Jan 6, 17 / Aqu 06, 01 15:14 UTC


Hello fellow citizens

I'm Niccolò and i've got a Ph.D in Ecotoxicology. I'm glad to see this section about life sciences as i think that the manipulation of the genetic (and epigenetic) code is the key to the new stage of human evolution

I'd like to talk here about the ethical concerns about eugenetics, to gather ideas for a debate that i will then propose to my students (now i teach in a High school)

So, in brief, what's your opinion about this subject ?

Jan 8, 17 / Aqu 08, 01 01:08 UTC

Can't say about ethical aspects, but applying it would reduce biodiversity too, so why?

Jan 8, 17 / Aqu 08, 01 16:11 UTC

We'll eventually start to drive our evolution by ourselves, it's inevitabile: there have been already some experiments done on humans with CRISPR, so it's only a matter of time until this kind of modifications will be normal. I'm not an expert in bio ethics, but the only problem I see with genetically engineering people is economical: I guess that, unless we'll have a completely new economical system in some decade, only rich people will be able to get benefits from it, and this could cause an exacerbation on the inequality between them and the poor, to the point where poor people wouldn't even be considered human anymore. This is obviously bad, at least for me, so I just hope that we'll have the foresight of making sure that these advancements will be shared by all people.

Jan 9, 17 / Aqu 09, 01 12:34 UTC

Sure but it's not eugenetics, it is gene therapy, then I agree

Jan 10, 17 / Aqu 10, 01 18:07 UTC

I agree with MateXon. We have to always consider the monetary costs of advancement and the reflective costs to which the service or product is being made available. Money has separated social classes since conception. Perhaps we should adjust the traditional currency systems, or we face continuing division.

Jan 15, 17 / Aqu 15, 01 13:35 UTC

But they tried that on earth already with communism... That kind of went wrong didn't it? In some countries discrimination is really bad, but there are countries that have it (mostly) under controle right? Look at Belgium, England...

Equalty between rich an poor is a concept of an ideal world, something we might not be able to reach. We can and must, however work towards it.

Jan 19, 17 / Aqu 19, 01 10:37 UTC

Well, first of all, it's eugenics, a word of Greek origin meaning eu (good) genics (genes). Now the idea of controlling our genes, has been around since ancient Greece, thus it is a very old idea. It is not driven by biology or genetic sciences, it is rather a philosophical / social idea re-appearing from time to time. There are several problems with it. The first is that it deals with the concept of good genes and bad genes. As any bio-scientist knows, that is not something that exists in our field of study. Good or bad is philosophical, not scientific speak. The second and greatest problem, is that if we accept the terms good-gene and bad-gene, than we allow people to define them according to their point of view, which is extremely dangerous. For example, someone could decide that the gene that is responsible for a group's skin color, is "bad", the very definition of racism (actually I have the impression that the Nazis tried stuff like that).

Genetic therapy, which is a closely related thing, is very different because of it's approach on the subject. Genetic therapy tries to bring back to health people that suffer from genetic diseases. That, as is evident, while it might make use of the same technologies, has no moral gray area. So, eugenics, the human attempt to "improve" human genetic code, is a slippery slope, because it cannot be framed in scientific terms exclusively. My take on it is that until science has enough knowledge of the human genome as to be able to differentiate between all shades of gene function and their respective role, eugenics will be a bad proposition.

Jan 26, 17 / Aqu 26, 01 14:02 UTC

I completely agree with Laomedon, if we allow people to genetically modify themselves, racism will be a big problem again, since the rich people will have more acces to this.

However, if we, as a society, decide to genetically modify embryos to for example cancel out cancer (when we have the technology of course), we would come very far.

Greetings Jens

Feb 9, 17 / Pis 12, 01 17:00 UTC

Just make genetic augments pro choice and free

Jun 15, 17 / Can 26, 01 14:19 UTC

There's a lot of arguments on here that I've seen before, and they are of valid concern. One thing to consider, in my interpretation of things, is the emphasis on equality that this nation brings with it. With that, one could hope that the sociological castes that are rampant on Earth would have no place here, and thus, everyone would have the equal opportunity to use the technology to not only better themselves, but all of humanity. We need to move beyond the mentality of personal gain, and start thinking about what we will be in the thousands of years to come.

With that in mind, I think it's worth noting that Eugenics is not nessarily about creating genetically superior humans, but it does give the opportunity to filter out certain diseases and conditions. Residing in space is no picnic, and the human body will have a tough enough time as it is without having to be constantly working to keep routine health in check. There's radiation, gravity, and a number of other factors at play that the human body won't be used to. We've evolved under fairly constant conditions for the past few millennia. Eugenics is an opportunity for us to take hold of the wheel, and maybe help guide things toward a body more suited for space travel.