Tuesday, May 1, 2018

712: Now we can help evolution...

On March 25, 1900, in the same week that Arthur Evans made his first historical discovery,
the Dutch botanist Hugo de Vries (1848 - 1935) solved an extremely important piece of the evolutionary puzzle. 
That day he held a lecture for the German Botanical Association in Mannheim. 
De Vries had experimented since 1889 with the cultivation and crossing of plants, such as asters, chrysanthemums and violets. 
On the basis of these experiments, he told his audience, he had concluded that the features of a plant, the hereditary material, was made up of certain units. 
In other words, every property, such as the length of the stamens or the color of the leaves, corresponds to a "specific material carrier". 
Even though his concepts were primitive and he was still searching, that evening in Mannheim De Vries talked about what later  would be called the genes. 
In the first place, he noted that certain characteristics of flowers, such as the color of the leaves, 
always concerned one or the other, and never anything in between. For example, after crossing, they were white or red and never pink.
From that moment on there was almost an avalanche of new discoveries in genetics, from genes to DNA in the 20th century.
The first meaning of de Vries' his discovery was the confirmation and scientific substantiation of Darwin's evolution theory.
The 20th century thus meant a total revolution in how we look at ourselves. In stead of creatures of a god, we became  a part of the animal kingdom.
After 2000 year of christianity this new view on man became a threat for the dominance of the church.
When you now look at the landscape, you can see for yourself what the results are of what happened in the previous century.
But from a philosophical point of view this development in the 20th century also has brought us a huge ethical issue: eugenics
Eugenics is the philosophy and social movement that argues it is possible to improve the human race 
and society by encouraging reproduction by people or populations with “desirable” traits, termed “positive” eugenics 
and discouraging reproduction by people with “undesirable” qualities, termed “negative” eugenics. 
The eugenics movement began in the United States in the early part of the 20th century. 
The United States was the first country to have a systematic program for performing sterilizations on individuals without their knowledge or against their will.
During the 20th century, a total of 33 states had sterilization programs in place. It is thought that around 65,000 Americans were sterilized during this time period.
The eugenics movement in the U.S. slowly lost favor over time and was waning by the start of World War II. 
When the horrors of Nazi Germany became apparent, as well as Hitler’s use of eugenic principles to justify the atrocities, 
eugenics lost all credibility as a field of study or even an ideal that should be pursued.

The most significant difference between modern genetic technologies, that some view as eugenic, and the historical use of eugenics is consent.  
Today, individuals pursue genetic testing by choice.  An individual can never be forced into testing or be required to take action, 
such as sterilization, based on the results of a genetic test.  
Individuals differ in their views on genetic testing in relation to reproductive decision-making and possible eugenic motivations, 
but at least today parents have the choice to use the technology or not.
Nevertheless, where evolution needed millions of years to make man, the (re)making of man is now at our fingertips with genetic manipulation.
Just think of embryo screening today. As science advances, what traits might people be able to choose or select against, to ask just one question.
Is it acceptable for society to dictate genetic decisions to prospective parents? This is the ethical legacy of the 20th century.
Thank you for your attention again....^_^

The Discussion

[13:18] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): It will be interesting to see where this goes....
[13:18] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): can be dangerous like in WO 2
[13:18] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): several centuries ago could not even operate on a body
[13:18] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): yes
[13:18] herman Bergson: that is a gentle description of a perspective Gemma
[13:19] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): well there are times when they will be able to manipulate a fetus to prevent something like ALS
[13:19] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): does it lead to people who are all the same?
[13:19] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): or worse
[13:19] herman Bergson: We are able to remove the down syndrom from this earth for instance
[13:20] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): and prevent abortion
[13:20] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): right
[13:20] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): but looking for the perfect offspring just to be wonderful parents
[13:20] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): not so good
[13:20] herman Bergson: what is the perfect man?
[13:21] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): mine :)
[13:21] herman Bergson: who defines that?
[13:21] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): that is what the parents might like to decide
[13:21] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): their view of perfect
[13:21] herman Bergson: ok Beertje lol :-)
[13:21] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate) GIGGLES!!
[13:21] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): ...LOL...
[13:21] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): beertje
[13:21] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): what is perfection?
[13:21] CB Axel: That's why I don't think we'd all end up being the same. Different parents would like different traits.
[13:21] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): indeed
[13:21] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): your view of
[13:21] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): right cb
[13:21] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): but is that ethical
[13:21] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): ?
[13:22] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): preventing a terrible disease i say is yes
[13:22] herman Bergson: THAT is the big question....
[13:22] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): right
[13:22] CB Axel: I think it takes the fun out of seeing what you get. °͜°
[13:22] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): will be a while before w know
[13:22] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): if a child can be spared from a life nthreatening disease or something similar its a good thing
[13:22] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): yes
[13:22] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): its about how it is used i guess
[13:22] herman Bergson: and then we first have to deal with the question what we mean by ethical
[13:22] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): very true
[13:23] herman Bergson: not so easy anymore these days either
[13:23] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): ethical = not used for evil or bad things
[13:23] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): but was not easy 4 centuries ago either
[13:23] herman Bergson: no Bejiita....that doesnt work....
[13:23] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): stealing bodies to learn
[13:23] herman Bergson: because the concepts EVIL and BAD are already ethical concepts
[13:24] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): took a while for science to be undertood for medical purposes
[13:24] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): and we dont want either evil or bad things
[13:24] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): we want good things that benefits us all
[13:24] herman Bergson: sorry BEjiita....
[13:24] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): there are still people who wont takd a sick child to the hospital but rely on prayer
[13:25] CB Axel: There are those who think when a person is born with a genetic mutation, even one that causes suffering, it is still their god's plan and think that aborting that fetus is evil.
[13:25] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): i guess its more complex than that thogh
[13:25] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): yes cb
[13:25] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): we are still arguing about the same issues
[13:26] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): ohoh there goes bergie
[13:26] CB Axel: Those same people, when ill, will still go to a doctor. Isn't their illness part of their god's plan. I say let them suffer.
[13:26] herman Bergson: Welll...yes CB...we also have to face religious ideas which ignore scientific insights
[13:27] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): i think they can manipulate genes now to heal diseases
[13:27] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): not yet  i think is it allowed
[13:27] herman Bergson: Yes Beertje they can....
[13:27] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): yes, if you do the right things you can probably do that
[13:27] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): the DNA is basically the programming language of life
[13:27] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): i think stilll researching
[13:27] herman Bergson: that is...they can prevent someone to be bornwith a down syndrome for instance....
[13:27] herman Bergson: thus removing the gene from the hereditary line
[13:27] CB Axel: I don't mind them ignoring scientific insights nearly as much as I mind them ignoring their contradictions.
[13:28] CB Axel: Pick a side, religious zealots! Your god's plan or science improving your life.
[13:29] herman Bergson smiles
[13:29] herman Bergson: Yes CB....that is the whole point :-)
[13:29] herman Bergson: jBut humans are weird beings......
[13:29] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): or creating those who do this kind of research and advise
[13:30] herman Bergson: always the fundamental debate about the difference between knowledge and belief
[13:30] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): basic!!
[13:30] herman Bergson: very...Gemma
[13:30] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): still dont get that there are so many today who ignore facts and believe in religious magic and hokus pokus
[13:30] CB Axel: It's not just that debate. It's their inconsistent usage of their beliefs.
[13:31] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): i say PROVE that god exist and i will believe, cause then it is a fact
[13:31] CB Axel: wb, Bergie.
[13:31] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): wb bergie
[13:31] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): *~**~* Hey, Welcome back! *~**~*
[13:31] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):
[13:31] herman Bergson: bejiita.....which god....
[13:32] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): thats the other thing, everyone thinks just one god exist still there are millions of proposed ones
[13:32] Ciska Riverstone: hahaha
[13:32] bergfrau Apfelbaum: tyy ... i had a bluescreen
[13:32] herman Bergson: I have a list of more than 3000 gods who were worshipped in the past 2500 years
[13:32] Ciska Riverstone: bergi
[13:32] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): making it even mor unlogical tat a god will exist
[13:32] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): its just a mindghost
[13:32] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): must be crouwded in heaven Bejiita:)
[13:32] herman Bergson: oh that it is....
[13:32] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): agree
[[13:33] herman Bergson: but...just keep in mind.....
[13:33] herman Bergson: a lot of things we do is based on believe.....not on knowledge....
[13:33] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): thats true
[13:33] herman Bergson: we assume there is knowledge behind it....
[13:34] herman Bergson: for instance...
[13:34] herman Bergson: the doctor says you have xxx Y xxx...here is a pill
[13:34] herman Bergson: You say THANK YOU...
[13:34] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): we do ti all the time!!
[13:34] herman Bergson: totally nuts if you say...I only accept what I KNOW
[13:34] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate) GIGGLES!!
[13:34] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): ...LOL...
[13:34] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):
[13:34] herman Bergson: You  BELIEVE in such a situation
[13:35] CB Axel: I don't. LOL I ask for studies that show the pill works.
[13:35] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): at least that its not just a placebo
[13:35] herman Bergson: ok CB....And you died during your study of the literature :-))
[13:35] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): yep
[13:35] CB Axel: Good. Then I don't have to listen to people telling what to believe any more. °͜°
[13:36] herman Bergson: The pill would have saved you...but you lacked the faith :-)))
[13:36] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): hehe
[13:36] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): is living saving someone?
[13:36] Guestboook van tipjar stand: Gemma Cleanslate donated L$50. Thank you very much, it is much appreciated!
[13:36] CB Axel: Not caring whether I live or die has freed me from all of that.
[13:36] herman Bergson: You do it all day CB....
[13:37] herman Bergson: You goto the store...the sales person says...yes...really is good stuff...works...and you buy it :-)
[13:37] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): we are all dying
[13:37] herman Bergson: Oh yes Gemma....
[13:37] herman Bergson: the longer you live the sooner you will die :-))
[13:37] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): lol
[13:38] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): just not knowing when or how
[13:38] herman Bergson: But getting back to our main issue of Tuesday....
[13:38] CB Axel: What am I buying? Clothes that cover my body and keep me warm? Meat, fruits, and vegetables that fill my stomach?
[13:38] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): you just die from living, some short some long
[13:38] herman Bergson: We can MAKE man today....
[13:39] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate) GIGGLES!!
[13:39] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): ...LOL...
[13:39] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): what was the original issue
[13:39] CB Axel: Good question, Gemma. °͜°
[13:39] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): thought it was the effect of eugenics on philosophy
[13:39] herman Bergson: Genetic manipulation is possible....
[13:39] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): yes
[13:39] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): can we manipulate ur genens to live forever?
[13:40] herman Bergson: and we face serious ethical questions here
[13:40] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): who wil pay for us!!!!
[13:40] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): as long we are able to work (I really like my work so)
[13:40] herman Bergson: only the living ask to live forever.....
[13:41] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): not at 150!!
[13:41] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): bejita
[13:41] herman Bergson: how dumb can they be :-)
[13:41] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): but i say in theory it would be possible, as i said, DNA is the programming language of life
[13:41] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): i dont think i want to
[13:41] CB Axel: If genetic manipulation can make us live longer it should be able to make us live healthier, too, so working at age 150 would be possible.
[13:41] herman Bergson: ON this subject read Simone de Beauvoir....
[13:42] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): indeed
[13:42] CB Axel: The one's paying then are the young people who are waiting for us to die so they can get our jobs.
[13:42] herman Bergson: Don't know the English title...
[13:42] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): we wont know what to do with all the information in our brains!!
[13:42] herman Bergson: must be....All men are moral
[13:42] herman Bergson: or Nobody is immortal
[13:43] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): i liked her
[13:43] CB Axel: I already store information on my phone and computer.
[13:43] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate) GIGGLES!!
[13:43] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): ...LOL...
[13:43] CB Axel: My brain is full. I can't learn any more. °͜°
[13:43] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): but Simone didn't know at that time that it was possible to manipulate the genes
[13:43] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): it will all be a story at age 150 cb
[13:44] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): you don't have to know everything CB
[13:44] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): or to remember everything
[13:44] CB Axel: I know, Beertje. That's what Google is for.
[13:44] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):
[13:44] herman Bergson: I even use bookshelves CB :-)
[13:44] CB Axel: How retro!
[13:44] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): by the time you are 150 Google is dead
[13:44] herman Bergson: :-)))
[13:45] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): it will be all stored in a chip buried in our thumb anyway
[13:45] CB Axel: LOL
[13:45] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): hehe
[13:45] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): maybe
[13:45] CB Axel: I was just going to say that, Gemma.
[13:45] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): ha
[13:45] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): things to think about!
[13:45] herman Bergson: Ok...before we all die....thank you again for your participation ^_^
[13:45] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): ♥ Thank Youuuuuuuuuu!! ♥
[13:45] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): hehe
[13:45] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate) GIGGLES!!
[13:45] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): ...LOL...
[13:46] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): well cu next time
[13:46] herman Bergson: Class dismissed....
[13:46] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):
[13:46] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): i believe it's time to go to sleep
[13:46] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): yes
[13:46] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): sleep well
[13:46] CB Axel: That was fun.
[13:46] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate) GIGGLES!!
[13:46] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): ...LOL...
[13:46] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): if you can
[13:46] herman Bergson: Sweet dreams
[13:46] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):
[13:46] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): cu all
[13:46] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): bye for ow

[13:46] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): welterusten allemaal

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