Arjen ten Have
from Bioinformatics, Comparative Genomics and Molecular Evolution
onto Darwinian Ascension
Hold on, hold your horses. The good, the bad or the inevitable. This has many aspects, most of them are ethical. 1 NGS might be used to increase success rateof IVF, that is good. 2 NGS might be used to perform multiple genetic screenings in order to select out BAD embryos, that is good as well. 3 NGS might be used to perfrom multiple genetics screenings in order to select for GOOD embryos. Is that bad? On itself no, it is not really different from the former. Still most people will tend to say number 3 is bad since you can, well theoretically, select all the characters of your unborn. Many genetic diseases can be detected but what is a disease? Down syndrome? Diabetes? There are many "accepted" genetic diseases parents do ot not wish for their children. So how about beauty? It has recenlt been shown that beautiful people are more happy than ugly people (yeahyeah, of course that is a generalization). I would not be surprised if intelligent people are more happy than the dummies. So, do we consider an IQ of 95 as a disease? Not that we already can read beauty and IQ from a genome sequence (but we will) but it just to make a point. OK let's say it is INEVITABLE. There will always be people that want that. On the hand I must add that actually NGS might be instrumental (such a cold word) in the battle against relaxed selection (=the quality of medical care allows for bad specimens to reproduce, this is not the natural way, we take out selection). You simply do the selection prior to life. That would be alike sexual selection, in evolutionary terms an example of HARD selection. So that would be GOOD no? Or do we actually create two races? The rich race that gets more apt with every generation and the poor race that remains with relaxed selection? That would be BAD. All a bit speculative maybe but we need to think about these things since they are INEVITABLE, My personnal opinion comes with word GENERALIZATION. I would screen for lets say IQ below 75 but not for below 95. I would screen for Parkinson but not for high cheek bones and a straight nose. Why? Because to the best of my knowledge, these do and don't affect happines without having to add IN GENERAL. Really dumb people are less happy and having Parkinson does not make you happy. I know people with high IQ are also unhappy (Hence, I would go for 80-120?). It is kind of UGLY, to think about it.....