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Human Genetic Engineering Is Back

From Fox News:

Stanford uses CRISPR to correct sickle cell, human trials planned
Published November 08, 2016 Reuters

CHICAGO – Scientists at Stanford University School of Medicine have used the CRISPR gene editing tool to repair the gene that causes sickle cell disease in stem cells from diseased patients, paving the way for a potential cure for the disease, which affects up to 5 million people globally.

“What we’ve finally shown is that we can do it. It’s not just on the chalkboard,” said Dr. Matthew Porteus, senior author of the study published in the journal Nature.

With the study, and unpublished findings from his lab, Porteus believes his team has amassed enough proof to start planning the first human clinical trial using the powerful CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing system to correct the genetic mutation that causes sickle cell disease.

From the New York Times:

Human Gene Editing Receives Science Panel’s Support
By AMY HARMON FEB. 14, 2017

An influential science advisory group formed by the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Medicine on Tuesday lent its support to a once-unthinkable proposition: clinical efforts to engineer humans with inheritable genetic traits.

In a report laden with caveats and notes of caution, the group endorsed the alteration of human eggs, sperm and embryos — but only to prevent babies from being born with genes known to cause serious diseases and disability, only when no “reasonable alternative” exists, and only when a plan is in place to track the effects of the procedure through multiple generations.

What do you think?

 
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  1. Every now and then, I’m grateful my best is behind me.

    ‘Sickle Cell’ … sounds ominous.

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  2. It’s back ? It ever left?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Massimo Heitor

    It’s back ? It ever left?
     
    It left the news cycle which is all this crowd notices.

    Every molecular biology lab in the country does genetic engineering for mundane daily tasks. Genetic engineering is a big part of the biology field and industry.
    , @grapesoda
    It's back... as a topic for bloggers to speculate about. :P
  3. I’m amazed it didn’t become “problematic” to identify sickle cell disease as a health concern. You’d think some stupid SJWs would’ve written a piece somewhere about how sickle cell disease has racist connotations, a legacy of colonialism, etc., and we’ll all be better off by agreeing it’s NOT OK to discuss or research sickle cell disease. Ever.

    Read More
    • Replies: @trilobite
    religious right is more likely to oppose embryo editing.
  4. They can’t not go there.

    China would roll over them if they did (not go there).

    Being rolled over doesn’t look pretty, historically.

    Read More
    • Replies: @astrolabe

    China would roll over them if they did (not go there).
     
    What about hardcore eugenics? Breeding for intelligence. I don't suppose China would have qualms about this, and if they do, North Korea would not. Depending on the levels of coercion involved, I'm not sure that I would have qualms about it myself.

    How fast could such a program increase intelligence in terms of IQ? Would there be a ceiling? Would it enable the country to 'roll over' the others?
  5. I think it’s inevitable. That is, some level of genetic engineering and what you might call “positive eugenics.” Not necessarily ending in Gattaca.

    Pandora’s box is open. Technocrats will not be able to resist this power, even while all along denying the importance of genes. It’s going to continue to be our greatest doublethink challenge.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anonymous
    It'll be important to say that intelligence is not genetic until we can have the tools to do something about it, then access to those tools will become a matter of civil rights. Anyone who believed it wasn't genetic before can just have been wrong but wromantic, and anyone who believed it was will be right but repulsive.
  6. I think it’s going to be hard to prove that embryos that have been through CRISPR-CAS9 are not damaged in subtle but ghastly ways that are only obvious late in fetal development, or even after birth. Who will be holding the bag when such defects are discovered?

    They managed to show that IVF is pretty harmless. But that isn’t nearly the stunt that gene editing is.

    Read More
  7. Seems like the only fair genetic alteration re Sickle Cell A would be to figure out how to give it to ALL of us in the name of leveling the playing field.

    Read More
  8. The new report called for prohibiting any alterations resembling “enhancement”, including “off label” applications. Under the guidelines, a genetic technique aimed at strengthening the muscles of patients with Duchenne muscular dystrophy, for instance, could not be used to make healthy people stronger.

    In other words, let’s say that the cut-off for being a midget is 5’0. If you’re son is going to be born 5’1, he’s out of luck, and will probably be set up for a life of social rejection and misery. If he’s going to be born 4’11, well, then you can go ahead and make him 6 feet tall and give him an above average life.

    And we’ll bring those with IQs of 65 up to 85, but don’t dare think about changing an 85 IQ to a 105! That would be eugenics!

    A step in the right direction, to be sure. But this distinction between “curing disease” and “making improvements” has absolutely no logic to it. The only question is how long those who fear progress will hold humanity back.

    Read More
    • Agree: NickG, AndrewR
    • Replies: @Autochthon
    Nah; he could just become the U.S.A.'s secretary of labour and marry an Amazon.
    , @Corvinus
    "In other words, let’s say that the cut-off for being a midget is 5’0. If you’re son is going to be born 5’1, he’s out of luck, and will probably be set up for a life of social rejection and misery."

    Not necessarily. Depends upon how the character and constitution of such a man.

    "If he’s going to be born 4’11, well, then you can go ahead and make him 6 feet tall and give him an above average life."

    An above average life when it comes to height. But he has a commanding personality or demonstrates a high level of intellectual ability, he is in a position to have a fulfilling life.

    "And we’ll bring those with IQs of 65 up to 85, but don’t dare think about changing an 85 IQ to a 105! That would be eugenics!"

    What are the Christian ethical implications here?

    "A step in the right direction, to be sure."

    No.

    "But this distinction between “curing disease” and “making improvements” has absolutely no logic to it."

    Quite the contrary.

    http://www.nationalreview.com/article/428024/human-genetic-engineering-wrong
    , @res
    For those skeptical of your example, the HGH treatment guidelines provide a worthwhile current example of this issue. From http://www.ajpb.com/journals/ajpb/2014/ajpb_septemberoctober2014/growth-hormone-therapy-guidelines-clinical-and-managed-care-perspectives
    we have (the excerpt greatly oversimplifies):

    For pediatric patients with persistent subnormal growth, early recognition and treatment of GHD with recombinant human GH is recommended for individuals with growth failure due to inadequate secretion of endogenous GH, or whose unexplained short stature meets 1 or more of a set of criteria that include height more than 2.25 standard deviations (SDs) below the mean for age or more than 2 SDs below the mid parental height percentile.
     
    I do tend to disagree with your statement "But this distinction between “curing disease” and “making improvements” has absolutely no logic to it." IMHO there is both a meaningful distinction and logic, but those examples are less a dichotomy than two extremes on a scale--which is what I suspect you are getting at.
  9. I don’t like the idea of genetic engineering of humans in general. Unable to articulate why.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Darin
    For the same reason people found abominable the ideas of autopsy, vaccination, surgery, anesthesia, blood transfusion, organ transplants, IVF and all new medical procedures in general?
    , @Samuel Skinner
    Because it could lead to a total disintegration of society? When hierarchy is entirely unstable, everyone will spend their time fighting to be on top. Traits that are socially important will get eliminated in favor of ones that will insure success in the rat race.
    , @Autochthon
    H.G. Wells has already articulated how come this stuff is risky. Then, too, it could be very rewarding. I myself have an incurable condition widely believed to have a genetic element; I cannot say I am categorically against these ideas, though I confess I probably would be were I some kind of genetic Übermensch. I also have very mild and nonprogressive scoliosis and kyphosis, as well as astigmatism. I'm curious whether such conditions would be deemed insufficiently serious to be addressed, like the example of the 5'1" height. (Especially things like astigmatism, also already addressable via corrective lenses or surgery; would the condition hve to be one with no other remedy?)

    Anyhow, Steve's who? whom? thing is ubiquitous; it's human nature. The important thing is to be self-aware and honest about it.

    , @SteveRogers42
    Read the Draka series by S.M. Stirling.
    , @middle aged vet..
    Opinionator - Agreed. I have had long conversations with people who are considered geniuses - literally the sort of person who might win the Nobel Prize and would be sort of offended that people think they should be proud about it. I am morally certain that not one of those people is even close to smart enough to have the foresight and knowledge that safe and non-disaster-prone non-minimal genetic engineering would require. Not even close. Sure, depending on one's level of suffering, risk-taking is understandable. But just reflect for a moment on how stupid the quantum mechanics innovators thought Einstein was, or on what a barbarian Einstein's friend Godel seemed to civilized philosophers. This is not a question of taste only: it is a question of biological risk. There are no guarantees. Nobody is smart enough to trust in these deep waters. Anyway, CS Lewis wrote in the Abolition of Man about the downside of forsaking our God-given stochastic genetic chances in this world for the non-revocable 5-year-plans of the Bunsen burner boys. Prudence is called for.
  10. And we’ll bring those with IQs of 65 up to 85, but don’t dare think about changing an 85 IQ to a 105! That would be eugenics!

    That’s right! Perfectly A-OK to bring in boatloads of IQ 105 ethnic networking Han, but the moment the goyim try and compete with us they are literally Hitler. And try the “My fellow Han!” trick with them, lol.

    On another note, I’m picturing Tyrone with his knocked up baby momma – “So doctor, bix nood how we do dat genetic engineering now, and get rid of dat sickle cell nemia? An how much I gotta pay to get mah boy into Harvard, and do you take food stamps? SHHHEEEEEEIIITTTT”

    Read More
  11. The temptation to “play God” with genetic engineering may well be overwhelming, but we may find God arranged things the way He did for a reason. A lot of these genetic modfications may end up having unforeseen adverse consequences, especially if the attempt is to improve an already “okay” person (e.g., susceptibility to cancer). Even more ominously, genetic engineering could end up creating super-viruses or super-bacteria that lack the normal capacity to mute to less virulent strains before they wipe out the host population; think airborne rabies. Nuclear weaspons may be a small problem next to that.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Lot
    We already have the tech to create superbugs, and have for some time. We just don't do so. It is a lot simpler to GMO a single cell organism than a mammal.

    The generation born in the 2020's when rich and upper middle class people start using these techs in large number will take economic inequality to new heights.
    , @Anonymous Nephew
    "more ominously, genetic engineering could end up creating super-viruses or super-bacteria"

    Is there a decent layman's guide to CRISPR/CAS9 and also to "gene drives"? I understand how you can modify one piece of DNA (IIRC there's one genome in a human cell nucleus), but surely fixing a single cell for sickle-cell won't do any good? How do you fix them all?

    And how do "gene drives" work? How do you spread a genetic change among an entire population save by reproduction? Or do you create a highly infectious virus that makes the change?


    "Genetic engineering
    Could create the perfect race
    Create an unknown life-force
    That could us exterminate

    Introducing worker clone
    As our subordinated slave
    His expertise, proficiency
    Will surely dig our grave

    It's so very tempting
    Will biologists resist?
    When he becomes the creator
    Will he let us exist?"
     

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zSCgVbDMs-E
  12. @Diversity Heretic
    The temptation to "play God" with genetic engineering may well be overwhelming, but we may find God arranged things the way He did for a reason. A lot of these genetic modfications may end up having unforeseen adverse consequences, especially if the attempt is to improve an already "okay" person (e.g., susceptibility to cancer). Even more ominously, genetic engineering could end up creating super-viruses or super-bacteria that lack the normal capacity to mute to less virulent strains before they wipe out the host population; think airborne rabies. Nuclear weaspons may be a small problem next to that.

    We already have the tech to create superbugs, and have for some time. We just don’t do so. It is a lot simpler to GMO a single cell organism than a mammal.

    The generation born in the 2020′s when rich and upper middle class people start using these techs in large number will take economic inequality to new heights.

    Read More
    • Replies: @grapesoda
    Yeah right.

    Off-target effects occur because of how CRISPR works. It has two parts. RNA makes a beeline for the site in a genome specified by the RNA’s string of nucleotides, and an enzyme cuts the genome there. Trouble is, more than one site in a genome can have the same string of nucleotides. Scientists might address CRISPR to the genome version of 123 Main Street, aiming for 123 Main on chromosome 9, only to find CRISPR has instead gone to 123 Main on chromosome 14.

    In one example Joung showed, CRISPR is supposed to edit a gene called VEGFA (which stimulates production of blood vessels, including those used by cancerous tumors) on chromosome 6. But, studies show, this CRISPR can also hit genes on virtually every one of the other 22 human chromosomes. The same is true for CRISPRs aimed at other genes. Although each CRISPR has zero to a dozen or so “known” off-target sites (where “known” means predicted by those web-based algorithms), Joung said, there can be as many as 150 “novel” off-target sites, meaning scientists had no idea those errors were possible.
     
    https://www.statnews.com/2016/07/18/crispr-off-target-effects/

    I'm pretty sure within 3 years geneticists will have mastered this technique to optimize the thousands of alleles which govern important human traits like intelligence and height, and will have gotten rid of any side effects, just like they have with allopathic medicine.
    , @David
    Definitely. Just like that genetically engineered corn plant currently overrunning the world.
  13. Well, well: Aldous Huxley looks smarter every day, doesn’t he?

    The Global(i$t) elite will pay top megadollars to sire-&-deliver CRISPR Critter Alpha Plusses for themselves and for their posterity.

    Researchers & doctors on the elite’s payroll will happily accommodate the reproductive wishes of their elite clientele, whose CRISPR Critter progeny will mingle with the rest of the intercontinental Globali$t elite’s foreign CRISPR Critter Alpha Plusses, all while these Alpha Plusses of Globali$m force us to pay to Import MORE and MORE ordinary foreign-born Betas, Gammas, Deltas, and Epsilons.

    What? You thought the Alpha Plus Globali$t elite were going to allow us Betas, Gammas, Deltas and Epsilons to afford CRISPR? Sure, and “if you like your plan, you can keep your plan, if you like your doctor, you can . . . .”

    On the other hand, if CRISPR Critters turn out to suffer horrifying, or even any, disability or impairment, then CRISPR will be vilified as the 21st century’s Thalidomide.

    Whichever way CRISPR may go, you can bet the world’s lawyers stand by, already licking their chops.

    Read More
    • Agree: CK
    • Replies: @Pericles
    Well, they will first need some brave volunteers to work out the bugs.
    , @anon
    while we have an elite like that all paths lead to dystopia
    , @SteveRogers42
    Personally, I welcome our new superhuman overlords... and I want them to know that I can be useful to them in rounding up normals for experimentation.

    And in sports news, Hamilton Farnsworth of Harvard gained 435 yards rushing on 15 carries as the CRISPR Crimson defeated Alabama 76-3 in the Orange Bowl. Alabama's normies suffered 3 fatalities in the contest, with Shanaquious Thorpe and D'wankaskank Ferguson both terminated on the same play in the third quarter.
  14. @Opinionator
    I don't like the idea of genetic engineering of humans in general. Unable to articulate why.

    For the same reason people found abominable the ideas of autopsy, vaccination, surgery, anesthesia, blood transfusion, organ transplants, IVF and all new medical procedures in general?

    Read More
    • Replies: @bomag

    ...people found abominable the ideas of...
     
    Well, modern society has brought plenty of assaults on our physical bodies, from bad diets to dicey drugs; and there is the meta-assaults, such as anonymous living and dysgenic breeding; I'm sympathetic to caution in the rush to upend traditional practices.
    , @slumber_j
    I got a trepanation right here says people don't seem to have found the idea of surgery abominable for a really long time, if ever.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vuk3ohoky1Y
    , @Anonymous
    In my opinion, IVF should be used minimally. How do test tube children feel about having been conceived in a laboratory?
  15. CRISPR may be just good enough to fix one or two single-nucleotide defects per embryo – nothing to sneeze at, plenty of genetic diseases are caused by such defects – but quantitative traits such as height or IQ are a different case entirely. It is already well established that thousands and thousands of alleles contribute, each individual allele having only a very small effect. CRISPR is much too blunt a tool to edit a thousand locations per embryo. Even 10 is probably out of the question, the success rate would be too small for any practical purpose. It’s a matter of powers: suppose editing a single location with CRISPR succeeds 80% of the time (a wildly optimistic estimate). Then editing 10 separate locations will have a success rate of 0.8^10=10%, 20 separate locations just 1%. Considering that this goes on top of a regular IVF procedure, and that the largest single allele known for IQ contributes 0.1% of the total, the average being probably closer to 0.01%, there is little prospect for genetically engineered von Neumanns in the near future.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Massimo Heitor

    CRISPR may be just good enough to fix one or two single-nucleotide defects per embryo – nothing to sneeze at, plenty of genetic diseases are caused by such defects – but quantitative traits such as height or IQ are a different case entirely.
     
    You have to start somewhere.

    In this scenario they are not modifying embryos or doing germ line modification. This is hematopoietic stem cell therapy for humans that have been born. Gene changes will not carry through to the next generation with this technique.

    Science isn't close to understanding the genetic basis for IQ. That's not worth considering for the near to medium term. But there are lots of interesting projects that can be done now.

    Humans have lots of obvious genetic mistakes and damage and ancient virus genetic residue junk that can be cleaned up for some gain in the medium term.

    there is little prospect for genetically engineered von Neumanns in the near future.
     
    Human cloning, like delayed birth twins, will happen in the near term. That is an easy path to more Von Neumanns.

    The theoretical basis for human cloning is established, but the lab techniques involved are highly error prone and cause lots of unintended genetic damage and birth defects. However, those lab techniques will get better.
    , @res
    Embryo selection in conjunction with IVF seems much more viable for quantitative traits (once we have good enough prediction models). One thing I haven't seen analyzed anywhere is combining the use of CRISPR with embryo selection (not saying it hasn't been done, just that I haven't seen it). The idea being to increase the effectiveness of selection by being able to eliminate a small subset of problems (e.g. your highest IQ embryo has sickle cell disease). Probably most useful for parents who share one or more problem recessive alleles.
  16. @Sid
    I'm amazed it didn't become "problematic" to identify sickle cell disease as a health concern. You'd think some stupid SJWs would've written a piece somewhere about how sickle cell disease has racist connotations, a legacy of colonialism, etc., and we'll all be better off by agreeing it's NOT OK to discuss or research sickle cell disease. Ever.

    religious right is more likely to oppose embryo editing.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Bad Parrot

    religious right is more likely to oppose embryo editing.
     
    Absolutely. Christians will be up in arms over this.

    This is also the reason the West is inevitably destined to fall behind Asian countries in robotics and AI: to create machines in the image of man is to trespass on the prerogative of God.
  17. @5371
    It's back ? It ever left?

    It’s back ? It ever left?

    It left the news cycle which is all this crowd notices.

    Every molecular biology lab in the country does genetic engineering for mundane daily tasks. Genetic engineering is a big part of the biology field and industry.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Yak-15
    About 15 years my high school Biology AP class featured a lab where we inserted genes from a bioluminescent jellyfish into harmless bacteria by heat shock. The result was glowing Petri dishes.

    Pretty simple stuff.
    , @Georg E
    Biologist here. A clear distinction must be made between run-of-the-mill "genetic engineering", which happens at the plasmid DNA level every day in any given bio lab, and genetic engineering of higher organisms, which is much more difficult and laborious. Transgenic mouse technology has been around for ages, but is still not trivial to perform. All of the same criticisms that Catholic moral theologians make of IVF can be made a fortiori to CRISPR-based engineering, which is just IVF+ Ultra. There is a certain non-trivial rate of off-target (think random mutagenesis) activity with CRISPR that is not fully understood. (High fidelity Cas9 was only published a year ago). Using this technology on humans at this stage is just unethical and will be nothing more than a monument to hubris. Give me a couple of decades of solid preclinical data (which is what you'll need in order to examine heritable effects in non-human primates) and I may change my mind.
  18. @Auntie Analogue
    Well, well: Aldous Huxley looks smarter every day, doesn't he?

    The Global(i$t) elite will pay top megadollars to sire-&-deliver CRISPR Critter Alpha Plusses for themselves and for their posterity.

    Researchers & doctors on the elite's payroll will happily accommodate the reproductive wishes of their elite clientele, whose CRISPR Critter progeny will mingle with the rest of the intercontinental Globali$t elite's foreign CRISPR Critter Alpha Plusses, all while these Alpha Plusses of Globali$m force us to pay to Import MORE and MORE ordinary foreign-born Betas, Gammas, Deltas, and Epsilons.

    What? You thought the Alpha Plus Globali$t elite were going to allow us Betas, Gammas, Deltas and Epsilons to afford CRISPR? Sure, and "if you like your plan, you can keep your plan, if you like your doctor, you can . . . ."

    On the other hand, if CRISPR Critters turn out to suffer horrifying, or even any, disability or impairment, then CRISPR will be vilified as the 21st century's Thalidomide.

    Whichever way CRISPR may go, you can bet the world's lawyers stand by, already licking their chops.

    Well, they will first need some brave volunteers to work out the bugs.

    Read More
  19. @Candide III
    CRISPR may be just good enough to fix one or two single-nucleotide defects per embryo - nothing to sneeze at, plenty of genetic diseases are caused by such defects - but quantitative traits such as height or IQ are a different case entirely. It is already well established that thousands and thousands of alleles contribute, each individual allele having only a very small effect. CRISPR is much too blunt a tool to edit a thousand locations per embryo. Even 10 is probably out of the question, the success rate would be too small for any practical purpose. It's a matter of powers: suppose editing a single location with CRISPR succeeds 80% of the time (a wildly optimistic estimate). Then editing 10 separate locations will have a success rate of 0.8^10=10%, 20 separate locations just 1%. Considering that this goes on top of a regular IVF procedure, and that the largest single allele known for IQ contributes 0.1% of the total, the average being probably closer to 0.01%, there is little prospect for genetically engineered von Neumanns in the near future.

    CRISPR may be just good enough to fix one or two single-nucleotide defects per embryo – nothing to sneeze at, plenty of genetic diseases are caused by such defects – but quantitative traits such as height or IQ are a different case entirely.

    You have to start somewhere.

    In this scenario they are not modifying embryos or doing germ line modification. This is hematopoietic stem cell therapy for humans that have been born. Gene changes will not carry through to the next generation with this technique.

    Science isn’t close to understanding the genetic basis for IQ. That’s not worth considering for the near to medium term. But there are lots of interesting projects that can be done now.

    Humans have lots of obvious genetic mistakes and damage and ancient virus genetic residue junk that can be cleaned up for some gain in the medium term.

    there is little prospect for genetically engineered von Neumanns in the near future.

    Human cloning, like delayed birth twins, will happen in the near term. That is an easy path to more Von Neumanns.

    The theoretical basis for human cloning is established, but the lab techniques involved are highly error prone and cause lots of unintended genetic damage and birth defects. However, those lab techniques will get better.

    Read More
  20. As I recall, gene therapy failed pretty badly. It will likely be some time before CRISPR is considered safe to use (in some vetted situations).

    Read More
  21. But will the black population calmly accept that the white man forever removes their natural malaria resistance?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Olorin
    That was going to be my reply as well.

    Good growing weather for Big Pharma's producers/sellers of anti-malarial drugs....

  22. @Darin
    For the same reason people found abominable the ideas of autopsy, vaccination, surgery, anesthesia, blood transfusion, organ transplants, IVF and all new medical procedures in general?

    …people found abominable the ideas of…

    Well, modern society has brought plenty of assaults on our physical bodies, from bad diets to dicey drugs; and there is the meta-assaults, such as anonymous living and dysgenic breeding; I’m sympathetic to caution in the rush to upend traditional practices.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Darin

    I’m sympathetic to caution in the rush to upend traditional practices.
     
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hKz08njIoiI
  23. Only 20 comments in and there’s passive aggressive bitching about Jews and blacks.

    You guys are fucking pathetic.

    Read More
    • Replies: @iffen
    Only 20 comments in

    That's not that bad by Unz standards. Some of the other writers elicit that crowd within the first 10 comments on a regular and sustained basis.
    , @anon
    projection

    1) Pretty much the entire media is Jews bitching about White people.

    2) Have you followed Black twitter - at least half of it is bitching about White people.
  24. anon says:     Show CommentNext New Comment

    What do you think?

    The medical potential is huge clearly but for me the biggest thing is I just want the Boas nonsense swept away. Growing up I never gave it any thought and just accepted what i was told but now the stupidity of it is permanently annoying – an entire civilization retarded for 100 years by something which – if you stop and think about it – was obviously nonsense.

    Read More
  25. anon says:     Show CommentNext New Comment
    @Auntie Analogue
    Well, well: Aldous Huxley looks smarter every day, doesn't he?

    The Global(i$t) elite will pay top megadollars to sire-&-deliver CRISPR Critter Alpha Plusses for themselves and for their posterity.

    Researchers & doctors on the elite's payroll will happily accommodate the reproductive wishes of their elite clientele, whose CRISPR Critter progeny will mingle with the rest of the intercontinental Globali$t elite's foreign CRISPR Critter Alpha Plusses, all while these Alpha Plusses of Globali$m force us to pay to Import MORE and MORE ordinary foreign-born Betas, Gammas, Deltas, and Epsilons.

    What? You thought the Alpha Plus Globali$t elite were going to allow us Betas, Gammas, Deltas and Epsilons to afford CRISPR? Sure, and "if you like your plan, you can keep your plan, if you like your doctor, you can . . . ."

    On the other hand, if CRISPR Critters turn out to suffer horrifying, or even any, disability or impairment, then CRISPR will be vilified as the 21st century's Thalidomide.

    Whichever way CRISPR may go, you can bet the world's lawyers stand by, already licking their chops.

    while we have an elite like that all paths lead to dystopia

    Read More
  26. @Lot
    We already have the tech to create superbugs, and have for some time. We just don't do so. It is a lot simpler to GMO a single cell organism than a mammal.

    The generation born in the 2020's when rich and upper middle class people start using these techs in large number will take economic inequality to new heights.

    Yeah right.

    Off-target effects occur because of how CRISPR works. It has two parts. RNA makes a beeline for the site in a genome specified by the RNA’s string of nucleotides, and an enzyme cuts the genome there. Trouble is, more than one site in a genome can have the same string of nucleotides. Scientists might address CRISPR to the genome version of 123 Main Street, aiming for 123 Main on chromosome 9, only to find CRISPR has instead gone to 123 Main on chromosome 14.

    In one example Joung showed, CRISPR is supposed to edit a gene called VEGFA (which stimulates production of blood vessels, including those used by cancerous tumors) on chromosome 6. But, studies show, this CRISPR can also hit genes on virtually every one of the other 22 human chromosomes. The same is true for CRISPRs aimed at other genes. Although each CRISPR has zero to a dozen or so “known” off-target sites (where “known” means predicted by those web-based algorithms), Joung said, there can be as many as 150 “novel” off-target sites, meaning scientists had no idea those errors were possible.

    https://www.statnews.com/2016/07/18/crispr-off-target-effects/

    I’m pretty sure within 3 years geneticists will have mastered this technique to optimize the thousands of alleles which govern important human traits like intelligence and height, and will have gotten rid of any side effects, just like they have with allopathic medicine.

    Read More
  27. By far the most powerful form of genetic engineering is good breeding, but one is no longer allowed to mention it in mainstream public discourse. That is a real shame, since it is massively more powerful than this expensive tinkering.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Corvinus
    "By far the most powerful form of genetic engineering is good breeding, but one is no longer allowed to mention it in mainstream public discourse."

    What constitutes "good breeding" from your perspective? How do you propose that your plan move forward in our society? Is it not the fundamental liberty of individuals to chose whom they want to marry and produce offspring despite your protestations that such a union will lead to a "generation of idiots"?
    , @Anonymous Nephew
    "by far the most powerful form of genetic engineering is good breeding"

    As (among others) David Brooks and Charles Murray have pointed out, that's what the Ivies are for - assortative mating. But that's not going to MAGA if Mr Harvard and Ms Wellesley have one designer baby (IQ 135) while welfare-funded single Trisha has five (avg IQ 86).
    , @Anonymous
    This is exactly the truth. It would be much kinder to tell those whose progeny are just not going to make it in society that this is so, and offer them the prospect of a good but childless life. The problem with this isn't those people themselves but outside agitators.

    There are ways of dealing with them as well. History says when things are dire enough, we will find the will to do so.
  28. The arms race with Beijing Genomics Institute et al guarantees that CRISPR and other novel gene treatments (some eugenic) will be applied to humans. I’d rather we lead the way in an ethical fashion than entrust the Chinese to operate in humanity’s interest.

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    • Replies: @CK
    Is it your contention that the Chinese people are not ethical but that the American people are?
    or
    Is it your contention that the Chinese polity is an unethical polity but that the USA is an ethical polity.
    Evidence for either contention is lacking.
  29. @mobi
    They can't not go there.

    China would roll over them if they did (not go there).

    Being rolled over doesn't look pretty, historically.

    China would roll over them if they did (not go there).

    What about hardcore eugenics? Breeding for intelligence. I don’t suppose China would have qualms about this, and if they do, North Korea would not. Depending on the levels of coercion involved, I’m not sure that I would have qualms about it myself.

    How fast could such a program increase intelligence in terms of IQ? Would there be a ceiling? Would it enable the country to ‘roll over’ the others?

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    • Replies: @Joe Schmoe



    How fast could such a program increase intelligence in terms of IQ? Would there be a ceiling? Would it enable the country to ‘roll over’ the others?
     
    Very fast.

    What if only people with IQ over 130 were allowed to have children? What would be the average intelligence of the next generation?

    What if only people with red hair were allowed to procreate?

    What if you only sow the very best corn as seed corn the next year and every year?

    We do actually know the answer to these questions. Garbage in, garbage out.

    You get what you breed for. Period.
  30. @Diversity Heretic
    The temptation to "play God" with genetic engineering may well be overwhelming, but we may find God arranged things the way He did for a reason. A lot of these genetic modfications may end up having unforeseen adverse consequences, especially if the attempt is to improve an already "okay" person (e.g., susceptibility to cancer). Even more ominously, genetic engineering could end up creating super-viruses or super-bacteria that lack the normal capacity to mute to less virulent strains before they wipe out the host population; think airborne rabies. Nuclear weaspons may be a small problem next to that.

    “more ominously, genetic engineering could end up creating super-viruses or super-bacteria”

    Is there a decent layman’s guide to CRISPR/CAS9 and also to “gene drives”? I understand how you can modify one piece of DNA (IIRC there’s one genome in a human cell nucleus), but surely fixing a single cell for sickle-cell won’t do any good? How do you fix them all?

    And how do “gene drives” work? How do you spread a genetic change among an entire population save by reproduction? Or do you create a highly infectious virus that makes the change?

    “Genetic engineering
    Could create the perfect race
    Create an unknown life-force
    That could us exterminate

    Introducing worker clone
    As our subordinated slave
    His expertise, proficiency
    Will surely dig our grave

    It’s so very tempting
    Will biologists resist?
    When he becomes the creator
    Will he let us exist?”

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zSCgVbDMs-E

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  31. @Massimo Heitor

    It’s back ? It ever left?
     
    It left the news cycle which is all this crowd notices.

    Every molecular biology lab in the country does genetic engineering for mundane daily tasks. Genetic engineering is a big part of the biology field and industry.

    About 15 years my high school Biology AP class featured a lab where we inserted genes from a bioluminescent jellyfish into harmless bacteria by heat shock. The result was glowing Petri dishes.

    Pretty simple stuff.

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  32. Based on sperm donor preferences, if such techniques can be used to eventually perfect all genes, people who can afford it will eventually use this to make Nazi master race eugenic babies – tall, smart, light haired, blue eyed, fit, fast, healthy.

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  33. It’s all a plot by the CIA and a bunch of white, yellow, and brown men to sterilise Black People.

    Surely?

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  34. @Darin
    For the same reason people found abominable the ideas of autopsy, vaccination, surgery, anesthesia, blood transfusion, organ transplants, IVF and all new medical procedures in general?

    I got a trepanation right here says people don’t seem to have found the idea of surgery abominable for a really long time, if ever.

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    • Replies: @slumber_j
    Sorry: that video link doesn't seem to contain the song it claims to contain. Personally I blame the trepanation.
  35. @slumber_j
    I got a trepanation right here says people don't seem to have found the idea of surgery abominable for a really long time, if ever.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vuk3ohoky1Y

    Sorry: that video link doesn’t seem to contain the song it claims to contain. Personally I blame the trepanation.

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  36. @bomag

    ...people found abominable the ideas of...
     
    Well, modern society has brought plenty of assaults on our physical bodies, from bad diets to dicey drugs; and there is the meta-assaults, such as anonymous living and dysgenic breeding; I'm sympathetic to caution in the rush to upend traditional practices.

    I’m sympathetic to caution in the rush to upend traditional practices.

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    • Replies: @bomag
    There was a 'sword and sorcerer' movie where the bloodied hero comes in from battle and yells out, BRING ME A LEACH!

    That become one of the catch phrases among my adolescent adventurers when we suffered a contusion, etc.; or saw some horrific injury in photos and video.

  37. Monstrous. The pig-human hybrid from recent news was even more so.

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    • Replies: @anon
    atlantic coast europeans may have been cow-human hybrids for millenia
  38. Slippery slope approaching at top speed…..How do these scientists know that their “fix” actually works, without unknown side effects? In fact, how do they know it works, period, in the real world? Just asking….

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    • Replies: @dr kill
    The same way the Cro- Mags knew that some Neanderthaler DNA would give their kids blonde hair.
    , @anon
    hence testing it on stuff that is already negative / potentially lethal - like sickle cell
  39. Anonymous says:     Show CommentNext New Comment
    @guest
    I think it's inevitable. That is, some level of genetic engineering and what you might call "positive eugenics." Not necessarily ending in Gattaca.

    Pandora's box is open. Technocrats will not be able to resist this power, even while all along denying the importance of genes. It's going to continue to be our greatest doublethink challenge.

    It’ll be important to say that intelligence is not genetic until we can have the tools to do something about it, then access to those tools will become a matter of civil rights. Anyone who believed it wasn’t genetic before can just have been wrong but wromantic, and anyone who believed it was will be right but repulsive.

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  40. @Jeremy Cooper

    The new report called for prohibiting any alterations resembling “enhancement”, including “off label” applications. Under the guidelines, a genetic technique aimed at strengthening the muscles of patients with Duchenne muscular dystrophy, for instance, could not be used to make healthy people stronger.
     
    In other words, let's say that the cut-off for being a midget is 5'0. If you're son is going to be born 5'1, he's out of luck, and will probably be set up for a life of social rejection and misery. If he's going to be born 4'11, well, then you can go ahead and make him 6 feet tall and give him an above average life.

    And we'll bring those with IQs of 65 up to 85, but don't dare think about changing an 85 IQ to a 105! That would be eugenics!

    A step in the right direction, to be sure. But this distinction between "curing disease" and "making improvements" has absolutely no logic to it. The only question is how long those who fear progress will hold humanity back.

    Nah; he could just become the U.S.A.’s secretary of labour and marry an Amazon.

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  41. This type of human gene editing has long been seen as an ethical minefield. Researchers fear that the techniques used to prevent genetic diseases might also be used to enhance intelligence…

    The absolute horror.

    Well, first, as far as I can tell they are bioethicists – that is, not researchers, but useless, Luddite cranks whom no-one should waste their time on.

    If you want to indulge them, have fun getting trounced by China a few decades down the line.

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    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    The two ladies who between them invented CRISPR called for a timeout to think things through a couple of years ago.
  42. Plenty of genetic diseases out there…and they chose the one which is primarily found in those of sub-Saharan African descent. Color me surprised. As soon as IQ differences are finally recognized, sub-Saharan IQ will be the first to be “addressed”.

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  43. @Opinionator
    I don't like the idea of genetic engineering of humans in general. Unable to articulate why.

    Because it could lead to a total disintegration of society? When hierarchy is entirely unstable, everyone will spend their time fighting to be on top. Traits that are socially important will get eliminated in favor of ones that will insure success in the rat race.

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  44. @Opinionator
    I don't like the idea of genetic engineering of humans in general. Unable to articulate why.

    H.G. Wells has already articulated how come this stuff is risky. Then, too, it could be very rewarding. I myself have an incurable condition widely believed to have a genetic element; I cannot say I am categorically against these ideas, though I confess I probably would be were I some kind of genetic Übermensch. I also have very mild and nonprogressive scoliosis and kyphosis, as well as astigmatism. I’m curious whether such conditions would be deemed insufficiently serious to be addressed, like the example of the 5’1″ height. (Especially things like astigmatism, also already addressable via corrective lenses or surgery; would the condition hve to be one with no other remedy?)

    Anyhow, Steve’s who? whom? thing is ubiquitous; it’s human nature. The important thing is to be self-aware and honest about it.

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  45. @Berty
    Only 20 comments in and there's passive aggressive bitching about Jews and blacks.

    You guys are fucking pathetic.

    Only 20 comments in

    That’s not that bad by Unz standards. Some of the other writers elicit that crowd within the first 10 comments on a regular and sustained basis.

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  46. Once we start modifying the human genome, it will be like water over the emergency spillway at the Oroville Dam during a deluge: it will be hard to stop. We will experiment. As with all new technologies, we will not be able to completely anticipate the social and human consequences of our experiments. As with abortion, others will simply not care about consequences as long as they get the results they want in their personal lives. As always, euphemisms and veiled promises motivated by envy, avarice, and hubris … the normal human failings … will mask a multitude of the sins and risks associated with the new technology.

    I predict disaster, especially since the genetic traits will be inheritable. Once the technology is widely known and available, authoritarian states will start work on “super” humans, although they will more likely to end up with a new race of sociopaths that will eventually migrate to and infect distant lands.

    Experiments will be uncontrolled in anarchical states. As with sex tourism, the wealthy will be able to indulgently order custom genetic modifications for their offspring without constraints and impervious to consequences amid the generally lawless conditions.

    What do we do with the Frankensteins? What do we do with the failed experiments?

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  47. prevent babies from being born with genes known to cause serious diseases and disability

    Retardation is considered a disability.

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  48. Anon says:     Show CommentNext New Comment

    It seems like every time I see an attempt to alter genes in a human subject these days, the test subject dies. Not promising. This may be an exaggeration, but giving stem cells works much better than trying to alter genes.

    Since the people with sickle cell are all black, if scientists start killing blacks during these experiments, the lawsuits are going to be mind-boggling, and the leftist outrage is going to go nuclear. They’ll be ranting about this experiment for decades like they’ve ranted about the Tuskegee syphilis experiments.

    Frankly, what they ought to do is give a blood test to all blacks and advise them whether they’re carriers for sickle cell or not. This would give them some agency in deciding whether to have kids.

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    • Replies: @Tracy
    Sickle Cell Anemia doesn't just afflict Blacks; it's also found in Southern European populations.
  49. CRISPR will it lead to the return of the Comprachicos?
    CRISPR will it lead to families creating better progeny?
    CRISPR is the new ATOM BOMB and the CRISPR clock must be set at one minute to midnight.
    CRISPR is the new Salk vaccine and the CRISPR clock must be set at one minute to sunrise.
    I once saw a man use the e string from a guitar as a garrote. Every tool ever made is also a weapon.
    All knowledge is dangerous.
    Anti-biotics have led to the generation of super bugs as the immune bugs proliferate over the germy generations. A germ genocide that is anything less than 100% inevitably leads to resistant germs.

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  50. @Otto von Palindrome
    The arms race with Beijing Genomics Institute et al guarantees that CRISPR and other novel gene treatments (some eugenic) will be applied to humans. I'd rather we lead the way in an ethical fashion than entrust the Chinese to operate in humanity's interest.

    Is it your contention that the Chinese people are not ethical but that the American people are?
    or
    Is it your contention that the Chinese polity is an unethical polity but that the USA is an ethical polity.
    Evidence for either contention is lacking.

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    • Replies: @anon
    I think the current western elite is probably at least as bad (if not worse) than the Chinese elite but both will have pockets of decent people in the medical profession.

    The more public CRISPR is then hopefully the more constrained the elites will be in using it for their benefit alone.
  51. Anonymous says:     Show CommentNext New Comment
    @Darin
    For the same reason people found abominable the ideas of autopsy, vaccination, surgery, anesthesia, blood transfusion, organ transplants, IVF and all new medical procedures in general?

    In my opinion, IVF should be used minimally. How do test tube children feel about having been conceived in a laboratory?

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    • Replies: @Darin

    In my opinion, IVF should be used minimally
     
    It is your opinion, that rest of the world does not share. IVF is getting more popular all the time.

    How do test tube children feel about having been conceived in a laboratory?
     
    No idea if there are any reliable surveys. Given human nature, I will guess they are proud they are product of modern science instead of primitive instincts, and feel that their birth makes them greatly superior over the common herd.
  52. So they’re targeting African Americans to be guinea pigs for a new type of therapy with unknown consequences….

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    • Replies: @anon
    hahaha

    that would be great spin to use if you're white and have a genetic disease you want tested first.
  53. @Candide III
    CRISPR may be just good enough to fix one or two single-nucleotide defects per embryo - nothing to sneeze at, plenty of genetic diseases are caused by such defects - but quantitative traits such as height or IQ are a different case entirely. It is already well established that thousands and thousands of alleles contribute, each individual allele having only a very small effect. CRISPR is much too blunt a tool to edit a thousand locations per embryo. Even 10 is probably out of the question, the success rate would be too small for any practical purpose. It's a matter of powers: suppose editing a single location with CRISPR succeeds 80% of the time (a wildly optimistic estimate). Then editing 10 separate locations will have a success rate of 0.8^10=10%, 20 separate locations just 1%. Considering that this goes on top of a regular IVF procedure, and that the largest single allele known for IQ contributes 0.1% of the total, the average being probably closer to 0.01%, there is little prospect for genetically engineered von Neumanns in the near future.

    Embryo selection in conjunction with IVF seems much more viable for quantitative traits (once we have good enough prediction models). One thing I haven’t seen analyzed anywhere is combining the use of CRISPR with embryo selection (not saying it hasn’t been done, just that I haven’t seen it). The idea being to increase the effectiveness of selection by being able to eliminate a small subset of problems (e.g. your highest IQ embryo has sickle cell disease). Probably most useful for parents who share one or more problem recessive alleles.

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  54. @Jeremy Cooper

    The new report called for prohibiting any alterations resembling “enhancement”, including “off label” applications. Under the guidelines, a genetic technique aimed at strengthening the muscles of patients with Duchenne muscular dystrophy, for instance, could not be used to make healthy people stronger.
     
    In other words, let's say that the cut-off for being a midget is 5'0. If you're son is going to be born 5'1, he's out of luck, and will probably be set up for a life of social rejection and misery. If he's going to be born 4'11, well, then you can go ahead and make him 6 feet tall and give him an above average life.

    And we'll bring those with IQs of 65 up to 85, but don't dare think about changing an 85 IQ to a 105! That would be eugenics!

    A step in the right direction, to be sure. But this distinction between "curing disease" and "making improvements" has absolutely no logic to it. The only question is how long those who fear progress will hold humanity back.

    “In other words, let’s say that the cut-off for being a midget is 5’0. If you’re son is going to be born 5’1, he’s out of luck, and will probably be set up for a life of social rejection and misery.”

    Not necessarily. Depends upon how the character and constitution of such a man.

    “If he’s going to be born 4’11, well, then you can go ahead and make him 6 feet tall and give him an above average life.”

    An above average life when it comes to height. But he has a commanding personality or demonstrates a high level of intellectual ability, he is in a position to have a fulfilling life.

    “And we’ll bring those with IQs of 65 up to 85, but don’t dare think about changing an 85 IQ to a 105! That would be eugenics!”

    What are the Christian ethical implications here?

    “A step in the right direction, to be sure.”

    No.

    “But this distinction between “curing disease” and “making improvements” has absolutely no logic to it.”

    Quite the contrary.

    http://www.nationalreview.com/article/428024/human-genetic-engineering-wrong

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    • Replies: @res
    Thanks for the interesting National Review link, Corvinus.

    I find their point regarding commonality of interest (despite different underlying reasons) in this area between conservative and pro-life opponents and progressive opponents of genetic engineering to be especially interesting in the context of possible coalitional realignments post-Trump.
  55. @Peter Johnson
    By far the most powerful form of genetic engineering is good breeding, but one is no longer allowed to mention it in mainstream public discourse. That is a real shame, since it is massively more powerful than this expensive tinkering.

    “By far the most powerful form of genetic engineering is good breeding, but one is no longer allowed to mention it in mainstream public discourse.”

    What constitutes “good breeding” from your perspective? How do you propose that your plan move forward in our society? Is it not the fundamental liberty of individuals to chose whom they want to marry and produce offspring despite your protestations that such a union will lead to a “generation of idiots”?

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    • Replies: @Peter Johnson
    I am not sure how society should encourage good breeding, so yours is a good question. The first thing is to allow mainstream discussion of heritability as a reality, and then, with acceptance of that reality, society and polity has to respond rationally. It is important that people openly acknowledge that smart, law-abiding adults tend to have similar children, and less-intelligent, law-breaking adults also have children similar to themselves. Not sure how society should respond to that reality, but it needs to be openly acknowledged and dealt with somehow. Publicly-enforced ignorance is not bliss.
  56. Not sure how obvious this is to people here, but I think it’s worth noting that Steve’s two links are describing very different techniques (though both use CRISPR).

    The first Fox News sickle cell disease link is describing a treatment for adults (probably children too, but NOT embryos) that involves killing off and replacing the original bone marrow RBC producing cells with edited stem cells from the original patient. In this application, partial success is good enough and I’m guessing off target effects aren’t a big deal as long as they are not uniform across the new cells. From the link:

    They showed they could correct the mutation in 30 to 50 percent of these diseased cells.

    Sixteen weeks after they injected the cells into young mice, the team found the cells were still thriving in the bone marrow.

    Porteus said the findings were very encouraging because prior studies have shown that if you can correct mutations in 10 percent of cells, that should create enough to cure the disease.

    Notice that this does not affect the germ line so the sickle cell alleles will still be passed to children.

    The second NYT link is describing germ line editing performed on embryos. I haven’t been following the literature on this (e.g. from China) closely, but the NYT article and commenters here raise the usual objections, both philosophical (e.g. inequality, loss of genetic diversity) and practical (e.g. off target effects). Does anyone have a handle on current capabilities regarding completeness of editing throughout all of the target cells and frequency/consistency of off target effects? Some more speculative thoughts related to germ line editing follow.

    “Diversity” gets a bad name here because of the perverse uses it is put to in PC arguments, but I think the loss of genetic diversity argument possible with large scale gene editing is important. Say someone tried to eliminate sickle cell trait from the human gene pool. What would happen to malaria rates in vulnerable areas?

    Alleles where heterzygosity may be optimal (like SCT in malarial areas, or Tay Sachs disease?) may also have an important effect of making genetic editing and/or selection necessary for following generations. This is analogous to agricultural hybrids which don’t breed true (and in fact reliably give bad results) creating a dependence on seed companies. (FWIW I think there could be a good SF story in this, would be great if someone who can write would steal the idea, or if anyone would point me to an already written story).

    I suspect our immune system is full of variants with very little apparent value (and more importantly, perhaps negative current perceived value, like autoimmune diseases!) which happen to be critical for handling rare diseases. Visualize what a monoculture in “optimal human immune systems” might result in.

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  57. @Corvinus
    "In other words, let’s say that the cut-off for being a midget is 5’0. If you’re son is going to be born 5’1, he’s out of luck, and will probably be set up for a life of social rejection and misery."

    Not necessarily. Depends upon how the character and constitution of such a man.

    "If he’s going to be born 4’11, well, then you can go ahead and make him 6 feet tall and give him an above average life."

    An above average life when it comes to height. But he has a commanding personality or demonstrates a high level of intellectual ability, he is in a position to have a fulfilling life.

    "And we’ll bring those with IQs of 65 up to 85, but don’t dare think about changing an 85 IQ to a 105! That would be eugenics!"

    What are the Christian ethical implications here?

    "A step in the right direction, to be sure."

    No.

    "But this distinction between “curing disease” and “making improvements” has absolutely no logic to it."

    Quite the contrary.

    http://www.nationalreview.com/article/428024/human-genetic-engineering-wrong

    Thanks for the interesting National Review link, Corvinus.

    I find their point regarding commonality of interest (despite different underlying reasons) in this area between conservative and pro-life opponents and progressive opponents of genetic engineering to be especially interesting in the context of possible coalitional realignments post-Trump.

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  58. @Jeremy Cooper

    The new report called for prohibiting any alterations resembling “enhancement”, including “off label” applications. Under the guidelines, a genetic technique aimed at strengthening the muscles of patients with Duchenne muscular dystrophy, for instance, could not be used to make healthy people stronger.
     
    In other words, let's say that the cut-off for being a midget is 5'0. If you're son is going to be born 5'1, he's out of luck, and will probably be set up for a life of social rejection and misery. If he's going to be born 4'11, well, then you can go ahead and make him 6 feet tall and give him an above average life.

    And we'll bring those with IQs of 65 up to 85, but don't dare think about changing an 85 IQ to a 105! That would be eugenics!

    A step in the right direction, to be sure. But this distinction between "curing disease" and "making improvements" has absolutely no logic to it. The only question is how long those who fear progress will hold humanity back.

    For those skeptical of your example, the HGH treatment guidelines provide a worthwhile current example of this issue. From http://www.ajpb.com/journals/ajpb/2014/ajpb_septemberoctober2014/growth-hormone-therapy-guidelines-clinical-and-managed-care-perspectives
    we have (the excerpt greatly oversimplifies):

    For pediatric patients with persistent subnormal growth, early recognition and treatment of GHD with recombinant human GH is recommended for individuals with growth failure due to inadequate secretion of endogenous GH, or whose unexplained short stature meets 1 or more of a set of criteria that include height more than 2.25 standard deviations (SDs) below the mean for age or more than 2 SDs below the mid parental height percentile.

    I do tend to disagree with your statement “But this distinction between “curing disease” and “making improvements” has absolutely no logic to it.” IMHO there is both a meaningful distinction and logic, but those examples are less a dichotomy than two extremes on a scale–which is what I suspect you are getting at.

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  59. @Corvinus
    "By far the most powerful form of genetic engineering is good breeding, but one is no longer allowed to mention it in mainstream public discourse."

    What constitutes "good breeding" from your perspective? How do you propose that your plan move forward in our society? Is it not the fundamental liberty of individuals to chose whom they want to marry and produce offspring despite your protestations that such a union will lead to a "generation of idiots"?

    I am not sure how society should encourage good breeding, so yours is a good question. The first thing is to allow mainstream discussion of heritability as a reality, and then, with acceptance of that reality, society and polity has to respond rationally. It is important that people openly acknowledge that smart, law-abiding adults tend to have similar children, and less-intelligent, law-breaking adults also have children similar to themselves. Not sure how society should respond to that reality, but it needs to be openly acknowledged and dealt with somehow. Publicly-enforced ignorance is not bliss.

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  60. Ecclesiastes 1:9 King James Version (KJV)

    9 The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the

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  61. What do you think?

    I think I don’t have much respect for bioethicists, and designer babies will be a thing sooner than later. If not under the care of doctors and professionals, then in garages under the care of the parents themselves (but bioethicists will cave, I think). And that’s good.

    P.S., “my body, my choice” means that bioethicists are currently interfering with a woman’s right to choose what to do with her body. Or a woman’s right to choose what to do with her body has always been a bunch of leftist BS.

    The Global(i$t) elite will pay top megadollars to sire-&-deliver CRISPR Critter Alpha Plusses for themselves and for their posterity.

    Rich people paid through the nose for big brick cell phones, too. Now everyone has one the size of a wallet. It is ever thus; a lot of the good stuff we have today, started as the exclusive domain of the highest ranks of the elite, from gizmos to legal rights.

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  62. What constitutes “good breeding” from your perspective?

    Well, it starts with concern with good breeding, which is verboten…

    Is it not the fundamental liberty of individuals to chose whom they want to marry and produce offspring despite your protestations that such a union will lead to a “generation of idiots”?

    There you go with that mental tic of yours. As I write this, the phrase “generation of idiots” appears in one comment; yours.

    Isn’t concern with good breeding a fundamental liberty of individuals who are contemplating producing a family? If it is, isn’t enforcing the taboo on concern with good breeding a bad thing?

    Depends upon how the character and constitution of such a man.

    That is not a sentence. No matter where we sit on the political spectrum, I think we can all agree to stick to complete sentences.

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    • Replies: @res

    There you go with that mental tic of yours. As I write this, the phrase “generation of idiots” appears in one comment; yours.
     
    One thing about Corvinus, he sure does love his strawmen.

    P.S. Corvinus, you recently asked me to supply specific instances of the fallacies I was accusing you of (straw man, motte and bailey, false equivalence). I thought the statement Svigor called out from comment 54 was a nice example of a straw man.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Straw_man
    Although I guess that's arguable since you did not actually refute your misrepresentation of Peter Johnson's original statement. Perhaps we should call that a failed or partial straw man? (that's our Corvinus, introducing revolutionary new fallacies that defy easy categorization).
  63. Bioethicists: fixing a serious flaw in a child in the womb is forbidden okay.
    Bioethicists: fixing a trivial flaw in a child in the womb is forbidden.
    Bioethicists: killing a child in the womb is 100% okay.

    See why I lack respect?

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  64. @Peter Johnson
    By far the most powerful form of genetic engineering is good breeding, but one is no longer allowed to mention it in mainstream public discourse. That is a real shame, since it is massively more powerful than this expensive tinkering.

    “by far the most powerful form of genetic engineering is good breeding”

    As (among others) David Brooks and Charles Murray have pointed out, that’s what the Ivies are for – assortative mating. But that’s not going to MAGA if Mr Harvard and Ms Wellesley have one designer baby (IQ 135) while welfare-funded single Trisha has five (avg IQ 86).

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  65. I predict articles on the ethical necessity of engineering out traits associated with conservatism/particularism/nationalism/etc.

    At least, on the ethical necessity of engineering them out of the population of european origin.
    For some other populations, it will easily be argued that their particularism is what has allowed them to survive endless centuries of “persecution for no reason at all whatsoever”. I’m not kidding.

    I had a conversation about genetic engineering on another forum with someone whom I until then considered a “kooky but friendly and harmless” leftist. He said that he favored aborting/modifying embryos who would likely turn into “not nice people”. I jokingly asked him if he meant that he was in favor of aborting/modifying people who would grow up to be conservative or rightwing and he answered “yes”. He added something like “I don’t see why we would want more bad people in the world”. That conversation was a pivotal moment for me. The “friendly neighborhood commie” did not quite see people like me as harmless and deserving of their space in this world.

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  66. https://youtu.be/3dovd1clLJ4?t=190

    Footage from future Chinese military barracks. I feel like I’m going to live to see a future that is far too strange for my tastes. We now have transgenders, imagine a future where people can get duck bills or dog tails if they desire. Or a future where elites can ensure compliance and turn us all into some sort of eusocial caste system like insects. The future is gonna be Orwell meets Huxley meets Kafka.

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  67. @Anatoly Karlin

    This type of human gene editing has long been seen as an ethical minefield. Researchers fear that the techniques used to prevent genetic diseases might also be used to enhance intelligence...
     
    The absolute horror.

    Well, first, as far as I can tell they are bioethicists - that is, not researchers, but useless, Luddite cranks whom no-one should waste their time on.

    If you want to indulge them, have fun getting trounced by China a few decades down the line.

    The two ladies who between them invented CRISPR called for a timeout to think things through a couple of years ago.

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    • Replies: @Chrisnonymous
    You are just a useless Luddite crank. So, we should not waste time on this comment.
    , @anon
    when the public is more corrupt / irresponsible than the elite then yes - you want order and caution

    when the elite is more corrupt / irresponsible than the public then (imo) you want the opposite as chaos has more chance of a democratic outcome

    plus China/Israel were going to do it anyway
  68. @Svigor

    What constitutes “good breeding” from your perspective?
     
    Well, it starts with concern with good breeding, which is verboten...

    Is it not the fundamental liberty of individuals to chose whom they want to marry and produce offspring despite your protestations that such a union will lead to a “generation of idiots”?
     
    There you go with that mental tic of yours. As I write this, the phrase "generation of idiots" appears in one comment; yours.

    Isn't concern with good breeding a fundamental liberty of individuals who are contemplating producing a family? If it is, isn't enforcing the taboo on concern with good breeding a bad thing?

    Depends upon how the character and constitution of such a man.
     
    That is not a sentence. No matter where we sit on the political spectrum, I think we can all agree to stick to complete sentences.

    There you go with that mental tic of yours. As I write this, the phrase “generation of idiots” appears in one comment; yours.

    One thing about Corvinus, he sure does love his strawmen.

    P.S. Corvinus, you recently asked me to supply specific instances of the fallacies I was accusing you of (straw man, motte and bailey, false equivalence). I thought the statement Svigor called out from comment 54 was a nice example of a straw man.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Straw_man
    Although I guess that’s arguable since you did not actually refute your misrepresentation of Peter Johnson’s original statement. Perhaps we should call that a failed or partial straw man? (that’s our Corvinus, introducing revolutionary new fallacies that defy easy categorization).

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    • Replies: @Corvinus
    The "generation of idiots" comment refers to the case of Buck v. Bell, a notorious Supreme Court decision upholding the constitutionality of a compulsory sterilization law in Virginia. Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, in explaining his decision, stated “three generations of imbeciles" is enough" when insisting the state has the legal right to subject men and women in prison or mental institutions to the law.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buck_v._Bell

    Regarding the accusations of my penchant for fallacies, I had already addressed them in the links you provided, apparently not to your level of satisfaction.
  69. @Opinionator
    I don't like the idea of genetic engineering of humans in general. Unable to articulate why.

    Read the Draka series by S.M. Stirling.

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  70. People are already doing something like this, but worse. Say they want to have a baby via IVF, so they harvest a bunch of eggs. They then check the eggs for genes they don’t want and then throw those ones away, keeping the ones that are not tainted.

    Say you could check a zygote for cystic fibrosis, then excise the responsible gene if it’s a carrier. That’s not really a terrible thing. Not as bad as throwing a bunch of zygotes out IMO.

    The big problem I see here is expense. This isn’t going to be available to the vast majority of people, and obviously you aren’t going to be able to force every man and woman out there to submit their seed for testing before they conceive a child. The overwhelming majority of people out there will continue to conceive the natural way. In fact, I’d say that the extra expense and caution that goes along with the mentality that causes people to get this kind of procedure is probably a selective disadvantage.

    Who will inherit the earth: Those who spend 50k to conceive one “perfect” child at the tail end of viable fertility or those who have three or four kids by thirty? Given global demographic trends, the answer’s pretty obvious if you ask me.

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  71. @Auntie Analogue
    Well, well: Aldous Huxley looks smarter every day, doesn't he?

    The Global(i$t) elite will pay top megadollars to sire-&-deliver CRISPR Critter Alpha Plusses for themselves and for their posterity.

    Researchers & doctors on the elite's payroll will happily accommodate the reproductive wishes of their elite clientele, whose CRISPR Critter progeny will mingle with the rest of the intercontinental Globali$t elite's foreign CRISPR Critter Alpha Plusses, all while these Alpha Plusses of Globali$m force us to pay to Import MORE and MORE ordinary foreign-born Betas, Gammas, Deltas, and Epsilons.

    What? You thought the Alpha Plus Globali$t elite were going to allow us Betas, Gammas, Deltas and Epsilons to afford CRISPR? Sure, and "if you like your plan, you can keep your plan, if you like your doctor, you can . . . ."

    On the other hand, if CRISPR Critters turn out to suffer horrifying, or even any, disability or impairment, then CRISPR will be vilified as the 21st century's Thalidomide.

    Whichever way CRISPR may go, you can bet the world's lawyers stand by, already licking their chops.

    Personally, I welcome our new superhuman overlords… and I want them to know that I can be useful to them in rounding up normals for experimentation.

    And in sports news, Hamilton Farnsworth of Harvard gained 435 yards rushing on 15 carries as the CRISPR Crimson defeated Alabama 76-3 in the Orange Bowl. Alabama’s normies suffered 3 fatalities in the contest, with Shanaquious Thorpe and D’wankaskank Ferguson both terminated on the same play in the third quarter.

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  72. Thank god for science . I mean nature or whatever created life and then over several hundred million years of evolution just couldn’t get it right , but now we have SCIENCE the new religion . All bow down .

    I watch a lot of science docs. on youtube and one thing I noticed is that you have the high priests of science , like that Jap from City College and a lot of others who promise us certainty in the brave new world . And then you have the guys who say : “we think , we’re not sure ” , “this doesn’t fit with the current theories.” “We don’t know what to make of this.” Now this current crop of used car salesmen in their loud checkered pants and sports coats with loud wide ties have come to promise us that the Edsel is the car of the future . Who among us thinks that the present is better than the past ? The less man puts his hand to “fixing things the better off we are .

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    • Replies: @SteveRogers42
    And won't the AI/robotics revolution be fun?

    We need nerd control -- international agreements to halt this madness before we're replaced by our own creations. The Big Bang Theory types who keep pushing all this BS "because it's cool" need to have their personal fantasies reined in before humanity becomes a historical footnote.

    Yeah, Zuckerberg, I'm lookin' at you.
  73. a once-unthinkable proposition: clinical efforts to engineer humans with inheritable genetic traits.

    And…what could possibly go wrong?

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  74. @Steve Sailer
    The two ladies who between them invented CRISPR called for a timeout to think things through a couple of years ago.

    You are just a useless Luddite crank. So, we should not waste time on this comment.

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    • Replies: @Olorin
    A crank like on a Model T?

    Nicht Ludditen sie uber Schlussgottschen norfunden!

    http://iitkgp.vlab.co.in/?sub=40&brch=126&sim=1272&cnt=1

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZzlgJ-SfKYE
  75. @Pericles
    But will the black population calmly accept that the white man forever removes their natural malaria resistance?

    That was going to be my reply as well.

    Good growing weather for Big Pharma’s producers/sellers of anti-malarial drugs….

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  76. @Lot
    We already have the tech to create superbugs, and have for some time. We just don't do so. It is a lot simpler to GMO a single cell organism than a mammal.

    The generation born in the 2020's when rich and upper middle class people start using these techs in large number will take economic inequality to new heights.

    Definitely. Just like that genetically engineered corn plant currently overrunning the world.

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  77. @donut
    Thank god for science . I mean nature or whatever created life and then over several hundred million years of evolution just couldn't get it right , but now we have SCIENCE the new religion . All bow down .

    I watch a lot of science docs. on youtube and one thing I noticed is that you have the high priests of science , like that Jap from City College and a lot of others who promise us certainty in the brave new world . And then you have the guys who say : "we think , we're not sure " , "this doesn't fit with the current theories." "We don't know what to make of this." Now this current crop of used car salesmen in their loud checkered pants and sports coats with loud wide ties have come to promise us that the Edsel is the car of the future . Who among us thinks that the present is better than the past ? The less man puts his hand to "fixing things the better off we are .

    And won’t the AI/robotics revolution be fun?

    We need nerd control — international agreements to halt this madness before we’re replaced by our own creations. The Big Bang Theory types who keep pushing all this BS “because it’s cool” need to have their personal fantasies reined in before humanity becomes a historical footnote.

    Yeah, Zuckerberg, I’m lookin’ at you.

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  78. I think Matthew Porteus is the son of Evan Porteus of the Stanford Graduate School of Business. Perhaps there was some genetic engineering going on at home….

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  79. @Chrisnonymous
    You are just a useless Luddite crank. So, we should not waste time on this comment.

    A crank like on a Model T?

    Nicht Ludditen sie uber Schlussgottschen norfunden!

    http://iitkgp.vlab.co.in/?sub=40&brch=126&sim=1272&cnt=1

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZzlgJ-SfKYE

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    • Replies: @Anonymous
    I feel sorry for someone who has never crank started an antique car, pr prop started a small radial engine. It's a wonderful thing.
  80. People are already doing something like this, but worse. Say they want to have a baby via IVF, so they harvest a bunch of eggs. They then check the eggs for genes they don’t want and then throw those ones away, keeping the ones that are not tainted.

    Pre-Implantation Genetic Diagnosis.

    Thank God for science . I mean nature or whatever created life and then over several hundred million years of evolution just couldn’t get it right , but now we have SCIENCE the new religion . All bow down .

    This seems to be a common sentiment. I see intelligence, tool use, etc., as natural. They evolved in man, after all. So I see the artificial as natural too, if you follow. When you think about it, the best thing evolution could do is to evolve the ability to edit itself, to accelerate and direct evolution.

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  81. @Anon
    It seems like every time I see an attempt to alter genes in a human subject these days, the test subject dies. Not promising. This may be an exaggeration, but giving stem cells works much better than trying to alter genes.

    Since the people with sickle cell are all black, if scientists start killing blacks during these experiments, the lawsuits are going to be mind-boggling, and the leftist outrage is going to go nuclear. They'll be ranting about this experiment for decades like they've ranted about the Tuskegee syphilis experiments.

    Frankly, what they ought to do is give a blood test to all blacks and advise them whether they're carriers for sickle cell or not. This would give them some agency in deciding whether to have kids.

    Sickle Cell Anemia doesn’t just afflict Blacks; it’s also found in Southern European populations.

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  82. Excellent news!

    Perhaps they could also replace the 2R allele of the MAOA gene, which gives 5% of African-American males a predisposition to gratuitous explosive violence.

    If they have any time left over, they could eliminate the 5R allele of the same gene, which is associated with major depressive disorder in all races.

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  83. What do i think? I think it’s already being done at several clinics around the world. It will not be stopped. Change is constant.

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  84. @Andrew
    Based on sperm donor preferences, if such techniques can be used to eventually perfect all genes, people who can afford it will eventually use this to make Nazi master race eugenic babies - tall, smart, light haired, blue eyed, fit, fast, healthy.

    Correct.

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  85. @pyrrhus
    Slippery slope approaching at top speed.....How do these scientists know that their "fix" actually works, without unknown side effects? In fact, how do they know it works, period, in the real world? Just asking....

    The same way the Cro- Mags knew that some Neanderthaler DNA would give their kids blonde hair.

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  86. Anonymous says:     Show CommentNext New Comment
    @Peter Johnson
    By far the most powerful form of genetic engineering is good breeding, but one is no longer allowed to mention it in mainstream public discourse. That is a real shame, since it is massively more powerful than this expensive tinkering.

    This is exactly the truth. It would be much kinder to tell those whose progeny are just not going to make it in society that this is so, and offer them the prospect of a good but childless life. The problem with this isn’t those people themselves but outside agitators.

    There are ways of dealing with them as well. History says when things are dire enough, we will find the will to do so.

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  87. Anonymous says:     Show CommentNext New Comment
    @Olorin
    A crank like on a Model T?

    Nicht Ludditen sie uber Schlussgottschen norfunden!

    http://iitkgp.vlab.co.in/?sub=40&brch=126&sim=1272&cnt=1

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZzlgJ-SfKYE

    I feel sorry for someone who has never crank started an antique car, pr prop started a small radial engine. It’s a wonderful thing.

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    • Replies: @Joe Schmoe


    I feel sorry for someone who has never crank started an antique car, pr prop started a small radial engine. It’s a wonderful thing.
     
    I have push started a motorcycle with a dead battery as well as a '67 Camaro (manual trans)
  88. @Anonymous
    In my opinion, IVF should be used minimally. How do test tube children feel about having been conceived in a laboratory?

    In my opinion, IVF should be used minimally

    It is your opinion, that rest of the world does not share. IVF is getting more popular all the time.

    How do test tube children feel about having been conceived in a laboratory?

    No idea if there are any reliable surveys. Given human nature, I will guess they are proud they are product of modern science instead of primitive instincts, and feel that their birth makes them greatly superior over the common herd.

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  89. @Opinionator
    I don't like the idea of genetic engineering of humans in general. Unable to articulate why.

    Opinionator – Agreed. I have had long conversations with people who are considered geniuses – literally the sort of person who might win the Nobel Prize and would be sort of offended that people think they should be proud about it. I am morally certain that not one of those people is even close to smart enough to have the foresight and knowledge that safe and non-disaster-prone non-minimal genetic engineering would require. Not even close. Sure, depending on one’s level of suffering, risk-taking is understandable. But just reflect for a moment on how stupid the quantum mechanics innovators thought Einstein was, or on what a barbarian Einstein’s friend Godel seemed to civilized philosophers. This is not a question of taste only: it is a question of biological risk. There are no guarantees. Nobody is smart enough to trust in these deep waters. Anyway, CS Lewis wrote in the Abolition of Man about the downside of forsaking our God-given stochastic genetic chances in this world for the non-revocable 5-year-plans of the Bunsen burner boys. Prudence is called for.

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    • Replies: @Opinionator
    Thanks for your comment. (And thanks to others for theirs.)

    The biological risk certainly comes to mind. The complexity, or even where no complexity, the unforeseen consequences.

    But the social risk seems possibly greater. How would this change societal dynamics.

    It all seems like another manifestation of excessive grasping, maximizing. Much like our worship of The Economy. Heedless to the increase in fragility.

    Icarus flying too close to the Sun.

    , @Darin
    This is what rest of the tribe said, when Ugg brought fire to the cave for the first time.
  90. @middle aged vet..
    Opinionator - Agreed. I have had long conversations with people who are considered geniuses - literally the sort of person who might win the Nobel Prize and would be sort of offended that people think they should be proud about it. I am morally certain that not one of those people is even close to smart enough to have the foresight and knowledge that safe and non-disaster-prone non-minimal genetic engineering would require. Not even close. Sure, depending on one's level of suffering, risk-taking is understandable. But just reflect for a moment on how stupid the quantum mechanics innovators thought Einstein was, or on what a barbarian Einstein's friend Godel seemed to civilized philosophers. This is not a question of taste only: it is a question of biological risk. There are no guarantees. Nobody is smart enough to trust in these deep waters. Anyway, CS Lewis wrote in the Abolition of Man about the downside of forsaking our God-given stochastic genetic chances in this world for the non-revocable 5-year-plans of the Bunsen burner boys. Prudence is called for.

    Thanks for your comment. (And thanks to others for theirs.)

    The biological risk certainly comes to mind. The complexity, or even where no complexity, the unforeseen consequences.

    But the social risk seems possibly greater. How would this change societal dynamics.

    It all seems like another manifestation of excessive grasping, maximizing. Much like our worship of The Economy. Heedless to the increase in fragility.

    Icarus flying too close to the Sun.

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  91. @middle aged vet..
    Opinionator - Agreed. I have had long conversations with people who are considered geniuses - literally the sort of person who might win the Nobel Prize and would be sort of offended that people think they should be proud about it. I am morally certain that not one of those people is even close to smart enough to have the foresight and knowledge that safe and non-disaster-prone non-minimal genetic engineering would require. Not even close. Sure, depending on one's level of suffering, risk-taking is understandable. But just reflect for a moment on how stupid the quantum mechanics innovators thought Einstein was, or on what a barbarian Einstein's friend Godel seemed to civilized philosophers. This is not a question of taste only: it is a question of biological risk. There are no guarantees. Nobody is smart enough to trust in these deep waters. Anyway, CS Lewis wrote in the Abolition of Man about the downside of forsaking our God-given stochastic genetic chances in this world for the non-revocable 5-year-plans of the Bunsen burner boys. Prudence is called for.

    This is what rest of the tribe said, when Ugg brought fire to the cave for the first time.

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  92. @trilobite
    religious right is more likely to oppose embryo editing.

    religious right is more likely to oppose embryo editing.

    Absolutely. Christians will be up in arms over this.

    This is also the reason the West is inevitably destined to fall behind Asian countries in robotics and AI: to create machines in the image of man is to trespass on the prerogative of God.

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    • Replies: @guest
    Funny, but the West was ahead of the rest back when it was immeasurably more Christian, and warnings about trespassing upon the prerogatives of God were far more plausible to the common man. Or do you think somehow A.I. is especially anathematic, as opposed to, off the top of my head, heliocentrism, Darwinism, relativity, quantum mechanics, Freudianism (not that that's science), organ transplants from non-humans to humans, in vitro fertilization, abortion, nuclear fission, and gender reassignment surgery?
  93. anon says:     Show CommentNext New Comment
    @Berty
    Only 20 comments in and there's passive aggressive bitching about Jews and blacks.

    You guys are fucking pathetic.

    projection

    1) Pretty much the entire media is Jews bitching about White people.

    2) Have you followed Black twitter – at least half of it is bitching about White people.

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  94. anon says:     Show CommentNext New Comment
    @WGG
    Monstrous. The pig-human hybrid from recent news was even more so.

    atlantic coast europeans may have been cow-human hybrids for millenia

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  95. anon says:     Show CommentNext New Comment
    @pyrrhus
    Slippery slope approaching at top speed.....How do these scientists know that their "fix" actually works, without unknown side effects? In fact, how do they know it works, period, in the real world? Just asking....

    hence testing it on stuff that is already negative / potentially lethal – like sickle cell

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  96. anon says:     Show CommentNext New Comment
    @CK
    Is it your contention that the Chinese people are not ethical but that the American people are?
    or
    Is it your contention that the Chinese polity is an unethical polity but that the USA is an ethical polity.
    Evidence for either contention is lacking.

    I think the current western elite is probably at least as bad (if not worse) than the Chinese elite but both will have pockets of decent people in the medical profession.

    The more public CRISPR is then hopefully the more constrained the elites will be in using it for their benefit alone.

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  97. anon says:     Show CommentNext New Comment
    @Rotten
    So they're targeting African Americans to be guinea pigs for a new type of therapy with unknown consequences....

    hahaha

    that would be great spin to use if you’re white and have a genetic disease you want tested first.

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  98. anon says:     Show CommentNext New Comment
    @res
    Embryo selection in conjunction with IVF seems much more viable for quantitative traits (once we have good enough prediction models). One thing I haven't seen analyzed anywhere is combining the use of CRISPR with embryo selection (not saying it hasn't been done, just that I haven't seen it). The idea being to increase the effectiveness of selection by being able to eliminate a small subset of problems (e.g. your highest IQ embryo has sickle cell disease). Probably most useful for parents who share one or more problem recessive alleles.

    yes

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  99. anon says:     Show CommentNext New Comment
    @Steve Sailer
    The two ladies who between them invented CRISPR called for a timeout to think things through a couple of years ago.

    when the public is more corrupt / irresponsible than the elite then yes – you want order and caution

    when the elite is more corrupt / irresponsible than the public then (imo) you want the opposite as chaos has more chance of a democratic outcome

    plus China/Israel were going to do it anyway

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  100. @res

    There you go with that mental tic of yours. As I write this, the phrase “generation of idiots” appears in one comment; yours.
     
    One thing about Corvinus, he sure does love his strawmen.

    P.S. Corvinus, you recently asked me to supply specific instances of the fallacies I was accusing you of (straw man, motte and bailey, false equivalence). I thought the statement Svigor called out from comment 54 was a nice example of a straw man.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Straw_man
    Although I guess that's arguable since you did not actually refute your misrepresentation of Peter Johnson's original statement. Perhaps we should call that a failed or partial straw man? (that's our Corvinus, introducing revolutionary new fallacies that defy easy categorization).

    The “generation of idiots” comment refers to the case of Buck v. Bell, a notorious Supreme Court decision upholding the constitutionality of a compulsory sterilization law in Virginia. Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, in explaining his decision, stated “three generations of imbeciles” is enough” when insisting the state has the legal right to subject men and women in prison or mental institutions to the law.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buck_v._Bell

    Regarding the accusations of my penchant for fallacies, I had already addressed them in the links you provided, apparently not to your level of satisfaction.

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    • Replies: @Peter Johnson
    I agree that any hint of compulsion (in a move toward rehabilitating the very old idea of good breeding) is a mistake. There is the concept of "nudges" where changes in behavior can be created by minor adjustments, gently pushing individuals toward the socially-better choice. That is the kind of social convention and/or social policy change that is needed -- once the reality of strong heritability is openly acknowledged. For example offer individuals tax or welfare payment type financial incentives that encourage good breeding.
    , @res
    Fair enough on Buck v. Bell. That's the best justification for your rewording of other's positions I have seen yet.

    Regarding the accusations of my penchant for fallacies, I had already addressed them in the links you provided, apparently not to your level of satisfaction.
     
    The last part is definitely true. I recall seeing precious little justification in the links I provided. Perhaps you could provide some links/quotes for justifications you thought sufficient? (turnabout is fair play, right?)
  101. @Corvinus
    The "generation of idiots" comment refers to the case of Buck v. Bell, a notorious Supreme Court decision upholding the constitutionality of a compulsory sterilization law in Virginia. Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, in explaining his decision, stated “three generations of imbeciles" is enough" when insisting the state has the legal right to subject men and women in prison or mental institutions to the law.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buck_v._Bell

    Regarding the accusations of my penchant for fallacies, I had already addressed them in the links you provided, apparently not to your level of satisfaction.

    I agree that any hint of compulsion (in a move toward rehabilitating the very old idea of good breeding) is a mistake. There is the concept of “nudges” where changes in behavior can be created by minor adjustments, gently pushing individuals toward the socially-better choice. That is the kind of social convention and/or social policy change that is needed — once the reality of strong heritability is openly acknowledged. For example offer individuals tax or welfare payment type financial incentives that encourage good breeding.

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    • Replies: @Corvinus
    "For example offer individuals tax or welfare payment type financial incentives that encourage
    good breeding."

    You have yet to clearly define "good breeding". Would a high IQ white male and a high IQ black female qualify?

    Moreover, you are proposing a socialistic practice. Is that not a big no-no? Perhaps we can model it after Russia. From 2007...

    "A Russian region best known as the birthplace of Vladimir Lenin has found a novel way to fight the nation’s birthrate crisis: It has declared Sept. 12 the Day of Conception and for the third year running is giving couples time off from work to procreate. The hope is for a brood of babies exactly nine months later on Russia’s national day. Couples who “give birth to a patriot” during the June 12 festivities win money, cars, refrigerators and other prizes. Ulyanovsk, a region on the Volga River about 550 miles east of Moscow, has held similar contests since 2005. Since then, the number of competitors, and the number of babies born to them, has been on the rise."
  102. The “generation of idiots” comment refers to the case of Buck v. Bell, a notorious Supreme Court decision upholding the constitutionality of a compulsory sterilization law in Virginia. Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, in explaining his decision, stated “three generations of imbeciles” is enough” when insisting the state has the legal right to subject men and women in prison or mental institutions to the law.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buck_v._Bell

    Regarding the accusations of my penchant for fallacies, I had already addressed them in the links you provided, apparently not to your level of satisfaction.

    Yeah, we knew you were citing history. And yes, it’s still a strange mental tic on your part to keep wielding the “a supporter of an argument is a supporter of an argument is a supporter of an argument” bludgeon. It’s about as valid as if I suggested every anti-racist is a commie, simply because the Soviets were anti-racist, or expected every anti-racist to answer for the deeds of the Soviets, because they were anti-racist.

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  103. @Darin

    I’m sympathetic to caution in the rush to upend traditional practices.
     
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hKz08njIoiI

    There was a ‘sword and sorcerer’ movie where the bloodied hero comes in from battle and yells out, BRING ME A LEACH!

    That become one of the catch phrases among my adolescent adventurers when we suffered a contusion, etc.; or saw some horrific injury in photos and video.

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  104. Why not (to borrow Darin’s example) ask if this is a lot like when Ugg brought fire into the cave, and Dugg’s straw pallet caught fire?

    There have been bad wars, so all wars must be bad. There have been bad people born, so birth is bad. Etc.

    Argue the merits. Dredging up the lefty touchstones of history is touching and all, but not particularly persuasive.

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  105. @Corvinus
    The "generation of idiots" comment refers to the case of Buck v. Bell, a notorious Supreme Court decision upholding the constitutionality of a compulsory sterilization law in Virginia. Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, in explaining his decision, stated “three generations of imbeciles" is enough" when insisting the state has the legal right to subject men and women in prison or mental institutions to the law.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buck_v._Bell

    Regarding the accusations of my penchant for fallacies, I had already addressed them in the links you provided, apparently not to your level of satisfaction.

    Fair enough on Buck v. Bell. That’s the best justification for your rewording of other’s positions I have seen yet.

    Regarding the accusations of my penchant for fallacies, I had already addressed them in the links you provided, apparently not to your level of satisfaction.

    The last part is definitely true. I recall seeing precious little justification in the links I provided. Perhaps you could provide some links/quotes for justifications you thought sufficient? (turnabout is fair play, right?)

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  106. @Bad Parrot

    religious right is more likely to oppose embryo editing.
     
    Absolutely. Christians will be up in arms over this.

    This is also the reason the West is inevitably destined to fall behind Asian countries in robotics and AI: to create machines in the image of man is to trespass on the prerogative of God.

    Funny, but the West was ahead of the rest back when it was immeasurably more Christian, and warnings about trespassing upon the prerogatives of God were far more plausible to the common man. Or do you think somehow A.I. is especially anathematic, as opposed to, off the top of my head, heliocentrism, Darwinism, relativity, quantum mechanics, Freudianism (not that that’s science), organ transplants from non-humans to humans, in vitro fertilization, abortion, nuclear fission, and gender reassignment surgery?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Salger

    Funny, but the West was ahead of the rest back when it was immeasurably more Christian
     
    And yet South American countries are largely Christian. What have they done for actual science? Let alone the Christians in Africa.
    , @Darin

    Funny, but the West was ahead of the rest back when it was immeasurably more Christian
     
    This is irrelevant to the truth of Christian faith. Jesus promised his followers salvation of souls, not earthly power and riches.

    When was West "immeasurably more Christian" it was pathetic backwater of the world, the Third World of the day. West became ahead of the rest of the world in 18th century, just at the time when pure Christian faith diminished. A mere coincidence?
  107. Hot off the press ….

    Broad Institute Scientist Prevails in Epic Patent Fight over CRISPR.
    The CRISPR patent fight appears to be over, at least for the moment. A ruling by the U.S. Patent Trial and Appeal Board found no “interference” in patents awarded to Feng Zhang at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard.

    It looks like the War on Women continues unabated. Unlike the Oscars and the Grammy awards, doesn’t the U.S. Patent Trial and Appeal Board support diversity when issuing patents? Shame on them!

    Read More
  108. @Massimo Heitor

    It’s back ? It ever left?
     
    It left the news cycle which is all this crowd notices.

    Every molecular biology lab in the country does genetic engineering for mundane daily tasks. Genetic engineering is a big part of the biology field and industry.

    Biologist here. A clear distinction must be made between run-of-the-mill “genetic engineering”, which happens at the plasmid DNA level every day in any given bio lab, and genetic engineering of higher organisms, which is much more difficult and laborious. Transgenic mouse technology has been around for ages, but is still not trivial to perform. All of the same criticisms that Catholic moral theologians make of IVF can be made a fortiori to CRISPR-based engineering, which is just IVF+ Ultra. There is a certain non-trivial rate of off-target (think random mutagenesis) activity with CRISPR that is not fully understood. (High fidelity Cas9 was only published a year ago). Using this technology on humans at this stage is just unethical and will be nothing more than a monument to hubris. Give me a couple of decades of solid preclinical data (which is what you’ll need in order to examine heritable effects in non-human primates) and I may change my mind.

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  109. @astrolabe

    China would roll over them if they did (not go there).
     
    What about hardcore eugenics? Breeding for intelligence. I don't suppose China would have qualms about this, and if they do, North Korea would not. Depending on the levels of coercion involved, I'm not sure that I would have qualms about it myself.

    How fast could such a program increase intelligence in terms of IQ? Would there be a ceiling? Would it enable the country to 'roll over' the others?

    How fast could such a program increase intelligence in terms of IQ? Would there be a ceiling? Would it enable the country to ‘roll over’ the others?

    Very fast.

    What if only people with IQ over 130 were allowed to have children? What would be the average intelligence of the next generation?

    What if only people with red hair were allowed to procreate?

    What if you only sow the very best corn as seed corn the next year and every year?

    We do actually know the answer to these questions. Garbage in, garbage out.

    You get what you breed for. Period.

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  110. @Anonymous
    I feel sorry for someone who has never crank started an antique car, pr prop started a small radial engine. It's a wonderful thing.

    I feel sorry for someone who has never crank started an antique car, pr prop started a small radial engine. It’s a wonderful thing.

    I have push started a motorcycle with a dead battery as well as a ’67 Camaro (manual trans)

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  111. @Peter Johnson
    I agree that any hint of compulsion (in a move toward rehabilitating the very old idea of good breeding) is a mistake. There is the concept of "nudges" where changes in behavior can be created by minor adjustments, gently pushing individuals toward the socially-better choice. That is the kind of social convention and/or social policy change that is needed -- once the reality of strong heritability is openly acknowledged. For example offer individuals tax or welfare payment type financial incentives that encourage good breeding.

    “For example offer individuals tax or welfare payment type financial incentives that encourage
    good breeding.”

    You have yet to clearly define “good breeding”. Would a high IQ white male and a high IQ black female qualify?

    Moreover, you are proposing a socialistic practice. Is that not a big no-no? Perhaps we can model it after Russia. From 2007…

    “A Russian region best known as the birthplace of Vladimir Lenin has found a novel way to fight the nation’s birthrate crisis: It has declared Sept. 12 the Day of Conception and for the third year running is giving couples time off from work to procreate. The hope is for a brood of babies exactly nine months later on Russia’s national day. Couples who “give birth to a patriot” during the June 12 festivities win money, cars, refrigerators and other prizes. Ulyanovsk, a region on the Volga River about 550 miles east of Moscow, has held similar contests since 2005. Since then, the number of competitors, and the number of babies born to them, has been on the rise.”

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  112. @guest
    Funny, but the West was ahead of the rest back when it was immeasurably more Christian, and warnings about trespassing upon the prerogatives of God were far more plausible to the common man. Or do you think somehow A.I. is especially anathematic, as opposed to, off the top of my head, heliocentrism, Darwinism, relativity, quantum mechanics, Freudianism (not that that's science), organ transplants from non-humans to humans, in vitro fertilization, abortion, nuclear fission, and gender reassignment surgery?

    Funny, but the West was ahead of the rest back when it was immeasurably more Christian

    And yet South American countries are largely Christian. What have they done for actual science? Let alone the Christians in Africa.

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    • Replies: @guest
    South America and Africa are full of South Americans and Africans.
  113. How do test tube children feel about having been conceived in a laboratory?

    Extremely grateful that the labs exist?

    Georg E says:
    February 16, 2017 at 8:52 pm GMT • 200 Words

    A perfectly reasonable position. Note the lack of bioethicist BS ruling this in or out because Who We Are.

    “For example offer individuals tax or welfare payment type financial incentives that encourage
    good breeding.”

    You have yet to clearly define “good breeding”. Would a high IQ white male and a high IQ black female qualify?

    What a breeder sees as good breeding is the definition, obviously. It’s like asking what people like to eat. The problem would be a taboo on the very idea of preferring certain foods, on recipes, etc.

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  114. Not even going to give the edit window a chance:

    How do test tube children feel about having been conceived in a laboratory?

    Extremely grateful that the labs exist?

    Georg E
    says:

    February 16, 2017 at 8:52 pm GMT • 200 Words

    A perfectly reasonable position. Note the lack of bioethicist BS ruling this in or out because Who We Are.

    “For example offer individuals tax or welfare payment type financial incentives that encourage
    good breeding.”

    You have yet to clearly define “good breeding”. Would a high IQ white male and a high IQ black female qualify?

    What a breeder sees as good breeding is the definition, obviously. It’s like asking what people like to eat. The problem would be a taboo on the very idea of preferring certain foods, on recipes, etc.

    Read More
  115. @Salger

    Funny, but the West was ahead of the rest back when it was immeasurably more Christian
     
    And yet South American countries are largely Christian. What have they done for actual science? Let alone the Christians in Africa.

    South America and Africa are full of South Americans and Africans.

    Read More
  116. @guest
    Funny, but the West was ahead of the rest back when it was immeasurably more Christian, and warnings about trespassing upon the prerogatives of God were far more plausible to the common man. Or do you think somehow A.I. is especially anathematic, as opposed to, off the top of my head, heliocentrism, Darwinism, relativity, quantum mechanics, Freudianism (not that that's science), organ transplants from non-humans to humans, in vitro fertilization, abortion, nuclear fission, and gender reassignment surgery?

    Funny, but the West was ahead of the rest back when it was immeasurably more Christian

    This is irrelevant to the truth of Christian faith. Jesus promised his followers salvation of souls, not earthly power and riches.

    When was West “immeasurably more Christian” it was pathetic backwater of the world, the Third World of the day. West became ahead of the rest of the world in 18th century, just at the time when pure Christian faith diminished. A mere coincidence?

    Read More
  117. When was West “immeasurably more Christian” it was pathetic backwater of the world, the Third World of the day. West became ahead of the rest of the world in 18th century, just at the time when pure Christian faith diminished. A mere coincidence?

    More like 15th century.

    Read More

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