Re: genetic engineering was: a new thread

From: Dan Adams (
Date: Fri May 12 2000 - 14:59:55 MDT

> One thing to consider - as we move into an era where
> these visions *will*
> become reality, I think a core principle should be
> "I can grow you with the
> *choice* to be better". I don't mind playing god, I
> do mind forcing others
> to follow in my path. The point here is that we can
> do better than natural
> selection, et al., because we can *choose* our
> specific mutations/variances.
> Anyway, I don't mean to begin an ethical debate,
> though I'm sure I will.
> :')
> Ian

What if we ask how we can create dynamic DNA rather
than allowing ourselves to fall down the slippery
slope of ethical considerations attached with
prescribing physical conditions to our progeny?
Without making any appeal to a non-corporeal
information existence, I can envision a
semi-autonomous process (governed by a deep
understanding of genetics) whereby not only are
negative factors (e.g. potential disability and
disease) precluded within the genetic programming, but
only the best (read, "really good") solutions are
found. All of this however without any hardwiring on
the human designers part.
The field currently known as genetic programming uses
a highly dynamic matrix of factors which allow it to
seek out a near-global optimum in a search space
within highly constrained parameters. The idea behind
it (Holland, 1975) was originally derived from
biology. Now that it's been abstracted and perfected,
let's use it in biology again. This time to produce
the next generation of people. You can design better
people without definite specifications of what they
must be and without falling into the dangerous
"eugenics" zone...

Dan Adams
Boston College

"I cannot articulate enough to express my dislike to people who think that understanding spoils your experience...How would they know?"
   - Marvin Minsky

Do You Yahoo!?
Send instant messages & get email alerts with Yahoo! Messenger.

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Thu Jul 27 2000 - 14:11:10 MDT