Thursday, February 21, 2008

Careful With That Axe, Eugene

A bit of continuation of today's in-class discussion of eugenics and forced evolution as a result of human intervention: As Ana noted in class, standards are constantly changing and it is very dangerous to eliminate human traits based on current trends. Furthermore, it is such a new topic and there is so little we know in comparison to what there is to know and the complex structure of our bodies. The Human Genome Project took 13 years to complete and is still under careful analysis. We still know very little about the actual details of our composition, and as is often seen in science, opinions and "facts" change with time as new evidence is revealed. Instead of using studies such as this to begin slicing and dicing our DNA, it should be used as a resource to gain a better understanding of who we are at the microscopic level.

As far as natural selection goes, I'm not so sure that picking out certain genes and eliminating them really falls under the title. With all the technology and other aspects of our life in the US and other developed countries, there is no reason to be killing off part of a person's personality just because it is viewed as a weakness. In many cases, being born at a disadvantage causes people to work harder and fight to achieve their goals, often more successfully than a person like me who has not had to fight for too much in my life.

Also, if you think about many of the influential people in history, there was usually something "a little off" with them that arguably could be credited with their success and influence. The hardship of a disability can be turned into drive and motivation to fight for what they believe in and really make a change while many people are content with what they have and apathetic to the world around. And, while apathy is essential to our democratic system, we only need a certain amount.

In a nutshell: Individuality good

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