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Designer Bub

Discussion in 'Small Talk' started by mentalconnection, Mar 20, 2009.

  1. I was just flicking through the channels, and I saw a show talking about parents that can choose what they're Bubs look like. I wanted to see what you guys see.
    Personally I think it is wrong. Don't mess with mother nature. Like in the movies, this feels like something that'll be a huge fad. Then it'll end up being the end of the world. What if the world becomes full of brown haired people.It also said that they could choose their fitness. This is definitely wrong. They may start of skinny. But as the world becomes more dependent on electronics and such. So I just wanted to see what you guys think. Thanks for reading this ;)
  2. Before I start to make assumptions on what you are talking about, what's a 'bub'? This will help greatly to determine whether you're against desinger babies (as I'm assuming you are) or against desinger vacuum cleaners.
  3. Uh, Babie I meant. Sorry If I confused you.
  4. I just find it annoying to work out random slang that I've never encountered before.

    Desinger baby talk was all the rage a few years ago on the early morning news couch-talk, if I remember correctly. There was seems to be a massive hubbub over thngs like this, that parents would be so fickle as to choose their future child's hair or eye colour or that the any geneticist will do it for money. Personally I find the idea of choosing your child's tones, I suppose to's best to call them, is pointless and, at worst, bordering tyranical. Though you are the parent, who are you to say that your child would prefer blue eyes over brown or even the much rarer violet (or even the reverse, would you willing subject your child to years of self doubt by making them an obsucre quirk?).

    I see and agree with the need for screening when it comes to genetic defiencies: recently a woman had her a child who was free of an hereditary gene which greatly increases the risk of contracting breast cancer, that's a worthy cause.

    Of course, when it comes to inheretiable and genetic conditions, some people would want Down's Syndrome while other's would be vehemently against it, for a vareity of reasons on both sides. You can't really say who is right and who is wrong in ALL cases, as for the most part it's circumstancial. In my current condition I couldn't look after any sort of new born, let alone one which was disabled, either mildly or severely. Of course there are those who have 'learnt to cope' or who have 'struggled through', but it's not my place to talk on such things. I guess for such things I take a more Utilitarian point of view, which could come as somewhat cold and emotionless. I'm now just realising this is niether here nor there.

    Should genetic screening or actual genetic tinkering become easier and cheaper to do, it is more than likely that it would be heavily controlled by any government (or outright banned). Though it goes against some of my beliefs, I'd have to agree with the controls. I wouldn't want to live in a world where every man was straight and every woman bi because it panders better to whatever chauvanistic zeitgeist happens to be in fashion at the moment. I can see an arguement for choosing hair colour arising, seeing as the natural blond/es and red heads are actually disappearing and preserving them would preserve our race's genetic heritage in a way.

    Really, genetic screening and tinkering should be approached in a much similar way to abortion, I feel, as the two are, surprisingly, somewhat similar. A woman and her partner (as I believe that any who is having a child should involve the father or whoever might be helping to care for the child in any and all desicion making) might have an abortion because of severe disabilities in the future child (this is easier than just calling it an unborn baby of feotus, it reflects the sort of 'suspened' nature of the subject, without attaching too many emotional ties or removing them) they might also screen for the same reasons. What I'm getting at is that in cases where it is likely that a faimly has an hereditary disease or condition that would greatly diminish the happiness and welfare of all involved then genetic screening or tinkering could be a viable option to have. It should not, I believe not ever, be used to choose the sexuality, skin/eye/hair colour, fitness level (unless we are talking something along the lines of genetic obesity which can't be combated most other ways) or any other trivial matters.

    A society is made of individuals, not clones. It should forever remain this way.

    (I mean not to offend anyone with this post, I was just speaking my mind.)
  5. Hmmm...interesting topic.

    Before I say anything, I should say that these are my opinions and mine alone. I won't pass judgment or disrespect anyone who disagrees with me.

    I don't like the idea of picking out hair, eye color, etc in unborn babies. This seems like the type of things that could open a huge can of worms and cause many problems later on. Letting humans pick this sort of thing just seems inherently flawed. I can't put my finger on it, but it just gives me a foreboding feeling. It reminds me of a story a few years back where two deaf women who wanted a child who was deaf as well. Perhaps this is just me not having faith in humanity. Who knows, maybe none of the bad things we fear might happen will never come to pass.

    I believe that this sort of thing should be in the hands of nature because I just don't see the point in it. Are you going to pick that your child have certain characteristics because you prefer it? As idealistic as this may sound, I believe that you shouldn't care what your child ends up looking like.

    And because of the way genetics work, blonde/red hair, blue eyes etc won't disappear. The genes that control these traits are recessive, so all you need is two people with these recessive genes to have children and those children will have a chance to express the trait. This is why two brown haired people can have a blonde child and why some of my family members have hazel eyes despite being African American.
  6. it's ridiculous. i bet it makes god angry or whoever you believe in xD
    wouldn't you be curious what your baby will look like?

    in the future.. there will be clones! everybody will have blond hair and blue eyes!!
  7. Ooh, this is like all we've been talking about in Biology recently :D

    I'm somewhat undecided I guess, I can see why it would be good, and I can also see why it'd be bad.

    We watched a video in Biology one class and in it there was this woman who desperately wanted to have a daughter, but so far had only three sons. She saw some doctors and had an in vitro fertilization done to raise her chances of having a girl. Unfortunately, when the baby was born it was a boy. She was so disappointed, since she had been positive it was going to be a girl, that she didn't even want to hold or see her child.

    Sure it'd be nice to have your baby look how you want it, but what if something goes wrong and it doesn't?

    And on the other hand, it could be a positive thing. You could make your baby look like your father or something, to honor them. I dunno.

    I guess after writing this I'm kinda actually leaning more towards the 'no, it's bad' side. So much for me being neutral :p
  8. Magpie

    Magpie Feathered Overseer
    Staff Member Moderator

    It's just self-image gone insane. Babies aren't fashion accessories that have to look perfect, they're living people.

    I could just see the whole thing getting out of hand. First it just starts out as simple things, like making sure there are no health problems. Then it becomes "I want. I want. I want." Hair, eyes, height, build, gender, looks, personality. The whole lot. It would completely upset the balance of genes and the like. Imagine countries where parents prefer male children. Given this 'power', it would probably cause huge problems in the future, with hardly any girls being born.

    We'd probably all end up looking the same as well, since conformity dictates what features/colours are 'good looking' and 'Sexy'. People are people because of differences. It's what gives us stuff to talk about and new things to learn. If we all knew the exact same things then life we get boring very quickly.

    Imagine how those born 'out of the mold' would feel, if all their class mates were 'designer' and looked similar, while he/she had been born naturally without interference. As people, we'd take this power and abuse it until it backfired.

    The only way I can see it being used for good, is in getting rid of certain health problems. But again, if all babies were made perfect on that front, would that cause problems with the immune system failing? We wouldn't know until it was too late. I nearly died as a week old baby, due to a health complaint that had been 'missed'. It was touch and go, but I survived. Had that not happened, my immune/body defenses may have been weaker and something could have killed me later... there's no way of knowing.

    They're just my views. The soul is far more important than the body, and with perfection becoming so rife I could see it suffering. Let Nature do what Nature does best. Yes it can be cruel, but we as a race are not above that cruelness, nor should be try to be.
  9. Psycho Monkey

    Psycho Monkey Member of the Literary Elite Four

    I am completely and 100% AGAINST designer babies. I am a firm believer in survival of the fittest and natural selection. By picking your offspring's traits denies nature from making the child stronger or superior to the generation before.

    Say designer babies becomes really popular and brown hair becomes a fad one generation. Not only is there no genetic diversity that generation, but what if a hypothetical virus comes along that only effects brown haired people hypothetically. There will be a huge downward spike in human population and the entire generation may be wiped out.

    While on topic about viruses and sicknesses, I don't even think babies need that modified. I had chicken pox, I had colds, I had strep throat, and I had stomache viruses. So will my offspring. Sicknesses build the immune system which in turn makes the organism stronger. Sure it's no fun to be sick, but if you live you'll be fine. To alter the baby to resist illness off the bat is cheating, because the child will not get stronger, will not be as resilient to disease as one who has fended off a cold, and when that moster virus comes around the child will die. It would be the same with school, give the kid an A even when (s)he doesn't deserve it does not preparing him/her for the real world. Tis maddness.

    Genetic screening between myself and my mate is as far as I would go just to see if our genes are compatable. After that it's sweet monkey sex and what ever we get is what we get. I'm not going to mix and match until I have the perfect little arian baby just because it's what I want because that is wrong on more levels than there are cells in our body. I'll let nature decide what my offspring will look like. And if this stupidity takes off and becomes mainstream, then my offspring can be proud that they are the only natural kids in their class.
  10. Ehmm... Well, I think most of the above posters have gone through the good and bad, but here's my two cents as well.

    Mostly, it just makes me think of breeding animals. People have totally screwed up bulldogs because they wanted certain traits. They have the traits to help it fight a bull, but they also have bad breathing and heart problems. I've also seen a really weird cat that walks on it's front elbows rather than it's feet. The lady who owned it thought it was cute so she bred it, lo and behold, there are more of those cats. Survival of the fittest would've taken out those bad traits so the rest of the species could survive.
    Now with humans, it's a bit different. We can't really have a good percent of our population die because they have hereditary diseases or can't function, it's against human nature and some of the best minds are in broken vessels, like Stephen Hawking for example. My older brother has a congenital heart defect, when he was two he had to get his heart patched up. When he has kids I don't think he's going to get a designer baby, even if he could pass on his defect.
    I think some of the people who want these babies don't really know what they're getting into. Sure it might be cute that a kid has violet eyes, but the fact that the parent had a choice instead of leaving it to what nature intended feels a bit wrong to me. I think those parents are going to have to talk to their kids almost like they were adopted, having to explain that the reason that they look the way they do is because they ordered them that way. I couldn't ever do that to my kids.​
  11. StellarWind Elsydeon

    StellarWind Elsydeon Armblades Ascendant
    Staff Member Administrator

    Oh yes, that's exactly what humanity needs. A legitimate excuse to breed goddamned real-life Mary Sues.

    Granted, there are always the limitations of the parental chromosomes - if the parent genome doesn't have the genes for light eyes, no matter HOW many splices you'll put them through, they won't have light-eyed babies. Unless humanity finds a way to splice genes that far. Recombinant DNA is tricky business enough in things with less complex DNA than humans, let alone in humans.

    There's only one thing I approve of in regards to the genetic scrambling of the next generation - and that is, spotting potential genetic diseases in advance and prevent them from happening. And I'm all for that - or at least I believe prospective parents should have the right to make that choice - if they both carry the gene for a recessive-alelle-triggered disease, they should have at least the right to know of that and be made aware of the risk and given the option to prevent it. Even MORESO the case in DOMINANT-Alelle-triggered diseases like Huntington's.

    Re: the comparison someone made to abortions... it's very similar, indeed, except that unlike abortions, where there are these huge ethical debates about at what point of gestation does this cluster of proto-human cells stop being a cluster of cells and becomes a sentient creature. Gametes don't even have that. They're just cells with half the genetic material rendering the whole thing moot.

    ... Of course on the other angle, there is the matter of tampering with the balance of nature and promoting humanity from breeding even MORE without some genetic diseases thinning the herd on occasion. But then, Nature is very good at killing things. Genetic diseases resolved would just give nature an excuse to whip up something even nastier. (shrugs)

    Also, the movie GATTACA and its genetic discrimination policy comes to mind...
  12. Same here. If the "designer baby" thing does indeed come to pass, there will always be a subset of people who aren't designer for all kinds of reasons (poverty, parents making a statement, etc). There will be discrimination against these people who may not even have any real problems just a chance to develop one--just like in Gattica.

    ...and quite frankly, I'm surprised Stel didn't reply to this sooner XD. And the first paragraph brings up a good point.
  13. I've heard about that too.
    It's pretty ridiculous if you ask me.
    So I guess some people want to have genetically "perfect children".
    Maybe for some it's for health reasons but I've actually seen people talking about how they want their kid to be blonde or green eyed or right handed. That doesn't make an ounce of sense. I know I'm not perfect. Guess I'm lucky my parents didn't throw me out of the womb. :-\
  14. There's no such thing as 'perfect', not really. A human's beauty is based on a law of averages and, yes, it can be calculated based on the proportions of the individual (you've heard of the bust-waist-hip ratio I take it?). Of course the old saying 'beauty is in the eye of the beholder' still rings true.

    I partially agree with what other people have said (Stel and Psycho Monkey pointed this out for the most part though): if there's a... I suppose 'genetic ignorance' in the new designed babies which makes them sucepetible to previously unknown (or non-existant as they would most likely be the result of mutations) diseases there will be a problem. Quite a big one in fact.

    There is also the problem of greed. You can legislate as much as you like (*points to New Labour and the EU suits*) but there will be some Doctors who wil tade in their integurity for money. I do hope though, that if this does happen, there will be new codes of conduct - and laws - which prevent the manipulation of genetics to make it so that a child has automatic immunity. It sounds nice, doesn't it? Not having to play with the creepy fat kid just so that you get the chicken pox; but what of the future repocutions? How could automatic immunity affect the child's risk-taking? If they've been given immunity to most common contagions, what's to say they're not also immune to STD's, retro-viruses and other nasties? That's sounds great, doesn't it, but what if they're not and just think they're immune?

    We'll face the cries of a 'slippery slope', as we do currently with euthanaisa and abortion. Yes the genetic screening will have a purpose, but there will be thoe who do it for the wrong reasons, those who go to far and those for whom the entire thing goes wrong. I'd just hope that soon our ethics and morality will be better able to tackle these sorts of things. I remember talking about the possibility of sexuality being genetically based and the problems people (of any sexuality) could face if that proves true. Remember the third X-Men movie? You'd end up with lobby-ists of each faction screaming at each other over whether there should or should not be a drug treatment (it wouldn't be a single injection, that's just sily).

    I guess what I'm trying to get at is the need some people have for total control. Absolute power corrupts absolutly. Our society is based on differences getting along, not clones marching down the street in step with each other.

    (What was that book... Brave New World?)

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