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Richard Dawkins stepped in it on eugenics but isn't it the end result of evolution?

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posted on Feb, 16 2020 @ 08:53 PM
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a reply to: Raggedyman
Fair enough, i just think it's a little misleading however technically true.

Eugenics and intelligent design can get along just as easily. Don't the intelligent design people dismiss evolution but accept variations in "kinds"?

I don't see how thats incompatible with eugenics.




posted on Feb, 16 2020 @ 09:59 PM
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a reply to: Krahzeef_Ukhar

Bile indicates man is created equal somewhere, surely, maybe, generally not
It states God regards everyone as equal.

The US declaration or something states man is equal but not being from the US I can stand corrected. We know that’s a blatant untruth though.

Wikipedia
Eugenics (/ j uː ˈ dʒ ɛ n ɪ k s /; from Greek εὐγενής eugenes 'well-born') is a set of beliefs and practices that aim to improve the genetic quality of a human population by excluding certain genetic groups judged to be inferior, and promoting other genetic groups judged to be superior.. The concept predates the term; Plato suggested applying the principles of selective breeding ...

Creation as opposed to intelligent design, that’s not clear

Christianity “creation” is not about exclusion, be it gay, mentally challenged, colour, politics etc. it’s about helping the less fortunate and freewill



posted on Feb, 16 2020 @ 10:09 PM
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a reply to: BrianFlanders

Well, as long as you're not under the impression that all "psychological or physical health issues" are determined or decided by genetics. And I guess it would be useful to keep in mind that there's quite a bit of speculation involved by those who are attributing certain specific psychological or physical health issues, or traits, exclusively to genetics (i.e. these are not "proven facts" as you put it yet still marketed under the marketinglabel "science" in scientific literature). Down's syndrome is a good example of a psychological and physical health issue that is directly linked to genetics, but for some others, it's not all that clear-cut as it is sometimes made out to be by those trying to sell their genetic research as something valuable (worth doing, worth being funded). Financial factors can have a significant impact on the so-called "science" like that.

Ideas about how to better the human race are not new. Some 2,300 years ago, the Greek philosopher Plato wrote: “The best of either sex should be united with the best as often as possible, and the inferior with the inferior as seldom as possible.” It wasn’t until more recent times, however, that efforts to upgrade the human family began in earnest. This discipline was called eugenics.

The term “eugenics” was coined in 1883 by Sir Francis Galton, a British scientist and cousin of Charles Darwin. The word comes from Greek terms meaning “good in birth” or “noble in heredity.” Galton knew that various flowers and animals could acquire certain desirable qualities through selective breeding. Might not humanity be improved by similar methods? Galton believed that it could. He reasoned that if a fraction of the cost and effort devoted to the breeding of horses and cattle were spent on “the improvement of the human race,” the result would be “a galaxy of genius.” (i.e. providing an incentive to fund and/or support eugenicists, eugenics programs or politicians, lobbyists, scientists and academics that support or promote such programs, so they can spend it on something supposedly worthwhile)

Influenced by the writings of Darwin, Galton reasoned that it was time for humans to take control of their own evolution. During the early decades of the 20th century, Galton’s ideas became extremely popular among politicians, scientists, and academics, in both Europe and the United States. Reflecting the popular notions of his day, the leader of a powerful nation wrote: “Society has no business to permit degenerates to reproduce their kind. . . . Any group of farmers who permitted their best stock not to breed, and let all the increase come from the worst stock, would be treated as fit inmates for an asylum. . . . Some day we will realize that the prime duty of the good citizen of the right type is to leave his blood behind him in the world, and that we have no business to perpetuate citizens of the wrong type.” Those words were written by the 26th president of the United States, Theodore Roosevelt.

In fairs and expositions in both Britain and America, the laws of genetic inheritance were depicted, often on a vertical board displaying an array of stuffed guinea pigs. They were arranged to show the inheritance of fur color from one generation to the next generation. The point of the exhibits was made clear by accompanying text. One chart stated: “Unfit human traits such as feeblemindedness, epilepsy, criminality, insanity, alcoholism, pauperism and many others run in families and are inherited in exactly the same way as color in guinea pigs.” Another exhibit placard asked: “How long are we Americans to be so careful for the pedigree of our pigs and chickens and cattle—and then leave the ancestry of our children to chance?” Now I know that the implication above that criminality, insanity, alcoholism, pauperism and the vague "many others [traits]" are exclusively determined by genetics, a requirement for the suggestion you can breed them out by selective genetic breeding, is highly dubious, to say the least. We actually have quite a bit of evidence that the ones specifically mentioned there by name, are less determined by genetics than by environment (experiences, upbringing, social environment, etc.). In some cases, someone's genetics is not a factor at all in the cases of criminality, insanity, alcoholism and pauperism. Suggesting that among the mentioned "many others [traits]" that may be true as well (hard to evaluate something so vaguely specified, but since the other 4 were already such bad examples to supposedly weed out by selective genetic breeding or genetic engineering, I suspect someone who thinks that's possible might be thinking of quite a few other traits like those when saying or reading "many others").

These ideas were not merely intellectual exercises. Tens of thousands of “undesirables” were sterilized in both North America and Europe. Of course, the definition of who or what was undesirable depended largely on the views of those making the decisions to force sterilization. In the state of Missouri, U.S.A., for example, legislation was proposed that called for the sterilization of those “convicted of murder, rape, highway robbery, chicken stealing, bombing, or theft of automobiles.” In its misguided effort to achieve a master race in one generation, Nazi Germany went a step further. After the forced sterilization of up to 225,000 people, millions of others—Jews, Romanies (Gypsies), the disabled, and other “undesirables”—were exterminated under the guise of eugenics.

Because of the barbarism of the Nazi era, eugenics took on an ugly connotation, and many hoped that this field of study had been laid to rest, buried with the millions who died in its name. In the 1970’s, however, reports circulated of scientific advances in the fledgling field of molecular biology. Some feared that these advances might fuel a return to the ideas that had seduced Europe and North America earlier in the century. For example, in 1977 a prominent biologist warned his colleagues at a National Academy of Science forum on recombinant DNA: “This research is going to bring us one more step closer to genetic engineering of people. That’s where they figure out how to have us produce children with ideal characteristics. . . . The last time around the ideal children had blond hair, blue eyes and Aryan genes.”

Many today would consider it ludicrous to compare the advances in genetic engineering with Hitler’s eugenic program. Eighty years ago, there were harsh demands for racial purity. Today people talk about improving health and the quality of life. The old eugenics was rooted in politics and fueled by bigotry and hatred. The new advances in genetic research are fueled by commercial interests and consumer desires for better health. But while there are major differences, the goal of shaping people to our own genetic prejudices may sound much like the old eugenics.

Besides medical advantages, some see genetic engineering as a way to solve social problems. Between the second world war and the early 1990’s, academics argued that social problems could be reduced by reforming economies and institutions and improving the environment in which people live. In more recent years, though, social problems have deepened. Many people have come to believe that the key to such problems lies at the genetic level. And some now believe that genes play a more important role than environment in influencing individual and group behavior. [continued in next comment]



posted on Feb, 16 2020 @ 10:20 PM
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a reply to: BrianFlanders

[continuing from last comment]

What about death? According to researchers, even the solution to that problem lies in tweaking our DNA. Already scientists have doubled the life span of fruit flies and worms, using techniques that they claim might someday be applied to humans. The head of Human Genome Sciences Inc. said: “This is the first time that we can conceive of human immortality.”

The glowing reports of what is being done and what may be done in the years ahead make it easy to overlook the present limitations and the potential problems of the new technologies. To illustrate, let us return to the subject of babies. Genetic screening is already a common practice. The most widely used method dates back to the 1960’s. A doctor injects a needle into the womb of a pregnant woman and extracts a sample of amniotic fluid, which surrounds the fetus. The fluid can then be tested to see if the fetus has any of the dozens of genetic disorders, including Down’s syndrome and spina bifida. This procedure is usually performed after the 16th week of pregnancy. A more recent procedure reveals details of the embryo’s genetic makeup between the sixth and tenth weeks of pregnancy.

These procedures enable doctors to identify many disorders, but only about 15 percent of them can be corrected. When tests reveal a genetic problem or give an ambiguous result, many parents are faced with an agonizing decision—should the fetus be aborted, or should the child be brought to birth? The UNESCO Courier comments: “Despite the proliferation of DNA tests—each patented and profit-yielding—genetics has so far failed to fulfill its vaunted promises of gene therapy. Doctors are screening for conditions and disorders which they cannot treat. So abortion is often presented as treatment.”

Of course, as biotechnology becomes more effective, doctors expect to have far greater powers to detect and correct the genetic defects that either cause or predispose humans to various diseases. In addition, scientists hope that eventually they will be able to transfer artificial chromosomes into a human embryo to offer protection against such diseases as Parkinson’s, AIDS, diabetes, and prostate and breast cancer. A child would thus be born with a strengthened immune system. There is also the prospect of future drugs that will “enhance” the developing embryo, perhaps by manipulating genes to boost intelligence or improve memory.

Though even the most optimistic scientists realize that it will be a long time before parents may be able to choose the kind of child they want from a catalog, to many people the prospect of bearing the child of one’s dreams is immensely appealing. Some argue that it would be irresponsible not to use technology to eliminate genetic disorders. After all, they reason, if there is nothing wrong with sending your child to the best schools and the best doctors, why not try to have the best baby possible?

Others, however, voice concerns. For example, the book The Biotech Century states: “If diabetes, sickle-cell anemia, and cancer are to be prevented by altering the genetic makeup of individuals, why not proceed to other less serious ‘disorders’: myopia, color blindness, dyslexia, obesity, left-handedness? Indeed, what is to preclude a society from deciding that a certain skin color is a disorder?”

Genetic information will be eagerly sought by insurance companies. What if a prenatal test reveals a potential problem? Will insurance companies pressure the mother to have an abortion? If she refuses, can they deny coverage?

Chemical, pharmaceutical, and biotech companies compete to patent genes and organisms as well as ways to manipulate them. The driving impulse, of course, is financial—to make money from the technology of the future. Many bioethicists fear that this could lead to “consumer eugenics,” in which parents could be pressured to select “genetically approved” children. It’s easy to imagine how advertising could play a major role in such a trend.

Of course, the new technologies are unlikely to be readily available in the poorer parts of the world. Already many parts of the earth lack the most basic health care. Even within highly developed nations, gene-based therapy may become an option open only to the wealthy.

In the avalanche of literature about what is being done in the field of biotechnology, the expression “playing God” appears frequently. If God is the Designer and Creator of life (as indicated by the evidence many are in denial of), wouldn't it be more fitting to consider what he has in mind respecting the quest for perfection? The type of literature referred to above will not do so.

Coming back to something I said about certain traits being caused by genetics (ancestry) vs environment (or which is the bigger factor for which trait). Ian Wilmut, the British scientist who led the team that cloned Dolly (the sheep), points out that cloning is presently “a very inefficient procedure,” producing a death rate among fetuses that is about ten times higher than in natural reproduction.

Some wonder, ‘What if someone were to perfect the technique and cloned, say, multiple Hitlers?’ In an effort to allay such fears, Wilmut points out that while a cloned child would be a genetically identical twin of the person from whom it was cloned, a cloned human would be influenced by its environment and would develop a distinct personality just as natural twins do.

Often overlooked in the media is the fact that once genetic information is accumulated, it will still have to be interpreted. New tools will be needed to analyze the data. It is one thing to identify genes; it is quite another to know what they do and how they interact to build a human. One eminent biologist called the Human Genome Project “the Holy Grail of Genetics.” However, a more down-to-earth description was suggested by geneticist Eric Lander: “It’s a parts list,” he says. “If I gave you the parts list for the Boeing 777 and it had 100,000 parts, I don’t think you could screw it together and you certainly wouldn’t understand why* it flew.”

*:
Purposeful Design or Mindless Process? (Awake!—2009)
What Is the Purpose of Life?
edit on 16-2-2020 by whereislogic because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 16 2020 @ 11:10 PM
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tl;dr: selective breeding in humans. amorally will work. morally untenable.

read through the thread and some people seem to be adding to the point, rather than recognizing it.

the point: selective breeding works. there is ample evidence of this. this fact cannot be argued. this fact applies to everything with a genetic code.

the problem comes when you want to apply this to humans. some want to ADD levels of complication, such as morality, free will, god/dess, or anything else, when the fact remains that humans have a genetic code, therefore selective breeding will work.

as someone wrote earlier, individual selective breeding has occurred since humans figured out where babies come from. back in the day women chose the biggest and bravest to insure the survival of the offspring, now its the most well off financially.

morally, forced selective breeding is just wrong because it takes away free will.

free will? see above.

god/dess. if s/he didnt like it, s/he could stop it. like pedophilia, murder, rape, starvation, or any of the other evils that infect this world.

the true problem with selective breeding is the recipe. the genetic code is incredibly complex, yet predictable to a point, but you will always have abnormalities. you strengthen the goods traits, as well as the bad. this is why pure breed dogs have so many problems. every now and then you have to through in a mutt to balance things out. this is also why mix-breeds and mutts are better dogs. less predictable outcome, but better health wise.

it reminds me of a show called "andromeda". it was a sci-fi show created by bradbury of star trek fame. in it there were nietzschians, a group of humans that took the writings of nietzsche as holy script and practiced eugenics. some clans breed for intellect, some for strength, some for both. they had genetic tests to see who would produce the best offspring. an interesting idea for a sci-fi show, but very flawed in reality.

so the bottom line is this.

can selective breeding work for humans. yes. without a doubt it will work for everything governed by genetics. smarter people, more physical people, yes. thats just nature. what about nurture? you put physically or mentally gifted individuals in the opposite group and you will get stunted results. happens all the time right now. a physically gifted kid in an intellectual house will not develop their full potential physically. same is true for a smart kid in a physical family.

to conclude. selective breeding will only apply to genetic traits. it will not, in any way, apply to social traits. if youre society is f-ed up, so will your "smarter, faster" kids be.



posted on Feb, 16 2020 @ 11:13 PM
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dp
edit on 17-2-2020 by stormson because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 16 2020 @ 11:15 PM
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I'm surprised there aren't some people upset that he said 'heaven forbid'...

Anyways.

He didn't say anything technically incorrect. That doesn't mean people can't jump on the moral ambiguity of the statement.



posted on Feb, 17 2020 @ 01:05 AM
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a reply to: Raggedyman
I'm happy to accept the bible is all love and accepting. For the sake of argument at least.

But eugenics don't need evolutionary theory.

You could believe Ken Hovind and still be a eugenics psychopath wanting to improve your "kind".

Just as you can be a evolutionary psycho like Dawkins and still be repulsed by the ideology.



posted on Feb, 17 2020 @ 04:09 AM
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originally posted by: Krahzeef_Ukhar
a reply to: Raggedyman
I'm happy to accept the bible is all love and accepting. For the sake of argument at least.

But eugenics don't need evolutionary theory.

You could believe Ken Hovind and still be a eugenics psychopath wanting to improve your "kind".

Just as you can be a evolutionary psycho like Dawkins and still be repulsed by the ideology.


That’s a bit crazeef you khar
The bible is not all peace and love, it’s mostly hate, death and murder

Christ’s message to His people was peace loving, blah blah

Christians believe Jesus, love others, help others, love is the law, loving the less fortunate is fundamentalism

I don’t think Dawkins is an evolutionary psycho, think he is wrong and ignorant but not a psycho.

But aside, eugenics came directly from Darwinism
Sortof
“On The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle For Life.”

evolutionnews.org...
This link explains why some see a link between Darwin and eugenics

You can believe, do, say anything you want, anyone can but, people generally have a group think. Can’t take individual thought out of context.



posted on Feb, 17 2020 @ 07:15 AM
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originally posted by: Krahzeef_Ukhar
a reply to: Raggedyman
...

But eugenics don't need evolutionary theory.

...


originally posted by: whereislogic
a reply to: BrianFlanders

The term “eugenics” was coined in 1883 by Sir Francis Galton, a British scientist and cousin of Charles Darwin. ... Influenced by the writings of Darwin, Galton reasoned that it was time for humans to take control of their own evolution. During the early decades of the 20th century, Galton’s ideas became extremely popular among politicians, scientists, and academics, in both Europe and the United States. ...

And (virtually) all of these were evolutionists, fans (believers) or promoters of evolutionary philosophies and stories (mythology). If you can think of a single one that wasn't, I'd be quite curious to know. I suspect there aren't many good or clear-cut examples of that, but I can't even think of one (which is why I put "virtually" in between parentheses, cause it might very well be "all", but I don't know the views regarding evolution of every fan or promoter of eugenics that ever existed).

In fairs and expositions in both Britain and America, the laws of genetic inheritance were depicted, often on a vertical board displaying an array of stuffed guinea pigs. They were arranged to show the inheritance of fur color from one generation to the next generation. The point of the exhibits was made clear by accompanying text. One chart stated: “Unfit human traits such as feeblemindedness, epilepsy, criminality, insanity, alcoholism, pauperism and many others run in families and are inherited in exactly the same way as color in guinea pigs.” Another exhibit placard asked: “How long are we Americans to be so careful for the pedigree of our pigs and chickens and cattle—and then leave the ancestry of our children to chance?”

And again, the ones setting up and organizing these fairs and expositions, were evolutionists, fans (believers) or promoters of evolutionary philosophies and stories (mythology).

These ideas were not merely intellectual exercises. Tens of thousands of “undesirables” were sterilized in both North America and Europe.

At the instigation of evolutionists, fans (believers) or promoters of evolutionary philosophies/ideas and stories (mythology). Make no mistake, evolutionary ideas lie at the very basis of eugenics as much as the term "eugenics" itself was coined by an evolutionist that was Darwin's own cousin basing his ideas on those of Darwin and things Darwin was promoting such as expressed in these quotations from The Descent of Man:

edit on 17-2-2020 by whereislogic because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 17 2020 @ 07:40 AM
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a reply to: neoholographic

isnt the spirit of god in everything , therefore animals are just as important as humans?

Anyway isnt evolution one of those things where it doesn't have a goal , therefore producing better and better humans isnt really the goal of evolution ,
not all mutations which would lead to our evolution would necessarily be beneficial , eugenics is about giving us beneficial mutations .

I'd be up for eugenic if it done two things, 1. made every human the same colour like if we all became green by becomng like the sea cucumber who eats plankton and then can photosynthesise (if we get the ability to photosynthesise then we can end world hunger , as we just need sunlight for energy )_ , and 2 , took away the part of us that controls our greed



posted on Feb, 17 2020 @ 07:50 AM
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a reply to: neoholographic

I think evolutionary mechanics are too complex for us to figure out yet.

I'm going to fudge a lot of details here, but I remember reading about an experiment with fruit flies. The aim of the experiment was to breed fruit flies that were more heat resistant. They kept breeding the fruit flies that could survive in hotter temperatures, the survivors were the ones that didn't drop dead to the ground as the heat increased. In the end they had fruit flies with hooks on their feet (?) that prevented them from falling to the ground, not heat resistance.

I imagine one day we'll have a better understanding of all of this, but right now it's like we're shooting in the dark.



posted on Feb, 17 2020 @ 08:31 AM
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a reply to: neoholographic

He's right. It would work.

Morally it would be wrong to force it on people.
But I personally will never have children because there is a 50/50 chance my kids will have dwarfisam.

Most in my family have it. I was lucky not to. But my sister and brother and mother and grandmother and both nieces all have it.



posted on Feb, 17 2020 @ 08:49 AM
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a reply to: Raggedyman

Technically, eugenics started with Plato. It was used on and off throughout 17-19th centuries as a means of controlling mental illness and disability in the population. Not so much perfecting the human species as damage control in a heavily polluted post industrial revolution society. At least until Hitler took it to the next level, thanks to the California movement where a Dr Stanley pioneered a mass scale treatment in pursuit of the ideal human. Apparently his belief was that criminals are infected by some form of physical disorder that compromised their morals? But his work influenced the Nazis and became a cornerstone in the eugenics business.



posted on Feb, 17 2020 @ 09:04 AM
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a reply to: TzarChasm

Actually I did qualify that statement as I was aware that Darwin wasn’t the sole source
“But aside, eugenics came directly from Darwinism Sortof “On The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle For Life.””...

Considering the modern audience, age of Plato, Darwin’s relevance and inspiration to many, modern philosophy and fame.
Don’t think Plato is recognisable to many people these days, hence why I didn’t offer Plato who also speculated on evolution along with Aristotle long before Darwin, who knew?

Anyway, chose Darwin deliberately



posted on Feb, 17 2020 @ 10:25 AM
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a reply to: neoholographic

While I have enjoyed all of his books, especially the last 2 I think he’s gone looney toons.

He’s become a post modern reductionist and next thing we know he’ll start advocating suicide to preserve the environment and join forces with Greta.



posted on Feb, 17 2020 @ 10:42 AM
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originally posted by: Raggedyman
a reply to: TzarChasm

Actually I did qualify that statement as I was aware that Darwin wasn’t the sole source
“But aside, eugenics came directly from Darwinism Sortof “On The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle For Life.””...

Considering the modern audience, age of Plato, Darwin’s relevance and inspiration to many, modern philosophy and fame.
Don’t think Plato is recognisable to many people these days, hence why I didn’t offer Plato who also speculated on evolution along with Aristotle long before Darwin, who knew?

Anyway, chose Darwin deliberately


It's interesting how Darwin continues to be an overriding source of research despite the progress our experts have made since his time. Nobody talks about Huxley or Mendel either.



posted on Feb, 17 2020 @ 10:53 AM
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well looks like things will be heating up in the UK now that boris johnson has elected a man who likes eugenics and follows the bell curve theory etc



posted on Feb, 17 2020 @ 10:55 AM
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a reply to: TzarChasm

Could you share your reference on it starting with Plato, I'd like to read that.

For the record, genetic editing of humans / selective breeding is neither moral or amoral. Its the intent behind it that makes it one or the other. Such as Eugenics when put to evil purposes as a rational to wipe out various populations, but gene editing could be use to allow wonderful things, like the blind to see, the deaf to hear, and crippling diseases to be eliminated.

Realistically, given our state of technological advancement, its unlikely that selective breeding of humans under human control would produce much, if any noticeable impact to society in the short term due to the length of time it takes for people to reach sexual maturity. Genetic engineering, via some kind of a viral technique, that can be passed on as a trait to a descendant, would be faster as it would benefit the parent and the child. Realistically though the most radical improvements would need to be done at the embryonic level via some to be developed techniques that would allow for harmful mutations in the embryo to be edited out, while multiple beneficial sequences would be edited in. We are a long way from that happening though.



posted on Feb, 17 2020 @ 11:03 AM
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a reply to: AntigravityField

en.m.wikipedia.org...-Galtonian_philosophies

That's a very slippery slope you are suggesting. When is gene editing okay? When is selective breeding not okay? Who decides where our rights begin and government protocol ends? Generally it's safer to just open a market and let the consumer decide on individual basis what they want for their own body, same as plastic surgery and vasectomies.



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