Forums > Social Chat > dumming down the gene pool?

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tonemanmember
195 posts

Posted:
I have been thinking lately, and kinda wondering what kind of incentive human kind has to further evolve?

Consider this: our genetic development in the past has been dictated somewhat by Darwinism- survival of the fittest. If you are prey, and not everyone can outrun the predator, over time, a species will get better running skills because those that lack those abilities have been eliminated from the gene pool.

Will human kind find further development from nature, or will we be our own god, genetically mutating ourselves to achieve desire traits? I'm not trying to be mean, but the advancements in medicine has allowed genetically weaker people to reproduce, thus allowing gene pool dilution and conflicting with natural processes that further development. Since nature is no longer weeding out bad genes are we just dumming down the gene pool? What will the outcome be?

Magnusmember
279 posts
Location: Bath, UK


Posted:
conscious evolution.

go read the Celestine Prophecy.

Magnus... pay it forward


)FyreFly(member
9 posts
Location: South Africa


Posted:
I totally agree! Sad to say but science is F!*@ing everything up. I wish everybody (specially scientists) could see it the way you do. WELL SAID!!!!!!
Soon the population will be too hectic to bear!

If everyone smiled, it would be the first step to a better future*


KatBRONZE Member
Pooh-Bah
2,211 posts
Location: London, Wales (UK)


Posted:
You won't be able to spell dumb!

Toneman - its still a jungle (albeit a concrete one) and still survival of the fittest still applies.

It is my belief that science has been part of our evolution, our next evolution should be a more spiritual one.

More and more people are turning back to healing techniques and alternatives to medicine.

Think you are referring to IVF? Its a big debate - should people try an have kids 'unnaturally'. Think it is a shame that people spend so much time and effort trying to have a kid when there are many kids out there who would love a home. Other than that I don't see that people whose greatest wish is to have a child are adversely affecting our genes in the future, but I am no scientist.

Interesting theory though Toneman

Come faeries, take me out of this dull world, for I would ride with you upon the wind and dance upon the mountains like a flame.

- W B Yeats


Gosilynmember
4 posts
Location: Houston area


Posted:
Speaking as one living in a sea of stupidity (redneck hell) AKA: Texas and being a product of it's public school system. I see your point. Having read the Celestine Prophecy, I tend to agree with Magnus on this one. Well I'd like to at least hope so on this one. Everyday I see things on TV, in the paper, and even from first hand experience that makes me ill. We need to get back to basics and remember a few simple things. If it's meant to be it will be. We have become an instant gratification society. If you want something bad enough, you'll figure out how to make it happen. Damn the costs and consequences. Screw natural selection and forget that there are plenty of good kids that need loving homes. If it doesn't come with a DNA connection that's not good enough. It's a sad state of affairs. What's that old saying... only stupid people are breeding...? In the hopes of something more...

As Always, Gosilyn


tonemanmember
195 posts

Posted:
I wonder if "ethics" in medicine will turn from doing what's best for the patient, to doing what's best for human kind? It seems that doctors are going to be in a bind, playing god either way...

"I can't believe you just saved that patient. That was the most unethical thing I've ever seen...."

My guess is that society will collapse, either through plague or war, and nature will regain control of our genetic reigns...

Kat, I'm just thinking of science in general, but you have a good point about IVF. My wife and I have decided not to have children for various reasons, but we most definitely agree that if we just have to have one, we'll adopt. Too much indifference out there to not care...

MikeGinnyGOLD Member
HOP Mad Doctor
13,923 posts
Location: San Francisco, CA, USA


Posted:
Well, I've done a lot of study into this and it's an interesting topic.

You have to look at what selective pressures exist on people today. And the results may surprise you.

OK, obviously there is a selective pressure to not have a serious mutation that would result in spontaneous abortion or stillbirth.

BUT how about mutations that allow for chronic diseases that would have been lethal in the stone ages and are now manageable? For example, Bruton's agammaglobulinemia is an immune deficiency that was once lethal (kids got severe bacterial infections that they couldn't fight) but is now manageable with monthly injections of human immune globulins. Modern medicine is allowing people with these genetic defects (and it is a true defect because a necessary gene is not functioning) to survive, and in doing so is reducing the selective pressures at work on society.

Now, lest anyone call me a eugenecist or anything nutty like that, we do live in a world where modern medicine is available and there's no reason why people with these genetic diseases shouldn't be allowed to reproduce as long as we can manage them.

But what other selective forces are currently at work on the human population? What is killing off people with one genotype and sparing people with others? AIDS may be one of the few forces, since it is currently incurable. It seems like a precious few people are inherently resistant. Over time, if we cannot find a cure or vaccine to HIV, we might see that these resistant folks might become more prevalent in areas where HIV is widespread (like sub-Saharan Africa).

Other than that, I don't see very many selective forces working on the human population at large at this time because we don't obey the "standard rules" of reproduction anymore. (Hint: we're the only species to develop contraception)

Where will we go with germline genetic engineering? Well, for the time being, not far. The process of making a genetically engineered human requires several generations AND inbreeding. Seeing as how humans require large cages, eat a lot, smell bad, and are difficult to mate, controlled genetic manipulation of the germline at the current time is not possible.

Now, new technlogies might change this. We'll see.

-Mike

Certified Mad Doctor and HoP High Priest of Nutella



A buckuht n a hooze! -Valura


NYCNYC
9,232 posts
Location: NYC, NY, USA


Posted:
Firefly, scientists have agreed with toneman hundreds of years before he was born. And scentists didn't control the end of natural selection.

The second we started protecting our young, we were destroying natural selection. Those in favor of a return to pure natural selection should only allow our strongest to live. Perhaps if we started allowing those who are weak or with physical disabilities to die again the world would be back to the wonderful utopia it once was when the average lifespan was 26.

Hitler was trying to get rid of those damaged genes too and alow only those who were of superior genetic makeup to live... maybe you should look up some of his work.

Well, shall we go?
Yes, let's go.
[They do not move.]


Bram....member
1,551 posts
Location: the arms of the Ganja Goddess


Posted:
*makes disturbing face* don't mention hitler in this please. We are dumbing the gene pool. Look at what our society is driven by, money, looks, popularity, and fame. This would lead to the dumbing of the gene pool, especially wif all the ditsy 'britney spears type' running around getting bloody knocked up very 9 months

You. Its whats for dinner!

As time passes, you realise all the mistakes you amde and the ones you wish you never did make.

The wave crashing on the beach


tonemanmember
195 posts

Posted:
one more question:

Since science/medicine is allowing people to live longer, consuming more resources in the process, will we limit ourselves by letting people starve? How will this come to a head? Surely the earth can't support billions of people with an average lifespan of 70 years. In the last few decades out of our presumed 10,000's of years, we have consumed more resources, spread further into uninhabited jungles, wiped out hundreds of species and contaminated water sources and oceans. Will there only be domesticated chickens/cows/pigs and GM produce left with us?
At what point will balance be met?

MikeGinnyGOLD Member
HOP Mad Doctor
13,923 posts
Location: San Francisco, CA, USA


Posted:
Hitler only becomes relevant if you start arguing that we should either deny people medical care or kill them if they are not perfectly healthy. (Or sterilize them, which the U.S. did and even Sweden did until the 1970's!!!)

There are a few things to think about here.

1) Evolution takes a VERY long time if your generation time is 20-25 years (which it is for humans). While bacteria may be able to evolve overnight (because they have a generation time of 20 minutes), humans don't do that.

2) By the time that any of these serious genetic defects would become widespread, I am sure we will have figured out how to do germline manipulation to fix the underlying cause.

There is no single perfect solution. We need to accept that if we deny people who need care the technology that we possess, then any "cleaning up" of the gene pool that approach offers will be on our conscience. On the other hand, if we provide the care (which I believe is the ethical thing to do) we have to accept the genetic consequences.

-Mike

Certified Mad Doctor and HoP High Priest of Nutella



A buckuht n a hooze! -Valura


Jade Lynxmember
239 posts
Location: Laguna Beach, but i live in Denver, Colo, USA


Posted:
Fair warning, Ivanyukov, this is long...

*sound of can opener*

Aaaaggghhhh!!! The worms! The worms!

Okay, kids, we have a chance here to have a really interesting and thought-provoking discussion, and maybe for people to be able to expand their ideas about some stuff.
Let's not blow it by getting petty, getting personal, or treating people like they're stupid just because they hold a somewhat different view. Let's all be cool and see how far we can develop our ideas, hey?

SO, here's the thing with physical evolution: it's slow. Our minds have developed really rapidly, especially in the past few hundred years, when circumstances have selected for people who can accept new ideas and are willing to challenge boundaries.
The evolution of our bodies has not kept up with that of our minds, our bodies still think we need to breed, breed, breed, in case a bunch of us get wiped out by sabre-toothed tigers.
*It took almost all of human history for the population of the globe to reach 1 billion in people in 1800. It took only from 1987 to 1999 for world population to grow from 5 billion to 6 billion. At current rates, we will reach 13 billion by the middle of the 21st century. Ninety-five percent of this growth will be in Africa, Latin America and Asia.*
Note that these are places where most of the population has almost no money, and very little access to health care, contraception, and education. The people who are breeding the most are the ones who have the hardest time caring for their children. This is not a judgement, it's a statement of fact. In the parts of the world where people do have decent access to education, health care and contraception, a lot of smart people have decided not to reproduce. This is no surprise, with an awful lot of people here already, it's not hard to figure that we don't need more. So to some extent, we're leaving it for those who are maybe not as well equipped to think through the consequences of their actions. We may well be "dumbing down" the population.
On the other hand, although intelligence has made for a lot of terrific discoveries and developments, it has also caused some big problems. Werner Von Braun was a very intelligent guy. Are we really doing ourselves a favor if we do "breed smart"? As Kat suggests, maybe the best thing the human race can collectively do is try to aim ourselves for spiritual expansion. A populace that is in tune with itself and the world on a spiritual level is (as far as i can tell) more likely to make sound choices for the whole of the world.
So where does eugenics (selective breeding) come into this? Well, the thing is, ethically, it can't. Why not? Because the hot potato question is who gets to decide what the "good" traits are?? There was something of a eugenics movement in the U.S. in the 20's and 30's, trying to "breed more effective people". One of their criteria for "effective" was "able to make a lot of money". While there's certainly a lot to be said for being able to provide for ones children, there is a basic flaw in breeding rich people to get more effective people. Some rich people got rich by being smart and having good business sense and working their asses off. The much larger majority of rich people got that way by inheiriting the pile that some ancestor amassed by working, etc etc. And plenty of rich people got that way by exploiting the hell out of people who just weren't as lucky. Is that a trait to breed for? Most people would say no. You'll also notice that the vast majority of rich people are white. Is this because
people who aren't white have only had anything resembling similar opportunities to white people in the last 25 years or so? (If you think it's been longer than that, ask your parents how black people were treated when they were kids.). Or are white people just better at making money? I don't think so, and i'll bet you don't either but that's just one example of the thinking of the eugenicists of the 20's/30's. That in a nutshell is the trouble with the idea of selective breeding.
So what's the answer? If you ask me it's educate, educate, educate! There may well be people surviving now who would not have even a hundred years ago, but some of them decide that they don't want to pass along their genes. Even if they do, they are just a drop in the bucket. People need to be educated about genetics and, super-important, about contraception. The Bible says "go forth and multiply", but at the time that it was written, there weren't even 100 million humans on the planet. There are Christian parents in the U.S. who simply don't use birth control and have 7 kids, but they are generally able to provide for their kids reasonably well. If someone is educated about birth control and decides not to use it, that's their choice and I don't have a problem with it if they are able to provide for their children. People who are too lazy to use birth control AND too lazy to take care of their kids are a whole different matter and i don't know what the hell to do about them. I'm willing to bet, though, that most people who are given the option will elect to use birth control and not have 7 kids. Kids are a ton of work!
Oh and, NYC, we didn't start screwing with natural selection when we started protecting our young, because protecting our young is part of natural selection, ask any bear or goanna. We started screwing with natural selection when we started using artificial means to keep babies and kids alive who would otherwise have died. I'm not stating an opinion on that either way, just adjusting your time frame a bit.

Text within * is from an article by Molly Ivins.

The above post is a form of natural slection for eyeball stamina

We got the MikeZ in the house, woot!Glue the ham, hat baby!


Jade Lynxmember
239 posts
Location: Laguna Beach, but i live in Denver, Colo, USA


Posted:
*snork* MikeGinny and toneman both posted even as i was writing my monster post there...

We got the MikeZ in the house, woot!Glue the ham, hat baby!


DioHoP Mechanical Engineer
729 posts
Location: OK, USA


Posted:
There's a theory out there that homosexuality is nature's response to overpopulation - simply hooking people up with someone else who they can't physically bear offspring with and poof.

Not sure how valid it is, but it's definitely an interesting idea. Does anyone have any info on this?

What hits the fan is not evenly distributed.


MikeGinnyGOLD Member
HOP Mad Doctor
13,923 posts
Location: San Francisco, CA, USA


Posted:
I've heard the theory, Brody, but I haven't seen any evidence for it. Especially since there's no evidence that the prevalance of homosexuality increases with population density.

There was just an interesting study about homosexual rams (sheep) done in Oregon (yes, I know, Oregonians playing around with homosexual sheep...has me a bit worried, too ). Showed differences in brain structure comparable to the differences that have been implicated in gay men.

So much for the "there's no homosexuality in nature" argument.

-Mike

Certified Mad Doctor and HoP High Priest of Nutella



A buckuht n a hooze! -Valura


StoneGOLD Member
Stream Entrant
2,830 posts
Location: Melbourne, Australia


Posted:
I’ve been watching a few to the TV doco’s lately (yeah, a great source) and apparently we haven’t evolved, at all. So, homo sapiens are much the same as they have always been.

To use bram’s example “We are really dumbing the gene pool. Look at what our society is driven by, money, looks, popularity, and fame”. Unfortunately, we have always been that way. Perhaps, our environment has led to the expression of these characters more so in recent times, but perhaps not, if you look at history.

I also seem to remember being told that evolution and survival of the fittest are different, and not synonymous. Would anyone like to explain, so we don’t confuse these issues?

The so called “harmful genes” have always been in the system, and for better or worse they are part of our genetic make up.

For the answer to how nature responds to overpopulation is it probably best to look at insect studies, where overpopulation leads to cannibalism, homosexuality and low fertility rates etc, etc, until the population reaches a viable threshold. My 10 cents.

If we as members of the human race practice meditation, we can transcend our fear, despair, and forgetfulness. Meditation is not an escape. It is the courage to look at reality with mindfulness and concentration. Thich Nhat Hanh


tonemanmember
195 posts

Posted:
Mike,
Might I point out that your statement below kinda sounds like some of the arguements for many really dangerous things? For example, we have the same attitude about spent nuclear fuel from power generating reactors. We have been using this technology knowing it's going to take a very long time before we can actually do something with the waste with the hope that something will come along to save us. That time still hasn't come in the 40 years we've been using nuclear power generation, and the best plan we have come up with is-- "let's bury it in a mountain in the desert"
_______________________________________________
2) By the time that any of these serious genetic defects would become widespread, I am sure we will have figured out how to do germline manipulation to fix the underlying cause.
________________________________________________

I'm enjoying this discussion! thanks everyone for indulging!
Much respect for everyone's opinions, as there is no right or wrong (unless you advocate inihilation of dumb people!)

MikeGinnyGOLD Member
HOP Mad Doctor
13,923 posts
Location: San Francisco, CA, USA


Posted:
Unfortunately, Toneman, as terrible a solution as it may be, I'm not aware of any better solution.

Any suggestions? (Seriously, I'm not being sarcastic.)

-Mike

Certified Mad Doctor and HoP High Priest of Nutella



A buckuht n a hooze! -Valura


tonemanmember
195 posts

Posted:
Seeing how neither of us control the situation, implimenting any solution, regardless of who does it will be very difficult. My guess is, it will end up like environmental controls are now... we recognize the need for change, but there are so many different circumstances and differing opinions, that getting everyone to cooperate is a huge undertaking. It probably won't be addressed until there is a need, IE we recognized too late that we jumped out of an airplane without constructing the parachute first... So, to answer, I don't have one...
what can you do, eh?
I guess I'll just keep spinning while humanity falls apart Oh, the humanity of it all....

MikeGinnyGOLD Member
HOP Mad Doctor
13,923 posts
Location: San Francisco, CA, USA


Posted:
Toneman, I am in medical school. I DO have some control in that my opinion, if logical and ethical, could be argued to the AMA.

I also think this is a problem for our children to solve. This isn't like the environment or anything, it's going to be slower and won't be as precipitous a crisis.

-Mike

Certified Mad Doctor and HoP High Priest of Nutella



A buckuht n a hooze! -Valura


Endermember
68 posts

Posted:
https://www.darwinawards.com/
??

MikeGinnyGOLD Member
HOP Mad Doctor
13,923 posts
Location: San Francisco, CA, USA


Posted:
The Darwin Awards are obviously tongue-in-cheek, but I think they do raise an important issue.

Stupidity, when protected, breeds. We have warnings on hair dryers in this country that warn you not to use the device in the bathtub or shower. I mean...when is it going to stop?

I remember a friend of mine who moved to the U.S. from Canada once remarked that she noticed that there were an awful lot of signs and warnings in this country.

Yeah, indeed...there are an awful lot of stupid people in this country, too.

-Mike

Certified Mad Doctor and HoP High Priest of Nutella



A buckuht n a hooze! -Valura


gekkomember
6 posts
Location: brizzie


Posted:
To what degree do we realy control our own destiny. At the end of the day we're a bunch of mammals wearing hats. If you watch ants going about their business and then an arial view of a motorway or a time laps of people scurrying to work, they look similar. All the animals and plants and water are following a very simple self feeding equation with complex results.
If the people who go before us destroy the earth we stop.
"dumbing down the gene pool" realy is elitest who says a meat head footballer is 'better' than a brain surgeon or visa v. But hey i'm an elitest sort of person.
Someone will give orders and someone will follow orders I think were born that way.
I haven't used my brain for a while hense my disjointed ideas and spelling but if my brain warms up again i might be able to contribute somfin. hug a tree; ants!

An island of order in a sea of chaoshappiness: less having what you want than wanting what you have.


MidkiffBRONZE Member
shadow stranger
462 posts
Location: Carmi, Illinois, USA


Posted:
never has it been said that humanity as a whole is smart i my opinion its actually really really dumb borderlined mentally challenged

"Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent. Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent. Is he both able, and willing? Then whence cometh evil? Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?" - Epicurus


SpinnerofDetroitGOLD Member
All High Dude, Ruler of What You Want
2,280 posts
Location: Trenton, MI, USA


Posted:
See, people have solved similar problems. we just take all the stupid people and then we... wait <.< >.> Ok there's no one listening. We put them into camps and then we..... and that's why I think Justin Beiber stole my glass banana. WAIT, how did I get from... forget it.

The only luck is bad luck.

Shut up before I stall my poi up your ass grin


D3l1r1umbefore delirium there was... delight
57 posts
Location: Upstate New York


Posted:
When stupidity is protected it does breed- but also take into consideration that at this point in time it seems as though humanity is just perpetually making things easier and demanding less of the human intellect. Although it may take a good brain to create these commodities, the mass population uses these devices, inevitably dumbing them down as well....

But on the other hand- Those who do work with their mind prosper because they will make money off of those who dont/cant/ choose not to. So I suppose that could be considered a form of Darwinism in itself.

LaasyaBRONZE Member
Wind Dancer
126 posts
Location: USA, east coast


Posted:
Well I completely agree there are far too many warnings and advisories in this country. A woman actually sued McDonald's because their coffee was hot -- and won! Seriously???

Though I can't say it is humanity itself so much as our lifestyle. Too forgiving, maybe? A teacher should be able to fail a student who clearly didn't do their work, without getting slammed for it, but I see more and more people are saying "No no, everyone is a winner! Never say 'you lose' or 'you fail!'" In our quest for improving self-esteem, we are demeaning what it means to be 'intelligent.' While I'm all for encouragement and morale-boosters, there needs to be a line somewhere.

gekko I love your analogy comparing humans to ants, it really does show that while we may be bigger, we still have the same needs as even the smallest of living things.

As far as Darwinism is concerned, what about the people who are handicapped (mentally or physically) and cannot do things for themselves? By 'survival of the fittest,' they would be classified as 'unfit.' That is harsh, imo. Personally, I think 'unfit' should apply to all those who have ample opportunity to do well but instead become drug addicts, alcoholics, murderers, rapists, scum of the Earth, etc etc.

And ofc I would love to plant a huge REJECT stamp on some of the geniuses from Failbook. I mean really...

Impermanent are all created things;
Strive on with awareness.
- Buddha


D3l1r1umbefore delirium there was... delight
57 posts
Location: Upstate New York


Posted:
But people are creating all these warnings because of lawsuits such as the mc Donalds incident. They are just doing whatever they can to save their ass-

even if it "seems" like it should be common sense...
Sometimes individuals will look for any way to make an easy buck.

LaasyaBRONZE Member
Wind Dancer
126 posts
Location: USA, east coast


Posted:
It's a tad pathetic, imo.

Impermanent are all created things;
Strive on with awareness.
- Buddha


FireTomStargazer
6,650 posts

Posted:
catchy headline tho'

If stupidity is able to receive government and social protection, then it's not as dumb as it may seem in the first place wink

the best smiles are the ones you lead to wink


LaasyaBRONZE Member
Wind Dancer
126 posts
Location: USA, east coast


Posted:
Or maybe the government is just as dumb? Not trying to place blame or anything here, I just strongly feel like common sense has died and many of us are suffering because of it while other people (those considered 'dumb') are benefiting from it.

Impermanent are all created things;
Strive on with awareness.
- Buddha


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