Eugenics on Nature

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Eugenics on Nature

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utopia

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Empirical science has been unable as of today to explain the origin of life and consciousness and yet, it intends to steer to a determinism based perspective in which life is a deterministic chemical process and consciousness an illusion.

Eugenics on Nature or synthetic biology is said to be the greatest thing in science in the 21th century. With Eugenics on Nature, science intends to ‘redesign life’. Thus, without ever having been able to explain why life exists, science believes that it can become master of it.

A special on Synthetic Biology in The Economist (Redesigning Life, April 6th, 2019) provides perspective:

Remaking life means automating biology

Those given to grand statements about the future often proclaim this to be the century of biology in the same way that the 20th century was that of physics and the 19th century was that of chemistry.

Reprogramming nature is extremely convoluted, having evolved with no intention or guidance. But if you could synthesize nature, life could be transformed into something more amenable to an engineering approach, with well defined standard parts.


https://www.economist.com/weeklyedition/2019-04-06

Image

It may not be possible to explain the origin of life using empirical science and it instead may require an explanation using metaphysics, a subject of philosophy that has increasingly lost interest in the past 100 years.

👽 Where are the aliens?

Most people in the modern world view life as something that is owned on an individual level, as something that can be taken with one during space travel. Popular films such as Star Trek and Star Wars have showed a future in which humans travel through space.

Some scientists are wondering however: why is the Solar system and Earth not crowded with alien visitors? Why, after decades of space science, has no hint been found for the existence of extraterrestrial life?

Philosophy suppressed

The post-war era is considered to be an ‘anti-philosophy’ era in which philosophy was increasingly placed on a level comparable with that of religions. In a sense, while science originates from philosophy, science has attempted to overcome philosophy and intended to rid itself of any influence of philosophy, which includes morality.

Recently (2021) it was discovered that the farthest distance that an animal, insect or bacteria had traveled in space was the Moon and meanwhile trillions of USD were already invested for a manned mission to Mars in 2030.

Science it’s dogmatic influence on behalf of determinism, the ground upon which science envisions itself to become master of the Universe, has resulted in a such a repression that it was never considered that Earth life may be bound to a region around the ☀️ Sun.

Philosophy naturally would have posed the following questions:
  • Is there at least one clue that Earth life is independent from the Solar system?
  • On what basis is it valid to consider that life is like a fire that can be taken with one during space travel?
Based on these questions, the first thing to test would be whether Earth life can remain alive further away from Earth. Yet, as of 2021 it was never tested because mainstream science intends to steer to a perspective in which life is a deterministic chemical process and consciousness an illusion.

When life would be bound to a region around a star, it could explain why the Universe is not crowded with alien activity.

Because the origin of life is unknown, it is evident that science intends to use atheism fueled neglect - the stubbornly ignoring of the question 'why' life exists until forced to consider that morality is ought to be applicable - as ground for a 'synthetic biology revolution' in which animal and plant life is rendered meaningless beyond the scope of empirical value.

🧬 Eugenics on Nature

Eugenics is an emergent topic in recent years. In 2019 a group of over 11,000 scientists argued that eugenics can be used to reduce world population.

(2020) The eugenics debate isn't over – but we should be wary of people who claim it can reduce world population
Andrew Sabisky, a UK government adviser, recently resigned over comments supporting eugenics. Around the same time, the evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins—best known for his book The Selfish Gene—provoked controversy when tweeting that while eugenics is morally deplorable, it "would work."
https://phys.org/news/2020-02-eugenics- ... eople.html

(2020) Eugenics is trending. That’s a problem.
Any attempt to reduce world population must focus on reproductive justice.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/outlook/ ... s-problem/

The multi-trillion dollar synthetic biology revolution reduces plants and animals to meaningless lumps of matter that can be "done better" by a company and the idea behind it will logically eventually also affect people.

The idea behind eugenics - racial hygiene - that led to the Nazi Holocaust was supported by Universities around the world. It started with an idea that was not naturally defensible and that was thought to require trickery and deceit. It resulted in a demand for people with the capabilities of Nazis.

The famous German Holocaust scholar Ernst Klee has described the situation as follows:
Ernst Klee wrote:"The Nazis didn't need psychiatry, it was the other way around, psychiatry needed the Nazis."
20 years before the Nazi party was founded German psychiatry started with the organized murder of psychiatric patients through starvation diets and they continued until 1949. In America, psychiatry started with mass sterilization programs and similar programs have also taken place in several European countries. The Holocaust began with the murder of more than 300,000 psychiatric patients.

Critical American psychiatrist Dr. Peter R. Breggin has researched it for years and says the following about it:
Dr. Peter R. Breggin wrote:Yet, while the Allied victory had ended the deaths in the concentration camps, the psychiatrists, convinced of their own goodness, had continued their macabre murder task after the war ended. After all, they argued, "euthanasia" was not Hitler's war policy, but a medical policy of organized psychiatry.

The patients were killed for their own good as well as that of the community.
In 2014, New York Times journalist Eric Lichtblau published The Nazis Next Door: How America Became a Safe Haven for Hitler's Men, which showed that more than 10,000 high-ranking Nazis emigrated to the United States after World War II. Their war crimes were quickly forgotten, and some received help and protection from the US government.

(2020) Is America Starting Down the Path of Nazi Germany?
Wayne Allyn Root, Townhall.com wrote:I cannot express how truly sad writing this op-ed has made me. But I'm a patriotic American. And I'm an American Jew. I have studied the beginnings of Nazi Germany and the Holocaust. And I can clearly see parallels with what is happening in America today.

Wayne Allyn Root - bestselling author and nationally syndicated talk show host on USA Radio Network

https://townhall.com/columnists/wayneal ... y-n2570979
New York Times columnist Natasha Lennard recently mentioned the following:

(2020) Forced sterilization of poor women of color
There need be no explicit policy of forced sterilization for a eugenicist system to exist. Normalized neglect and dehumanization are sufficient. These are Trumpian specialties, yes, but as American as apple pie."
https://theintercept.com/2020/09/17/for ... s-history/

Embryo selection may be a modern day example of eugenics that shows how easy the idea is accepted by the short therm self interest perspective of humans.

Parents want their child to be healthy and prosperous. Laying the choice for eugenics with parents could be a scheme for scientists to justify their otherwise morally reprehensible eugenic beliefs and practices. They could piggyback on the back of parents who may have factors in mind such as financial worries, their career opportunities and similar priorities that may not be an optimal influence for human evolution.

The rapidly growing demand for embryo selection shows how easy it is for humans to accept the idea of eugenics.

(2017) China’s embrace of embryo selection raises thorny questions about eugenics
https://www.nature.com/news/china-s-emb ... ns-1.22468

Could embryo selection applied for top-down control of genetic evolution be good for the future of humanity? Would it make humanity stronger?

Origin of eugenics ideology

"What is the meaning of life?" is a question that has driven many to atrocities, to themselves and to others. In a wicked attempt to overcome the 'weakness' resulting from the inability to answer the question, some believe that they should live with a gun under their nose.

An often cited quote from Nazi Hermann Göring: "When I hear the word culture, I unlock my gun!"

It is easy to argue that life has no meaning because empirical evidence is impossible.

The implications in the modern era can be seen in science. It is an ideal of science to abolish morality completely.

(2018) Immoral advances: Is science out of control?
To many scientists, moral objections to their work are not valid: science, by definition, is morally neutral, so any moral judgement on it simply reflects scientific illiteracy.
https://www.newscientist.com/article/mg ... f-control/

(2019) Science and Morals: Can morality be deduced from the facts of science?
The issue should have been settled by David Hume in 1740: the facts of science provide no basis for values. Yet, like some kind of recurrent meme, the idea that science is omnipotent and will sooner or later solve the problem of values seems to resurrect with every generation.
https://sites.duke.edu/behavior/2019/04 ... f-science/

Morality is based on 'values' and that logically means that science also wants to get rid of philosophy.

Philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900) in Beyond Good and Evil (Chapter 6 – We Scholars) shared the following perspective on the evolution of science in relation to philosophy.
Friedrich Nietzsche wrote:The declaration of independence of the scientific man, his emancipation from philosophy, is one of the subtler after-effects of democratic organization and disorganization: the self- glorification and self-conceitedness of the learned man is now everywhere in full bloom, and in its best springtime – which does not mean to imply that in this case self-praise smells sweet. Here also the instinct of the populace cries, “Freedom from all masters!” and after science has, with the happiest results, resisted theology, whose “hand-maid” it had been too long, it now proposes in its wantonness and indiscretion to lay down laws for philosophy, and in its turn to play the “master” – what am I saying! to play the PHILOSOPHER on its own account.
It shows the path that science has pursued since as early as 1850. Science has intended to rid itself of philosophy.

Some recent perspectives on philosophy by scientists at a forum of Cambridge University:
Naked Scientist Forum wrote:Philosophy is bunk.

...

You may describe philosophy as a search for knowledge and truth. That is indeed vanity. Science is about the acquisition of knowledge, and most scientists avoid the use of "truth", preferring "repeatability" as more in line with our requisite humility in the face of observation.

...

Philosophers always pretend that their work is important and fundamental. It isn't even consistent. You can't build science on a rickety, shifting, arbitrary foundation. It is arguable that Judaeo-Christianity catalysed the development of science by insisting that there is a rational plan to the universe, but we left that idea behind a long time ago because there is no evidence for it.

...

Philosophy never provided a solution. But it has obstructed the march of science and the growth of understanding.

...

Philosophy is a retrospective discipline, trying to extract something that philosophers consider important from what scientists have done (not what scientists think - scientific writing is usually intellectually dishonest!). Science is a process, not a philosophy. Even the simplest linguistics confirms this: we "do" science, nobody "does" philosophy.

...

Science is no more or less than the application of the process of observe, hypothesise, test, repeat. There's no suggestion of belief, philosophy or validity, any more than there is in the rules of cricket or the instructions on a bottle of shampoo: it's what distinguishes cricket from football, and how we wash hair. The value of science is in its utility. Philosophy is something else.

...

Philosophers have indeed determined the best path forward for humanity. Every religion, communism, free market capitalism, Nazism, indeed every ism under the sun, all had their roots in philosophy, and have led to everlasting conflict and suffering. A philosopher can only make a living by disagreeing with everyone else, so what do you expect?
Uniformitarianism: the belief that facts are valid without philosophy

When science is practiced autonomously and it intends to get rid of any influence of philosophy, the 'knowing' of a fact necessarily entails certainty. Without certainty, philosophy would be essential, and that would be obvious to any scientist, which it apparently is not.

It means that there is a belief involved (a belief in uniformitarianism) that legitimizes autonomous application of science (i.e. without thinking about whether it is actually 'good' what is being done).

The idea that facts exist outside the scope of a perspective (that is, that facts are valid without philosophy) has far-reaching implications, including the natural tendency to completely abolish morality.

Atheism

Atheism is a way out for people who would potentially (be prone to) seek the guidance that religions promise to provide. By revolting against religions, they (hope to) find stability in life.

Image

The extremity developed by atheism in the form of a dogmatic belief in the facts of science logically results in practices such as eugenics. The desire for a 'easy way out' by people that attempt to escape exploitation of their weakness (read: the inability to answer the question "What is the meaning of life?" or "Why life exists") would result in corruption to 'acquire qualities' in a way that is immoral.

Conclusion: a flawed idea (a dogma) - the idea that the facts of science are valid without philosophy, or a belief in uniformitarianism - may be at the root of the synthetic biology revolution (Eugenics on Nature).

--

Questions:

1) What is your opinion on Eugenics on Nature?

2) Does synthetic biology have a sound theoretical foundation? (note the quote of The Economist: "Reprogramming nature is extremely convoluted, having evolved with no intention or guidance.")

3) Do you believe that synthetic biology is morally justified? If no/yes: why?

4) Do you believe that synthetic biology will provide advantages for humanity?
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Re: Eugenics on Nature

Post by LuckyR »

Different folks think of different ideas with the word "eugenics".

The idea that humans breed randomly, everyone agrees is false. Thus using certain criteria for passing along genetic material is normal. In fact, some common factors have known genetic correlation, so the portion of the classic definition of eugenics that has to do with breeding is common practice. The part about sterilization is the part that most disagree with.

As to the potential role of high tech genetics, considering the number of unintended pregnancies, the percentage of people willing to pay for that is so insignificant, it likely will have negligible impact on the genetic make up of the species.

If synthetic biology is synonymous with gene manipulation, then I agree that the science is progressing faster than the ethical debate about it.

Like most things gene manipulation has positives and negatives, likely more of the former than the latter but the risks are not zero.
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Re: Eugenics on Nature

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LuckyR wrote: September 17th, 2021, 1:24 am Different folks think of different ideas with the word "eugenics".

The idea that humans breed randomly, everyone agrees is false. Thus using certain criteria for passing along genetic material is normal. In fact, some common factors have known genetic correlation, so the portion of the classic definition of eugenics that has to do with breeding is common practice. The part about sterilization is the part that most disagree with.
Wouldn't that be noting a 'magical moral 🧭 compass' factor in human breeding, while in the same time, with eugenics, one is to render the origin of life meaningless and thus potential for moral consideration a mere illusion?
LuckyR wrote: September 17th, 2021, 1:24 amAs to the potential role of high tech genetics, considering the number of unintended pregnancies, the percentage of people willing to pay for that is so insignificant, it likely will have negligible impact on the genetic make up of the species.

If synthetic biology is synonymous with gene manipulation, then I agree that the science is progressing faster than the ethical debate about it.

Like most things gene manipulation has positives and negatives, likely more of the former than the latter but the risks are not zero.
Humans (or individual life forms) have short term self interests which can be a ground for concepts such as 'beauty' or (the idea of) 'happiness'. The OP contains an example about how embryo selection (eugenics) is quickly being adapted by parents around the world (it is popular in China for example):

Parents want their child to be healthy and prosperous. Laying the choice for eugenics with parents could be a scheme for scientists to justify their otherwise morally reprehensible eugenic beliefs and practices. They could piggyback on the back of parents who may have factors in mind such as financial worries, their career opportunities and similar priorities that may not be an optimal influence for human evolution.

The rapidly growing demand for embryo selection shows how easy it is for humans to accept the idea of eugenics.


(2017) China’s embrace of embryo selection raises thorny questions about eugenics
https://www.nature.com/news/china-s-emb ... ns-1.22468

When it concerns eugenics, it would be at question whether it is good for human evolution that short term self-interest is used to top-down control life's evolution.

In a sense, upon deeper inspection, what would happen with eugenics is that humans would stick their head inside their anus. Science - a retro-perspective or anus (output) - would be used as 'goal' to direct (human) life's evolution.

Basic logic shows that you can't stand above life as being life because when you would try to do so you would create a figurative stone that sinks in the ocean of time.

It may be best to serve life instead of trying to stand above it.

With eugenics, the origin of life is factored out or rendered meaningless. Basic respect for nature is abolished in favor of short term self interest based ideas. At question would be whether that could be good for human evolution in theory.

At the core of eugenics in practice lays the idea that evolution is driven by random chance (Darwin's tree of life) of which science can (and should) become master. The belief that evolution is driven by random chance may result in the idea that thinking isn't needed and that anything random will count as "good" which does not seem to be a good condition for prosperous long term evolution, when considering that science intends to abolish morality.

The idea that evolution is driven by random chance (natural selection) is questionable.

A special in New Scientists showed that evolution is not like Darwin's tree of life and is also horizontal, on the basis of what is consumed. When humans consume food, information is consumed that is used in evolution. Evolution is evidently much more complex than many people believe based on the status quo of science, which intends to steer towards determinism, the ground upon which science envisions itself to become master of the Universe (including life).

Image

The source of life is unknown as of today. If it is unknown where life came from, it is not possible to claim that what has been observed is limited to what has been observed. The origin of life cannot be factored out because it hasn't been observed.

Overcoming problems is essential for progress in life. When humans would attempt to control genetic evolution from their short-sighted and external perspective, they may hinder a vital core of successful evolution. What may appear as a genetic defect in a given time may be part of a longer term (e.g. 300 year) strategy to achieve evolutionary solutions that are essential for longer term survival.

A basis of respect for nature may be vital for successful evolution.
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Re: Eugenics on Nature

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Psy
The source of life is unknown as of today. If it is unknown where life came from, it is not possible to claim that what has been observed is limited to what has been observed. The origin of life cannot be factored out because it hasn't been observed.

Overcoming problems is essential for progress in life. When humans would attempt to control genetic evolution from their short-sighted and external perspective, they may hinder a vital core of successful evolution. What may appear as a genetic defect in a given time may be part of a longer term (e.g. 300 year) strategy to achieve evolutionary solutions that are essential for longer term survival.

A basis of respect for nature may be vital for successful evolution.
The essential question seems to be if the universe exists to serve Man or if Man exists to serve the universe.

If the univerese exists to serve Man then eugenics is appropriate. If Man exists to serve the universe, its self interests is actually a growing cancer which the universe will eventually destroy.
Man would like to be an egoist and cannot. This is the most striking characteristic of his wretchedness and the source of his greatness." Simone Weil....Gravity and Grace
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Re: Eugenics on Nature

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Yes, I agree.

The origin of life makes it logical that individual life forms may consider it natural to believe that the Universe exists to serve them.

By simple logic, life forms require an external origin for life which results in a fundamental disposition of lack of reason (before life is manifested in a life form, a 'hurdle' is to be overcome, which can be described as 'lack of reason'). The life form as seen from an individual perspective is subjected to consume value (eating) and within the context of ‘subjective experience’ a life form naturally assumes the value in the world as a given.

Some argue that it only natural to 'give in' to this fundamental disposition, which brutes also do (they would point to cruelty in nature to make their case) and they thereby assume the value in the world as a given. (as if the Universe exists merely to serve them). Since it creates a profit potential, this perspective sometimes seems to win against what is deemed reasonable.

The mere potential for reason beyond value however, implies that otherwise is possible but it would require a case for applicability of morality to make it applicable in specific cases, for example when it concerns eugenics. The potential for reason beyond value is created by addressing the question “What is ‘good’?“ which can be demanded on behalf of (human) dignity.

Today, a serious case for morality is almost impossible when it concerns what is deemed valid within the scope of empirical science.

Humans have a moral compass that guide their actions, however, it is pretty magical to believe in it and therefor pretty easy to lay it aside whenever one sees fit (i.e. when one sees 'gold' in eugenics, it is easy to forget about morality).
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Re: Eugenics on Nature

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@psychreporter

The one thing that worries me about eugenics is the idea of eradication of difference, ranging from those with aspect of difference, ranging from physical difference, as well as those on the gender spectrum, including intersex, and gender ambiguous identities, on the trans spectrum.

Another aspect of the debate on this issue is the idea of creating perfect bodies, This is particularly related to the philosophy of transhumanism, which is about the development of biotechnology, with a view to transcending the limits of biology as we know it. The basis of eugenics and transhumanism are bound up with questions about how we overcome the biological aspects of human nature. This is bound up with the power dynamics of whose interests such agendas may serve.
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Re: Eugenics on Nature

Post by Nick_A »

Psy

I don't normally get the opportunity for this type of discussion so you are appreciated. I agree that it is more normal especially for dualistic reason to assume that the universe is her to serve us. That is why I'm attracted to begin my contemplations asking what is the purpose of our universe and Man within it? Once we have an idea of the purpose of our universe, Man's objective purpose may make more sense.

As I understand it, the universe is a living machine. Its purpose is to transform substances. Doing this requires it must devour itself. The Ouroboros is an ancient symbol for this ancient process. From encyclopedia Britannica
Ouroboros, emblematic serpent of ancient Egypt and Greece represented with its tail in its mouth, continually devouring itself and being reborn from itself. A gnostic and alchemical symbol, Ouroboros expresses the unity of all things, material and spiritual, which never disappear but perpetually change form in an eternal cycle of destruction and re-creation.
This transformation of substances is responsible for the complimentary vertical processes of involution (the process of creation) and evolution (the return to the source) which sustains our universe

It is too insulting to take seriously the idea that Man's objective purpose and its value is the transformation of substances by its bodily processes so the idea is avoided by most. Does the transformation of substances serve just an animal necessity or can it also serve to make possible Man's eventual consciousness.

I remember reading once that the destruction of the coral reefs and rainforests also destroy the fine substances making them beautiful. Man needs these fine substances to feed his higher parts. We kill them and deprive ourselves. As a result Man becomes more corse and thick and further from recognizing conscious human potential.

It seem then that Man can serve the universe as a necessary part of the machine of organic life or Man has the potential to serve the universe as a conscious being serving a greater necessity of uniting levels of reality. Eugenics is a mindset oblivious of the purpose of this organic machine we call life on earth. If we destroy the purpose of our car, is it surprising when it finally dies including the driver?

Does this make sense to you?
Man would like to be an egoist and cannot. This is the most striking characteristic of his wretchedness and the source of his greatness." Simone Weil....Gravity and Grace
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Re: Eugenics on Nature

Post by LuckyR »

psyreporter wrote: September 17th, 2021, 7:14 am
LuckyR wrote: September 17th, 2021, 1:24 am Different folks think of different ideas with the word "eugenics".

The idea that humans breed randomly, everyone agrees is false. Thus using certain criteria for passing along genetic material is normal. In fact, some common factors have known genetic correlation, so the portion of the classic definition of eugenics that has to do with breeding is common practice. The part about sterilization is the part that most disagree with.
Wouldn't that be noting a 'magical moral 🧭 compass' factor in human breeding, while in the same time, with eugenics, one is to render the origin of life meaningless and thus potential for moral consideration a mere illusion?
LuckyR wrote: September 17th, 2021, 1:24 amAs to the potential role of high tech genetics, considering the number of unintended pregnancies, the percentage of people willing to pay for that is so insignificant, it likely will have negligible impact on the genetic make up of the species.

If synthetic biology is synonymous with gene manipulation, then I agree that the science is progressing faster than the ethical debate about it.

Like most things gene manipulation has positives and negatives, likely more of the former than the latter but the risks are not zero.
Humans (or individual life forms) have short term self interests which can be a ground for concepts such as 'beauty' or (the idea of) 'happiness'. The OP contains an example about how embryo selection (eugenics) is quickly being adapted by parents around the world (it is popular in China for example):

Parents want their child to be healthy and prosperous. Laying the choice for eugenics with parents could be a scheme for scientists to justify their otherwise morally reprehensible eugenic beliefs and practices. They could piggyback on the back of parents who may have factors in mind such as financial worries, their career opportunities and similar priorities that may not be an optimal influence for human evolution.

The rapidly growing demand for embryo selection shows how easy it is for humans to accept the idea of eugenics.


(2017) China’s embrace of embryo selection raises thorny questions about eugenics
https://www.nature.com/news/china-s-emb ... ns-1.22468

When it concerns eugenics, it would be at question whether it is good for human evolution that short term self-interest is used to top-down control life's evolution.

In a sense, upon deeper inspection, what would happen with eugenics is that humans would stick their head inside their anus. Science - a retro-perspective or anus (output) - would be used as 'goal' to direct (human) life's evolution.

Basic logic shows that you can't stand above life as being life because when you would try to do so you would create a figurative stone that sinks in the ocean of time.

It may be best to serve life instead of trying to stand above it.

With eugenics, the origin of life is factored out or rendered meaningless. Basic respect for nature is abolished in favor of short term self interest based ideas. At question would be whether that could be good for human evolution in theory.

At the core of eugenics in practice lays the idea that evolution is driven by random chance (Darwin's tree of life) of which science can (and should) become master. The belief that evolution is driven by random chance may result in the idea that thinking isn't needed and that anything random will count as "good" which does not seem to be a good condition for prosperous long term evolution, when considering that science intends to abolish morality.

The idea that evolution is driven by random chance (natural selection) is questionable.

A special in New Scientists showed that evolution is not like Darwin's tree of life and is also horizontal, on the basis of what is consumed. When humans consume food, information is consumed that is used in evolution. Evolution is evidently much more complex than many people believe based on the status quo of science, which intends to steer towards determinism, the ground upon which science envisions itself to become master of the Universe (including life).

Image

The source of life is unknown as of today. If it is unknown where life came from, it is not possible to claim that what has been observed is limited to what has been observed. The origin of life cannot be factored out because it hasn't been observed.

Overcoming problems is essential for progress in life. When humans would attempt to control genetic evolution from their short-sighted and external perspective, they may hinder a vital core of successful evolution. What may appear as a genetic defect in a given time may be part of a longer term (e.g. 300 year) strategy to achieve evolutionary solutions that are essential for longer term survival.

A basis of respect for nature may be vital for successful evolution.
Embryo selection is very different from genetic manipulation. Embryo selection is having sperm and eggs meet normally, doing preimplantation genetics and only putting in the embryos without defects. Genetic manipulation (or modification) would be changing the genetic makeup of an embryo using foreign or synthetic DNA. Eugenics has generally meant sterilization of folks with "defects". These are all separate things that deserve separate discussion.
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Re: Eugenics on Nature

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LuckyR wrote: September 18th, 2021, 1:21 amEmbryo selection is very different from genetic manipulation. Embryo selection is having sperm and eggs meet normally, doing preimplantation genetics and only putting in the embryos without defects. Genetic manipulation (or modification) would be changing the genetic makeup of an embryo using foreign or synthetic DNA. Eugenics has generally meant sterilization of folks with "defects". These are all separate things that deserve separate discussion.
No, that is not correct. Eugenics is a pseudo-science that intends to 'self-direct' (human) evolution. With the concept 'Eugenics on Nature', it is intended to denote direction of genetic evolution of Nature from the perspective of the human self.

The advertisement for the first eugenics congress shows a link with psychiatry or people who believed in it, which can help explain the origin.

Image

"Eugenics is the self direction of human evolution"

The idea at the foundation of psychiatry, the idea that there is no more to life and the human mind than what can be shown to exist using emperical science (determinism), is the same idea that lays at the basis of eugenics. For a desire to 'stand above life' to arise, one has to be convinced that life is meaningless.

Who would naturally believe that life is meaningless?

Logically, the weaklings in life, people that lack purpose or creative talent that enables them to naturally have a base level of respect for Nature and perform in art and culture, the people who feel disavantaged, as the Devil would feel in the face of God, would feel in Eugenics a refuge that can provide them with an opportunity to belong tot the 'strong' in the human race. Essentially, with Eugenics, they try to escape Nature with corruption.
Eugenics wrote:Eugenics is the practice or advocacy of improving the human species by selectively mating people with specific desirable hereditary traits. It aims to reduce human suffering by “breeding out” disease, disabilities and so-called undesirable characteristics from the human population.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eugenics

Embryoselection is as much an eugenics practice as would sterilization of people deemed unwanted.

Eugenics 2.0: We’re at the Dawn of Choosing Our Kids (MIT)
Will you be among the first parents that pick their kids’ obstinacy? As machine learning unlocks predictions from DNA databases, scientists say parents could have options to select their kids like never before possible.
https://www.technologyreview.com/2017/1 ... -and-more/
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Re: Eugenics on Nature

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Nick_A wrote: September 17th, 2021, 5:13 pmI don't normally get the opportunity for this type of discussion so you are appreciated. I agree that it is more normal especially for dualistic reason to assume that the universe is her to serve us. That is why I'm attracted to begin my contemplations asking what is the purpose of our universe and Man within it? Once we have an idea of the purpose of our universe, Man's objective purpose may make more sense.
When it concerns a purpose of 'the Universe' and a purpose of life (as part of the Universe), these may not be directly related. When one considers 'the Universe' one can only do so on the basis of the 'begin of a pattern' which is introduced by an observing mind, which is a retro perspective. Therefor, the Universe (i.e. 'physical reality' or 'objective reality' which would be used for eugenics and embryoselection) may not be actually of substance beyond the scope of a perspective.

(2019) Quantum physics: objective reality doesn't exist
Clearly these are all deeply philosophical questions about the fundamental nature of reality. Whatever the answer, an interesting future awaits.
https://phys.org/news/2019-11-quantum-p ... oesnt.html

Simple logic indicates that the origin of life must lay outside the scope of the individual. This implies that from the perspective of an individual life form, the origin of life precedes it. A purpose of life therefor, must precede it.

What preceded life on a fundamental level logically lays beyond it from the perspective of the individual life form. Therefor, the origin of life is logically also the purpose or goal of life. Life logically will seek the origin of itself, i.e. develop subjective experience and become self-conscious.

Meaning – the origin of existence – logically performs as ‘mind’ on a fundamental level because the qualia paternness (a pattern in general) is bound by observation/perception. A pattern can only derive significance by observation/perception.

Perception/observation is the primary characteristic of mind, and without it in the form of a qualia, a pattern and thus what is termed physical reality cannot be possible. This explains that pure meaning – the origin of existence – would manifest itself as consciousness and when it is considered that the origin of life is necessarily life's purpose, life's purpose is established to be 'pure meaning' or 'good per se', the same origin of morality.

Morality or 'reason beyond value' (plausible philosophy) is therefor a method that enables humans to serve life's purpose.


Nick_A wrote: September 17th, 2021, 5:13 pmAs I understand it, the universe is a living machine. Its purpose is to transform substances. Doing this requires it must devour itself. The Ouroboros is an ancient symbol for this ancient process. From encyclopedia Britannica
Ouroboros, emblematic serpent of ancient Egypt and Greece represented with its tail in its mouth, continually devouring itself and being reborn from itself. A gnostic and alchemical symbol, Ouroboros expresses the unity of all things, material and spiritual, which never disappear but perpetually change form in an eternal cycle of destruction and re-creation.
User Hereandnow on this forum uses it as avatar:

On the absurd hegemony of science
viewtopic.php?t=16848
Nick_A wrote: September 17th, 2021, 5:13 pmI remember reading once that the destruction of the coral reefs and rainforests also destroy the fine substances making them beautiful. Man needs these fine substances to feed his higher parts. We kill them and deprive ourselves. As a result Man becomes more corse and thick and further from recognizing conscious human potential.

It seem then that Man can serve the universe as a necessary part of the machine of organic life or Man has the potential to serve the universe as a conscious being serving a greater necessity of uniting levels of reality. Eugenics is a mindset oblivious of the purpose of this organic machine we call life on earth. If we destroy the purpose of our car, is it surprising when it finally dies including the driver?

Does this make sense to you?
Yes, I believe that it may be correct. I personally suspect that individual contributions can enhance the 'human kind' and perhaps it is vital that humans become aware of it, so that they are motivated to overcome any challenge in life, which - if that idea is valid - would make humanity and life in general stronger on cosmic scale.

I recently read the following quote from Plato which seems to match the idea with regard kind to be of substance separate from individual life forms.
Plato wrote:According to Plato, an individual dog, Fido, for example, since he is not 'dog as such', but only a dog, is not fully real. To be fully real, Fido would need to be the universal essence, "Dog in himself", existing in a separate world of universal Essences (subsisting forms, or Ideas).

Since Fido is merely a dog, he is not fully real; is reality is merely a participation in the reality of the universal essence. Hence, he is merely a shadow (albeit a real shadow) of the "really" Real, the separated Form, or Idea, existing in the World of Ideas.
At question would be, when it concerns Plato's theory, does it equally apply to mind? As it appears, that would be the case which would result in a "master mind" of the human kind (e.g. a master Form that is developed by individual humans but which 'substance' would be independent from individual humans).

As can be seen in the OP, with atheism one assumes that 'having a good time' (enjoying life) is the purpose of life. What would happen when value is lost and life may appear unbearable? How would one possibly find motivation to fight to overcome problems.

It is why I believe that eugenics is a choice of the weak. With eugenics, one essentially attempts to escape problems instead of overcoming them to become stronger.

The idea that enjoying life - i.e. 'selecting kids for a nice time in life' - is the purpose of life, does not seem to make humanity strong in the face of an unforeseeable future (it would not serve 'resilience').

For the concept resilience to be served, which can be seen as 'strength in the face of an unforeseeable future', a base level of respect for Nature may be vital.
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Re: Eugenics on Nature

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JackDaydream wrote: September 17th, 2021, 4:36 pmThe one thing that worries me about eugenics is the idea of eradication of difference, ranging from those with aspect of difference, ranging from physical difference, as well as those on the gender spectrum, including intersex, and gender ambiguous identities, on the trans spectrum.
When humans would synthetically construct the genetic fabric of itself and its food source, it could be seen as a sort of incest which could lead to diversity issues, misguided evolution and other problems.

Successful (healthy) evolution may not be just about transferring individual genes or properties. It may be more complex than that which is also evident by the discovered horizontal gene transfer (HGT) by which evolution is also horizontal and the tree of life idea is rendered invalid.

It may not be wise to filter out 'genetic defects' for the short-term self interest of individual humans or for a controversial ideology (eugenics). An easy life or offspring with genes linked to prosperity (financial, career, intelligence etc) may not be what is good for human evolution.

It may be essential to value what it takes to perform like Stephen Hawking in life. Despite a genetic condition, he has contributed to human existence in ways that few others may have could.

When humans would be driven by culture to fight to overcome problems, to move mountains day after day, like bacteria do to become stronger than antibiotics, they would become "super humans". Normal humans capable of long term survival. Humans that push the limits of what is possible so that next generations will be better equipped to go even further.

It may be best to serve life instead of to attempt to stand above it.

JackDaydream wrote: September 17th, 2021, 4:36 pmAnother aspect of the debate on this issue is the idea of creating perfect bodies, This is particularly related to the philosophy of transhumanism, which is about the development of biotechnology, with a view to transcending the limits of biology as we know it. The basis of eugenics and transhumanism are bound up with questions about how we overcome the biological aspects of human nature. This is bound up with the power dynamics of whose interests such agendas may serve.
The relevant ethical questions with eugenics may be similar to the questions with doping in sport.

Should natural or 'presumed healthy' human evolution be guarded, as can be seen in sport that demands of its participants that they perform and improve naturally? Or should it be reconsidered what healthy evolution is about, and should the use of drugs or technology to win in sports be allowed, similar to the use of eugenics oriented technologies to win in life?

Why should there be respect for the evolution of athletes, but not for regular humans? Ar the ethical considerations at play different? If so, why?
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Re: Eugenics on Nature

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psyreporter wrote: September 16th, 2021, 8:29 pm Empirical science has been unable as of today to explain the origin of life and consciousness and yet, it intends to steer to a determinism based perspective in which life is a deterministic chemical process and consciousness an illusion.
The two thoughts in this statement are dissconnected.
You might as well say my dog does not know where his bone is, yet Trump is still not President.

Eugenics on Nature or synthetic biology is said to be the greatest thing in science in the 21th century.
Please quote your source. If not, try to stick to what has actually been said.
With Eugenics on Nature, science intends to ‘redesign life’. Thus, without ever having been able to explain why life exists, science believes that it can become master of it.
I can change channels on my TV without knowing how transistors work. I can even produce TV programmes, operas, and a whole hiost of other entertainments but never having any understanding of how TV signals are transmitted.
The Mona Lisa was painted with zero understanding of the chemistry of pigmentation.

Questions:

1) What is your opinion on Eugenics on Nature?

2) Does synthetic biology have a sound theoretical foundation? (note the quote of The Economist: "Reprogramming nature is extremely convoluted, having evolved with no intention or guidance.")

3) Do you believe that synthetic biology is morally justified? If no/yes: why?

4) Do you believe that synthetic biology will provide advantages for humanity?
1) This is a made up phrase, which is supposed to traduce genetic enginnering.
2) If it had no theoretical basis it would not work. It does work.
3) I think you mean to ask is it morally justifyable, since it is already justified by genetic engineers.
4) GE has already provided advantages. It is just the pinnacle of thousands of years of slow patient selective breeding which has modified a massive range of domesticants, including humans themseleves. GE just provides shortcuts.

The moral value of GE would be based on a case by case basis. There is no "Eugenic on Nature". Nothing we do changes Nature. Our understanding of Nature enables us to change genomes.
Last edited by Sculptor1 on September 18th, 2021, 1:09 pm, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: Eugenics on Nature

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Psy
When it concerns a purpose of 'the Universe' and a purpose of life (as part of the Universe), these may not be directly related. When one considers 'the Universe' one can only do so on the basis of the 'begin of a pattern' which is introduced by an observing mind, which is a retro perspective. Therefor, the Universe (i.e. 'physical reality' or 'objective reality' which would be used for eugenics and embryoselection) may not be actually of substance beyond the scope of a perspective.
Objective reality or the purpose of life reflects a universal need. Eugenics reflects a pragmatic desire. Man on earth only “sees” fragments of the whole creating opinions but is oblivious of the whole or origin of fragments.

My main argument with dualism is that it concerns facts measured by the two forces of affirmation and desire (yin and yang.) Its values reflect pragmatic facts or created desires.

Humanity is at the beginning of a change for certain individuals that will enable them to consciously transcend cold facts and put them into a triune perspective revealing human meaning and purpose. They will experience what Simone Weil termed the third dimension of thought.

Normally we accept the law of the excluded middle proposed by Aristotle as a logical given for reason. But what if the law of the Included middle makes it possible for Man to experience the universe as a vertical ladder of connected energies of differing objective qualities. Then the vertical human perspective which unites levels of reality offers more than the dualistic argument limited to the one level of reality we call visible “world.”

If you are unfamiliar with the Law of the INCLUDED middle, this idea may appear odd It is an ancient idea and people have been killed for professing this understanding. I still believe that some are ready to transcend from the perspective of the excuded middle which welcomes eugenics into the law of the INCLUDED middle uniting above and below which will sense the harm for Man’s conscious potential and allow animal life as a whole to perform the function it was created for. This excerpt may make this difficult idea a little more comprehensible:

http://esoteric.msu.edu/Reviews/NicolescuReview.htm
After reading Nicolescu's Manifesto of Transdisciplinarity, it is hard to imagine how any thinking person could retreat to the old, safe, comfortable conceptual framework. Taking a series of ideas that would be extremely thought-provoking even when considered one by one, the Romanian quantum physicist Basarab Nicolescu weaves them together in a stunning vision, this manifesto of the twenty-first century, so that they emerge as a shimmering, profoundly radical whole.

Nicolescu’s raison d’être is to help develop people’s consciousness by means of showing them how to approach things in terms of what he calls “transdisciplinarity.” He seeks to address head on the problem of fragmentation that plagues contemporary life. Nicolescu maintains that binary logic, the logic underlying most all of our social, economic, and political institutions, is not sufficient to encompass or address all human situations. His thinking aids in the unification of the scientific culture and the sacred, something which increasing numbers of persons, will find to be an enormous help, among them wholistic health practitioners seeking to promote the understanding of illness as something arising from the interwoven fabric—body, plus mind, plus spirit—that constitutes the whole human being, and academics frustrated by the increasing pressure to produce only so-called “value-free” material.

Transdisciplinarity “concerns that which is at once between the disciplines, across the different disciplines, and beyond all discipline,” and its aim is the unity of knowledge together with the unity of our being: “Its goal is the understanding of the present world, of which one of the imperatives is the unity of knowledge.” (44) Nicolescu points out the danger of self-destruction caused by modernism and increased technologization and offers alternative ways of approaching them, using a transdisciplinary approach that propels us beyond the either/or thinking that gave rise to the antagonisms that produced the problems in the first place. The logic of the included middle permits “this duality [to be] transgressed by the open unity that encompasses both the universe and the human being.” (56). Thus, approaching problems in a transdisciplinary way enables one to move beyond dichotomized thinking, into the space that lies beyond.

Nicolescu calls on us to rethink everything in terms of what quantum physics has shown us about the nature of the universe. Besides offering an alternative to thinking exclusively in terms of binary logic, and showing how the idea of the logic of the included middle can afford hitherto unimagined possibilities, he also introduces us to the idea that Reality is not something that exists on only one level, but on many, and maintains that only transdisciplinarity can deal with the dynamics engendered by the action of several levels of Reality at once. It is for this reason that transdisciplinarity is radically distinct from multidisciplinarity and interdisciplinarity, although it is often confused with both. Moreover, because of the fact that reality has more than a single level, binary logic, the logic that one uses to cross a street and avoid being hit by a truck, cannot possibly be applied to all of the levels. It simply does not work. Nicolescu explains it is only the logic of the included middle that can be adequate for complex situations, like those we must confront in the educational, political, social, religious and cultural arenas. As he writes, “The transdisciplinary viewpoint allows us to consider a multidimensional Reality, structured by multiple levels replacing the single-level, one-dimensional reality of classical thought.” (49)……………………………
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Re: Eugenics on Nature

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psyreporter wrote: September 18th, 2021, 3:14 am
LuckyR wrote: September 18th, 2021, 1:21 amEmbryo selection is very different from genetic manipulation. Embryo selection is having sperm and eggs meet normally, doing preimplantation genetics and only putting in the embryos without defects. Genetic manipulation (or modification) would be changing the genetic makeup of an embryo using foreign or synthetic DNA. Eugenics has generally meant sterilization of folks with "defects". These are all separate things that deserve separate discussion.
No, that is not correct. Eugenics is a pseudo-science that intends to 'self-direct' (human) evolution. With the concept 'Eugenics on Nature', it is intended to denote direction of genetic evolution of Nature from the perspective of the human self.

The advertisement for the first eugenics congress shows a link with psychiatry or people who believed in it, which can help explain the origin.

Image

"Eugenics is the self direction of human evolution"

The idea at the foundation of psychiatry, the idea that there is no more to life and the human mind than what can be shown to exist using emperical science (determinism), is the same idea that lays at the basis of eugenics. For a desire to 'stand above life' to arise, one has to be convinced that life is meaningless.

Who would naturally believe that life is meaningless?

Logically, the weaklings in life, people that lack purpose or creative talent that enables them to naturally have a base level of respect for Nature and perform in art and culture, the people who feel disavantaged, as the Devil would feel in the face of God, would feel in Eugenics a refuge that can provide them with an opportunity to belong tot the 'strong' in the human race. Essentially, with Eugenics, they try to escape Nature with corruption.
Eugenics wrote:Eugenics is the practice or advocacy of improving the human species by selectively mating people with specific desirable hereditary traits. It aims to reduce human suffering by “breeding out” disease, disabilities and so-called undesirable characteristics from the human population.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eugenics

Embryoselection is as much an eugenics practice as would sterilization of people deemed unwanted.

Eugenics 2.0: We’re at the Dawn of Choosing Our Kids (MIT)
Will you be among the first parents that pick their kids’ obstinacy? As machine learning unlocks predictions from DNA databases, scientists say parents could have options to select their kids like never before possible.
https://www.technologyreview.com/2017/1 ... -and-more/
Actually we're both right, I was talking about techniques (which as I mentioned are, in fact different and separate) and you're talking about the overall concept using any and all means.

I'll go ahead and shift gears away from techniques and meet you on the playing field of the overall premise (which I touched on but didn't stress in my first post).

First, even fish who eject sperm and eggs into sea currents (the ultimate random breeding example) benefit from genetic "selection". The difference is that fish progeny are selected or deselected after they are an independent organism in the environment, by being culled for swimming slowly or having poor eyesight.

It is a huge error to suppose that humans before the "eugenics" examples you cite, bred randomly and that eugenics are a novel concept that represents a significant change. Rather, as we all know humans choose whose genetic make up their progeny will have access to by using various observable criteria. Always have, always will. What is being labeled "eugenics" is driven by unusual motivation as you have noted and provided examples for, but are either ineffective genetically (sterilization), are used to screen for illness (preimplantation genetics) or are so expensive (preimplantation genetics and genetic engineering) that a statistically insignificant effect will result from their use. Of course, the costs may come down in the future so I agree that discussion to explore societal ethical norms and prohibitions is a great idea.
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Re: Eugenics on Nature

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LuckyR wrote: September 18th, 2021, 11:20 am
Eugenics 2.0: We’re at the Dawn of Choosing Our Kids (MIT)
Will you be among the first parents that pick their kids’ obstinacy? As machine learning unlocks predictions from DNA databases, scientists say parents could have options to select their kids like never before possible.
https://www.technologyreview.com/2017/1 ... -and-more/
Actually we're both right, I was talking about techniques (which as I mentioned are, in fact different and separate) and you're talking about the overall concept using any and all means.

I'll go ahead and shift gears away from techniques and meet you on the playing field of the overall premise (which I touched on but didn't stress in my first post).

First, even fish who eject sperm and eggs into sea currents (the ultimate random breeding example) benefit from genetic "selection". The difference is that fish progeny are selected or deselected after they are an independent organism in the environment, by being culled for swimming slowly or having poor eyesight.

It is a huge error to suppose that humans before the "eugenics" examples you cite, bred randomly and that eugenics are a novel concept that represents a significant change. Rather, as we all know humans choose whose genetic make up their progeny will have access to by using various observable criteria. Always have, always will. What is being labeled "eugenics" is driven by unusual motivation as you have noted and provided examples for, but are either ineffective genetically (sterilization), are used to screen for illness (preimplantation genetics) or are so expensive (preimplantation genetics and genetic engineering) that a statistically insignificant effect will result from their use. Of course, the costs may come down in the future so I agree that discussion to explore societal ethical norms and prohibitions is a great idea.
The method for selection would be at question. With Eugenics, one assumes that there is no more to life than what empirical science can prove to exist.

When 'natural selection' is performed based on science, evolution would be guided based on history (the product of science is history) and at question would be whether that can possibly be an optimal guiding principle for life.

Therefor the argument that 'selection per se' naturally takes place in life is not a valid argument in favor of 'Eugenics' (science based selection for 'perceived qualities' or qualities in retro-perspective).

When it concerns what it takes for life to exist, and to thrive, logically, what has been cannot be the answer as indicated by the logic in my footnote.
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