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#16608 - 12/21/08 10:07 AM Designer babies
Dimitri Offline
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Registered: 07/13/08
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FULL ARTICLE --> http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,989987-1,00.html

Designer Babies
By MICHAEL D. LEMONICK;David Bjerklie and Alice Park/New York and Dick Thompson/Washington Monday, Jan. 11, 1999

Until just a few years ago, making a baby boy or a baby girl was pretty much a hit-or-miss affair. Not anymore. Parents who have access to the latest genetic testing techniques can now predetermine their baby's sex with great accuracy--as Monique and Scott Collins learned to their delight two years ago, when their long-wished-for daughter Jessica was born after genetic prescreening at a fertility clinic in Fairfax, Va.

And baby Jessica is just the beginning. Within a decade or two, it may be possible to screen kids almost before conception for an enormous range of attributes, such as how tall they're likely to be, what body type they will have, their hair and eye color, what sorts of illnesses they will be naturally resistant to, and even, conceivably, their IQ and personality type.

In fact, if gene therapy lives up to its promise, parents may someday be able to go beyond weeding out undesirable traits and start actually inserting the genes they want--perhaps even genes that have been crafted in a lab. Before the new millennium is many years old, parents may be going to fertility clinics and picking from a list of options the way car buyers order air conditioning and chrome-alloy wheels. "It's the ultimate shopping experience: designing your baby," says biotechnology critic Jeremy Rifkin, who is appalled by the prospect. "In a society used to cosmetic surgery and psychopharmacology, this is not a big step."

The prospect of designer babies, like many of the ethical conundrums posed by the genetic revolution, is confronting the world so rapidly that doctors, ethicists, religious leaders and politicians are just starting to grapple with the implications--and trying to decide how they feel about it all.

They still have a bit of time. Aside from gender, the only traits that can now be identified at the earliest stages of development are about a dozen of the most serious genetic diseases. Gene therapy in embryos is at least a few years away. And the gene or combination of genes responsible for most of our physical and mental attributes hasn't even been identified yet, making moot the idea of engineering genes in or out of a fetus. Besides, say clinicians, even if the techniques for making designer babies are perfected within the next decade, they should be applied in the service of disease prevention, not improving on nature.
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Article continues --> see link.

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Any ethical/moral or other sorts of comments about "desiging your perfect baby"? Let's have a discussion about it. What if people can "build" their children about their looks and so on. Doesn't it show some disrespect to another "equal" being? You can still say it is just a small child and he'll live with it. But what if the child wanted to look different? Isn't this going to lead towards some struggle for becoming "the perfect being?".
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#16611 - 12/21/08 10:36 AM Re: Designer babies [Re: Dimitri]
Ringmaster Offline
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Registered: 04/07/08
Posts: 205
Loc: Salem Oregon
Why would it be wrong to do such a thing? But then again right and wrong are only measured by what one likes and what one dislikes when it comes to morals. I think that it would be a good thing to have a child turn out the way you want it to.

I mean look at the mothers who always wanted a baby girl and had only boys and the fathers who wanted a boy and got all girls. If it really makes them feel better about themselves go for it. It isn't my life that they are changing. I personally wouldn't do it because it makes no never mind to me if when I feel I am ready to bring a child into this world wheither it be a boy or a girl.

I guess it's all personal preferance. It's like abortion, not everyone is going to agree or disagree with it.
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#16627 - 12/21/08 12:04 PM Re: Designer babies [Re: Ringmaster]
Nemesis Offline
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Registered: 09/01/07
Posts: 2175
Loc: US
Genetic engineering could also work to solve the overpopulation problems we're facing. Just as ringmaster suggested, if a man wanted a boy, and instead of having five girls and still not getting what he wanted, they could settle on ONE boy. That's four less kids to feed, clothe, and support because they got what they wanted the first time around.

It could also weed out a lot of undesirable physical family traits, like big noses, weird moles, being super-hairy, ugly feet, etc.

Another possibility is that this would create a bias against babies that are born naturally, with no meddling of DNA, and give them a kind of second-class status, as they're not one of "the beautiful people".

Another drawback is that the human race would be homogenized to some extent, and everyone would start to look the same. Ethnicity would become a thing of the past, and would create a lot of people with low self-esteem if they were accidentally born with a small imperfection.

I'm for it, and against it at the same time. If taken to extremes, I think it could be detrimental in the long run for our race. But otherwise, the idea has merit.
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#16628 - 12/21/08 12:17 PM Re: Designer babies [Re: Nemesis]
Jake999 Offline
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Registered: 11/02/08
Posts: 2230
"You'll pick your sons, daughters too, from the bottom of a long glass tube."
2525 - Zaeger and Evans

In parts of the far east, the selection of children has been done through abortion on a primitive scale. Asians who want boys instead of girls have early sexual determination tests and terminate the pregnancy, if the don't like the choice.

It's almost inevitable that in the not that distant future, designer kids will be available, as well as cloned offspring. What this will do to the structure of society could be calamitous, or, it could merely be a bump in the road. For certain, at least in the foreseeable future, it would be an option for the richest of couples. And there will always be a segment of society that because of inability to pay and scruples against interfering with "god's handiwork," will never take advantage of such advancements.

But it could lead to enclaves of "beautiful people..." or those who are genetically bred to be intellectually superior. Eugenics and selective breeding have had limited success in this area, but it seems it could be more achievable through DNA and genetics.


Edited by Jake999 (12/21/08 12:52 PM)
Edit Reason: Lyrics change - Thanks Dan... musta had a brain fart.
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#16629 - 12/21/08 12:24 PM Re: Designer babies [Re: Jake999]
Dimitri Offline
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Registered: 07/13/08
Posts: 3119
Actually when I wrote, read and uploaded the article on this forum one of the questions wich came to my mind was: If we can design our babies. Isn't there a slight change media and economical based things would put an influence on it in the form of "fasion". Like It would become a fashion by using genetic engeneering for your baby to have 4 arms (I'm exagerrating I know).
Doesn't this lead to more disrespect towards other creatures or better: disrespect towards ourselves? I'm quite sure if "building you own baby" is legal, there will be some sort of fashion how parents wants their baby to look like. I wouldn't imagine how certain parents who are fans of Star wars wants their little child look like Jabba the hut..


Edited by Dimitri (12/21/08 12:25 PM)
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#16633 - 12/21/08 01:39 PM Re: Designer babies [Re: Dimitri]
silligum_diaboli Offline
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Registered: 02/28/08
Posts: 16
Loc: redhill, surrey , UK
I think that okay in some circumstances when the parents really want a boy or a girl then it might be fine, but I think that this is taking life into a new meaning where the real purpose of having children I feel has been lost

there is nothing wrong with making sure your children are less likely to get diseases but to chose the hair, height and eyes? shouldnt parents love their children for who they are rather than what they look like?

I think the whole argument of the desginer baby is flawed because of the plain fact that nothing is perfect, this strive for perfection is nothing more than the bleak effects of consumerism where everything has to be bigger , better.

Overall I think medically it has the potential to solve some problems and socially to cause more.
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#16637 - 12/21/08 01:59 PM Re: Designer babies [Re: silligum_diaboli]
Dan_Dread Offline
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Registered: 10/08/08
Posts: 3813
Loc: Vancouver, Canada
 Quote:

I think that this is taking life into a new meaning where the real purpose of having children I feel has been lost

And just what might that 'real purpose' be?

 Quote:

shouldnt parents love their children for who they are rather than what they look like?

Your genes are not just 'what you look like' but also largely who you are as well. But even regardless of this, the egalitarian tone of this comment makes me shake my head in disgust, just a bit.
 Quote:

nothing is perfect, this strive for perfection is nothing more than the bleak effects of consumerism where everything has to be bigger , better.

If you really believe this you should be right now living an amish lifestyle, or you are a complete hypocrite. The fact that you are using a computer proves the latter.
Perhaps you would choose dogmatic stagnation, and protect the idea of life as some sort of divine sacred cow? It's this exact sort of thinking that has been impeding stem cell research and anti-aging research every step of the way.
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#16641 - 12/21/08 02:14 PM Re: Designer babies [Re: Dan_Dread]
silligum_diaboli Offline
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Registered: 02/28/08
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Loc: redhill, surrey , UK
I think your misunderstanding me and taking this a little too personally no? Its my personal opinion of mind over matter, that life should be seem more important then machinery which you can upgrade and perfect.

I think I made it clear that I dont have a problem with medical research I was talking about cosmetic engineering which I feel is creating a bigger push for people live up to ideals.
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#16642 - 12/21/08 02:20 PM Re: Designer babies [Re: silligum_diaboli]
Dan_Dread Offline
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Registered: 10/08/08
Posts: 3813
Loc: Vancouver, Canada
Not taking anything personal, I just like to stamp out bullshit where ever I might find it. It's a public service of sorts.

You will find that here, unlike many and most places online or off, something is not sacred just because it happens to be someones 'personal opinion'.

I find the sort of anti-human anti-progress prattle you have presented particularly distasteful, and that is my 'personal opinion'

ps - your avatar is hot. Wanna go behind the tool shed and make out?
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#16648 - 12/21/08 02:30 PM Re: Designer babies [Re: silligum_diaboli]
Ringmaster Offline
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Registered: 04/07/08
Posts: 205
Loc: Salem Oregon
 Quote:
nothing is perfect, this strive for perfection is nothing more than the bleak effects of consumerism where everything has to be bigger , better.


Yes nothing is perfect I am willing to bet no one will argue this statement with you. But it is how the imperfection is delt with that counts. Striving for better is one of the biggest keys to success.

As for the shouldn't a parent love their child for who they are and not what they look like, bullshit. If I spawned a child that was retarded and couldn't do anything for themselves I would be striken with anger. I honestly couldn't love something that I found to be repulsive, and to force myself or even attempt to force myself would only lead into self deciet which I find to be unacceptable. Like it or not a lot of society is based more so on looks then who someone is, remember first impressions are everything. Is it the best way to go about doing things? Maybe maybe not, who is to say? But what I do know is that there are things that are able to be made better and those that our not and changing the moralities of society as a whole is useless and a waste of time. The best one can do is live life the way he/she wants.

You speak of ideals but the only ideals that matter to a person are the ideals that he/she lives by. I'm sorry to burst your bubble on that but it is the truth. Your ideals aren't going to exactly match mine.

And just a question to appease my curiosity, what ideals are you speaking of?
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#16651 - 12/21/08 04:46 PM Re: Designer babies [Re: Ringmaster]
Dan_Dread Offline
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Registered: 10/08/08
Posts: 3813
Loc: Vancouver, Canada
 Quote:

nothing is perfect

Or is everything perfect?

To say that nothing is perfect is to say nothing is as it 'aught' to be. But who get's to decide how things aught to be? Ultimately, nature, and the universe, have already decided.

'Perfection' is one of those meaningless sham words, like 'infinity', used to describe something that only exists in the imagination.
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#16654 - 12/21/08 05:11 PM Re: Designer babies [Re: Dan_Dread]
ZephyrGirl Offline
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Registered: 08/28/07
Posts: 706
Loc: Adelaide Australia
I'm not against this by any means, however imagine how much pressure there will be on this poor generation of kids to live up to whatever their parents want them to be. I can see lots of rebelling in the wind.

Zeph
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#16672 - 12/21/08 11:12 PM Re: Designer babies [Re: ZephyrGirl]
daevid777 Offline
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Registered: 08/30/07
Posts: 951
Loc: Hell's Pisshole, Texas
This is from a little while back...

 Quote:
Overall I think medically it has the potential to solve some problems and socially to cause more.


On this I can agree, Sigillum_diaboli (what's that anyway?).

Otherwise, give scientists, or corporations that control them an inch... and we end up eating cloned meat (which we are, btw) - can't animals just fuck each other? - another thread, though.

Where would "society" draw the line? This could involve better and more expensive "upgrades" as well. Male/Female - $400, Oh, you want green eyes? Intelligence? Artistic potential? Disease Free? Do you want fries with that?

Can't attractive, intelligent, artistic, disease-free people just fuck each other?

I mean, "old-fashioned" genetic engineering - "strong shall survive" crap... This test-tube crap just grabs a hold of any sperm dumb enough to get siphoned in, not the fastest swimmers, mind you. I'm sure they'll get to that eventually, though.
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#16673 - 12/21/08 11:17 PM Re: Designer babies [Re: daevid777]
daevid777 Offline
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Registered: 08/30/07
Posts: 951
Loc: Hell's Pisshole, Texas
 Quote:
ps - your avatar is hot. Wanna go behind the tool shed and make out?


She'd get the whole left side of your wonderfully-toasted radioactive face all over hers...

Maybe I need to re-read the "fetish" thread...
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#16680 - 12/22/08 12:02 AM Re: Designer babies [Re: daevid777]
Morgan Offline
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Registered: 08/29/07
Posts: 2956
Loc: New York City
"Can't attractive, intelligent, artistic, disease-free people just fuck each other? "


Sure, but the smarter ones don't want to bring a kid into the world that they can't take care of.

Honestly, If you could do a drive up where you got everything you wanted in a kid, wouldn't you?

The only side effect as said before, then everyone is boring and the same.

Fuck it, I would pick a boy. Boys are easier to raise than girls.
You know the boys are not coming home pregnant.

Morg
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