Tag Archives: genetics

UPDATED NEW QUOTE BY ULDIS SPROGIS 1473!!!

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7 ETHICAL QUESTIONS ANSWERED ABOUT HUMANITY AND OTHER LIFEFORMS!!!

Should animals other than humans be given rights?

For the survival of future generations and a healthy environment it might be wise not to reduce the size of wilderness and it is smart to even expand it. Wilderness may become a life saving healthy source of food when technology irresponsibly destroys the health of domesticated animals and plants used as a food source.

Factory farming of domesticated animals should probably be outlawed as cruel and unusual punishment for animals because it causes pain and suffering which is not advisable to introduce into the food chain. Factory farming is unhealthy in the long run because disease and genetically unfavorable mutations are introduced needing antibiotics and other artificial chemicals to maintain health. All these disadvantages are passed on to the humans and pets consuming the food which can be disastrous for overall health in the long duration.

Should we edit our children’s genomes?

If a fetus has a debilitating disease such as Down’s syndrome an abortion of the fetus is the best and most efficient response which prevents the unnecessary burden on the family and society if the parents can’t afford the cost of maintaining an undesirable mutant.

Enhancing a child’s ability with genes that improve memory or intelligence in general, improve the health of the child, and improve physical coordination or looks in general should be conditionally permitted. Since the long duration potential bad effects of gene manipulation are unknown it may be wise for the prospective parents to have to set up an escrow account of a million dollars or more in case the gene alteration results in mental or physical handicaps later in life. Society should not be burdened with genetic mutants which can potentially need monetary support from society if the parents can’t afford to fully pay for the genetic mistakes which they choose unwittingly.

Should we make everyone “normal”?

Chemicals in pill form and genetic alteration can make someone less aggressive, more empathetic, and less dominant and more forgiving.

Pills are already given to aggressive violent criminals in jail and many psychoactive pills prescribed by psychotherapists also make someone less aggressive and more docile. The real question is whether the government should force everyone to medicate themselves so that they are not so aggressive. If done this could result in a docile society unable to rebel against an unjust government and tyranny would become almost absolute on into the foreseeable future.

If individual parents make a choice to have genetically more docile empathetic children then if they can afford it they should be given the right to do so. Eugenics carried out to an extreme by the government was a disaster in Nazi Germany so I don’t think it is a good idea to make offspring more docile or more superior with a government mandate for all.

I don’t like the equality mindset of “normal” to begin with because it stirs up visions of cloned normal humans all looking alike and behaving the same. One of the great strengths of humans is that there is so much genetic diversity which makes humans less vulnerable to total destruction by contagious terminal diseases and makes life interesting with varied looks, varied personalities, and varied abilities in humans. The world would be a very boring place if everyone in the world was “normal”, whatever that really means.

Should we abandon privacy online?

In an age when international drug dealers and criminals frequent the internet it is logical to police the internet for these illegal fraud and scam artists to the maximum. If that means losing your personal internet privacy is the cost then so be it. If you are afraid that your posted illegal drug habits, alcoholism problems, promiscuity, profanity, immorality, thievery, verbal abuse, health problems, etc. will cause future employment problems or insurance rate increases then it will be a just punishment for your transgressions.

If you are leading an illegal life then you should be smart enough not to post your activities on the internet in the first place. I sort of foresee a time when every law abiding citizen will be vetted before they have internet rights in the first place. There is far too much fake information and fake news on the internet today which needs a remedy soon or the internet will become pure insecure chaos.

If you are rich and in positions of authority then you will have or can afford a relatively secure encryption to communicate relatively sensitive corporate and personal information which will not be as vulnerable to criminal observation or theft. For the common human, let’s face it, there is no information which they possess which will be a violation of national security so what they post is their responsibility and they should post responsibly.

Will this make you vulnerable to ruthless advertising ad intrusions into your life? Probably yes, but with time there will be web services which will minimize your exposure to ruthless ads from retailers and other service providers.

If you want to keep secrets then don’t post them on the internet in the first place!

Should we give robots the right to kill?

If you phrase this question into should robots be given the right to kill, maim, or incapacitate humans then the question is really what kind of humans and under what conditions? It is entirely possible that robots could replace swat teams to some extent and non lethally maim or incapacitate all the armed criminal gang members in a hideout.

Where there is a question of kidnappers holding innocent hostages but the identity of the kidnappers is known a robot may be used to save as many hostages as possible and maim or incapacitate the armed kidnappers, preferably with non lethal means.

Robot soldiers going after known terrorists or armed enemy military humans in a secluded jungle or well protected areas is also a valid possibility.

Yes, there is also the possibility of armed police officer robots chasing and apprehending fleeing criminals in a non lethal way. As long as these police officers were not given lethal arms then I would be in favor of it.

Finally robots could be used to kill or harvest invasive animal and plant species in the wilderness with surgical accuracy and probably more efficiently than human hunters and harvesters.

Yes, intelligent robots could be programmed to confront most armed criminals and enemy military soldiers but not in all situations and the right to actually kill but not maim or incapacitate a human should be postponed to very far into the future when robots will be considered to be intelligent and moral enough.

Should we let synthetic lifeforms loose?

It is now possible to genetically engineer microbes and animals and the question is should these new forms be let into the wild or environment? With microbes you could probably say that genetically engineering deadly or contagious strains like e coli bacteria, etc. could have devastating eventual effects on human populations if they were to be released into the environment. Even genetically modified fish released into the oceans could have bad serious long duration impacts such as mass displacement or destruction of natural species.

Genetically modified corn or GMO’s have already polluted organic farmlands and the wilderness could similarly be polluted with other GMO plant life displacing indigenous populations.

Human long duration health is the primary issue and if microbe, animal, or plant life can potentially harm human health then synthetic lifeforms are a serious danger and steps should be taken to ensure that they are not released into the environment.

As a general precaution all genetically modified food for human or domesticated animal consumption should be labeled as such so humans have a right to choose between an organic version and a genetically modified one. I doubt that the US has the wisdom or balls to pass such legislation due to big agribusiness political clout but it is a vital step to ensure the long duration health of the human population worldwide.

Should there be population control?

Western promiscuity, robotization, income inequality, and a relatively easy life are ensuring the destruction of family life and severe reduction in the population. Poverty in third world countries is controlling population to some extent but perhaps birth control measures should be propagandized more and serious attempts at world population control should be made.

The earth has finite resources which pollute the more that they are utilized, so human population growth should definitely be curtailed and any reduction in human population anywhere is a good thing for the planet in the long duration.

Conclusion:

Genetic manipulation is a strong scientific tool to use for good or bad purposes. Theoretically whatever can be used for good can also be used for bad purposes so the future will be plagued with bad uses also. In the long duration, most of humanity will probably survive the bad effects but the environment could potentially be very adversely affected.

If humanity does not survive in the long duration then it may not be such a bad thing because the other remaining lifeforms on earth will be liberated from human intrusion and pollution. Nature is a deceptive and ruthless predator and if humans go too far in their genetic manipulation and pollution they will be punished with death in one form or another.

If you liked this evergreen truth blog then read more of them, about 4600 so far, or read one or more of my evergreen truth books, especially EVERGREEN TRUTH, rays of truth in a human world filled with myths and deceptions.

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BIOETHICS AND MORALITY!!!

I am suggesting that biological enhancements or genetic deviations from the norm will only perhaps have long duration effects on human morality which is fundamentally learned and not inborn. Whether you are healthy, attractive, smart, and intelligent or unhealthy, repulsive, and rather ignorant your morality should basically be the same. In nonemergency situations- don’t destroy biodiversity, don’t lie, don’t be inefficient, don’t steal, don’t commit adultery if married, and don’t murder.

 

Some have argued that genetic enhancements could potentially lead to an elite ruling class of gifted individuals who will rule over humans from generation to generation- a genetic aristocracy. Concepts such as humility and a genetic reproductive indeterminacy will no longer exist or be tolerated. The rich and talented will get even richer and more talented and the rest will merely be looked upon as indentured servants or slaves.

 

Today we have the rich and not so talented ruling over us and the results are not very pretty. Wilderness and wildlife is being destroyed at an alarming rate as most humans in this world are little less than consuming, eating, and reproducing machines polluting the environment and contributing very little to the actual progress of humanity and creative achievement. History repeats itself because the basic genetic material is the same for humans and every generation is born with violent, destructive, irresponsible, selfish tendencies which have to be civilized in some way to avoid utter chaos and social disintegration.

 

Yes, theoretically you could conceivably breed less violent, less destructive, less irresponsible, and less selfish humans but realistically the more violent, more destructive, more irresponsible, and more selfish would probably rule over the more peaceful humans anyway in the long duration.

 

Artificial intelligent machines or AI, robots, and computer software is even beginning to dwarf the intelligent capacity of genius humans so we really should be keeping pace genetically so that machines don’t become too smart for humans to be able to handle or live in symbiosis with. Yes, most humans are lousy parents and not very smart so machines or robots of the future will probably take over most of the parenting tasks and raise offspring to function morally in the world of the future.

 

That said let us briefly investigate the short and long duration potential of genetic human enhancement. Human genetic enhancement is really an experiment which can go terribly wrong. Enhance a human with better looks, more strength, taller height, certain hair, eye, and skin color and the results may be very unhealthy humans with debilitating diseases, shorter lifespans, skeletal abnormalities, allergies, and mental defects.

 

Judging by human breeding of animals such as cats, dogs, and livestock based on such minimal criteria as looks, speed, size, and fat content there have been a lot of new varieties created with terrible health problems such as urinary, breeding, and skeletal abnormalities which make them undesirable in the long duration.

 

Animal breeding is mostly a disaster in the long duration so it seems that human genetic selections will also be plagued with health problems. Perhaps one way to insure human genetic experiments from going bad and costing society an arm and a leg for maintenance would be to have to set up a monetary escrow of about a million dollars or so to take care of human genetic health abnormalities.

 

To genetically modify humans for strength, such as weight lifters, speed, such as runners, and height, such as basketball players and high jumpers, it seems that they would have a huge advantage over naturally conceived humans and some may consider this an unfair advantage. I don’t. You could probably divide up humans into genetically enhanced ones and those naturally born. The genetically enhanced ones could be something like a super freak show of human extremes. But once again an obscenely muscular weight lifter would probably not be very healthy in the long duration and would die a premature death.

 

Human genetic selection based on looks could result in a large percentage of the population looking like attractive celebrities but frankly once there was an abundance of good looking humans then they could become rather boring to look at, especially if they were celebrity clones.

 

Enhancing intelligence is more problematic unless you are talking about cloning genius humans. There are so many geniuses who are socially dysfunctional and stick out like sore thumbs in society. In society where tribalism and the herd instinct is so dominant I sincerely wonder whether a society of geniuses would be able to function and interact with normal or common human beings without living a life of effete isolated snobbism.

 

Conclusion:

 

In the short duration the problem of genetic enhancement is not a moral one but it is a serious health question. There is no guarantee that a genetic enhancement will be healthy in the long duration so some insurance measures will have to be instituted with laws pertaining to genetic enhancements.

 

In the long duration genetic enhancement may lead to specialized humans very good at intellectual pursuits and/or sports activities. Whether genetic manipulation will lead to an elite ruling class is debatable but if it does then we will have a worldwide aristocracy which will rule into the distant future. Democracy is slowly dying almost everywhere so it seems that a genetic aristocracy will continue to rule the earth on into the distant future as it does today to some extent already.

 

What we need most in this world is a universal secular moral code taught to all impressionable young minds so that offspring are indoctrinated with moral behavior or how to interact relatively peacefully with other humans, even worldwide. All the genetic enhancement in the world will not help humanity if we ignore a necessary moral upbringing for all. Yes, a consensus will be necessary because morality currently differs from culture to culture worldwide. More important than genetic enhancement is a secular morality which almost anyone can agree with anywhere in the world. Mission impossible? I hope not because our future survival depends on it.

If you liked this evergreen truth blog then read more of them, about 4500 so far, or read one or more of my evergreen truth books, especially EVERGREEN TRUTH, rays of truth in a human world filled with myths and deceptions.

For a complete readily accessible list of blogs and titles go to twitter.com/uldissprogis.

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THE SCIENCE OF PARENTING!!!

This is a brief summary of the edX course Scientific Parenting by Dr. David Barnes at the University of California at San Diego. I learned a lot about the current psychological research into parenting done worldwide. I enjoyed the scientific analysis of the research but for most I would just recommend that you audit the course for free and just watch the outstanding video presentations of the material which is comprehensible to the average layman and a joy to watch an excursion into very intelligent easily understood presentations.

The most impactful knowledge about psychological parenting research is that almost all the studies are correlational and that means that there are no provable cause effect relationships in this research. The result has been much controversy which suggests that the correlation between two variables A and B may in fact be incomplete and that variable C or D may in fact be better correlated with the gathered information from questionnaires.

Several myths were debunked and one of them was that bilingual students or children are in some way better at learning and smarter than monolingual children.

Another myth was that autism is caused by vaccines. Follow up scientific evidence simply does not support this. Still further the original source of the popularized myth article turned out to be Wakefield who had a very small sample in his testing and it turned out that he had a financial interest tied to the conclusions in his later debunked research paper.

Yet another myth was debunked and that is that learning to play a musical instrument increases your learning ability in academic areas which just isn’t so and is a false assumption.

Another myth that was based on unprovable research conclusions was that a sense of basic morality is innate or inborn in young children and that they inherently prefer humans with good over those with bad behaviors.

Another myth that was debunked was that there are unique learning styles which students primarily use to learn things such as visual, auditory, and verbal styles of learning. It was shown that there are no unique learning styles and that most learning is a combination of visual, verbal, and even auditory cues so no one unique style actually exists that is used to learn with.

There is another myth that accelerated learning, advanced placement, or grade skipping leads to students who are socially or relationship handicapped. While there are some exceptions which are evidence for social maladjustment the vast majority of gifted students are not socially handicapped in any significant way.

What I learned was that ADHD or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is on the increase in the US population largely because psychiatry has tried to officially label it as a disorder in the DSM-5 psychiatric handbook. The handbook has assigned symptoms to it which are now being very subjectively used to diagnose and treat children who show discipline, hyperactivity, and inability to concentrate problems in school. The result has been a precipitous increase in diagnosis of ADHD in children followed by what I think is an unethical medication of these students with pills that alter the brain chemistry often with adverse long duration side effects. Some states only insure diagnosed ADHD students so just like the psychiatric profession there is a money incentive to label someone as ADHD which is theoretically now a mental illness even though other societies in the world do not have such high rates of ADHD.

What I also discovered was that the Nature vs. Nurture or Genetics vs. Environment debate is still unresolved in much parenting research and there is some debate as to whether genetic inheritance from parents or environmental factors play a larger role in parenting success in specific areas of parenting which are discussed or investigated. For example in studies of aggression in children there is some debate as to whether aggression is primarily a function of the environment such as the kind of discipline, peer role models, financial poverty, etc. or is it primarily inherited parental genes with a tendency towards aggression compounded by aggressive parents as role models?

I really liked the course Scientific Parenting and would highly recommend it to present and future parents.

If you liked this evergreen truth blog then read more of them, about 4400 so far, or read one or more of my evergreen truth books, especially EVERGREEN TRUTH, rays of truth in a human world filled with myths and deceptions.

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UPDATED NEW QUOTE BY ULDIS SPROGIS 727!!!

FotorCreated

If you liked this evergreen truth blog then read more of them, about 3700 so far, or read one or more of my evergreen truth books, especially EVERGREEN TRUTH, rays of truth in a human world filled with myths and deceptions.

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10 PSYCHOLOGICAL MYTHS AND THE REALITY!!!

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Ben Ambridge debunks 10 psychological myths in this ted.com video and the most important ones are about false beliefs about significant male vs. female ability strengths. Enjoy!!!

http://www.ted.com/talks/ben_ambridge_10_myths_about_psychology_debunked

If you liked this evergreen truth blog then read more of them, about 1300 so far, or read one or more of my evergreen truth books, especially COMMON SENSE, rays of truth in a human world filled with myths and deceptions.

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THE TRUTH ABOUT AGGRESSION***

aggressive-kids

Aggression: n. pursuing a goal(s) forcefully and/or threateningly which may include (body contact and/or violence) and/or a ((verbal threat(s) and/or verbal attack(s)) and/or physical attack(s))

Aggressiveness is part of human nature and many young offspring get into physical fights with siblings and other offspring and some even become bully problems for others. Society tries to channel aggression into less harmful pursuits such as wrestling, boxing, football, violent video games, and non-violent competition which minimizes the potential violence and harm which one human can do to another.

Despite acceptable forms of social aggression there are abusive families and considerable criminal violence which is always a part of society.

There is much verbal aggression which exists and human confrontations which result in combative arguments with each side trying to win with their point of view. Verbal aggression can be pretty nasty with harsh criticism, put downs, ridicule, name calling, and sometimes threats which imply physical harm such as “I will kill you!”

The struggle for dominance is part of animal behavior and human nature also has an abundance of it and ways of expressing it have acceptable social norms. Aggression causes fear and can result in passive compliance or a desire to retaliate immediately or at some point in the future.

Aggressive nations are feared just like aggressive humans but there is frequently the desire to retaliate rather than to passively submit.

Tyrants use aggression to make the ruled passively submit and are also more prone to extend their aggression beyond their borders because successful aggression at home tempts them to practice aggression abroad.

There is no one gene for aggression and we all have the potential for aggressive behavior. Some have a genetic makeup with more aggressive potential than others and are more predisposed to practice aggression in their lives.

Are males frequently more aggressive than females? Yes, because historically males have been stronger physically and dominated society with physical force more than mental force of persuasion. There are some pretty aggressive females in western societies but few choose to lead violent gangs and tyrant nations. Women’s liberation is really an attempt to escape the historical oppression which they have experienced and are continuing to experience under dominant male aggressiveness.

 

If you like this evergreen truth blog then read more of them, about 900 so far, and one or more of my evergreen truth books, especially COMMON SENSE, rays of truth in a human world filled with myths and deceptions.

For a complete readily accessible list of blogs and titles go to twitter.com/uldissprogis.

Enjoy!!!!!!