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    #212716 - 03/15/15 01:21 PM Re: PRC Genetic Eugenics [Re: thx1138]
    aeh Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/26/14
    Posts: 3589
    Well, when you start talking about multi-locus traits, often on a continuum, it becomes less clear if we can or should select/eliminate on that basis. Some researchers believe that some level of psychopathy can be adaptive for both the individual line and the species. It's more a question of degree.

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    #212722 - 03/15/15 04:27 PM Re: PRC Genetic Eugenics [Re: thx1138]
    ljoy Offline
    Member

    Registered: 05/28/11
    Posts: 269
    Is there a moral distinction between externally applied selection - say, forced sterilization or required selection for certain traits - and individual choices that are enabled by new tech?

    From the article, it sounds like this would allow parents to make genetic choices for their own offspring. Of course, any tool can also be used in other ways; it would be an easy step to saying that government health care doesn't cover diseases that could be selected against, for instance.

    Even without external incentives, though, the ability to select the genetics of the next generation would result in the loss of some diversity. There are plenty of traits where this could be a bad thing.

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    #212749 - 03/16/15 09:50 AM Re: PRC Genetic Eugenics [Re: aeh]
    Bostonian Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/14/10
    Posts: 2593
    Loc: MA
    Originally Posted By: aeh
    Well, when you start talking about multi-locus traits, often on a continuum, it becomes less clear if we can or should select/eliminate on that basis. Some researchers believe that some level of psychopathy can be adaptive for both the individual line and the species. It's more a question of degree.

    Some harmful genes have been identified (see below), and I think that in the future, prospective parents who want to use technology to reduce the chance of their offspring having such genes should not be prevented from doing so.

    Violence genes may be responsible for one in 10 serious crimes
    By Sarah Knapton, Science Editor
    The Telegraph
    12:58PM GMT 28 Oct 2014
    Quote:
    The genes for extremely violent behaviour have been discovered by scientists who fear they may be responsible for one in 10 serious crimes.

    Researchers at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden analysed the genetic make-up of 895 criminals from Finland to see if violence was in their DNA.

    The majority of violent crime is committed by a small group of antisocial, repeat offenders, who seem incapable of rehabilitation.

    Now scientists believe they have found which genes are responsible for high levels of rage and violence. They believe that they could be responsible for up to 10 per cent of serious crime in Finland.

    The criminals who had committed the most serious crimes, such as murder, were found to have variants of two genes; monoamine oxidase A (MAOA) and cadherin 13 (CDH13).

    MAOA is linked to dopamine levels in the brain, a chemical which makes people feel happy and fulfilled. CDH13 is linked to impulse control.

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    #212752 - 03/16/15 10:40 AM Re: PRC Genetic Eugenics [Re: Bostonian]
    aeh Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/26/14
    Posts: 3589
    Originally Posted By: Bostonian
    Originally Posted By: aeh
    Well, when you start talking about multi-locus traits, often on a continuum, it becomes less clear if we can or should select/eliminate on that basis. Some researchers believe that some level of psychopathy can be adaptive for both the individual line and the species. It's more a question of degree.

    Some harmful genes have been identified (see below), and I think that in the future, prospective parents who want to use technology to reduce the chance of their offspring having such genes should not be prevented from doing so.

    Violence genes may be responsible for one in 10 serious crimes
    By Sarah Knapton, Science Editor
    The Telegraph
    12:58PM GMT 28 Oct 2014
    Quote:
    The genes for extremely violent behaviour have been discovered by scientists who fear they may be responsible for one in 10 serious crimes.

    Researchers at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden analysed the genetic make-up of 895 criminals from Finland to see if violence was in their DNA.

    The majority of violent crime is committed by a small group of antisocial, repeat offenders, who seem incapable of rehabilitation.

    Now scientists believe they have found which genes are responsible for high levels of rage and violence. They believe that they could be responsible for up to 10 per cent of serious crime in Finland.

    The criminals who had committed the most serious crimes, such as murder, were found to have variants of two genes; monoamine oxidase A (MAOA) and cadherin 13 (CDH13).

    MAOA is linked to dopamine levels in the brain, a chemical which makes people feel happy and fulfilled. CDH13 is linked to impulse control.

    Haven't read the journal article, so I can't comment on this specific research, but I will just mention that a finding that the population of violent criminals is enriched for a particular allele is not the same as saying that all--or even most--persons with that allele are criminals. Leaving aside the question of the criminal persons, do the non-criminal persons with the variant have a right to exist?

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    #212755 - 03/16/15 11:04 AM Re: PRC Genetic Eugenics [Re: Bostonian]
    suevv Offline
    Member

    Registered: 08/10/12
    Posts: 381


    Bostonian wrote: "Some harmful genes have been identified (see below), and I think that in the future, prospective parents who want to use technology to reduce the chance of their offspring having such genes should not be prevented from doing so."

    Correlation is not causation.


    Edited by suevv (03/16/15 11:05 AM)
    Edit Reason: I cannot figure out quoting.

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    #212756 - 03/16/15 11:05 AM Re: PRC Genetic Eugenics [Re: thx1138]
    aquinas Offline
    Member

    Registered: 11/02/12
    Posts: 2277
    Following on aeh's excellent point, even if there were a perfect one-to-one mapping of "undesired" traits to specific alleles, genetics aren't deterministic. There is currently a very limited understanding of the role of epigenetics in gene expression.

    I'm reminded of the old joke about econometricians. Three professors are tasked with studying a black cat that has been placed in a windowless box without moving the box: a mathematician, a macroeconomist, and an econometrician. The mathematician tries first and is quickly driven mad by the ludicrousness of the task. Next, the macroeconomist tries and claims he has devised a series of graphical models that map the movements of the cat. Finally, not to be outdone, the econometrician studies the box for a short while, then declares that he has caught the cat by the scruff of the neck.

    _________________________
    Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.

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    #212757 - 03/16/15 11:05 AM Re: PRC Genetic Eugenics [Re: Bostonian]
    Dude Offline
    Member

    Registered: 10/04/11
    Posts: 2856
    Originally Posted By: Bostonian
    Originally Posted By: aeh
    Well, when you start talking about multi-locus traits, often on a continuum, it becomes less clear if we can or should select/eliminate on that basis. Some researchers believe that some level of psychopathy can be adaptive for both the individual line and the species. It's more a question of degree.

    Some harmful genes have been identified (see below), and I think that in the future, prospective parents who want to use technology to reduce the chance of their offspring having such genes should not be prevented from doing so.

    Violence genes may be responsible for one in 10 serious crimes
    By Sarah Knapton, Science Editor
    The Telegraph
    12:58PM GMT 28 Oct 2014
    Quote:
    The genes for extremely violent behaviour have been discovered by scientists who fear they may be responsible for one in 10 serious crimes.

    Researchers at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden analysed the genetic make-up of 895 criminals from Finland to see if violence was in their DNA.

    The majority of violent crime is committed by a small group of antisocial, repeat offenders, who seem incapable of rehabilitation.

    Now scientists believe they have found which genes are responsible for high levels of rage and violence. They believe that they could be responsible for up to 10 per cent of serious crime in Finland.

    The criminals who had committed the most serious crimes, such as murder, were found to have variants of two genes; monoamine oxidase A (MAOA) and cadherin 13 (CDH13).

    MAOA is linked to dopamine levels in the brain, a chemical which makes people feel happy and fulfilled. CDH13 is linked to impulse control.


    Sure, because tampering with small details in complex systems doesn't result in unintended consequences, ever. Plus, dopamine levels and impulse control only apply to violent crimes. I'm sure we won't find these same gene variants in people who are happy or spontaneous.

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    #212758 - 03/16/15 11:13 AM Re: PRC Genetic Eugenics [Re: thx1138]
    suevv Offline
    Member

    Registered: 08/10/12
    Posts: 381
    A quote from the second half of the article (that was not included in Bostonian's snip)":

    "Prof Jan Schnupp, Professor of Neuroscience, University of Oxford, added: "Half the people in your office will carry these genes. Odds are 50/50 that you do. How violent has your day been? To call these alleles "genes for violence" would therefore be a massive exaggeration.

    "In combination with many other factors these genes may make it a little harder for you to control violent urges, but they most emphatically do not predetermine you for a life of crime.”"

    Or, as I said above - correlation is not causation.

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    #212762 - 03/16/15 12:17 PM Re: PRC Genetic Eugenics [Re: thx1138]
    75west Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/11/11
    Posts: 471
    I'm in the middle of reading Bryan Sykes's book, Adam's Curse, and am reminded what the benefits for a species that reproduces via sex (as opposed to sex-free species such as the dandelion or whiptail lizard): to stay one step ahead of parasites. There is a limited capacity to adapt to changing environments with a species that reproduces without sex. Genetic variation and shuffling is organized through sex.

    This doesn't meant that there isn't a benefit on the individual level for IVF, genetic testing, or identifying genes in some way. There is. Down's syndrome is a good example. The risk for Down's syndrome increases with maternal age and dramatically so after age 40.

    It's one thing for women to screen for Down's willingly. I'm not sure women will screen willingly for a pedophile or a Jeffrey Dahmer. The risk for Down's is associated with age of the mother, the age of the eggs, the conditions/environment of the uterus. It seems less personal, invasive, and subjective.

    To screen for violent offenders before or while you're pregnant, takes it to another level, it seems. Not saying that some wouldn't decide to take such a test; but it seems something could be countered or controlled with one's environment rather than something like Dwarfism which individuals cannot change with their environment.

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    #213486 - 03/30/15 03:59 PM Re: PRC Genetic Eugenics [Re: thx1138]
    Edward Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/19/14
    Posts: 52
    I dont buy the violence gene theory. We are all born with violent genes, otherwise none of use would be here. Environment determines what traits are strengthened or weakened.


    To me using genetics to explain behavior is partly a witch hunt, much like has been trying to find a genetic marker for mental illness.

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