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Fight to clone a human.

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posted on Jun, 11 2008 @ 07:58 PM
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Originally posted by TheRedneck
...I cannot help but wonder why some scientists seem to be intent on using a more expensive, more controversial, less successful method to do research....

You know I don't know either.

On a totally unrelated note, what group has been historically considered to gather great power by sacrificing babies?




posted on Jun, 11 2008 @ 09:21 PM
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reply to post by sir_chancealot

On a totally unrelated note, what group has been historically considered to gather great power by sacrificing babies?


Ummmm, I think I'm supposed to know the answer to this, but I honestly don't. Redneck, remember?


Care to enlighten me?

TheRedneck



posted on Jun, 13 2008 @ 07:27 PM
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Firstly an apology, i deleted this thread accidentily and forgot about it. You posted such a well thought out post redneck it deserved a reply. So here goes.


Originally posted by TheRedneck
reply to post by ImaginaryReality1984

I wasn't intent on bringing anything up, the arguement against using embryonic stem cells seems to be that it's a human


Not from me, it's not:


I honeslty wasn't trying to bring up the human arguement but the moral arguments is the only one against stem cells. If you had no morals you woudn't see a difference between embryonic and adult stem cells.


Originally posted by TheRedneck
That was my point, that they don't have to kill embryos in order to do the research. Adult stem cells carry no controversy with them and have been proven to be much, much more effective. They're also cheaper to produce.



Originally posted by TheRedneck
The point I am arguing is that there are no advantages to using embryonic stem cells over adult stem cells. There are definite advantages to using adult stem cells over embryonic stem cells. So why are we even bringing up this debate over a technology that is shown by medical research to be inferior in stem cell research?


It isn't shown to be inferior, embryonic and adult stem cell research is still very open and we are finding out new things every day. If you read the research you'll find that there are positives and negatives to both of these cells and currently we're not sure which is best. My personal view is that at the moment we should continue researching them until we find definitive proof one or the other is better. I think it's very likely we'll find a use for both where the other isn't going to work.

Both of these quotes against stem cells seem to revolve around the moral arguement which in the end comes down to using a human "life". That is where the moral argument originates.


Originally posted by TheRedneck
Yes, there are differences, but in tests so far the advantages of adult stem cells outweigh the disadvantages many fold.


Outweigh? I'm not sure about that, certain areas of researc have been shown to be only applicable to embyonic stem cells. Until this can be resolved we should continue to use them. Please don't get me wrong, once we ca use adult stem cells in exactly the same way as embryonic stem cells then i will happily argue the use of adult stem cells only. Because then for me it will not be an argument over a human life but more an arguement over inciting hatred against science.


Originally posted by TheRedneck
I still contend that this is a moot point, since there are other, more reliable means to obtain better stem cells which carry no controversy and no hindrance to research.


I'm sorry but even the link you provided stated that adult stem cells are not enough for current research. Both in availability and the range of research, the adaptability of embryonic stem cells has shown to be markedely different from adult stem cells. At least at this point in time.


Originally posted by TheRedneck
All of the above are taken from my posts in this thread. Not once have I indicated that my objection was solely or even mostly due to a morality issue. The only time I have even brought the subject up was in response to you, and each time I tried to steer the debate back to where I thought it belonged: the scientific differences between the two types of stem cells available.


The problem i tried to point out is the arguement against embryonic stem cells is only a moral one and to pretend it is anything else is avoiding the issue. The only arguement for not using embryonic stem cells is the iea it's a human life and that it will anger people who believe that. I am the last person who wants to incite hatred but it's currently advantageous to use embryonic stem cells in research. Your responses are rooted in this arguement, even if you yourself don't belive in the human life arguement. I think you want to avoid the controversy against science and i think this is commendable as it shows your heart is in the right place. However science cannot avoid controversy, it must face it head on to advance it's knowledge.


Originally posted by TheRedneck
As for scientists making the decision, I am not satisfied to allow someone who may or may not have been a good student during college to make societal decisions in a vacuum. All it requires to become a 'scientist' is the ability to squeak by on university exams and the luck/contacts to get grant money for research. The degree is a symbol of knowledge, not one of wisdom, and there are many people who work at more mundane professions who have greater wisdom than the average scientist.


I have to say i'm deeply insulted by this on behalf of many good scientists i personally know. To become a scientist requires intelligence and knowledge, and morals are a vital part.

Wisdom? Well i agree wisdom comes with age and experience, however you are implying scientists aren't moral! This is vastly different to wisdom, scientists are as moral as you or i, they would not use embryonic stem cells unless they had to. They would rather avoid the controversy than have it, at least in my experience.


Originally posted by TheRedneck
I highly doubt the BBC editor is a qualified scientist at all. My information is gathered from years of reading scientific journals written by scientists. Despite not having a degree, I can still read and consider the information that is gleaned from experimentation and research.


I also do as you do, i read the journals and i look at all the articles, so far i have seen article after article, including some of the ones you linked that say embryonic stem cells hold significant research advantages over adult stem cells. As soon as those advantages disappear i will be with you on the side of adult stem cell research only.



Originally posted by TheRedneck
Also, you totally missed the point of my last post to you. Any time you try to force morality (from either side, mine or yours) onto an unwilling people, you do not gain results; you gain anger, hostility, and dissension. Notice I did not include progress in that list, because it will not be gained by such force/


I didn't miss anything, your arguement is rooted in morality even if you don' t
realise it. You seem to be arguing from the side of not wanting to cause trouble. However the trouble is only caused from people who have the morals involved in the arguement and so even your position is moral by proxy. As i said earlier, the only arguement against it is that it's a human life, and so even though this isn't apparently your position, you are promoting it by asking scientists not to use controvesial means of research.



posted on Jun, 13 2008 @ 10:56 PM
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reply to post by ImaginaryReality1984
And a well-thought-out post by you as well.


I have to admit you do have a point when you mention that there is a morality issue. I will also admit to being pro-life. But I see the moral argument of whether or not the embryos are a human life and should be protected as separate from the argument that a highly controversial procedure should be treated very cautiously, especialy when there is another avenue of research available.

It is in human nature to resist change, but that resistance is especially strong when it is combined with strong moral leanings. I doubt you can honestly disagree that the question of abortion 'rights' vs. pro-life is an extremely charged issue that evokes much emotion and sometimes even violence. This is not some minor issue where those on one side will be unhappy if they do not get their way; it is such a highly-charged issue that people will attempt to block all research in order to protect what they see as an inhuman experiment.

For instance (at the risk of actually bringing my morality into this thread) the use of naturally miscarried fetuses would harm no one, and would at the same time allow the research we are debating. Yet, the possibilty was raised long ago that fetuses could be 'farmed' by unscrupulous people intent on selling stem cells. This led to the bans on embryonic stem cell research in the first place. Now, we are confronted by an article where farming of embryos is being overtly touted as a major achievement. Surely you see where this will only make for more and stronger calls for governments to outlaw all stem cell research. That, my friend, would be a crime against nature in itself.

I also submit to you that if you extend my argument to include my morality, then you must also extend it to include yours. If my moral position is that killing an embryo to harvest its cells is wrong, then yours is that such an action is not wrong. Both are moral positions, which we will have to agree to disagree on. I doubt I will change your moral stance on whether or not an embryo is a human life, and I am sure you will not change mine. What we can change each others' minds about is the relative viability of each avenue of research and the dangers of ignoring an emotional issue, and I am trying to keep my arguments to these points as much as possible.

There is much disagreement in the scientific community about whether embryonic stem cells are better or worse for research than adult stem cells. I tend to think that the adult cells are superior because they carry no risk of rejection. The articles I referenced do show that adult cells can be adapted to the same range as embryonic cells, only more work is required. There is no way to remove the risk of rejection inherent in embryonic cells.

We could argue this point back and forth for the next ten years. I tend to think that the reason some scientists come down on one side or the other may have much to do with what their grant money (and therefore their job) is designed to study. Scientists are human too, and like every other one on the planet, they yearn to improve their lot in life. That is not a condemnation; it is a simple fact of human existence.

Which brings me to:

I have to say i'm deeply insulted by this on behalf of many good scientists i personally know. To become a scientist requires intelligence and knowledge, and morals are a vital part.


I had no intent to insult you. We both appear to be well-versed in science. My point here was more along the lines that scientists are human and therefore we have good ones and bad ones, intelligent ones and moronic ones, wise ones and foolish ones. Simply having a degree may allow one to place a title before their name, but it does not necessarily convey one's moral position, monetary agenda, or political leanings. Such things, which I believe do contribute to the way results are presented (not a good thing, but human reality is seldom good), are important when examining an opinion. Therefore I do not automatically assign truth to what one man who calls himself a scientist claims. I try to find out as many opinions as possible from different scientists and form my opinions based on any apparent bias and results. I apologize if my lack of tact led to the wrong conclusion here.

And I must disagree that morality is a requirement for one to be called a scientist. While it would be nice if it were, humans in any group have differing levels of morality.

TheRedneck



posted on Jun, 13 2008 @ 11:22 PM
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What bothers me most, about Cloning, is that it has the potential to fall into the wrong hands, for the wrong reasons.

I want to be on the Side of Science, and support all the research we can possibly do, as we are constantly learning, and discovering things. I am all about learning new things, we should keep learning. However, I'm just scared, about what this new knowledge has the potential to do.

I remember watching this doccumentary on Richard Feynman ("The Pleasure of Finding things out" - excellent BTW), and I remember him talking about the Atomic Bomb, and how he sat on the Panel of Scientists who developed it. He had said something about being in a City (I believe it was New York), and how it occured to him, how many city Blocks would be taken out in the event of an Atomic Bomb. He said something about people being so ignorant in building bridges, and buildings, because with this kind of technology, all of the buildings would be destoryed.

Anyway, my point, is that (to me at least)it sounded as if he realized just how dangerous this kind of technology could potentially be, when used for the wrong reasons. I'm not a Physicist so I can't think of a good reason for Atomic Technology, but there might be one that we don't know about yet (or maybe we do, and I'm the only one in the dark - I did just barely pass Physics afterall...)

- Carrot

PS. This is a 5 part Video, and I dont know which part Feynman talks about the Atomic Bomb, but here is Part One if anyone wants to watch it.

www.youtube.com...



[edit on 6/13/2008 by CA_Orot]



posted on Jun, 13 2008 @ 11:52 PM
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reply to post by CA_Orot
 


Gattaca, that is a movie that if you havn't seen you should see now, honestly please see it as fast as possible as it completely shows my fears of genetic engineering. I don't want genetic engineering to get out of control and we end up with a new kind of prejudice.

RedNeck, reply coming soon



posted on Jun, 14 2008 @ 11:07 AM
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reply to post by CA_Orot
You make an excellent point. I can easily see the relationship between this experimentation and atomic fission.

Harnessing the power of the atom is an awesomely amazing way to create energy. Nuclear energy holds bright promise for plentiful, clean energy, despite the setbacks we have today. Never would I state that the development of atomic energy is a bad thing.

Yet, if used without the 'correct' moral foundation, it is an awesomely powerful weapon as well, capable of killing on a scale unprecedented in history. Two bombs dropped on two cities in Japan ended World War II. It also ended not just the lives, but the existence of so many people, the exact death toll will never be known. Just try to imagine a blast of energy so powerful your flesh melts away and vaporizes before you can even realize you are dead. I have tried; I simply can't imagine it.

I ask you, what would happen if a maniacal dictator with desires of world conquest were to obtain nuclear weapons, especially unilaterally? World destruction would surely be the result. This is science, and useful science, but without the balance of nuclear power we have today and the treaties against nuclear weapon proliferation, this world would not be better off for having such scientific knowledge.

As it is with any new discovery. Prospects for the uses of the discoveries must be examined closely before experimentation and implementation can unleash a Pandora's box of horrors we did not foresee. Genetic research is one of these situations. Keep searching for knowledge? Certainly! Be cautious as you search? More certainly!

One of my favorite movie quotes is from Jurassic Park: "Just because we can do a thing, it does not follow that we should do a thing" - Jeff Goldblum.

ImagiinaryReality: I can't wait!


TheRedneck



posted on Jun, 14 2008 @ 06:39 PM
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reply to post by TheRedneck
 


Agreed! Scientific Technology can be useful in bettering the world, however it also has the potential to destroy the world - its like a Catch 22. We will never know if the person holding the answers and discoveries, will use them for personal gain, or for the good of the world - its really unnerving.

If Cloning People were to start happening, I wonder what it would be like. Would we have a million George Bush's running around? Would we have Super Soldiers whose only purpose is to Kill? Would we all become drones? Would we have a Dictator who is cloned, and the clone is then conditioned, to run the world in a certain manner? Would we end up with the same "person" (I use that term loosely) in power for an extended amount of time, if they can in fact be Cloned?

It really bothers me, that this is what we could potentially become. Cloning has the potential to be dangerous - and once we start the process, we can't turn back. You wouldn't go out and buy a computer with Windows 95 on it would you? Well I wouldn't, I want the newest technology available - and once we Open the Lid as you said to Pandora's Box, we can't close it.

I support Reserach that is done with the intent to better Humanity, as long as it is conducted in an ethical manner, however, when it comes to Science, Discovery, and Power - there are no guarantees.

- Carrot



posted on Jun, 14 2008 @ 07:17 PM
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Okey dokey here goes!


Originally posted by TheRedneck
I have to admit you do have a point when you mention that there is a morality issue. I will also admit to being pro-life. But I see the moral argument of whether or not the embryos are a human life and should be protected as separate from the argument that a highly controversial procedure should be treated very cautiously, especialy when there is another avenue of research available.


Nice to know i have the occasional point
I dislike the label pro-life, we're all pro-life, it's for or against abortion that should be the true labels. Well this is my whole problem here, it's conroversial but lots of ground breaking science has been, the nuclear bomb as you have used it as an example is a good view of it. Controversial yes, but leading to nuclear power, the cleanest, safest form of energy production we currently have.


Originally posted by TheRedneck
There is much disagreement in the scientific community about whether embryonic stem cells are better or worse for research than adult stem cells. I tend to think that the adult cells are superior because they carry no risk of rejection. The articles I referenced do show that adult cells can be adapted to the same range as embryonic cells, only more work is required. There is no way to remove the risk of rejection inherent in embryonic cells.


There is another avenue of research, but it's i'm afraid full of obstacles. Adult stem cells, while very useful have been shown to be limited in their scope at this moment in time. Again, as soon as they perfect adult stem cells i will be marching arm in arm with you to stop them using embryonic stem cells. For you it'll be a pro-life issue and for me it'll simply be about preserving the image of science. Either way we'll be on the same side



Originally posted by TheRedneck
It is in human nature to resist change, but that resistance is especially strong when it is combined with strong moral leanings. I doubt you can honestly disagree that the question of abortion 'rights' vs. pro-life is an extremely charged issue that evokes much emotion and sometimes even violence. This is not some minor issue where those on one side will be unhappy if they do not get their way; it is such a highly-charged issue that people will attempt to block all research in order to protect what they see as an inhuman experiment.


Nope i can't disagree it's a charged issue and to do so would be utterly stupid and would mean i'm taking the opposing position for the sake of it. I don't see this experiment as inhumane, they are using cells which would never have become life in the first place. The cells are not humans as blood is not infused. They are not concious, they cannot feel pain and so basically to me it's a perfectly acceptable piece of research. Just because something is controversial and might cause trouble does not mean it shoudln't be persued. Afterall if people in history had avoided any controversial issue then the USA would never have gained independance.


Originally posted by TheRedneck
For instance (at the risk of actually bringing my morality into this thread) the use of naturally miscarried fetuses would harm no one, and would at the same time allow the research we are debating. Yet, the possibilty was raised long ago that fetuses could be 'farmed' by unscrupulous people intent on selling stem cells. This led to the bans on embryonic stem cell research in the first place. Now, we are confronted by an article where farming of embryos is being overtly touted as a major achievement. Surely you see where this will only make for more and stronger calls for governments to outlaw all stem cell research. That, my friend, would be a crime against nature in itself.


Your morality has been here from the start by proxy, nothing wrong with that at all. Using only miscarried fetuses would seriously reduce the amount of stem cells available for research and actually i find the idea very wrong unless the woman in question agreed to it. Afterall it's still her child despite it being dead, it was inside of her growing and she had an emotional attachment to it. If she agreed then fine that's ok but it would really hinder the research because as i said we would be lacking the amount of cells needed.

Bush already tried to veto the stem cell research because of fundamental christian values. I think what the US government needs to do is say that religion has no place in science, i'm sorry but it's true. Religion should not dictate to the world and stop research going through. We should of course keep an eye on science and make sure they don't commit any immoral acts like the nazis and other scientists have done in the past. However religion shouldn't be the one deciding it.

I agree it would be a crime against nature and humanity to stop stem cell research that has the potential to save and improve the quality of so many lives. However i do not think scientists should have to stop their research or even slow it down for this problem. There is nothing morally wrong in using stem cells from embryos, at least in my view.


Originally posted by TheRedneck
I also submit to you that if you extend my argument to include my morality, then you must also extend it to include yours. If my moral position is that killing an embryo to harvest its cells is wrong, then yours is that such an action is not wrong. Both are moral positions, which we will have to agree to disagree on. I doubt I will change your moral stance on whether or not an embryo is a human life, and I am sure you will not change mine. What we can change each others' minds about is the relative viability of each avenue of research and the dangers of ignoring an emotional issue, and I am trying to keep my arguments to these points as much as possible.


Absolutely, i would never try and change your mind on that issue simply because i learnt a long time ago that the more you try and change someones mind, the more resistant they become. It's quite arrogant to force someone to adopt your viewpoint so i avoid doing so.


Originally posted by TheRedneck
There is much disagreement in the scientific community about whether embryonic stem cells are better or worse for research than adult stem cells. I tend to think that the adult cells are superior because they carry no risk of rejection. The articles I referenced do show that adult cells can be adapted to the same range as embryonic cells, only more work is required. There is no way to remove the risk of rejection inherent in embryonic cells.


The articles you listed said adult stem cells can be adapted for some things but currently there are problem adapting them to everything. Until that happens i wil support embryonic stem cell research. In the mean time we may find out a wealth of knowledge from embryonic stem cells that's worth having. In fact studying embryonic stem cells could lead to way of making adult cells more viable. Understanding embryonic cells is the key to that and so we have to experiment with them for now at least.


Originally posted by TheRedneck
We could argue this point back and forth for the next ten years. I tend to think that the reason some scientists come down on one side or the other may have much to do with what their grant money (and therefore their job) is designed to study. Scientists are human too, and like every other one on the planet, they yearn to improve their lot in life. That is not a condemnation; it is a simple fact of human existence.


Yep we could but it's fun to do so and should be done when possible to help resolve the issues at hand. I don't think that's why scientists do it at all, yes they are pressured by funding but they use the cells simply becuase they understand it's currently necessary.

Continued in next post.



posted on Jun, 14 2008 @ 07:18 PM
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Continued......


Originally posted by TheRedneck
I had no intent to insult you. We both appear to be well-versed in science. My point here was more along the lines that scientists are human and therefore we have good ones and bad ones, intelligent ones and moronic ones, wise ones and foolish ones. Simply having a degree may allow one to place a title before their name, but it does not necessarily convey one's moral position, monetary agenda, or political leanings. Such things, which I believe do contribute to the way results are presented (not a good thing, but human reality is seldom good), are important when examining an opinion. Therefore I do not automatically assign truth to what one man who calls himself a scientist claims. I try to find out as many opinions as possible from different scientists and form my opinions based on any apparent bias and results. I apologize if my lack of tact led to the wrong conclusion here.


I know you didn't intend to insult me, that's why i still respect you. Of course all of these issues may colour how it's presented but luckily we have peer review and such things are discovered. I've read paper after paper on stem cells and even in the papers that claim adult stem cells are superior, they have to tuck in the information that currently adult stem cells are far from complete in their usability. They always try to downplay it, tuck it into some small comment in a paragraph, but it's there.


Originally posted by TheRedneck
And I must disagree that morality is a requirement for one to be called a scientist. While it would be nice if it were, humans in any group have differing levels of morality.


Ok true but not how i meant it. I simply meant that the majority will be moral people, just like the majority in the general populous are moral people. Their morals vary, to extreme and minor extents but in the end we shouldn't hold back research that is vital when we are talking about embryos that would never have been alive if it wern't for the scientists cranking them up in the first place.



Originally posted by TheRedneck
Yet, if used without the 'correct' moral foundation, it is an awesomely powerful weapon as well, capable of killing on a scale unprecedented in history. Two bombs dropped on two cities in Japan ended World War II. It also ended not just the lives, but the existence of so many people, the exact death toll will never be known. Just try to imagine a blast of energy so powerful your flesh melts away and vaporizes before you can even realize you are dead. I have tried; I simply can't imagine it.


Well now we're moving away from the discussion of whether to use embryonic or adult stem cells and moving into the use of genetic engineering itself upon human beings. As i said in a previous post, check out the film Gattaca, very scary and entirely possible view of the future if we misuse this technology once it's perfected.


Originally posted by TheRedneck
I ask you, what would happen if a maniacal dictator with desires of world conquest were to obtain nuclear weapons, especially unilaterally? World destruction would surely be the result. This is science, and useful science, but without the balance of nuclear power we have today and the treaties against nuclear weapon proliferation, this world would not be better off for having such scientific knowledge.


This is why we need to set up laws aobt genetics now stating that no one could be prevented from gettinga job depending on any genetic predispositions. That's a long way off though and off the discussion i think




Originally posted by TheRedneck
As it is with any new discovery. Prospects for the uses of the discoveries must be examined closely before experimentation and implementation can unleash a Pandora's box of horrors we did not foresee. Genetic research is one of these situations. Keep searching for knowledge? Certainly! Be cautious as you search? More certainly!


Absolutely. My personal view is any gene put into a human being, even if it's to cure cancer should only be given to a small test sample and those people should be watched for the rest of their lives and any children they have examined to see if it had any negative results. This would drastically slow down science but i think it's imporant to be sure we aren't damaging our genetic codes irreprabl



posted on Jun, 14 2008 @ 08:15 PM
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reply to post by ImaginaryReality1984
the more we debate this, the more I realize that we differ on minor points only. My compliments to you on your open mind and debating ability!


I dislike the label pro-life, we're all pro-life, it's for or against abortion that should be the true labels. Well this is my whole problem here, it's conroversial but lots of ground breaking science has been, the nuclear bomb as you have used it as an example is a good view of it. Controversial yes, but leading to nuclear power, the cleanest, safest form of energy production we currently have.


I can agree with almpst all of this. Labels are simply that: labels. they do not necessarily even properly indicate what they are labeling. As to nuclear power being the safest, that's not exactly true at this point in time. I am for nuclear power, but I also acknowledge its problems. But that's not the topic here.



There is another avenue of research, but it's i'm afraid full of obstacles. Adult stem cells, while very useful have been shown to be limited in their scope at this moment in time. Again, as soon as they perfect adult stem cells i will be marching arm in arm with you to stop them using embryonic stem cells. For you it'll be a pro-life issue and for me it'll simply be about preserving the image of science. Either way we'll be on the same side


I look forward to that day. I will join you in the effort to preserve the image of science as well.


I don't see this experiment as inhumane, they are using cells which would never have become life in the first place. The cells are not humans as blood is not infused. They are not concious, they cannot feel pain and so basically to me it's a perfectly acceptable piece of research. Just because something is controversial and might cause trouble does not mean it shoudln't be persued. Afterall if people in history had avoided any controversial issue then the USA would never have gained independance.


This is one of those details we disagree on. I will accept the possibility that what you say is true, but not the fact that it is true. the simple fact is that no research has been done on when a embryo/fetus/child attains consciousness. Perhaps if more work had been done in that field we would not be having this discussion now, but it is simply a fact that the two diametrically opposing sides have placed their agendas above providing research that wopuld support them.

Those who oppose embryonic research (I believe
) do not do the research because it might prove that the embryo is not conscious or sentient. Those who want embryonic stem cell research apparently are afraid that any such research will show some measure of consciousness. In both cases, it seems that research is bypassed in order to not take a chance of losing their argument. This is not good science; this is personal political agendas.


Your morality has been here from the start by proxy, nothing wrong with that at all. Using only miscarried fetuses would seriously reduce the amount of stem cells available for research and actually i find the idea very wrong unless the woman in question agreed to it. Afterall it's still her child despite it being dead, it was inside of her growing and she had an emotional attachment to it. If she agreed then fine that's ok but it would really hinder the research because as i said we would be lacking the amount of cells needed.


Now this is pretty funny. In this case you appear to have a more 'conservative' view than I do.
Aw well, it's all good.


I will agree to the 'morality by proxy' comment, I think that would apply to almost any discussion.


Bush already tried to veto the stem cell research because of fundamental christian values. I think what the US government needs to do is say that religion has no place in science, i'm sorry but it's true. Religion should not dictate to the world and stop research going through. We should of course keep an eye on science and make sure they don't commit any immoral acts like the nazis and other scientists have done in the past. However religion shouldn't be the one deciding it.


Just as above, morality by proxy tends to creep into any discussion, it will also creep into any decision made by leaders. There is no way to prevent religious viewpoints from being considered. Even if we banned religion altogether, people would still harbor beliefs and these would become part of the decisions they made.

I would like to believe (and for the most part I do believe) that religious views are not a major impediment to serious scientific research, at least not when the research is fully researched. I think individual morality will trump organized religious morality every time. Of course there are exceptions (like Bush), but should there have been previous research into the actual state of consciousness during the development of a child, the religious viewpoints would tend to line up with the individual ones.


Absolutely, i would never try and change your mind on that issue simply because i learnt a long time ago that the more you try and change someones mind, the more resistant they become. It's quite arrogant to force someone to adopt your viewpoint so i avoid doing so.


Oh, bless you! One down, 5,999,999,999 to go.
Seriously, I wish others would take this attitude.


The articles you listed said adult stem cells can be adapted for some things but currently there are problem adapting them to everything.


Obviously I cannot deny this, but the articles also state that adult stem cell diversification has been advanced with very promising results, and many scientists believe that they can be diversified as widely as embryonic cells. There has been no advancement on the problem with embryonic cells, rejection. Perhaps, since the experimentation is being carried out, there will be advance3s from embryonic cells that will allow us to use adult cells more effectively; at least that would mean the embryos were not destroyed in vain.


Yep we could but it's fun to do so and should be done when possible to help resolve the issues at hand. I don't think that's why scientists do it at all, yes they are pressured by funding but they use the cells simply becuase they understand it's currently necessary.


Another minor disagreement. Perhaps I have met too many less-than-perfect scientists, but I do not feel the majority are willing to place their moral positions above their self-interests. then again, perhaps it is my distrust of humanity in general.


And discussion is a wonderful tool to hash out issues.


Turn the page for more insightful insights, typos, and grammatical errors from a redneck


TheRedneck



posted on Jun, 14 2008 @ 08:37 PM
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reply to post by ImaginaryReality1984

Of course all of these issues may colour how it's presented but luckily we have peer review and such things are discovered. I've read paper after paper on stem cells and even in the papers that claim adult stem cells are superior, they have to tuck in the information that currently adult stem cells are far from complete in their usability. They always try to downplay it, tuck it into some small comment in a paragraph, but it's there.


We do have peer review, but that is steadily pressured by those in power who use funding to try and color results. It's sad, but it does happen.

Amusingly, your point about how even those advocating adult stem cells have to admit the faults only goes to show this. Were there not bias, the disadvantages would be presented as openly as the advantages.


I simply meant that the majority will be moral people, just like the majority in the general populous are moral people. Their morals vary, to extreme and minor extents but in the end we shouldn't hold back research that is vital when we are talking about embryos that would never have been alive if it wern't for the scientists cranking them up in the first place.


I do not agree that the majority in any group are 'moral'; rather I tend to believe the opposite. But that's, again, my personal view of humanity peeking through.


I also have trouble with the concept of the embryos somehow 'owing' their existence to the scientists. While it may well be true that were it not for the scientists, they would not have developed, the same can be said for any child. My children would not be here if my wife and I had not 'made' them, yet that is not a cause for me to think I can legally harm them just because of that fact. When the scientists caused the embryos to begin development, they became responsible for a human life, just as my wife and I became responsible for our children.


Well now we're moving away from the discussion of whether to use embryonic or adult stem cells and moving into the use of genetic engineering itself upon human beings. As i said in a previous post, check out the film Gattaca, very scary and entirely possible view of the future if we misuse this technology once it's perfected.


I saw the reference you made in the earlier post, and I do intend to watch it at the earliest opportunity. We appear to agree on the dangers of genetic research. It is applicable in some sense, however, since genetics is a large part of stem cell research.


This is why we need to set up laws aobt genetics now stating that no one could be prevented from gettinga job depending on any genetic predispositions.


Agreed completely.


Absolutely. My personal view is any gene put into a human being, even if it's to cure cancer should only be given to a small test sample and those people should be watched for the rest of their lives and any children they have examined to see if it had any negative results. This would drastically slow down science but i think it's imporant to be sure we aren't damaging our genetic codes


Oh, if only scientific research could be conducted in that way! Unfortunately, in the world we live in, initial results are far too frequently used to justify laws. This has led to the dangers from the pharmaceutical industry in particular, but in other arenas as well.

I have to point out that you are contradicting yourself some, though. Some things should take precedence over scientific research, and I agree that one is caution. I do not advocate abandonment of any branch of research, only caution and thorough verification before potentially dangerous or immoral actions are taken. This is my main concern, and from your previous posts, one I believe you will agree with me on.

TheRedneck



posted on Jun, 19 2008 @ 10:39 AM
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Originally posted by TheRedneck
the more we debate this, the more I realize that we differ on minor points only. My compliments to you on your open mind and debating ability!


I odn't want to turn this into a backslapping thread, but ditto





Originally posted by TheRedneck
This is one of those details we disagree on. I will accept the possibility that what you say is true, but not the fact that it is true. the simple fact is that no research has been done on when a embryo/fetus/child attains consciousness. Perhaps if more work had been done in that field we would not be having this discussion now, but it is simply a fact that the two diametrically opposing sides have placed their agendas above providing research that wopuld support them.


Ahh well that's where you're wrong. Scientists agree that consiousness cannot occur in any animal brain under a certain volume. We can safely assume that chickens, dogs, cats and other animals just don't have the physical matter in their brains to be concious. To be soncious to me is to be self aware, the embryos do not have enough brain cells to be self aware. Therefore i think it perfectly acceptable to use them as we see fit.


Originally posted by TheRedneck
Those who oppose embryonic research (I believe
) do not do the research because it might prove that the embryo is not conscious or sentient. Those who want embryonic stem cell research apparently are afraid that any such research will show some measure of consciousness. In both cases, it seems that research is bypassed in order to not take a chance of losing their argument. This is not good science; this is personal political agendas.


Those who do the research are well aware that the embryos cannot feel pain, are not self concious, are not aware of their surroundings and basically are little more than a collection of cells. Sorry but from what i've read the research states clearly that no animal can have conciousness or self awarness without a certian volume of brain matter.


Originally posted by TheRedneck
Now this is pretty funny. In this case you appear to have a more 'conservative' view than I do.
Aw well, it's all good.


Well it's good we could find such a thing



Originally posted by TheRedneck
I will agree to the 'morality by proxy' comment, I think that would apply to almost any discussion.


I'm glad you agree, so many people fight from a moral perspective and deny they are doing so. They maybe don't realise that any issue such as this is charged with morality from the opening cannon shot to the closing musket fire.


Originally posted by TheRedneck
Just as above, morality by proxy tends to creep into any discussion, it will also creep into any decision made by leaders. There is no way to prevent religious viewpoints from being considered. Even if we banned religion altogether, people would still harbor beliefs and these would become part of the decisions they made.


They would yes, absolutely agree. However i don't think leaders of countries that are based on freedom should do such a thing. This man on his own held back around five years worth of research. Most people don't realise that, they think it was onlya short term suspension. However when you add up the research hours lost it ranges from between 3 and 5 years of lost time. Truly a crime against humanity in my view, and i don't say that lightly.


Originally posted by TheRedneck
I would like to believe (and for the most part I do believe) that religious views are not a major impediment to serious scientific research, at least not when the research is fully researched. I think individual morality will trump organized religious morality every time. Of course there are exceptions (like Bush), but should there have been previous research into the actual state of consciousness during the development of a child, the religious viewpoints would tend to line up with the individual ones.


Again as stated above there has been research on the needed volume of brain to evolve conciousness. The research i read around 5 years ago talked about the brain to body comparison. An organism needs a good deal of brain compared to it's body, so an elephant for example would havea larger brain than us, but it's used up controlling it's body and leaves less for concious thought. A termite, having the biggest brain in relation to it's body would also have trouble as it's lacking the needed total volume to provide conciousness.

As humans we seem to be uniquely privilaged in this regard as we have both good brain to body figures and total volume.


Originally posted by TheRedneck
Oh, bless you! One down, 5,999,999,999 to go.
Seriously, I wish others would take this attitude.


You and me both wish that.


Originally posted by TheRedneck
Obviously I cannot deny this, but the articles also state that adult stem cell diversification has been advanced with very promising results, and many scientists believe that they can be diversified as widely as embryonic cells. There has been no advancement on the problem with embryonic cells, rejection. Perhaps, since the experimentation is being carried out, there will be advance3s from embryonic cells that will allow us to use adult cells more effectively; at least that would mean the embryos were not destroyed in vain.


That was my point, we shoudl continue the experimentations on embryonic stem cells until we find breakthroughs in the adult ones. Researching the embryonic ones could lead to major leaps in our knowledge. So for now, until we can reach a conclusion we should continue our research.


Originally posted by TheRedneck
Another minor disagreement. Perhaps I have met too many less-than-perfect scientists, but I do not feel the majority are willing to place their moral positions above their self-interests. then again, perhaps it is my distrust of humanity in general.


Yeah well i'll leave your distrust in humanity in general alone, that's a personal think. Whilst i sometimes wonder about humanity i hope for the best whenever possible.


Originally posted by TheRedneck
We do have peer review, but that is steadily pressured by those in power who use funding to try and color results. It's sad, but it does happen.

Amusingly, your point about how even those advocating adult stem cells have to admit the faults only goes to show this. Were there not bias, the disadvantages would be presented as openly as the advantages.


My point was that the scientists with high moral regards to embryos tend to me more willing to alter their research to get their results in line with their morals. When you are so passionate about something that's easy to do.



Originally posted by TheRedneck
I also have trouble with the concept of the embryos somehow 'owing' their existence to the scientists. While it may well be true that were it not for the scientists, they would not have developed, the same can be said for any child. My children would not be here if my wife and I had not 'made' them, yet that is not a cause for me to think I can legally harm them just because of that fact. When the scientists caused the embryos to begin development, they became responsible for a human life, just as my wife and I became responsible for our children.


No no sorry that's different, you impregnated your wife. The goal of doing so was to produe a living, breathing, fully aware child. The scientists goal is to terminate that child before it ever becomes self aware, before it feels pain, before it even knows existence. That is the difference, the scientists had no end goal of a child in sight.



Originally posted by TheRedneck
I have to point out that you are contradicting yourself some, though. Some things should take precedence over scientific research, and I agree that one is caution. I do not advocate abandonment of any branch of research, only caution and thorough verification before potentially dangerous or immoral actions are taken. This is my main concern, and from your previous posts, one I believe you will agree with me on.


I'm not sure i'm contradicting myself, care to elaborate?

[edit on 19-6-2008 by ImaginaryReality1984]



posted on Jun, 19 2008 @ 11:39 AM
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Oh i think you'll be interested in this redneck.

www.telegraph.co.uk.../earth/2008/06/18/scistem118.xml

I found that today, i usually keep up with the latest research but this one managed to slip under my radar. It shows increasing posibilites for afult stem cells and even normal adult cells we could change into something else! That's the holy grail in my opinion.

Lets hope they perfect such techniques, then you and i can fully agree on this issue



posted on Jun, 19 2008 @ 11:45 AM
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reply to post by ImaginaryReality1984

I odn't want to turn this into a backslapping thread, but ditto


Better backslapping than backstabbing.



However i don't think leaders of countries that are based on freedom should do such a thing. This man on his own held back around five years worth of research. Most people don't realise that, they think it was onlya short term suspension. However when you add up the research hours lost it ranges from between 3 and 5 years of lost time. Truly a crime against humanity in my view, and i don't say that lightly.


OK, how about a compromise. Backslapping between each other and backstabbing on Bush?


Seriously, I have no love lost for this man, and I can agree that his decision has slowed the research by at least this much. My mind is just not made up as to the actual quality of his decision. I can also agree that leaders should not allow personal beliefs to color political decisions, I just do not agree that it is even possible to completely do so. Minimize, sure, but not eradicate.


Again as stated above there has been research on the needed volume of brain to evolve conciousness. The research i read around 5 years ago talked about the brain to body comparison. An organism needs a good deal of brain compared to it's body, so an elephant for example would havea larger brain than us, but it's used up controlling it's body and leaves less for concious thought. A termite, having the biggest brain in relation to it's body would also have trouble as it's lacking the needed total volume to provide conciousness.

As humans we seem to be uniquely privilaged in this regard as we have both good brain to body figures and total volume.


Research, yes, but far from a conclusion. For instance, what does the volume of an animal's body have to do with sentience (self-awareness)? The same computer that is used in a household to chat on the Internet can also be used to control a factory. There is no correlation between processing power and reach of influence based on size alone.

That said, there may well be a brain volume that is required to achieve consciousness, but we are not even sure what causes consciousness. If we were to discover the underlying scientific principles (which I am sure exist), we would have a solution to the questions of religious correctness, existence of God, meaning of life, psychic phenomena, spiritual phenomena, etc.

In the absence of a true definition of consciousness, how can anyone state that such-and-such is required to attain it, without resorting to personal opinion or beliefs?


That was my point, we shoudl continue the experimentations on embryonic stem cells until we find breakthroughs in the adult ones. Researching the embryonic ones could lead to major leaps in our knowledge. So for now, until we can reach a conclusion we should continue our research.


I can go along with this to an extent. Should this procedure be found to be immoral, the only immorality involved would be the farming of embryos. therefore, to stop research on the cells already harvested would be purely wasteful and, yes, perhaps could be seen as criminal.

This is the real problem with embryonic research. Should a chld be miscarried at the embryo stage, and should the parents wish to allow it, the stem cells could be harvested with, IMHO, no moral argument. Unfortunately, we live in a world where far too many people will put money ahead of lives. Let me ask you this: do you really believe there are not people who would kill you in an instant, with no remorse, if they could get away with it and profit from selling your body parts? (Hint: they already exist in some third-world countries.)


My point was that the scientists with high moral regards to embryos tend to me more willing to alter their research to get their results in line with their morals. When you are so passionate about something that's easy to do.


ANY alteration of results, regardless of the morality issue or the 'side' they are on, is unacceptable to me. Such alterations only serve to confuse the issues at hand and discredit the entire scientific community. Facts are facts, and should it be proven to my satisfaction that I am wrong on any issue, then I will adjust my positions accordingly. I will freely admit that on certain issues, it would require a good deal of evidence to constitute the required 'proof', but that amount of evidence increases for me exponentially every time I hear about alteration of results on either side.


No no sorry that's different, you impregnated your wife. The goal of doing so was to produe a living, breathing, fully aware child. The scientists goal is to terminate that child before it ever becomes self aware, before it feels pain, before it even knows existence. That is the difference, the scientists had no end goal of a child in sight.


Yes, I did, and I enjoyed it, and I would do it again! Mwa-ha-ha!


(just couldn't forego inserting a little humor there, sorry)

There is a difference between the goal and the attainment of that goal. Yes, the goals were different, but the same actions (only with less fun on the scientist's part
) were used to obtain the goals. therefore the morality of the actions are not abated by the goal they were used to obtain. In other words, the ends do not justify the means.


I'm not sure i'm contradicting myself, care to elaborate?


You advocate caution in dealing with genetic manipulation (a point which I heartily agree on), but seem to throw caution to the wind when dealing with embryonic research. Perhaps that is due to your feelings that the issue is resolved, but I believe I have at least given you food for thought on whether it really is truly resolved.

I am not advocating complete denial of any embryonic research, simply more thorough research into the morality issue (i.e. potential self-awareness of the embryos at various stages of development) before we throw caution to the wind and simply state that we know what we're doing to sooth our own consciences. I want the issues questioned and investigated fully and completely to make sure we do not harm another sentient creature, especially if that creature is one of our own species, and one of the most helpless and innocent of us at that. To do less, IMHO, makes us less human, and therefore less 'sentient'.

TheRedneck



posted on Jun, 21 2008 @ 03:48 AM
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Originally posted by TheRedneck
OK, how about a compromise. Backslapping between each other and backstabbing on Bush?


Seriously, I have no love lost for this man, and I can agree that his decision has slowed the research by at least this much. My mind is just not made up as to the actual quality of his decision. I can also agree that leaders should not allow personal beliefs to color political decisions, I just do not agree that it is even possible to completely do so. Minimize, sure, but not eradicate.


I think we can agree to the backslapping, careful what you say about Bush, i'm sure there's an intelligence operative reading what you psoted, you'll be arrested as a terrorist next
If that happened who would i be able to debate this issue with in such a well mannered way?



Originally posted by TheRedneck
Research, yes, but far from a conclusion. For instance, what does the volume of an animal's body have to do with sentience (self-awareness)? The same computer that is used in a household to chat on the Internet can also be used to control a factory. There is no correlation between processing power and reach of influence based on size alone.

That said, there may well be a brain volume that is required to achieve consciousness, but we are not even sure what causes consciousness. If we were to discover the underlying scientific principles (which I am sure exist), we would have a solution to the questions of religious correctness, existence of God, meaning of life, psychic phenomena, spiritual phenomena, etc.

In the absence of a true definition of consciousness, how can anyone state that such-and-such is required to attain it, without resorting to personal opinion or beliefs?


The volume of their body means little, it's the body to brain ratio that's imporant, also taking into account the complete volume of the brain. Technically the termite has the greatest brain to body ratio but of course they don't have the minimum volume needed for conciousness. Taking your example of the computer, it's like we know we need a minimum amount of processing power and storage but we don't know the programming language needed. So we have the basic mechanics but not the fine tuning needed.

The research on conciousness is pretty god but of course the full picture eludes us. Some of the most interesting research has been done with animals of different species and a mirror. Birds that are said to be as intelligent as your average 4 year old were placed in front of a mirror. They showed the same displays and aggression they would against a male bird of their species. Although they are smart they cannot reliase that it's themselves in the mirror, they have no self awareness.

Chimps on the other hand, if you place some red paint on their nose and sit them in front of a mirror, are self aware. They will reach up to their nose and wipe the paint off, this is because they have a similar brain to body ratio as use and the minimum volume needed to achieve a semblance of conciousness. Whilst not at our level they are self aware. As a side note this is why i'm against certain research done on chimps.



Originally posted by TheRedneck
I can go along with this to an extent. Should this procedure be found to be immoral, the only immorality involved would be the farming of embryos. therefore, to stop research on the cells already harvested would be purely wasteful and, yes, perhaps could be seen as criminal.

This is the real problem with embryonic research. Should a chld be miscarried at the embryo stage, and should the parents wish to allow it, the stem cells could be harvested with, IMHO, no moral argument. Unfortunately, we live in a world where far too many people will put money ahead of lives. Let me ask you this: do you really believe there are not people who would kill you in an instant, with no remorse, if they could get away with it and profit from selling your body parts? (Hint: they already exist in some third-world countries.)


Redneck, there are people who would kill me out of a public service lol, i can be annoying soemtimes
In all seriousness though, if people started doing what you say then i wouldn't be best pleased about it. Scientists don't do it for money, at least not most of the time and those are the people i am focusing on as they are the true scientists.




Originally posted by TheRedneck

ANY alteration of results, regardless of the morality issue or the 'side' they are on, is unacceptable to me. Such alterations only serve to confuse the issues at hand and discredit the entire scientific community. Facts are facts, and should it be proven to my satisfaction that I am wrong on any issue, then I will adjust my positions accordingly. I will freely admit that on certain issues, it would require a good deal of evidence to constitute the required 'proof', but that amount of evidence increases for me exponentially every time I hear about alteration of results on either side.


Agreed, any alteration is wrong, i merely meant that it seems the scientists with moral problems regarding using embryonic stem cells seem to falsify results more. If you have that kind of moral drive, regarding the use of "life" then it's a powerful drive. Whereas a scientist who thinks it's fine to use the cells will i think have less of a drive to falsify research because their ideals whilst strongly held don'thave the same power behind them.

It's like people who are against abortion, they are usually far more vehement in their beliefs, the fact that some of them fire bomb abortion clinics and threaten abortion doctors kind of shows what i mean.


Originally posted by TheRedneck

Yes, I did, and I enjoyed it, and I would do it again! Mwa-ha-ha!


(just couldn't forego inserting a little humor there, sorry)

There is a difference between the goal and the attainment of that goal. Yes, the goals were different, but the same actions (only with less fun on the scientist's part
) were used to obtain the goals. therefore the morality of the actions are not abated by the goal they were used to obtain. In other words, the ends do not justify the means.


You owe me a keyboard, i choked orange juice all over my lovely microsoft one whilst reading that! Don't apologise for comedy lol.

There is no difference in my eyes and this is where we differ i think. You and your wife were trying to make a child, the two cells combined inside a womb, the ideal enviroment for a child to grow, develop fully and become a human being. The scientist combines them in a circular glass dish, with a syringe, some growth medium and it never has a chance to become a life. It coudln't reach full term in that dish.

The ends do not justify the means no, absolutely not, i'f always believed that. However the means here to me aren't bad at all. As i sid if they ever prove conciousness in these embryos, if they prove they can sense pain, then i'll be the first to stand up and shout at the top of my lungs that we should stop using them and i'll shout until someone hears me.


Originally posted by TheRedneck

You advocate caution in dealing with genetic manipulation (a point which I heartily agree on), but seem to throw caution to the wind when dealing with embryonic research. Perhaps that is due to your feelings that the issue is resolved, but I believe I have at least given you food for thought on whether it really is truly resolved.

I am not advocating complete denial of any embryonic research, simply more thorough research into the morality issue (i.e. potential self-awareness of the embryos at various stages of development) before we throw caution to the wind and simply state that we know what we're doing to sooth our own consciences. I want the issues questioned and investigated fully and completely to make sure we do not harm another sentient creature, especially if that creature is one of our own species, and one of the most helpless and innocent of us at that. To do less, IMHO, makes us less human, and therefore less 'sentient'.

TheRedneck


right ok i see what you were saying, I don't agree though i'm afraid. You have given me food for thought and as you can see i've chewed it over a god deal and replied with what i think. I have not merely disregarded your points of view out of hand, whilst walking around the garden i sometimes mul it over trying to work out a good response.

For me the issue of conciousness in embryos has been answered, however like all good science it should never be left alone, shelved as if we know it all. That's what i truly love about science the most, the idea that no answer is ever accepted as true and that's the end of it. All answers can be attacked and if you have good research to back it up then that fact will be changed.

Research should always be continued, especially in such controversial areas. However with the current research i do not believe embryos are concious, i dont' beleive their nervous system is developed enough to sense pain, i dont' believe their brains are large enough to evolve conciousness and/or receive the signals from their early nerve cells to feel and appreiciate pain sensations.



posted on Jun, 22 2008 @ 01:45 PM
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reply to post by ImaginaryReality1984

I think we can agree to the backslapping, careful what you say about Bush, i'm sure there's an intelligence operative reading what you psoted, you'll be arrested as a terrorist next. If that happened who would i be able to debate this issue with in such a well mannered way?


Oh, I doubt anyone is gonna be after me over this thread. Not with some of the doosies I have posted across the 'net and some of the cell phone calls I have been in. I actually talk back to the govt eavesdroppers now. There's one guy who, when he calls, I answer the phone, "Allah! Bomb! Bush! Hi guys, hope you're having a good day."


The volume of their body means little, it's the body to brain ratio that's imporant, also taking into account the complete volume of the brain. Technically the termite has the greatest brain to body ratio but of course they don't have the minimum volume needed for conciousness. Taking your example of the computer, it's like we know we need a minimum amount of processing power and storage but we don't know the programming language needed. So we have the basic mechanics but not the fine tuning needed.


Not exactly true. Body mass does not necessarl\ily mean that more brainpower is needed in order to control the mas, it simply means that more muscle is controlled by an electrochemical signal. In my example, a computer signal can drive a single hard drive or an array of hard drives. The signals used are the same; the array uses built-in knowledge if itself to operate on the same signals a single drive would use.

Another good example would be the electronic 'brain' that controls your average automobile. It is no more or less complex than the one that controls my 70+ foot long, 40-ton semi. So in this example, the brain controlling a 1-ton car would have 40 times the intelligence-to-mass ratio of my truck, but in reality, they are equal in intelligence.

There may well be a minimum brain size that determines whether or not sentient intelligence is possible, but we don't really know what that limit is yet. the complexities of the human brain are so astounding that we are only beginning to understand the bare basics of its operation. We can plot where energy is used in certain activities, what areas are generally dedicated to what bodily functions, but as of yet we cannot implant or read a thought, or even know for sure where a thought comes from. Perhaps some day we will know more, but for now we need more research... a LOT more research.


The research on conciousness is pretty god but of course the full picture eludes us. Some of the most interesting research has been done with animals of different species and a mirror. Birds that are said to be as intelligent as your average 4 year old were placed in front of a mirror. They showed the same displays and aggression they would against a male bird of their species. Although they are smart they cannot reliase that it's themselves in the mirror, they have no self awareness.

Chimps on the other hand, if you place some red paint on their nose and sit them in front of a mirror, are self aware. They will reach up to their nose and wipe the paint off, this is because they have a similar brain to body ratio as use and the minimum volume needed to achieve a semblance of conciousness. Whilst not at our level they are self aware. As a side note this is why i'm against certain research done on chimps.


The research you mention does seem to indicate a difference in the degree of sentience. The same indications have been shown among other animals. Swine, for instance, appear to be more intelligent than most dogs, and dolphins may well be more intelligent than we are (not sure where that would put us compared to swine, but...
).

The only problem I see is that, while this would seem to be a good indicator of intelligence/sentience, could there be other types of sentience besides our own? All our research is done based on what we experience. I'm not gonna elaborate farther on this point, because it will make a good thread in itself for a later time, and I doubt anyone on the planet could really give an exact answer in this respect to what sentience really is.

I will say this: We haven't yet been able to put red paint on an embryo's nose and have it look in a mirror. It would be great if we could accomlish that, though.


Redneck, there are people who would kill me out of a public service lol, i can be annoying soemtimes. In all seriousness though, if people started doing what you say then i wouldn't be best pleased about it. Scientists don't do it for money, at least not most of the time and those are the people i am focusing on as they are the true scientists.


I agree completely (well, except for you being annoying
), especially the part about the true scientists being those who care more for truth than for money. I tend to see this as a shades of grey issue rather than black and white, though, since even the most loyal scientist probably has a family to feed, and probably likes to eat occasionally himself. The true source of the problem here is in politics, not science, but when politics controls the purse strings, politics controls the science that purse pays for, to some extent. Sad, but a fact of life on this planet.



Agreed, any alteration is wrong, i merely meant that it seems the scientists with moral problems regarding using embryonic stem cells seem to falsify results more. If you have that kind of moral drive, regarding the use of "life" then it's a powerful drive. Whereas a scientist who thinks it's fine to use the cells will i think have less of a drive to falsify research because their ideals whilst strongly held don'thave the same power behind them.

It's like people who are against abortion, they are usually far more vehement in their beliefs, the fact that some of them fire bomb abortion clinics and threaten abortion doctors kind of shows what i mean.


You make an excellent point. Morals can tend to color results, and that, as I stated, makes me suspicious. Good shot!


I'll agree 100% on the pro-life zealots. It has never made sense to me to harm others while claiming an attitude of preserving human life. Swine are beginning to look more intelligent by the minute...


There is no difference in my eyes and this is where we differ i think. You and your wife were trying to make a child, the two cells combined inside a womb, the ideal enviroment for a child to grow, develop fully and become a human being. The scientist combines them in a circular glass dish, with a syringe, some growth medium and it never has a chance to become a life. It coudln't reach full term in that dish.


I could agree with you if I were certain that the maximum level of maturity reached were insufficient to allow for the embryo to feel pain or understand. My problem is, I simply don't know, and have not been able to find out. So, in the absence of verifiable, conscientious research into the matter, I have to side with caution. It's simply better to wait on research than to chance harming another innocent human, IMHO.

I will also say that should it ever be proven to me that the embryos ion question are not sentient and can feel no pain in the procedure, I will stand with you as well.


You have given me food for thought and as you can see i've chewed it over a god deal and replied with what i think. I have not merely disregarded your points of view out of hand, whilst walking around the garden i sometimes mul it over trying to work out a good response.


The same with me. When we began this debate, I had the (incorrect) impression that you did not care for human life before it exited the mother. I see I was wrong, and your points have given me much to mull over as well.

TheRedneck


[edit on 22-6-2008 by TheRedneck]



posted on Jun, 26 2008 @ 01:23 PM
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Originally posted by TheRedneck
Oh, I doubt anyone is gonna be after me over this thread. Not with some of the doosies I have posted across the 'net and some of the cell phone calls I have been in. I actually talk back to the govt eavesdroppers now. There's one guy who, when he calls, I answer the phone, "Allah! Bomb! Bush! Hi guys, hope you're having a good day."


Well i hope that's true, i would hate to lose such a good debater
(Is debater a word? Oh well either way no matter)


Originally posted by TheRedneck
Not exactly true. Body mass does not necessarl\ily mean that more brainpower is needed in order to control the mas, it simply means that more muscle is controlled by an electrochemical signal. In my example, a computer signal can drive a single hard drive or an array of hard drives. The signals used are the same; the array uses built-in knowledge if itself to operate on the same signals a single drive would use.


Well in biological example i'm afraid it is true, look at the ocupus. Whilst there is controversy in such an area, most agree you need a certain arrangment or volume of neurons to be able to control such a body. I guess we'll agree to disagree on this one



Originally posted by TheRedneck
Another good example would be the electronic 'brain' that controls your average automobile. It is no more or less complex than the one that controls my 70+ foot long, 40-ton semi. So in this example, the brain controlling a 1-ton car would have 40 times the intelligence-to-mass ratio of my truck, but in reality, they are equal in intelligence.


Well the difference is that the two items here are barely different in their operation (my father is a truck driver btw so i know a little here). The basic technologies are the same so the comparison, although useful is flawed.


Originally posted by TheRedneck
There may well be a minimum brain size that determines whether or not sentient intelligence is possible, but we don't really know what that limit is yet. the complexities of the human brain are so astounding that we are only beginning to understand the bare basics of its operation. We can plot where energy is used in certain activities, what areas are generally dedicated to what bodily functions, but as of yet we cannot implant or read a thought, or even know for sure where a thought comes from. Perhaps some day we will know more, but for now we need more research... a LOT more research.


Absolutely, we only understand the bare minimum, we agree fully. However we have established that conciousness at a human level requires certain things. Serotonin, adrenalin, oxytocin and many other chemicals are the things that create emotion and so are the basis of human conciousness. It seems to me that without these basic building blocks of emotion that embryos are not concious. They are not aware of their surroundings, they do not sense pain as they do not contain the necessary neuronal activity to sense such a sensation and basically they cannot feel. Therefore i accept them as perfectly ok to experiment upon.

The fact we are able to alter emotion with chemical agents says to me that conciousness is a very chemical thing and not a mythical thing. This doesn't mean god doesn't exist btw.

As a side note, as i stated earlier, chimps, although not at our level do have a semblance of conciouness and so i am against research with them that causes distress. I do not want any being who can realise such a thing to undergo experimentation.


Originally posted by TheRedneck
The research you mention does seem to indicate a difference in the degree of sentience. The same indications have been shown among other animals. Swine, for instance, appear to be more intelligent than most dogs, and dolphins may well be more intelligent than we are (not sure where that would put us compared to swine, but...
).

The only problem I see is that, while this would seem to be a good indicator of intelligence/sentience, could there be other types of sentience besides our own? All our research is done based on what we experience. I'm not gonna elaborate farther on this point, because it will make a good thread in itself for a later time, and I doubt anyone on the planet could really give an exact answer in this respect to what sentience really is.


Well that's a tricky question. You are very correct in the fact it would take a whole other thread, and that is one i would be interested in debating with you btw
However with embryos they cannot even attain the level of conciousness of a bird let alone a human. Their brains aren't as developed as your standard budgie and so that for me is enough to allow research upon them. Whilst no one at this point can define sentience, we can give a basis of self awareness.


Originally posted by TheRedneck
I will say this: We haven't yet been able to put red paint on an embryo's nose and have it look in a mirror. It would be great if we could accomlish that, though.


Wel an embryo doesn't have a nose and that to me again props up my arguement, they are simply not developed enough to sense pain, fear, worry etc.


Originally posted by TheRedneck
I agree completely (well, except for you being annoying
), especially the part about the true scientists being those who care more for truth than for money. I tend to see this as a shades of grey issue rather than black and white, though, since even the most loyal scientist probably has a family to feed, and probably likes to eat occasionally himself. The true source of the problem here is in politics, not science, but when politics controls the purse strings, politics controls the science that purse pays for, to some extent. Sad, but a fact of life on this planet.


Well i agree, sadly politics do control the purse strings, however religion is behind many of those politics, this is why we need to divorce science and religion and science and poiltics once and for all. We need to lay down a special law in regards to science, like the american bill of rights. It needs to be based on science only. It may take many years of debate but i think it should be done.


Originally posted by TheRedneck
You make an excellent point. Morals can tend to color results, and that, as I stated, makes me suspicious. Good shot!


I'll agree 100% on the pro-life zealots. It has never made sense to me to harm others while claiming an attitude of preserving human life. Swine are beginning to look more intelligent by the minute...


Well i guess that's another thread but it seems we agree again on that issue.


Originally posted by TheRedneck
I could agree with you if I were certain that the maximum level of maturity reached were insufficient to allow for the embryo to feel pain or understand. My problem is, I simply don't know, and have not been able to find out. So, in the absence of verifiable, conscientious research into the matter, I have to side with caution. It's simply better to wait on research than to chance harming another innocent human, IMHO.

I will also say that should it ever be proven to me that the embryos ion question are not sentient and can feel no pain in the procedure, I will stand with you as well.


Well nice to know that one day, either way, we'll stand with each other, if only humanity as a whole could say such a thing. However for me the question has been answered, embryos cannot feel pain, they cannot sense fear, they do not know their own mortality.


Originally posted by TheRedneck

The same with me. When we began this debate, I had the (incorrect) impression that you did not care for human life before it exited the mother. I see I was wrong, and your points have given me much to mull over as well.


I'm sad i gave the impression of myself as such a person, i'm glad i was able to correct it and even more grateful that you were open minded enough to see it.



posted on Jun, 26 2008 @ 02:29 PM
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reply to post by ImaginaryReality1984
I'm going to press the discussion on the brain/mass ratio and intelligence point, at least for one more post. Let's just say the study of the brain is one of my favorite subjects.
So I'm going to skip most of the quotes, since this is really one subject.

While I can understand your concern over my analogy (animal intelligence at its lowest appears far superior to the best electronic 'intelligence' we have developed), the principle underlying it is still applicable. Brain mass would be a much better example of intelligence than brain/body ratio, simply because the larger masses do not require much more in the way of control. A massive thigh muscle of an elephant does not require any more complex thought to control than the jaw muscle of a baby rat. It requires more energy, thusly a larger digestive system, but no more in the way of control. A nerve cell that causes the baby rat to relax it's jaw would also cause the elephant to tense it's thigh muscle.

Now if there is a large difference in the quantity of muscles to be controlled, you might have an argument. But larger mass does not equal more muscles. It can easily mean larger muscles. That causes the brain/mass assumption to be highly suspicious as a measure of intelligence/sentience at best.

There are two aspects to our sentience, the physical and the spiritual. The physical, of course, is the ability to sense the outside physical world (as well as our own bodies), and the ability to manipulate that physical world and our body. The ability to sense different light patterns through our eyes, the ability to sense air pressure waves as sound, the ability to make our heart beat, feel hunger, digest food, produce hormones, etc, etc, etc, are all examples of this physical aspect.

Based on research I am (attempting) doing on the subject of defining consciousness (a necessary digression from my robotics obsession
), I have come to a personal conclusion that the physical aspect of the brain is little more than a complex arrangement of neural 'nanocomputers', arranged and designed to provide the intelligence to operate the body and manipulate the environment by adjusting their connections and amplifying ability for various sensory inputs. This I refer to loosely as the 'Pavlovian brain', based on the studies of Pavlov. Certain instinctive responses to stimuli are pre-wired into the neural mass from development (instinct), such as the automatic reflex of kicking your leg when a doctor hits your knee with a hammer. The rest of our responses are learned, based on which responses create 'pleasure' (defined in this context as anything that produces a desired outcome) or 'pain' (defined as anything that produces an unwanted outcome). In order for the brain to understand what is desired and what is not, a complex system of feedback is needed, and this is supplied by an equally complex series of chemical ions that exist in various amounts inside our noggins.

The example I use most frequently is that of a newborn baby. Only two instinctive reactions are required to begin the learning process. The first is an instinctive response to cry when confronted with 'pain' that the baby does not know how to correct. Crying is in reality a very very simple operation; all of the facial muscles contract (forming the tears in the process), as well as the vocal cords (forming the crying sound), and the lungs go into a high-pressure, high-volume cyclic action. In the other response, anything that stimulates the tactile sensory apparatus around the lip area causes a rhythmic contraction of muscles to facilitate swallowing and suckling.

Now, when a baby feels the 'pain' of a problem, i.e. a dirty diaper, hunger, gas, it responds by crying. The mother, who has years of learned behavior, hears the crying and responds, correcting the problem and bringing the child 'pleasure'. The child then takes all of the associated input data, the sound of momma's voice, the patterns in momma's face, the tactile sense of being held, the smell of the mother, etc., and incorporates this into the neural mass as 'momma's smell, face, sound, and being held is a good thing'. The next time, just those sensory inputs will in some amount create 'pleasure', even before the problem is resolved.

Over time, the attention will cause just the presence of mother to create a neural 'pleasure', and the child would be expected to form a strong bond to the mother. This happens in our development. Over more time, the child will begin to associate patterns of sound with ideas, and will begin to learn how to make sounds that become words. By adulthood, we as humans are able to form a vast library of responses to 'painful' situations.

But this construct leaves out something very very vital: free will and personality. While it could be argued that personality is the result of super-complex Pavlovian responses, I do not believe this is the case. I tend to believe there is more to what makes us unique individuals. I tend to think that there is more to our brain than simply learned robotic responses in a chaotic system. You can call this other part the soul, the spirit, the 'universal man', or what-have-you. I simply believe it exists, and so far is something intangible to modern science.

Back to the issue at hand, if we do not know what this other part of our consciousness is, how do we know when it begins to exist? Those who believe in reincarnation must believe that the consciousness of another being is infused somewhere in development, but where? Could it exist outside the actual brain? DNA is shaped along the lines of a high-frequency antenna. Could this be a coincidence, or could it be a link to a new form of energy as yet undiscovered?

I know I am getting pretty deep into supposition here, but it is to drive home a point: there might be ways that this consciousness can be present that we do not understand as yet. It would seem to0 me to be just as important to understand the things that we treasure so much, sometimes to the point of preferring to keep our principles over our very lives, as it would be to find 'cures' by delving into still poorly-understood areas (and again, I stress that no cure for any disease has yet to be found using embryonic research).


Well nice to know that one day, either way, we'll stand with each other, if only humanity as a whole could say such a thing.

I hope it's indeed true that some day we will stand together on this issue. I believe that the best hope for mankind to do this as a species is for science to thoroughly understand the issues that confront us. Sadly, this is not being done, mainly because of the money flow (as we both seem to agree on).

TheRedneck



posted on Jun, 28 2008 @ 12:26 PM
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Originally posted by TheRedneck
I'm going to press the discussion on the brain/mass ratio and intelligence point, at least for one more post. Let's just say the study of the brain is one of my favorite subjects.
So I'm going to skip most of the quotes, since this is really one subject.


Fair enough, i think it's fine as it's a big part of the discussion. I'll have to quote you to reply though.


Originally posted by TheRedneck
While I can understand your concern over my analogy (animal intelligence at its lowest appears far superior to the best electronic 'intelligence' we have developed), the principle underlying it is still applicable. Brain mass would be a much better example of intelligence than brain/body ratio, simply because the larger masses do not require much more in the way of control. A massive thigh muscle of an elephant does not require any more complex thought to control than the jaw muscle of a baby rat. It requires more energy, thusly a larger digestive system, but no more in the way of control. A nerve cell that causes the baby rat to relax it's jaw would also cause the elephant to tense it's thigh muscle.


Well i was saying both brain mass and brain to body ratio were needed, not one or the other. I think you are simplifying this matter, if you take any large animal with a small brain it tends to be less intelligent than a big animal with a big brain. That's because a small brain is used up controlling the larger body. Also larger animals tend to have larger brains to help control their body.

The Rhino for example is said to be rather dumb and it's brain/body ratio is pitiful, whereas an elephant shows considerable development and has a far better brain to body ratio. It's not a big point to disagree on i suppose as when we talk of an embryo we're talking about a brain that's little more than a few thousand neurons.


Originally posted by TheRedneck
Now if there is a large difference in the quantity of muscles to be controlled, you might have an argument. But larger mass does not equal more muscles. It can easily mean larger muscles. That causes the brain/mass assumption to be highly suspicious as a measure of intelligence/sentience at best.


It's not just the volume of muscle, it's the precision in which they need to be controlled. Take octupi for example, they are thought to have multiple brains due to the sheer complexity of the way they control their bodies. All sorts of things go into the needed minimum of brain ability to control a body, but the volume of a beings body, compared to it's brain volume is an important requisite for intelligence.

However as i stated earlier, both a minimum volume and ratio are needed, not one or the other. Having excess brain tissue, not needed for the control of a body gives the raw material needed for intelligence to develop.


Originally posted by TheRedneck
There are two aspects to our sentience, the physical and the spiritual. The physical, of course, is the ability to sense the outside physical world (as well as our own bodies), and the ability to manipulate that physical world and our body. The ability to sense different light patterns through our eyes, the ability to sense air pressure waves as sound, the ability to make our heart beat, feel hunger, digest food, produce hormones, etc, etc, etc, are all examples of this physical aspect.


Damn see here is where we disagree. Whilst i accept the possibitily of an afterlife, the experiments done on people tend to conclude that our concousness is nothing more than a series of infinetly complex chemical and electrical actions. The experiment where a cap was placed on a person and stimulation occured to induce a "god experience" points more and more to the very real truth that our brains are nothing more than a vehicle to experience.

The spiritual side? Well i'm not sure, however assuming for a second it does need a spiritual side, then you would still need a certain size of brain to allow that cnciousness to experience all of the sensations and emotions we do.


Originally posted by TheRedneck
Based on research I am (attempting) doing on the subject of defining consciousness (a necessary digression from my robotics obsession
), I have come to a personal conclusion that the physical aspect of the brain is little more than a complex arrangement of neural 'nanocomputers', arranged and designed to provide the intelligence to operate the body and manipulate the environment by adjusting their connections and amplifying ability for various sensory inputs. This I refer to loosely as the 'Pavlovian brain', based on the studies of Pavlov. Certain instinctive responses to stimuli are pre-wired into the neural mass from development (instinct), such as the automatic reflex of kicking your leg when a doctor hits your knee with a hammer. The rest of our responses are learned, based on which responses create 'pleasure' (defined in this context as anything that produces a desired outcome) or 'pain' (defined as anything that produces an unwanted outcome). In order for the brain to understand what is desired and what is not, a complex system of feedback is needed, and this is supplied by an equally complex series of chemical ions that exist in various amounts inside our noggins.


I just wanted to quote that because it's exactly how i feel, can't disagree here i just liked the quote lol, when you finish your research and make a thread, please pm me with the address.


Originally posted by TheRedneck
But this construct leaves out something very very vital: free will and personality. While it could be argued that personality is the result of super-complex Pavlovian responses, I do not believe this is the case. I tend to believe there is more to what makes us unique individuals. I tend to think that there is more to our brain than simply learned robotic responses in a chaotic system. You can call this other part the soul, the spirit, the 'universal man', or what-have-you. I simply believe it exists, and so far is something intangible to modern science.


Ahh i see what you were driving at with the baby stuff, for a second it threw me. I'm afraid i disagree, i believe all of our cumulative experiences, mixed with genetics are what brings about our personalities. The genetics could almost be called the soul if you will as they are unique and random. These i think cause the base possibilities of personality, like some serial killers really are just born that way. Others are abused so badly they turn out that way, the old nature and nurture arguments.

I think those arguments are one and the same, that it's a combination of the two. I do not believe the soul is part of the personality, if i had to label a soul i would think it's a passive thing, that is there to absorb experience and learn without having to choose. Sort of like being a person at a lecture.


Originally posted by TheRedneck
Back to the issue at hand, if we do not know what this other part of our consciousness is, how do we know when it begins to exist? Those who believe in reincarnation must believe that the consciousness of another being is infused somewhere in development, but where? Could it exist outside the actual brain? DNA is shaped along the lines of a high-frequency antenna. Could this be a coincidence, or could it be a link to a new form of energy as yet undiscovered?


Well if we believe in reincarnation then this research would be perfectly ok as the soul would just go on to something else, having learnt about something new. It would not sense pain simply because embryos don't have the nervous system to be able to sense it, they don't have developed eyes at 12 days, they don't have ears which hear, their brains are nowhere near enough to absorb the sensory input. Whilst you made a very interesting case for conciousness, in the end it doesn't matter as the baby would be unable to even sense what was happening to it. Therefore no cruelty has occured.


Originally posted by TheRedneck
I know I am getting pretty deep into supposition here, but it is to drive home a point: there might be ways that this consciousness can be present that we do not understand as yet. It would seem to0 me to be just as important to understand the things that we treasure so much, sometimes to the point of preferring to keep our principles over our very lives, as it would be to find 'cures' by delving into still poorly-understood areas (and again, I stress that no cure for any disease has yet to be found using embryonic research).


I have to admit this bothers me slightly, lots of people have been helped using stem cells and the research comes indirectly from research with embryonic stem cells. It's like the people recently who had their eyesight restored, the stem cells used were from donors however the research that led to the discovery is all part of stem cell research as a whole. So it's unfair to say it hasn't helped anyone and it's true that stem cells from embryos have been used to further our knowledge of adult stem cells.


Originally posted by TheRedneck
I hope it's indeed true that some day we will stand together on this issue. I believe that the best hope for mankind to do this as a species is for science to thoroughly understand the issues that confront us. Sadly, this is not being done, mainly because of the money flow (as we both seem to agree on).

TheRedneck


Well it is true, one day someone will prove it one way or the other and so we will be on side at some point. For me though it's proven beyonda doubt that an embryo doesn't have the nervious connections to sense pain, fear, happiness etc. Even if for a second we go hypothetical and assume a soul is attached at conception then the soul would merely return to heaven if it were used in research.



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