Envision every human as equal at birth; in beauty, health, mental health, social strength and intelligence. A designed evolutionary system with goals and planning would provide all of these for every human. Only then can a truly egalitarian society be obtained.
It is natural (ethical, moral, expected) behavior for the human species to modify natural processes to its advantage. As the human species learns more and more about the genetic structure of the human, and its implications in form and culture, it will apply that knowledge (make use of it). To do so is in the nature of the human. Mistakes will be made. That, also, is human. Some will use that knowledge to take unfair advantage of others. That, also, is human. The human will then learn from and overcome from those mistakes and take steps to continuously perfect the application. That, also, is human.
The first requirement for any application of genetic knowledge to the welfare and survival of the species is that each such application be technically justified beforehand. This requires that the application be pretested for validity and tested for adverse side effects. It must then be shown to have a provable net positive effect, with adequate safety margins.
The second requirement for any application of genetic knowledge to the welfare and survival of the species is that each such application be morally and ethically justified beforehand. This requires that the application be pretested for its inherent morality and all social side effects to be evaluated. It must then be shown to have a provable net positive morality, with adequate safety margins. Only then may it be applied.
It was learned from A Basis for Morality Conclusion 2 and Conclusion 4 as directed to the human species:
Since the product of life is survival, normal (expected, natural, moral, ethical) behavior within the human species is that which provides the optimum opportunity for the species survival. Individual or group behavior which supplies less than optimum opportunity for species survival, is perverted (not natural, not normal, not expected, unethical, immoral).
It was also learned from Conclusion 3 that:
The end result of life is the survival of the species (community) as opposed to the survival of the individual. In the natural process of life, the behavior and survival of the individual are subservient to the species welfare.
Considering those two conclusions as provable fact, the following text begins:
Eugenics - It's a dirty eight letter word in most circles, and it's been out of circulation for quite a while, but better start getting use to it. It's coming back. In fact many modern social engineering processes fit directly in even now. It may be given a new name, that's the way things are done now, like pornography is now mature or adult, homosexual becomes gay, the masculinizing of the female is called feminism, a degenerating social culture calls itself liberal, progressive, modern, politically correct, or democratic, dropping bombs is now called humanitarian, and abortion, with an incredible macabre twist, is now family planning.
This is a positive definition. It defines eugenics. It says what eugenics is: a science. It says what eugenics is for: the improvement of the human genetic specification. It says how this improvement can come about: through control of the genetic configuration. Read it carefully. The entire future of man depends on this definition.
This definition does not say that eugenics is a philosophy. It does not say that eugenics is a political tool for shaping human culture. It does not say that its functions are determined by imagination, conjecture, philosophy, spirituality, or ideology. It says, instead, that eugenics is a science. It produces real knowledge. It can be measured. It can be verified. It must have a desirable net effect. And, if a particular eugenics procedure does not meet these tests then it must not be used.
Unfortunately, in the past, it has not been a rigorous science, nor has it been used as a positive influence on the welfare and survival of the human species. Most of this has been due to ignorance about genetics, being based primarily on human experience, which is and was quite extensive, with animal husbandry. It works, the theory goes, on selecting and breeding a fine herd of cattle, so therefore, it should work with people. Not so!
The fact that this practice has been misused in prior (ignorant) times does not preclude its possible use today. This past experience does, however, raise warning flags about its use. The human was too eager then to use genetic control processes before they were proven to be beneficial and those processes were applied without sufficient concern about unexpected negative effects on human culture.
The primary concern in the use of eugenics is in the science. Science is based on measurable and provable fact. Scientific knowledge stands on its own proof. Science must not consider dogma (imagination, hearsay, conjecture, opinion, ideology, spirituality, political dogma, etc.) in the applied processes it produces. This concept is diametrically opposed to the modern academic elitist ideology (PC), a secular religion based on emotion. Modern social 'knowledge' is based on the conjecturing of the latest pop social author. Most, if not all, modern social 'knowledge' is dogma.
A secondary concern, one which is secondary in importance only because it should not be an issue unless the first concern is satisfied, is a matter of ethics and morality related directly to the proposed eugenics process.
Genetics engineering overlaps with social engineering to the extent that most social engineering processes have an effect on the gene pool. Some social engineering procedures have profound and long term genetic effects. Since the genetic effects of these processes were never considered, most are probably quite damaging, no one knows. The birth control pill provides a change in the ratio of births between the productive and non-productive classes, in favor of the non-productive class. Abortion provides another shift in birth rates between classes, especially between productive and third world countries. Rewarding unwed young, many are juvenile, mothers is a sure way to bias genetic structure toward those who are irresponsible.
When viewing the poverty and criminal classes, the social liberal claims cultural malfunction as the cause, rather than genetic differences, and feels that it is the duty of the working successful to provide for those who have been their unfortunate victims. The social conservative points out that schools are available throughout the US, that there are copious help wanted ads in every newspaper, and that no one is tied to a particular geographic location, so it is as much a matter of personal choice as cultural error. Therefore, don't feed the lazy bums so they will be forced to go to work. "Why should we work two jobs and have our wives work also just to make ends meet while a large portion of our money is confiscated and handed over to people who spend their days shooting pool, drinking beer and making babies?" they ask.
The social liberal then plays the other tune. "These are unfortunate incompetents who need our help to stay alive," they then claim. The liberal conservative returns that if that is the case, we should see to it that there are fewer babies in that bunch so at least the problem won't grow, a proposal that has to do with species allocation of resources and absolutely nothing to do with genetics.
"Heavens! You sound just like Hitler. What are you? Some kind of eugenics nut?" the liberal then exclaims as he then shifts back to the first condition: that there is no genetic difference between the haves and have nots, so any reproductive restriction would only be cruel.
The facts are that evolution is primarily an individual process. It is the individual and its progeny who experience the mutation. Farmers learned long ago that if a trait in an animal is desired, it must not be allowed to run in the herd. It must be isolated and carefully bred to other like animals. Put a half dozen purebred dogs in a pen for a few generations and there will be only one kind of dog. In a like manner, the human runs free. Any trait in one human will show up in others all over the world and in every class or tribe. Any attempt to adjust genetics through group control would require unbearable restrictions on personal freedoms and severely restrict the intellectual growth of the species.
This is why it so important in our society not to segregate, and favor, certain groups among the able in our social structure. Every able human should be required to work, under the same terms. This requires every able human to prepare itself for work, under equal opportunity. And every social rule should apply equally to every able human. Multiculturalism is the exact opposite in philosophy. It preaches the very social segregation causing our social problems.
Those handicapped in body, mind or criminal inclination, those who are not able to care for themselves within normal society and require public assistance, must be taken care of in the most humane and economical way possible - through institutions. To allow these groups to have more children is stupid, not from a genetics standpoint, but from the standpoint of the welfare of the child and its burden on the producing portion of the society.
It all started with the domestication of animals by the human, perhaps two million years ago. The first was probably the dog, used for hunting, defense, a warning system against predators and other marauding humans, and as a loyal companion. It was obvious from the beginning that if a large dog was needed, it did not come from a small bitch and sire. It didn't take long to discover that the best dogs came from the best parents.
Then came animal husbandry, perhaps some 10,000 years or so ago. It was discovered that properly selected and cared for animals could provide a consistent source of food and other living materials. Cattle could be tamed and herded and produce milk, meat and hides. Some strains of cattle were better producers than others, some were easier to herd than others. Desirable strains became prized and were carefully segregated from undesirable strains in order to maintain that desirability. It was not long after that, the human found that domestic animals could be cared for without a nomadic life-style, provided food was grown for them. In addition to the animals they could also grow fruit and vegetables for themselves. They quickly selected the best plants available, then carefully selected the seeds from only the best of those. This was a very long time before Mendel.
Then, a long time ago, the human noticed the same characteristics in his fellows. The big strong man with the big strong mate had big strong sons and daughters. Not probably understanding the social implications, they also noticed that the sons and daughters of tribal leaders also tended to become tribal leaders. Royal families came into being. An understanding of heredity, perhaps limited but still a recognition, is not new to the human. Ancient Egyptian pharaohs even practiced incest to keep their blood lines clean. Greek mythology shows some of these same beliefs.
Eugenics, as it is perceived today, began in the last half of the nineteenth century primarily due to the efforts of Thomas Malthus, a preacher and Herbert Spencer, a sociologist. Their primary effort was directed toward the criminal, mentally ill and lower classes, especially those on welfare. They believed that unfettered reproduction by these groups would, in time, degrade the general population. They tended to ignore social conditions and pressures and attributed the failure of these groups to inferior genetics. They were, of course, only partly right. Whereas genetic error can cause these conditions, a large number of these conditions were caused by social pressures. At that time, however, genetic mechanisms were unknown. The DNA was not described until 1954 and the human genome is still being mapped (1999).
Sir Francis Galton, a known scientist, wrote Hereditary Genius in 1869. He described his study of upper class families in which he observed the qualities of intellect. leadership and artistic ability. His work was far more a description of how upper class families furnish superior environments for their children than any study of genetic variation. He professed to show genetic differences between the lower and upper class. He coined the term "eugenics" and called for more children from the upper class and fewer from the lower classes.
Eugenics in the US reached its peak in the pre-WWII period. Many had become convinced that the most efficient way to deal with a number of social problems such as mental illness, poverty and crime was to curtail reproduction in these classes. Involuntary sterilization laws were enacted in many states, mostly aimed at the mentally ill or retarded.
It is with Hitler and the Nazi movement that eugenics became a cursed process. Nazi Germany enacted strong racial hygiene laws in 1933. The Nazi Hereditary Health Courts was formed to review eugenics proposals and approved very many of them. As time progressed they became more and more perverse in their decisions. Euthanasia of the insane and mentally deficient, as well as others judged to be undesirable began. Aryan women were encouraged as a patriotic duty to bear more children and to select Aryan fathers.
Herman J Muller, scientist and Nobel Laurette, spoke out against eugenics as it was then practiced in his Out of the Night in 1935, saying: "with its present methods and outlook, powerless to work any positive change for the good", "doing incalculable harm by lending a false appearance of scientific basis to advocates of race and class prejudice, defenders of vested interests of church and state, Fascists, Hitlerites, and reactionaries generally," and "the more unequal the opportunities and the conditions of living are, in the society of which an individual is a member, the more largely will his success or failure, his knowledge or ignorance, his mental activity or inactivity, as compared with other men's be determined by these circumstances of his social and material environment."
Following on from Muller's line of reasoning: It has become a great fear of many that the most pressing concern raised by advances in genetic testing is that it could cause society to devalue certain individuals because of their genetic heritage. The history of eugenics in the 20th century suggests this is a legitimate fear.
The study of genetics began to emerge after WWII. The nature-nurture argument began. In their widely read book, Heredity, Race and Society, two Columbia University scientists, L. C. Dunn and Theodosius Dobzhansky asserted that, "We come into the world as a bundle of possibilities bequeathed to us by our parents and other ancestors. Our nurture comes from the world about us. What happens to the nurture that comes in depends, however, on the nature that receives it." It was even then becoming obvious to those knowledgeable in genetics, that even the application of the nurture (experience, education, training) depended on the nature (genetically specified mechanisms) of the individual.
Civil rights movements began growing in the 1960s amid growing concerns about racism in society. Those who recognized the importance of genetics in human behavior were forced by public opinion to be cautious. They still are to this day. In a display of uncommon scientific stupidity, modern political correctness (the mantra of the academic elite) sharply criticizes any scientific discovery which might possibly show natural causes for any behavioral difference based on sexual, mental, criminal, economic or racial class. They choose to believe, in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary, that social pressures are the entire cause. Since scientific discovery is from this academic elite class, it is heavily influenced by their ideology, resulting in severe scientific hypocrisy.
The United States Supreme Court overturned anti-miscegenation laws in 1967, and the United States Congress substantially eliminated racist features of our immigration laws in l968.
E. O. Wilson, the eminent Harvard biologist, first wrote The New Synthesis (1975) and later the Pulitzer Prize winning On Human Nature. He said: "Can the cultural evolution of higher ethical values gain a direction and momentum of its own and completely replace genetic evolution? I think not. The genes hold culture on a leash. The leash is very long, but inevitably values will be constrained in accordance with their effects on the human gene pool. The brain is a product of evolution. Human behavior - like the deepest capacities for emotional response which drive and guide it - is the circuitous technique by which human genetic material has been and will be kept intact".
Comments on the history of eugenics
Rational thinking is extremely difficult on human culture. The bases for all human cultures are not rational. All current human cultures were established by and are based on the irrational - the emotional drives of the human instincts. The most perfect logic fails miserably in its analysis and projection of even the simplest of cultural processes. Human culture is political, with all the subterfuge, sophistry, and dishonesty that term implies. The instant that a single bit of new real knowledge is uncovered by science, it is seized on by one or more political groups, who then twist and turn it to their own advantage.
This is why it is so necessary for humankind to reconstruct human culture, to abandon its current hodgepodge of sub-cultures based on cultural evolution (a cut and try process without goal or plan) in favor of an intellectual culture based on real knowledge, one with real plans and goals.
As the human collective culture responded to knowledge about heredity, that knowledge became politicized. One social group used it to attack another, based on social differences. Eugenics as a science became a torture machine for social inquisitions, and ceased being a science. If eugenics should become a science, and it certainly will, it must not be used as a social tool. It is a tool that may be used by politicos for right or wrong reasons. No process should use the human as a guinea pig. Each of eugenics' proposed processes must pass the test of moral analysis before being applied. That test is the net effect on the survival and welfare of the human species.
There is no detectable correlation between human construction and human behavior. Many have tried various means such as: shape of the skull, color of skin, lines on the palm of the hand, astrological sign, economic class, IQ tests, conduct, etc. Every attempt leads to as many failures as successes.
A NEW EUGENICS
Nature once provided man with a cave for shelter. It was not designed for the task, it only happened to be there for our use. It was cold, drafty and damp. Water had to be hauled in from a nearby stream. A trip to the bathroom in the middle of the night often meant wading in the snow for a couple of hundred yards each way. A fire that was warm enough in the cave choked its occupants with smoke. A baby with a bad cold either lived or died. The warmth of a bed of skins was shared with mice and cockroaches. There was some protection from the elements, and for that we were thankful, but it was far from comfortable.
It took a while but the human changed things. We now live in comfortable homes with inside plumbing, electric lights, central heat, air conditioning, a two car enclosed garage, and, yes, a television set.
The human genome which forms us and, through our instincts, guides us, also happened. It was shaped by the elements in the same manner as the cave. It was only partially designed for our task of that time, of living in that cave. Millions of years of trial and error left us with a genome as primitive as that cave, and it is littered with the genetic garbage of all the genetic failures along the way. It offers a living for most of us, but many suffer from its inadequacies.
The human genome was certainly not designed for modern living, and is now degenerating under an evolution which we have crippled. It's time we took a hard look at that old cave and see if we can bring it up to modern needs.
EUGENICS IN THE FUTURE
The sperm supplies a complete copy of one of the two sets of nuclear DNA (nDNA) required for the human. This set may include an X or a Y chromosome. The mother's egg is much more complex. It also contains one of the two sets of nuclear DNA but it also contains an X chromosome, never a Y. In the new human and starting at conception these two sets of chromosomes, the genome, work in harmony to supply the basic physical and neural pattern. If each cell in the human body works properly, these patterns will result in a human being which accurately reflects the coded specification in the genome.
A human nDNA set consists of 22 chromosomes. The human genome consists of two of these nDNA sets. In the female human both sets are the same, they both carry the X chromosome. In the male the two sets of nDNA differ in that one of the sets contains an X chromosome and the other a Y chromosome. The resulting human is an average between the functioning of the two nDNA sets, the physical and neural differences between the male and female being the result of the averaging between the X and Y chromosome in the male genome.
The egg from the female, however is much more complex. It is a single cell and it carries the mother's nuclear DNA contribution. This cell also contains the mitochondrial DNA. The mother supplies all of the mitochondrial DNA. The father contributes none. This mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) provides the coded specifications for the construction, maintenance and function of the cell itself. If these function patterns are all proper, the cell is able to properly execute the commands from the genome. The actual production by the cell is determined by its position in the body. It may produce bone mass, a neural signal, blood cells, hair, skin, etc.
Within the nDNA there are function elements called genes. Each gene is the specification for the construction of a particular protein. When a gene is activated, it sends this pattern to the cell in which it resides with the command to produce that particular protein.
Cloning has recently been headline material. The first successful cloning was with sheep. The single set of nDNA in the sheep's egg was physically replaced with a complete genome from another cell source in the sheep's body. Since the egg and its mtDNA came from the mother as well as the genome, the newborn was a genetic copy of the mother - a clone. There is no essential difference between cloning a sheep and cloning a human. Cloning a male is much more difficult since there is no male counterpart of the embryo cell in which to transplant the genome from the male. Since that embryonic cell must always come from a female, a true male clone is still some distance away.
A spin-off from cloning is now quite possible. By substituting a genome that is not from the mother into the egg, a hybrid is produced which has the capability within the cell with its mtDNA but with the physical and neural specifications of the genome. Both males and females could be produced this way. They would not be clones of the mother although those features determined by mtDNA would be hers.
This division of features between nDNA and mtDNA provides an interesting and fertile ground for greatly improving the basic genetic structure of the human. Defects in the mtDNA reflect in genetic defects (diseases) which are carried only through the mother. Those could all be eliminated through perfecting the host structure of the embryonic cell (the egg). This perfection process is within the horizon of current knowledge. Such cells could be cultured. The implication is that an idealized embryonic cell could be produced, one which could properly comply with any nDNA instruction and therefore useful throughout the species. Once introduced through intervention, it would become permanent in the genetic process and carried through the mother into future generations in the same manner as now used. The mutation rate is quite slow in mtDNA so a single introduction should be good for a thousand generations or more. Periodic testing could insure the integrity of the embryonic egg within a given generational strain and if found defective it could be replaced by a new one as required.
The current mapping of the human genome has produced many tools that will become quite useful in future eugenics work. Still quite primitive and useful only for very short DNA strings, they nevertheless provide great hope for future manipulation on a much larger scale, even the human genome for example. We are currently able to read a DNA sequence into computer memory. We are also capable of taking a pattern from a computer memory and producing the corresponding DNA sequence.
The implication is that once we understand the functions of the various genes in the DNA and are able to identify those which are defective and cause genetic diseases in the resulting human, we will be able to read into computer memory the genetic pattern of a parent, make the necessary corrections in the computer, then read out of the computer into an nDNA string which can then be used in the cloning process. Once this new string of DNA is introduced, it will propagate through future generations in the same manner as the original would have done. Mutational stability should remain good, even with the normal sexual reproduction process, for many generations. If the string should mutate in future generations, the same procedure can be used again.
Future work will include investigation into the relationships between certain genetic configurations and corresponding physical and mental features. When these relationship are found, birth design catalogs may be composed. Parents may then choose to substitute certain idealized features in lieu of those which naturally occur in their own gene set into a a new gene set which may be utilized in their child. In a like manner, the instincts and moods may be investigated and substituted also. Since ideas of beauty, health and social behavior are relatively universal and uniform among humans and those ideas change relatively little with time, these attributes, once implemented, will need little change in future generations.
Each step in this development of the designer child will be expensive. At the forefront in this development will be those parents who can afford the expenditure and are adventurous enough to commit their progeny and their resources to better their own strain. This, then, is the new intellectual evolution. In lieu of death and misery for all as the tool for human development, the brave and the successful will pave the way while the timid and less successful will watch and wait. The brave and successful will be the guinea pigs that will blaze the trail. No one should be forced to participate. As the process becomes developed, it will quickly become safer and far less expensive. When the process is tried and true, then all should be given the opportunity. Genetic screening and correction should, in time become a standard part of the birth process. Only then will all humankind be truly created equal, by bringing all to the optimum condition.
INVESTING IN THE FUTURE
If the human society survives its current degeneration due to natural evolution long enough, eugenics will be developed and applied, even though no concerted species wide effort is made. It may take an extended time, perhaps 500 to 1,000 years, a significant period in light of the rate of human degeneration. If the society collapses before the underlying causes are recognized and corrected, then the species will become extinct.
Electronics (computers and such) is the current economic growth field. Medicine is also growing at a fast clip. The new field, however, one that will in time eclipse all of these, is molecular genetics. Modified, special purpose, life forms are being developed. Current experimentation includes hybrid biological/electronic devices, biological computer memories and research leading to the minimum molecular complexity for life. Creation of new life forms directly from biological raw (non-living) materials are quite possible in the near future.
The genome project has been enlightening. The human genome is being mapped. Current work on this project carries little resemblance to that envisioned when it started. Hundreds, perhaps thousands, of new techniques, ways of looking at the problem, solutions to problems not even realized before starting, have poured from the inventive minds working on it. But knowing its construction is a long way from knowing the functions within it, and how to correct it or improve on it.
A human culture is capable, when faced with a cause of sufficient importance, of a culture wide concerted effort. Witness the US during WWII and the subsequent cold war. An effort equal in scope to our military since WWII over a similar time period would provide the technical infrastructure for negating natural evolution and correcting the human genetic structure throughout the world, a gift from the US to every living human.
It would be a great adventure, collecting the finest human minds and providing them with the facilities to eliminate a sizable portion of all the ills the human is now afflicted with. We are capable of doing it to kill people, why not do it for the sake of saving an endangered species - us?
Los Angeles Times - Washington Post News Service, May 12,1999
Healthy girls born after sickle cell gene excised.
Genetic researchers have for the first time used high-tech reproductive techniques to remove the threat of sickle cell disease from a black family's lineage.
Using a combination of in vitro fertilization and genetic analysis on a single cell taken from 3-day-old embryos, a team from the Weill Medical College of Cornell University helped a couple produce healthy twin girls who neither suffer from the lethal disease nor carried the defective gene that causes it.
Although the technique had been previously used to produce children free of cystic fibrosis, Taylor-Sachs disease and certain sex-linked disorders, this was the first time it had been used for such a common genetic disease.
(Ed., note - not only were the children protected but they will not contribute to further spreading of the disease in their progeny.)
update draft 3/27/99