, is that you would prefer natural selection over intelligent design.[/quote]

Btw, I actually view natural selection as part of the design.
[/quote]

But not cladogenesis, correct? [/quote]

Not correct.
[/quote]

My mistake. I was under the impression you supported micro but not macro evolution.

[quote]Sloth wrote:

[quote]Bismark wrote:

[quote]Sloth wrote:
I do wonder at any correlation between the “human population must be closely managed” and “genetic engineering of the human race, go for it” mentality. Are both views usually held, as opposed to one or the other?

In which case I have to wonder at their low opinion of humanity. Stop producing it, and replace it.[/quote]

Qualitaet ueber Quanitaet, nein? [/quote]

Whose?
[/quote]

Homo sapiens