[ExI] Fwd: Dope was Re: state of conflict technology

Dave Sill sparge at gmail.com
Tue Jan 14 00:53:24 UTC 2020

On Mon, Jan 13, 2020 at 5:47 PM William Flynn Wallace via extropy-chat <
extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org> wrote:

> I think we now know how to prevent cystic fibrosis.  Any scientific
>> procedure can have unintended complications, but morally I would go ahead
>> and prevent it.  Wouldn't you?
As a hypothetical, sure. Obviously nobody wants anyone to have CF. And that
may be one of the low-hanging fruit, where the genetic cause clear and
simple and the downsides clearly outweigh any potential upsides. But there
are thousands of illnesses caused by genetic defects, and many have
multiple contributing genetic factors and the downsides are much less dire.
E.g., something like a disposition towards vitiligo, which is mostly
cosmetic...say fixing it turns out to have some bad side effect later in
life like increased Alzheimer's risk.

> And natural selection is so very slow.  After all, barring some truly
>> impossible event, humans are here to stay.
Just because it hasn't happened yet doesn't mean it's impossible. And if
poorly thought out genetic mods break something, it could be more likely.

> Offspring not making it to maturity and not passing on genes is likely to
>> do little to extinguish those genes - too many people around with them.
Well, that's exactly how natural selection works. Bad genes die out all the

>   As for mutations, I don't know what you are talking about.  I was
>> talking about known diseases to eliminate.
Genetic changes are the origin of the genetic flaws that cause genetic
diseases. Mutations are also the source of genetic changes that result in
improvements. Do we want a stagnant gene pool, or do we want the kind of
diversity that's worked for millions of years?

If we knew the human genome inside and out and knew all of the upsides and
downsides to edits, that would be one thing. But we're still mostly in the
dark. It's too soon to make self-editing routine.

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