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Author Topic: Sickness, Genetic Faults, and the Human Race...  (Read 958 times)
Miles_2397
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Sickness, Genetic Faults, and the Human Race...
« on: April 03, 2007, 09:56:29 AM »

Ok, since I kinda killed the last topic in here it seems, and I'm spending the day off work as a result of being sick, This topic popped into my head.

Now, There doesn't seem to be that many sources for information (Least that I can find in my current state), but here's the question:

Are we killing ourselves with our "Humanity"?

Now, I don't mean any offence to any forum members here, and I hardly count myself as the "Perfect genetic sample" either, it's just something that niggles my mind in the small hours of the night when I can't sleep.

People have ended up genetically dispossessed to certain illnesses now, for example, my house mate is suffering Young Person's Arthritis, and she's younger than I am (Under 23). Some days it's crippling for her. Asthmatic parents are a lot more likely to have asthmatic offspring, and http://www.newscientist.com/blog/shortsharpscience/2006/09/designer-deafness.html is horrifying.

Now, as I stated earlier, I wouldn't count myself as genetically perfect, so don't think I'm being elitist, and also, the irony is, one of our greater minds of the day is a practical vegetable!

But are we dooming ourselves to Gene-therapy or worse, generations down the line? We wipe out all the illnesses, meaning when they come back or are forced to evolve, we are not prepared, and get killed off. Evolution is a natural process, and sometimes, genetically, someone shouldn't survive and breed.

As I say, this topic is meant respectfully, it's not a dig at anyone, and I'm kinda doped up on meds right now, so I apologise if I don't make total sense.
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dark_arkangel
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Re: Sickness, Genetic Faults, and the Human Race...
« Reply #1 on: April 03, 2007, 12:12:30 PM »

as genetic sample im really weird `cause i can`t get ill very easily but in my genetic code i could get diabetis and heart complication thank to my parents U_U but i refuse the gene therapy `cause this could be good in short time but the human is a greed creature and the corporations try to implement the gene therapy much before all the complications that this could bring could be analised (for example the food genetically altered)
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Re: Sickness, Genetic Faults, and the Human Race...
« Reply #2 on: April 03, 2007, 07:04:59 PM »

thats why I've often been caught aruging in favor of eugenics.  Most people don't understand what eugenics is beyond the "OMG it's bad!!" factor.  And I've bluntly told a number of those people to shut the hell up.

But it's true, with medicines the way they are it is possible to make our bodies resistant to disease ONLY with medicines, ie: have medicines that are so great that the immune system weakens over time and that gets passed down over hundreds of years and then suddenly we have a horrible virus that annihilates mankind.

While it's my personal opinion that it is extremely WRONG to want your child to be born with a certian defect so that you'll have more in common, or because you are defecient in some way, I don't see it as wrong to want to have a well bred child.  Natural forms of eugenics is already practices in farms, with pets, and with plants.  yet for some reason, we don't seem to be able to do it on ourselves in the same manner, IE: breed the strongest and most beautiful with the smartest and fastest learning people to create a better future for mankind.

Many people say eugenics is bad simply because they think of the "aryan race" syndrome and that we'll be trying to eliminate certian races from existance.  And while I'm sure certian people's prejudices may make them want to do that, there are many amazing and healthy traits in every race that IMO would be great to have in humanity as a whole.

I can't really say no to "designer children" when there's a benefit to come from it, who could say no to having a healthier, stronger, and smarter child?
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Silverain
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Re: Sickness, Genetic Faults, and the Human Race...
« Reply #3 on: April 03, 2007, 08:35:09 PM »

Humans curing themselves of disease *is* evolution in action.

We developed enormous, complex brains over millions of years (at considerable cost, biologically speaking), and the result of that is what we are today.  We can use our heads (and those handy opposable thumbs, and binocular color vision...) to fix a lot of problems that used to kill off huge numbers of humans. 

I don't think that medicine (or agriculture, or industry, or fire) is any less natural than other animals using their own abilities.  Birds fly, fish swim, humans think.  We earn our living just like any other species, we just happened to develop a trait that made us more successful than most.

And yet, we're still not immortal.  We don't die of smallpox and diphtheria any more, but we still die of other things.  When we've found ways to cure or prevent heart disease and diabetes, we probably will start noticing other problems.

Fixing genetic ailments or sustaining people who carry them can be a double-edged sword, because it allows the "flaw" to persist in the population instead of killing itself off.  But keep in mind that many genetic quirks have hidden advantages.  Not all of them are "mistakes" in the DNA processes.  Some of them, such as the gene that causes sickle-cell anemia, actually have a use.  Furthermore, knowledge always comes in handy sooner or later, so everything ought to be studied, whether the aim is to prevent disease or not.

Also, evolution is a very, very slow process.  I don't think it is justifiable to allow people now to suffer when they could be helped, for the vague possible benefit a few million years down the road.


I can't say I'm a fan of designer babies or similar, but my objection isn't "humans shouldn't play God."  I object to it for two reasons: 1) it increases inequality of class/wealth, and 2) loss of diversity is a problem.

As for the deaf parents who want their kids to be deaf ... well, they're fools, because they are inflicting a disability on an innocent child.  It strikes me as the height of self-centeredness to want your child to be exactly like you, even if that means they lack an important sense most people have.  A lot of them like to claim deafness is not a disability, it's just being different ... but they're wrong.  People who are deaf are by definition disabled, because they lack the ability to hear.  They can make a culture out of it and live mostly normal lives, but they're still missing out on something major.  (random factoid:  Somebody once asked Helen Keller whether she'd rather have her sight back, or her hearing.  She said she wanted to hear more than she wanted to see.)
« Last Edit: April 03, 2007, 08:44:15 PM by Silverain » Logged

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Re: Sickness, Genetic Faults, and the Human Race...
« Reply #4 on: April 06, 2007, 12:22:02 PM »

there are some pretty unplesant things to look at...like those 500lb woman who still wear a two-peice to the beach. 

I disagree with your intial premise though of: "Humans curing themselves of disease *is* evolution in action."  Humans aren't actually improving themselves by using medicine to cure diseases.  We're weakening out natural defenses by not relying on them and we're strenghtening viruses and germs by exposing them to all these chemicals.

Germs evolve too, but we forget that a germ can mutate, change and evolve millions of times before even one generation of humans goes by.  For them the whole life-death-evolution cycle is amazingly fast. 

Now, we ARE improving ourselves by using vaccinations, because those usually include the necessary T and B white blood cells to tell our body to build an immunity to a certian virus/disease.  And that I would call evolution of sorts since it's an improvement.  but traight-out medication is not.

Though it's often most dissapointing, we dont specialize in cures(which we should), we specialize in treatments.  If medicines were so great for the human body, we'd have rid the world of disesaes that still plague us from a hundred years ago.  measels, typhoid, montozuma's revenge.  But we've cured like what, 3 diseases?  smallpox and two I'm giving us the benefit of the doubt for?

And "heart disease" is a misnomer, since it's not a disease, it's a genetic malfunction.  Same with Diabetis, it's a triggered, bilogical malfunction of the pancrease and the cells ability to recieve sugars and insulin.  And there's no cure for either one of them, there are however *drumroll* treatments.
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zizi
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Re: Sickness, Genetic Faults, and the Human Race...
« Reply #5 on: April 10, 2007, 08:36:42 AM »

Quote from: The Destroyer on April 03, 2007, 07:04:59 PM

Many people say eugenics is bad simply because they think of the "aryan race" syndrome and that we'll be trying to eliminate certian races from existance.  And while I'm sure certian people's prejudices may make them want to do that, there are many amazing and healthy traits in every race that IMO would be great to have in humanity as a whole.

this reminds me of how they used ot breed black people back in the slave days to produce stronger, more efficient workers. some people argue that after hundreds of years of breeding, we now benefit from amazing black athletes. but keep in mind this wasn't voluntary in any way.

i know there are couples  that pick and choose the features they want their future babies. this allow, say a couple who is black haired, brown eyed people, to have babies with blue eyes and blonde hair. so i can see the future leaning more towards that, couples arranging for genetically enhanced babies than getting the smartest, beautiful people together to have children.
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ShakKen
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Re: Sickness, Genetic Faults, and the Human Race...
« Reply #6 on: April 10, 2007, 09:49:01 AM »

Silverain is right on the money. Evolution has provided us with the means to produce technology, therefore it is only natural that it (technology/medicine) has become an extension of our biology. Of course, every time we think we have the answer the complexity increases as more variables we didn't understand before are discovered. Like the reason we haven't managed to debug cancer.

People tend to have obsolete ideas about what 'natural' is.

The hard truth is that survival has always been a question of dominance, as an individual, within (and of) the group.
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Re: Sickness, Genetic Faults, and the Human Race...
« Reply #7 on: April 13, 2007, 02:36:35 PM »

Quote from: zizi on April 10, 2007, 08:36:42 AM

this reminds me of how they used ot breed black people back in the slave days to produce stronger, more efficient workers. some people argue that after hundreds of years of breeding, we now benefit from amazing black athletes. but keep in mind this wasn't voluntary in any way.

i know there are couples  that pick and choose the features they want their future babies. this allow, say a couple who is black haired, brown eyed people, to have babies with blue eyes and blonde hair. so i can see the future leaning more towards that, couples arranging for genetically enhanced babies than getting the smartest, beautiful people together to have children.

Blacks are generally my prime example for eugenics in action.  Those that were really weak died when being shipped over here.  The strongest of those survived here, and were bread with the other strongest.  Making a very "enchanced" "race", compared to what normal breeding would have accomplished.

Quote from: ShakKen on April 10, 2007, 09:49:01 AM
Silverain is right on the money. Evolution has provided us with the means to produce technology, therefore it is only natural that it (technology/medicine) has become an extension of our biology. Of course, every time we think we have the answer the complexity increases as more variables we didn't understand before are discovered. Like the reason we haven't managed to debug cancer.

People tend to have obsolete ideas about what 'natural' is.

The hard truth is that survival has always been a question of dominance, as an individual, within (and of) the group.

the reason I usually disagree with technology and medicine being "natural" is that viruses, germs and all variety of disease still function on the same principle they did a thousand years ago.  And our bodies still react to them in the same manner they did a thousand years ago.  Medicine does the job our bodies should be doing when we get infected with something.  After enough time, that will weaken our natural defenses.  We can't get to medicine all the time, so with a weak immune system, we're gonna be more vulnerable to disease.

Technology is helping with some of the things that we simply can't handle by ourselves, but it's also interfering with natural functions that are a hundred times more effecient and powerful than any medicine.

Look at the flue vaccinations.  The flu keeps getting worse and worse with each mutation.  And we keep making new medicines and vacciantions for it.  I mean, people are DYING from the flu, wtf?  It's all because all our medicines are making the disease stronger while weakening our immune system.
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Re: Sickness, Genetic Faults, and the Human Race...
« Reply #8 on: April 19, 2007, 12:44:15 AM »

people died from simple stuff like the flu and the cold back then. medicine has helped us survive trivial stuff like that. viruses are mutating and adapting, but that's how the world works. people make the bullet proof suit and someone else makes bullets specially designed to penetrate them.

i don't think we should be all that worried about medicine making us "outdated". for one thing, unless we stop research all together, we'll keep progressing and adapting ourselves to new types of pathogens and sch. another thing, a relatively small percentage of our population actually get healthcare. nearly all of Africa and rural Asia have little medical facilities and in the U.S. with shots hitting 10 thousand dollars and medicines sometimes costing three dollars a pill, at least some people will still be here when some outrageous virus hits us all at once. even then, i think everyone would be equally affected.
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Re: Sickness, Genetic Faults, and the Human Race...
« Reply #9 on: April 25, 2007, 09:11:45 AM »

VERY tough subject. I watched a documentary on yellowstone national park the other day, and one thing it impressed on me was the fact that the reintroduction of the wolves, the original primary preadators was huge in terms of the well being of the native buffalo population. Their culling off the weak and the sick has strengthened and toughened them right up. Avantage by adversity.

As for breading people.... I have to go with bad idea. It's about as promising looking to me as communism. There are TONS of advantages to be gained from selective breeding for humanity as a species, but I honestly don't believe we're evolved enough in nature to handle that kind of power. Even if you promote free thought, the introduction will almost inescapably lead to factions or casts. You could see families trapped in occupations, and other families essentially elevated to royalty. I suppose you could offer the Late European monarchs as Eugenics gone bad, but I digress. I believe that there is simply too much room for abuse there, and if one were to look at the division of wealth in the world, the reasons become painfully bare.

To Miles' question, I honestly don't know for sure. You see those rare savants, and disabled genious types, and it's hard to say that if they hadn't exsisted, surely someone else would come about eventually. As things are, the great pendulum of plenty is on the tail end of it's swing, and the return stroke may define our life time. Sadly, should we find ourselves nine dogs with a single bone, the Steven Hawkings of our day may be the first to feel the toll.

-Cer
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Re: Sickness, Genetic Faults, and the Human Race...
« Reply #10 on: May 02, 2007, 02:01:55 PM »

I think we're better equipped to handle it now than we were long ago, but in any situation people would have to WANT to breed with the best of the best, not just be forced to or told to.
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Re: Sickness, Genetic Faults, and the Human Race...
« Reply #11 on: May 04, 2007, 01:25:28 AM »

I would have to agree with Cerulean..... Although when have the brain power and technology I don’t believe we have the social maturity to play fair when it comes to eugenics
 for those who have seen the movie Gattaca, it provides a very real idea about what might happen

I believe that this future is still a very real possibility....... even if the situation doesn't deteriorate to the point of government funded selective breeding…… the simple Consept of designer babies
What parent in the whole world does not want a completely healthy child not prone to anything that may case it’s early death or denied it’s full potential because of the why it looks or acts
Most parents would do almost anything to ensure that their child receives the most chances in life to succussed  and of course people will still be having sex so (as the movie puts it…..) Gods children will still be born with all the inherent potential problems that that we have now
And although the government may place bans on genetic racism, it’s still a very good possibility that job placement (and insurance of any kind) would be determined by your genetic strengths and how few potential problems you might have during your life

For example what company would want to risk a life insurance policy if the subject has a  75%  possibility of having a heart attack or some other debilitating condition when they are 35
Or Hire a person knowing that they might already be suffering from something or will possibly be in 2 or 3 years

So even if the concept isn’t legal….  Genetic testing on people will still be conducted under the table
Why take the risk when you can avoid it by offering the subject a cup of tea and using a good saliva sample off the cup

Quote from: Silverain on April 03, 2007, 08:35:09 PM

I can't say I'm a fan of designer babies or similar, but my objection isn't "humans shouldn't play God."  I object to it for two reasons: 1) it increases inequality of class/wealth, and 2) loss of diversity is a problem.

As for the deaf parents who want their kids to be deaf ... well, they're fools, because they are inflicting a disability on an innocent child.  It strikes me as the height of self-centeredness to want your child to be exactly like you, even if that means they lack an important sense most people have.  A lot of them like to claim deafness is not a disability, it's just being different ... but they're wrong.  People who are deaf are by definition disabled, because they lack the ability to hear.  They can make a culture out of it and live mostly normal lives, but they're still missing out on something major.  (random factoid:  Somebody once asked Helen Keller whether she'd rather have her sight back, or her hearing.  She said she wanted to hear more than she wanted to see.)

And this would off been my other point
There are already cases of parents doing this sort of thing to their kids or wishing they could

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Quote from: The Destroyer on April 06, 2007, 12:22:02 PM
I disagree with your initial premise though of: "Humans curing themselves of disease *is* evolution in action."  Humans aren't actually improving themselves by using medicine to cure diseases.  We're weakening out natural defences by not relying on them and we're strengthening viruses and germs by exposing them to all these chemicals.

Germs evolve too, but we forget that a germ can mutate, change and evolve millions of times before even one generation of humans goes by.  For them the whole life-death-evolution cycle is amazingly fast. 

Now, we ARE improving ourselves by using vaccinations, because those usually include the necessary T and B white blood cells to tell our body to build an immunity to a certain virus/disease.  And that I would call evolution of sorts since it's an improvement.  but straight-out medication is not.

Though it's often most disappointing, we don’t specialize in cures(which we should), we specialize in treatments.  If medicines were so great for the human body, we'd have rid the world of diseases that still plague us from a hundred years ago.  measles, typhoid, montozuma's revenge.  But we've cured like what, 3 diseases?  smallpox and two I'm giving us the benefit of the doubt for?

And "heart disease" is a misnomer, since it's not a disease, it's a genetic malfunction.  Same with Diabetes, it's a triggered, biological malfunction of the pancrease and the cells ability to receive sugars and insulin.  And there's no cure for either one of them, there are however *drum roll* treatments.

Precisely…..  That over use is leading to a major dependence and an inability to adapt to face either a new mutation or a new threat
And we are beginning to complicate the matter by sealing our kids in environmentally stable  condition

Our parents….. Were breast feed, Ate dirt and other things, swam in muddy still ponds, broke bones, got sick, and generally exposed themselves to every natural thing that  we are beginning to fear about now days because some people with PHD in front of their name cry “DANGER”

Are these people dead….. No they grew up and gave birth to us….. As have billion upon billions of people before us right back 3.6 million years…. Sure we might have less death in this current age….. But are we not suffering from a over population problem now in natural responce
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Re: Sickness, Genetic Faults, and the Human Race...
« Reply #12 on: June 03, 2007, 09:01:20 PM »

Oooh, my favourite subject!
*checks date, still relevant*

So yeah.  I'm asthmatic.  My mum was asthmatic.  The only thing we have in common is that we have both refused point blank to get medicated for it.

As a result, you don't know we ever suffer from it.  My mum is cured and I can have panic attack/asthma attacks occasionally, but only very mild ones I soon snap out of.

In this instance, not only does it prove genetic disposition to illness, but it also proves that sometimes, the medication makes it worse.
Of course, some people are so asthmatic they NEED medication.  But I don't, so I won't be taking any because it will only make me worse.

Back in the day, those serious asthmatics would have died out, but now they can pass on the severity of their genes the medication needed to keep them alive is condeming their children to a lifetime of dependancy.  I'm not saying asthmatics shouldn't be allowed to have kids, but I do believe that medication is sometimes the cause of the problem as well as the solution.

Another example in my case is antibiotics.  Great for treating infection, better at causing candida.  When you have such a bad case of oral thrush all you can live off is Sprite drink for a month before steriods you have to take to treat it kick in, and then  you lose your sense of taste for another month and a half as a result of the steriods, you really wonder if speeding up your bodies natural ability to fight infection was really worth it.
I know it wasn't, I was misdiagnosed in the first place.  I had a virus.  The antibiotics didn't treat a thing.
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