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Round 1. The Duckster v Animal: Genetic Engineering

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posted on Feb, 16 2008 @ 01:54 AM
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The topic for this debate is "Genetic engineering, at present, is too dangerous to be legal".

The Duckster will be arguing the pro position and will open the debate.
Animal will argue the con position.

Each debater will have one opening statement each. This will be followed by 3 alternating replies each. There will then be one closing statement each and no rebuttal.


There are no limits on the length of posts, but you may only use 1 post per turn.

Editing is strictly forbidden. This means any editing, for any reason. Any edited posts will be completely deleted. This prevents cheating. A debate moderator must be contacted to request any necessary edits. Check your spelling and use the preview post function- editing will be minimal.


Opening and closing statements must not contain any images and must have no more than 3 references. Excluding both the opening and closing statements, only two images and no more than 5 references can be included for each post. No post shall contain more than 10 sentences quoted from a reference. Links to multiple pages within a single domain count as 1 reference. There is a maximum of 3 individual links per reference, then further links from that domain count as a new reference. Excess quotes and excess links will be removed.

The Socratic Debate Rule is in effect. Each debater may ask up to 5 questions in each post, except for in closing statements- no questions are permitted in closing statements. These questions should be clearly labeled as "Question 1, Question 2, etc.
When asked a question, a debater must give a straight forward answer in his next post. Explanations and qualifications to an answer are acceptable, but must be preceeded by a direct answer.

Responses should be made within 24 hours, if people are late with their replies, they run the risk of forfeiting their reply and possibly the debate. Limited grace periods may be allowed if I am notified in advance.


Judging will be done by a panel of anonymous judges. After each debate is completed it will be locked and the judges will begin making their decision. One of the debate forum moderators will then make a final post announcing the winner.




posted on Feb, 19 2008 @ 01:49 PM
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Animal has posted his opening out of turn. The post has been deleted. The Duckster may make his opening statement.



posted on Feb, 19 2008 @ 09:38 PM
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First off, I want to again, thank our Moderator Vagabond for allowing this debate to commence. I welcome this debate with my Opponent - Animal.

I was a tad late in the confirmation of this debate (due to previous circumstances), but none-the-less, am eager in every way to continue with the series. I thankyou again for this opportunity.

OPENING STATEMENT:

I am TheDuckster and will be supporting the PRO position, as to why it is VERY DANGEROUS, and NOT acceptable for Genetic Engineering to prevail.

* In this next debate, I will reveal the Supported Facts as to 'Why Genetic Engineering is too Dangerous to be Legal.

* I will provide Proof to substantiate my claim.

* I will cite Examples to prop my position, as well as inform the general public, as to what is 'Exceptable' Genetic Research, and what is NOT Viable Genetic Research that is applicable to 'Every Day Means' - that which applies.

* I will also integrate the Improper 'useage' of Genetic Engineering of Food Staples.

* These above allocations, that I've provided, as well as allocations to: Improper DNA Genetic Engineering - Humans/Animals/and Foods


Health concerns that arise with genetic engineering include the potential for increased allergenicity, decreased efficacy of antibiotics and increased cancer risks.

Increased allergens and toxins in the food system.
GE has the potential to increase allergens in the food system through the introduction of known allergens to a new food host where the allergens cannot be readily identified. The process of GE could create new toxins and increase the prevalence of allergens and toxins in the food system.


SOURCE

In for a penny...in for a pound.

I would be more than happy to debate ALL of the above topics with my opponent, if (they feel inclined)

OR...

As a Magician would say: Pick a DNA card....any card...

Animal?

You're...NOW up next!

Thankyou.



posted on Feb, 20 2008 @ 08:03 AM
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To begin I would like to extend thanks to both The Vagabond and The Duckster for the opportunity to participate in this round of debates here on ATS. I would also like to thank the judges for their time and the wider ATS community as well.

In this debate I will be arguing the CON position in regards to the statement: "Genetic engineering, at present, is too dangerous to be legal".

It is common knowledge that change causes fear. The advancement of human technology and thus the evolution of the human way of life is often baffling and unsettling, especially those who cling to another time.

It is no surprise then that the evolution of the practice of genetic engineering has many people terrified. The breadth of the concerns listed by those opposed to this practice is a clear example of the fervor of their fear.

Just as my opponent has stated, through the use of facts I will demonstrate that not only is genetically modified food safe for human consumption, so too is the research that is currently underway in the engineering of “Humans/Animals/and foods”.

Rather than create a distinction between “what is 'Exceptable' Genetic Research, and what is NOT Viable Genetic Research” I will focus on the research that is currently progressing and the genetically modified organisms that are currently on the market.

In this debate I will dispel the fear that genetic engineering is too dangerous to be legal.



posted on Feb, 21 2008 @ 06:50 AM
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We've split the atom, supposedly walked on the moon, as well as many other glorious achievements, and now we are tampering with Mother Nature herself.

Human beings are at the top of the food chain, so to speak, and we must continually remind ourselves, that the 'weakest link' may possibly lead to the downfall of humanity itself. Our main priority should be, that we strive to live in harmony with our world and each other, rather than blatenly conforming this world to our needs.

Food Sources:

Arrogance and greed has led to exploitation of our natural resources. Nature has dealt the cards given, and we have failed miserably to share the bounties equally with each other. Now we are stepping up the pace by manipulating what precious commodities that we have left.


The public's say is critical. Consumers have no way to know when they are eating genetically altered foods. That's because the Food and Drug Administration has chosen not to classify alien genes as food additives and therefore does not require that they be listed on food labels. A bag of corn chips, for instance, must disclose that salt has been added, but it need not reveal that the corn itself has been genetically manipulated to contain its own pesticide. At a minimum, shouldn't shoppers have a right to make informed decisions?


SOURCE

The decision has been made for us. I find this very disturbing to say the least. I'm sure that our readers and even my opponent would like to know what has been added to our food?


In this debate I will dispel the fear that genetic engineering is too dangerous to be legal.


My opponent has suggested that fear is the motivating factor preventing mankind's progression. I want to replace that word with a healthy alternative: Respect.

Natural mutations are common in nature, but to forceably alter the 'tried and true', would undoubtedly risk major reprecusions, somewhere down the road.

People:

Scientists have now mapped out the human genome; We might one day, be able to create 'perfect' humans that would be disease free, flaw free, etc. There are certain drawbacks however, as the 'need for challenging our inners strengths' would be eliminated. There wouldn't be anything to give our immune systems a good ol' fashion work-out.

We could literally go 'grocery shopping down the aisles, and select from column 'A' or 'B', as to what we want for a 'perfect baby'. Individualism would cease to exist. Think about it.


Edward O. Wilson, a Harvard entomologist, believes that we will soon be faced with difficult genetic dilemmas. Because of expected advances in gene therapy, we will not only be able to eliminate or at least alleviate genetic disease, we may be able to enhance certain human abilities such as mathematics or verbal ability. He says, "Soon we must look deep within ourselves and decide what we wish to become."{7} As early as 1978, Wilson reflected on our eventual need to "decide how human we wish to remain."


I especially like the last line. "Decide how human we wish to remain."

Legalities:

"Who will hold the keys to the city"

Who is privy? There are certain online cites where one has access to make a bomb. In the wrong hands, this would prove to be disasterous in the least. Knowledge has a way of either coming forward like a 'bull in a china shop' or trickling down to places unknown.

Imagine if everyone in the world is entitled to that information? Not everyone will know what to do with this, however, if it rests with certain malevolant fingers, I could only assume what would ensue, as a result.



posted on Feb, 23 2008 @ 10:31 AM
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6,788,362,410. That is the current worlds population at approximately 8:46am Mountain Time on February 23.

6,887,255,404 is the estimated population on this day in 2009.

7,192,120,727 is what the population is expected to reach on this day in 2012.
link

While my opponent contends that:



Arrogance and greed has led to exploitation of our natural resources. Nature has dealt the cards given, and we have failed miserably to share the bounties equally with each other. Now we are stepping up the pace by manipulating what precious commodities that we have left.


It is true the human race has acted with little foresight and have thus found ourselves confronted with may difficult problems it is imperative that we find solutions. For example:



If the current rate of growth is sustained, the world's population will double, from 6 billion to 12 billion, in approximately 50 years. Even if a policy of 2.1 children per couple, instead of the current rate of nearly 3 children per couple, could be adopted tomorrow, the world's population would continue to grow for approximately 70 years before stabilizing at nearly 12 billion….A recent report from the World Health Organization signaled the seriousness of the human population explosion: more than 3 billion people -- half the worlds population -- are malnourished. Never before have so many, or such a large proportion, of the world's people been malnourished. Malnourishment does far more than make it difficult for people to work or enjoy their daily lives; it is a serious ailment that increases a person's susceptibility to life-threatening diseases such as malaria, diarrhea, and AIDS.


link

What are we to do in this situation? Stand idly by and do nothing for those who are already starving? Are we to turn a blind eye on the rapidly growing world population? While we can not successfully play god we can successfully develop technologies that will aid in solving the problems that face our race today. The production of larger amounts of food on small pieces of land is going to be an absolute necessity if we are to meet the food needs of the worlds burgeoning population.


While my opponent has tried to pigeonhole me into the view:



My opponent has suggested that fear is the motivating factor preventing mankind's progression. I want to replace that word with a healthy alternative: Respect.


My argument is in fact quite different. I am not arguing about the PROGRESSION of the human race, I am arguing about the safety of the GM foods and the pervasive FEAR that people have over the consumption of such foods.

While the idea of genetically “designing” our children is a fascinating story it is no where near reality. Rather than focusing on the Science-Fiction of genetic engineering I would prefer to remain in the realm of the possible and discuss the issues at hand.

For example:



One way that genetic engineering can increase health is by cutting and creating genes. For example, a diabetic's body lacks the important hormone insulin. Scientists first remove the gene that creates insulin from a healthy donor. Using hybrid techniques, an insulin gene can be created and replicated for a diabetic… The treatment of heart disease can also now be accomplished using genetic engineering. A company called Cardiovascular Genetic Engineering Inc. has used angiogenic (heart + genes) theories to create more blood vessels in and around the heart of patients with blocked arteries. This company hopes to find cures for cancer and other diseases using genetic methods in the future.

link

Developing new ways of treating those with chronic diseases one of many examples of how genetic engineering offers the human race hope for a better future. Increasing the world’s food supply is another. While many fear the possible impacts of genetically modified organisms and other products, those that have reached the market so far have not undone the natural order of life on Earth.



posted on Feb, 24 2008 @ 01:07 PM
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My opponent has agreed that indeed, changes need to be made:


It is true the human race has acted with little foresight and have thus found ourselves confronted with may difficult problems it is imperative that we find solutions.


He had also made mention to the steadily increasing population; though 'crunching of census numbers' for posterity, it has no bearing on the 'here and now'. These numbers are a 'forecast', should prevailing circumstances play out.

Our decisions today will have an impact on tomorrow.

I would like to steer my opponent's and our reader's attention back to the title of our debate:


Genetic engineering, at present, is too dangerous to be legal


In order to give everyone a clarification on what Genetic Engineering entails:

SOURCE

1. the development and application of scientific methods, procedures, and technologies that permit direct manipulation of genetic material in order to alter the hereditary traits of a cell, organism, or population.


Legal Ramifications - Copywrites?:

It has been suggested that if certain individuals clone animals (via Genetic Manipulaion) that this faction, would essentially have a 'Patent' or 'Rights', to that particular activity.

SOURCE

At the heart of that argument is the question the Supreme Court will take up: Are plants created from seeds eligible for utility patents? The two lower courts heard the case in 1998 and 2000, and said yes. For utility patents, federal law now says that any "new and useful process, machine, manufacture or composition of matter, or any new and useful improvement thereof may obtain a patent."


Now...let's equate this to Human Beings:

Example: Should a genetic research facility discover how to eradicate the gene for Diabetes, or any other debilitation; this implimentation could possibly extend to 'unborn' babies. Essentially, correcting a problematic situation before it arrives. "Let's go one further, and totally alter a fetus in Utero."

Can one person or a collective group, be allowed to 'patent' parts of the human body?

Here's a disconcerting thought: "If patents are acquired, and Genetical Engineering companies can alter the genes in fetuses, who owns the child?" These organizations might start waving their patents around, forcing the issue in the judicial system. We can't have that now.


I am not arguing about the PROGRESSION of the human race


Well...I am. My above example wouldn't be progression, on the contrary, we're looking at possible enslavement, of the worst kind.

The reality, is that, we are being faced with these issues on a day to day basis. Science has been conducting research in front of, and behind the public's eye. It's the 'behind the scenes', covert activities, that are slowly coming to the forefront.

SOURCE

Ananda Chakrabarty, the University of Illinois scientist who in 1978 invented the oil-eating bacterium, said he still favors granting patents on life forms because it rewards inventors and fosters innovation. "If someone could make organs of some kind out of human cells inside an
animal embryo, then why not do so and patent them?" Chakrabarty said. Still, Chakrabarty added, some limits on the ownership of human-like beings may be appropriate. "It depends upon how far you want to go."


Depending on far 'technology wants to go', is the key word here.

I want to address my opponent's next statement, as this has direct connotations to legal issues:


While many fear the possible impacts of genetically modified organisms and other products, those that have reached the market so far have not undone the natural order of life on Earth.


One of the bigger Genetic Manipulating faux-pas of late, was the total re-calling of pet foods last year - 2007.

SOURCE

While Congressional hearings are now being called for by grieving pet owners, and class action suits put together, this debacle could have catastrophic consequences not only for conventional agribusiness, of which the pet food industry is a lucrative subsidiary, but also for the
agricultural biotechnology industry, with its millions of acres of genetically engineered crops around the world.


How many more 'casualties' will lay at the wayside, before we wise up to our actions.

****

Legal and Ethical issues must be addressed properly, to coincide with technical ones. There must be a balance, no matter how long it takes.

We are basically in the 'infant stages' of Genetic Engineering at present, and haven't yet seen the full spectrum before us.

This is comparable to leaving a granade in a child's hands. We are 'that child', and have now figured out, how to 'pull the pin'.



posted on Feb, 24 2008 @ 05:41 PM
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This post is comprised of three parts. The first is a series of responses to The Duckster’s previous post, where he challenged some of the statements made in my first post. The second piece of this post will be the introduction of supporting evidence to back up my claims. The third part will be a list of questions for my opponent.

In response to The Duckster’s previous post I would like to clarify a few issues.

The first point raised by my opponent, after claiming that my point of population growth was off topic, was in regards to the issue of Patenting genetically modified plants. I can understand how this idea seems a bit baffling, how can someone own the rights to a certain plant? I would like to point out a commonly know case of attempted bio-piracy by the Rice Tec corporation that was stymied by the grass root actions of the citizens of the India who produce Basmati.

This is the story where the corporation, based in Texas attempted to patent Basmati rice characteristics yet “on Aug 14th 2001 the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office struck down large sections of the Basmati patent. The generic title of the RiceTec patent No. 5663484, which earlier referred to Basmati rice lines. The sweeping and false claims of RiceTec having `invented', traits of rice seeds and plants including plant height, grain length, aroma which are characteristics found in our traditional Basmati varieties”.
link

You may be wondering what does this have to do with our debate? It is an example of how patent offices regard plants. In this case Rice Tec was unable to patent Basmati because it was considered all ready under ownership that is traditional ownership.


My opponent then moves on to equate the above topic to patenting Humans and Human Parts. Although this is far more concerning than the patenting of Plants it is of the realm of Science-Fiction. While there have been experiments to grow human parts there is no current effort being made to incorporate them into actual living humans, let alone



Well...I am. My above example wouldn't be progression, on the contrary, we're looking at possible enslavement, of the worst kind.


Further more the idea of genetically engineering humans while in the womb is also to far off to debate the safety of the practice at present.

I am going to have to use the point made by The Duckster in the opening of his last post,


I would like to steer my opponent's and our reader's attention back to the title of our debate:


Genetic Engineering, at present, is too dangerous to be legal.
The next issue I would like to raise with my opponents last post is in regards to this quote and the comments my opponent made in regards to it:



While Congressional hearings are now being called for by grieving pet owners, and class action suits put together, this debacle could have catastrophic consequences not only for conventional agribusiness, of which the pet food industry is a lucrative subsidiary, but also for the agricultural biotechnology industry, with its millions of acres of genetically engineered crops around the world. link


The Duckster then said:



How many more 'casualties' will lay at the wayside, before we wise up to our actions.


This plain and simple is a Fear Tactic to raise support for his argument. It insinuates that the damage done to peoples pets was done by GM contaminants in pet food. Sadly if one is to read the article the truth is plain to see:



“On March 23, the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets announced that rat poison in contaminated wheat gluten imported from China was responsible for the suffering and deaths of an as yet uncounted numbers of cats and dogs across North America. The poison is a chemical compound called aminopterin.”
link

This tragedy had nothing to do with GE.

The next stage of my post I will be dedicating to supporting evidence for my claims.
First I would like to share this quote:



ccording to Penn State plant geneticist and molecular biologist Nina Fedoroff, “Genetically modified foods are as safe to eat as foods made from plants modified by more traditional methods of plant breeding. In fact, they are very probably safer, simply because they undergo testing that has never been required for food plants modified either by traditional breeding techniques or by mutagenesis, both of which can alter a plant's chemical composition. link


A statement that supports my claim that not only are GE foods important for feeding a exponentially growing world population, they also pose no threat and therefore are Not too dangerous to be legal.

Second:
According to the World Health Organization:


Recombinant DNA technology involves combining genetic material from different sources thereby creating genetically modified organisms (GMOs) that may have never existed in nature before. Initially there was concern among molecular biologists that such organisms might have unpredictable and undesirable properties that could represent a biohazard if they escaped from the laboratory. This concern became the focus of a scientific conference held in Asilomar, CA, USA, in 1975 (45). At that meeting, safety issues were discussed and the first guidelines for recombinant DNA technology were proposed. The subsequent 25+ years of research experience have demonstrated that genetic engineering may be conducted in a safe manner when an appropriate risk assessment is performed and adequate safety measures are used. link


In closing I would like to ask the Duckster a few questions:

#1 What evidence do you have to support the claim that GE is close to developing the technology for genetically modifying humans while in the womb?

#2 What evidence do you have that there is any effort underway to develop legal precedent to make humans “slaves” based on the fact that they contain GM organs or parts?

#3 What are the “Legal and Ethical issues” that make GM unsafe in the here and now?



posted on Feb, 24 2008 @ 08:17 PM
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FINAL REBUTTLE:

Knowledge is Empowerment...Not Fear:

I want to further expand upon my opponent's prevailing theme: Fear.

It is my opponent who wishes to instill 'Fear' amongst the readers, and it is I, who is educating others to the dangers of Genetic Engineering.

(Fear Mongering remarks) from my oppenent:


It is common knowledge that change causes fear.


And:


This plain and simple is a Fear Tactic to raise support for his argument. It insinuates that the damage done to peoples pets was done by GM contaminants in pet food.


Fear Tactics. I honestly don't believe this...

He plays this card, over and over, with explicit intentions, to enlicit behavioral responses, in what appears to be a 'select' audience. Those that are unware? Thus seemingly, to condone Ignorance?

Which audience is he directing his debate to? This statement of his, is 'ambiguous' at best.

What he hasn't concidered, is the fact that, more and more people are familiarizing/educating themselves, to current[ scientific research and endeavors.

As well should be.

I hope to God that my opponent hasn't had a pet, that went through the reprecussions of my last post.

****

I had previously allocated to the 'Balance' between 'Technology' and 'Legal measures, sprinkled with a dash of Ethetics.'.

My opponent has thus far, NOT provided Legal 'recourses', to prop his stance - that is conducive to the original THEME of this debate, but has merely Parrotted 'off-kilter', 'cited references', to throw the audience 'off track'.

This is where he misses the mark.


where he challenged some of the statements made in my first post.


Oh but wait!!! "Hold the phone folks"...A glimmer of hope?

My opponent has waited, unto the last, to acknowledge (somewhat) in his 2nd rebuttle, to finally 'stepping his foot in the pool, and testing the waters'. Perhaps 'he' should have done this from the start?

****
Further clarification: My opponent will address me as a she and not a 'he'.
****

You've already conceded to the fact, that you were off topic:


The first point raised by my opponent, after claiming that my point of population growth was off topic, was in regards to the issue of Patenting genetically modified plants


And this in fact, had absolutely WHAT? to do with the Original Topic given to us, to debate with. Legalities?


You may be wondering what does this have to do with our debate? It is an example of how patent offices regard plants. In this case Rice Tec was unable to patent Basmati because it was considered all ready under ownership that is traditional ownership.


I've noticed that you stopped short of this quip, and didn't continue on with this; without elaborating anything further?


My opponent then moves on to equate the above topic to patenting Humans and Human Parts. Although this is far more concerning than the patenting of Plants it is of the realm of Science-Fiction. While there have been experiments to grow human parts there is no current effort being made to incorporate them into actual living humans


On the Contrary, my friend.

You have been consistently pulling 'bait and switch' tactics at this point, deriving incongruent notions, 'out of thin air', by citing my own quotes - without further follow-ups, and have been inconsistant in your own wordings.

I have already provided VIABLE proof in my last rebuttel. I don't feel the need to flog a dead horse at this point.

In answer to your questions:

Question #1:

What evidence do you have to support the claim that GE is close to developing the technology for genetically modifying humans while in the womb?


My answer here

Question #2:

What evidence do you have that there is any effort underway to develop legal precedent to make humans “slaves” based on the fact that they contain GM organs or parts?


With the ongoing research and development, as well as the facts that I've presented in my posts, can you or any one else, guarentee myself, and others, that 'these things will NOT come to pass?'

Question #3:

What are the “Legal and Ethical issues” that make GM unsafe in the here and now?


This has been previously discussed in my posts. It is an 'inferred' Moot point.

My opponent has been leary from the start, and 'somewhat' strayed from the topic of this debate altogether. Hoh boy.

I look forward to your Closing Statement.


mod edit: fixed bbcode as per member's request.



[edit on 24-2-2008 by chissler]



posted on Feb, 24 2008 @ 09:58 PM
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To begin I would like to apologize to The Duckster for referring to her as a “he” it was a mistake that I regret. As a student in the 21st century I would like to think that I am not party to the use of “he” as the standard for referring to humanity at large or unknown persons, please forgive my blunder.


My opponent has thus far, NOT provided Legal 'recourses', to prop his stance - that is conducive to the original THEME of this debate, but has merely Parrotted 'off-kilter', 'cited references', to throw the audience 'off track'.


I am not too sure what it is you mean by this, I suppose it is a reference to your understanding that this debate is to be based on legalities, an opinion I disagree with. I am sorry if you find my information “off kilter” and intended to throw the audience “off track” that is not my intention. I look upon the average ATS reader with much more respect (in regards to smarts) than most people who live in my state; I am merely offering the information that supports my stance.

To appease your desire to hear more on the legalities of GE I will now offer up a few examples from my Country as it is the laws of the US of A that I am most familiar with.

In the US of A the agencies who oversee the legal use of GE technology are the

U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
It is these agencies who oversee the legalities and ensure that these

Products are regulated according to their intended use, and some products are regulated by more than one agency. Together, these agencies ensure that the products of modern biotechnology are safe to grow, safe to eat, and safe for the environment. USDA, EPA, and FDA apply regulations to biotechnology that are based on the specific nature of each GE organism. Assessments are based on the biological characteristics of the new organism. linky


Then in regards to genetic Engineering of a human nature

Concerned about potential misuse of detailed genetic information, NIH in 1992 created the Ethical, Legal and Social Implications (ELSI) Branch of the project, which receives 3% of the multimillion-dollar genome budget. In the 1993 progress report, Michael Gottesman, acting director of NIH Intramural Research, introduces the most urgent research, educational, and policy issues, including developing consent and confidentiality guidelines for research with human subjects; determining a professional standard of care for delivering new genetic services; developing uniform standards governing the privacy of organs, blood, and tissues banked for clinical purposes; protecting against employment and insurance discrimination based on genetic information; and improving public understanding of the potential and limits of genetics to prevent overly deterministic readings of genetic test results that expose people to social stigma. linky




I hope to God that my opponent hasn't had a pet, that went through the reprecussions of my last post.


Thank you, I do have pets, one dog and three cats (Yugi Monster Kuala Killer (our dog), Bo Bi Dou (kitty), and Enki (the other kitty)) all of whom I love dearly and I would be deviated if RAT POISON were to kill them. Again using this situation in our debate makes absolutely no sense as it has nothing to do with GE in any way.


You've already conceded to the fact, that you were off topic:

’The first point raised by my opponent, after claiming that my point of population growth was off topic, was in regards to the issue of Patenting genetically modified plants’

And this in fact, had absolutely WHAT? to do with the Original Topic given to us, to debate with. Legalities?


First off I conceded nothing; I suggest you read the entire sentence, I was simply restating your point in which you said I was off topic, I neither agreed nor disagreed (FYI I disagree with that sentiment).

Secondly, This debate is on the safety of Genetic Engineering and whether the safety warrants it being legal or illegal. So my arguments and the information I have supplied are completely relevant to this debate. Perhaps you wish they were not?

Now that I have gone over all those issues I would like to make a few final statements. In regards to whether or not genetic engineering is too dangerous to be legal I have two responses. First in today’s world of research and production the use of genetic engineering must conform to the regulations of many overseeing agencies. These agencies and the regulations they have put in place make the active scale of genetic research SAFE; Safe in the laboratory and safe on the counter or in the doctor’s office.

Like almost any technology, be it the hammer or nuclear fission, there is room for danger, Genetic Engineering is no different and it would be inherently dishonest of me to argue otherwise. Still while this technology does pose threats if left unchecked it’s use does not fall into that realm of the unchecked.


According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, more than 25,000 people died of starvation every day in 2003,[1] and as of 2001 to 2003, about 800 million people were chronically undernourished. linky



Exponential growth cannot continue indefinitely. If the current world value for r (1.2%) remains unchanged, the world population would grow from its current 6.6 billion to 9.3 billion over the next 43 years (2050). linky


Like it or not the worlds population is growing exponentially. Already we are having a hard time feeding the worlds population. If we do nothing to increase the amount of food we produce we will see starvation reach a hellish level, with humans on every continent and in every city dying on the streets.

Beyond the need to produce more food genetic engineering offers to us the hope of curing many of the diseases that plague our race today. Turning our backs on this opportunity would be foolish. There is no reason to believe that the world’s scientists and oversight organizations would allow genetic research to reach a level that would threaten us or the planet.

Although genetic engineering is uncharted territory and as a result unsettling it is an imperative field of research that stands ready to improve the human and natural world exponentially.



posted on Feb, 25 2008 @ 07:30 PM
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CLOSING STATEMENT:

From Mendel to Meddling:

Genetic Engineering's (GE) grass roots can be attributed to a man known as Gregor Mendel.

He was a Biologist and forefather to GE; and was remembered for his ability to cross-breed pea plants.

Research facilities today, have come a long way, since the meager beginnings of Mendel, and have taken his works to many levels, that would leave Mendel himself, shaking his head in disbelief.

Tampering with botanical genes i.e pea plants, had seemed innocent enough, and had surely paved the road to many practical uses, however, it didn't stop there.

We are literally 'running' before we know how to 'crawl'

Society today, has taken up where Mendel left off, leaving the Ethical and Legal communities scratching their heads, to issues that may or may not have been visualized in the 19th century.

It is conceivable, that Mendel had probably entertained the notion that, one day his work would change the world, and possibly end world hunger.

He never lived to see that theory become a reality and thus never had to contend with the Legal and Moral issues that plague our world today.


Like it or not the worlds population is growing exponentially. Already we are having a hard time feeding the worlds population. If we do nothing to increase the amount of food we produce we will see starvation reach a hellish level, with humans on every continent and in every city dying on the streets.


World hunger can't be solved by genetically modifying our food. Those who are starving, as we speak, don't have accesibility to land on which to grow food or money, let alone 'buy food.'

Genetic Engineering may be only a temporary solution to the 'underlying' prevelant issues in societies, that is responsible for hunger.

SOURCE

The real causes of hunger:
Poverty and lack of access to resources: Hunger and malnutrition are a direct result of a lack of access to, or exclusion from, productive resources, such as land, the forests, the seas, water, seeds, technology and credit. Seventy-five percent of the world's hungry are politically
marginalised people who live in rural areas. An example of the grossly unequal distribution of land that directly contributes to hunger: in Latin America, 80 percent of agricultural land is in the hands of 20 percent of the farmers; the other 20 percent of the land is in the hands of the remaining 80 percent.


Legal Issues:

The race is on now. Scientists are scrambling to get in on the gravy train, and patent, patent, and do more patenting.

It's only a matter of time folks, before these patents on particular genes, turns into patenting 'people'.

SOURCE

Patent applications for such gene fragments have sparked controversy among scientists, many of whom have urged the USPTO not to grant broad patents in this early stage of human genome research to applicants who have neither characterized the genes nor determined their functions and uses.


Science fiction of tomorrow has become today's reality. We must continually educate ourselves to 'real world' activities, and not blindly welcome the GE 'trojan horse' - a (gift?) from medical facilities.

Should scientists retain patents to parts of the human body, we literally won't 'have a leg to stand on'.

Genetic engineering, at present, is too dangerous to be legal...and yet...

Life goes on...or will it?

We have seen the results of genetic engineering; purporting to be too dangersous to human health and to the environment.

The risks at present, are too high a price to pay.

We will be (in the meantime) compromising our environment, life on this planet, and possibly forfeit the very things that make us human.

In essence...we will have become the weakest link in the chain of events.



posted on Feb, 25 2008 @ 08:55 PM
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To begin I would once again like to thank the ATS community, The Vagabond, and The Duckster for the opportunity to participate in this debate. I humbly thank the Duckster for challenging me and making me think about his issue in a new way, and for forcing me to USE MY BRIAN something I feel that I do too little of.

My Closing Statement:

The largest problem with those who stand opposed to genetic engineering is the GENERALIZATION that GE of any form, in any way, in any situation is too dangerous to be undertaken. They leave no room for the possibility that GE could in any way be beneficial to humans and the natural world.

Such a view is an example of willful disregard for the reality that very few things, some would argue none, are inherently and completely bad, evil, destructive, or negative. All things can be both beneficial and detrimental; it is in the application or context that makes a thing BAD.

Genetic Engineering is a new frontier in the long history of human development. The implications of this process is unsettling as it is the manipulation of life at its finest, most basic level, that of genetics. It is no surprise that many fear the implications of intervening at such a level, especially those who do not fully comprehend the full scale of what genetic engineering entails. Fear of the unknown is a well known trait of the human race.

Still, to let our fear intervene in our pursuit of knowledge and the development of our ability to improve our lives and the well being of the planet we live on is insanity. While unchecked genetic engineering could of course be dangerous, genetic engineering that is strictly regulated and only implemented when it is proven to be harmless poses no threat to human or other life.

“New maps show that the Earth is rapidly running out of fertile land and that food production will soon be unable to keep up with the world's burgeoning population. The maps reveal that more than one third of the world's land is being used to grow crops or graze cattle.” www.commondreams.org...

We live in a finite – fixed ecological system. With out intervention there is a natural limit to the ability of this system to produce goods (Food) and absorb wastes (pollution). We are not only faced with the slow degradation of our agricultural lands, which causes them to shrink, we are also confronted with a steadily growing population. While economic and social disparities also play a roll in the current trends of malnutrition and starvation the inability to produce enough food, of a diverse enough nature, to feed every single person on this planet a balanced and thus truly notorious diet is hardly attainable. Double the world’s current population and it will be mayhem.

This link en.wikipedia.org... is a list of 76 INCURABLE diseases. While we have developed the technology to deal with many of them, many still devastate the lives of so many in our world today.

Genetic Research offers us the ability to discover ways to eliminate these plagues on every human’s wellbeing. To turn our back on the possibility of removing these agents of suffering is to choose to let another human suffer needlessly.

My opponent has made the case that if we are to let the genetic engineering of a human nature to continue that some day those who developed the technologies will be able to enslave us. To that I say no they won’t. I believe there is no way any court, in any place on this Earth will allow a corporation to OWN a human being. The Truman Show was fiction and that is the closest we will ever get to a company owing a human again in the history of our race.

As I pointed out in my last post Genetic Engineering is currently legal, the examples I provided were from the US of A, my home. My examples showed how the GE of today is monitored by several US agencies and every bit of the technology that leaves the laboratory and hits the market is thoroughly tested and approved SAFE before hand. The legal frame work that oversees genetic engineering allows it to continue because it is safe. If one is morally opposed to such technology one has the right to boycott it. But to deny our entire race this technology is arrogant and ignorant of the potential it possess.

In this debate my opponent has shared many issues that are intended to raise FEAR in regards to this technology but has provided NO information of how it is in fact DANGEROUS. Beyond speculation of how inhuman we may become, or how we may be enslaved, or how our pets may die from RAT POISONING The Duckster has been unable to show concrete evidence of the threat posed by genetic engineering. This is for one simple reason, there is no threat in the current study and implementation of GE.

While I fully accept that this technology could pose threat to humans and the planet, I assert that the current use of the technology is in fact SAFE. Safe enough to be legal.

Again thank you all for taking th time to read this debate, thank the moderators for making it possible, and thanks to the Duckster for participating and challenging me.

Salutations, Animal



posted on Feb, 26 2008 @ 12:04 PM
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And we're off to the judges.



posted on Feb, 26 2008 @ 12:24 PM
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Animal is victorious. Here's what the judges had to say:


TheDuckster definately did try to hang a portion of her arguments on unrealistic fears, particularly where the idea of patenting a child was concerned, and Animal shot that right down. That was a decisive point in this debate. The debate over topic also clearly went to Animal, "too dangerous to be legal" implies a cost-benefit analysis, and this makes providing for a growing population relevant. The pet food example was yet another winning point for Animal- catching an opponent with a bad reading of source material is always big. Long story short, I'd say this one was all around Animal's debate.



posted on Feb, 26 2008 @ 10:35 PM
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I will have to respectfully disagree with the judges on this one. I thought TheDuckster did a great job and won it in my view.

I have noticed a difference switching to organics and becoming vegetarian, so I do see the real danger in all of this genetic engineering, some of it first hand. I have been feeling overall healthier, the food tastes better, but I am having signs of a hormone imbalance developing ... which our meat has been pumped with for many years.

So, I guess you can consider me a bit biased
When it affects you personally, it is hard to agree with the side that tells you it doesn't exist.

I think the final argument of Animal showed that it was off base.


The largest problem with those who stand opposed to genetic engineering is the GENERALIZATION that GE of any form, in any way, in any situation is too dangerous to be undertaken. They leave no room for the possibility that GE could in any way be beneficial to humans and the natural world.


The topic wasn't about people forever opposing genetic manipulation, it was



Genetic engineering, at present, is too dangerous to be legal


That topic statement is exactly how I feel. We don't understand it enough. It isn't fear, it is precaution and respect of natural processes and proper testing, so we don't cause more serious problems in the future. Testing live on the public is not safe or intelligent.



But I do congratulate Animal on the success, and hope TheDuckster is around in the next debates





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