Re: Is Eugenics Really A Bad Thing?

From: Brian Atkins (
Date: Mon Jul 03 2000 - 16:26:45 MDT

Bryan Moss wrote:
> Brian Atkins wrote:
> > Do you agree that many animals are born with instincts?
> I do.
> > Do you agree that these instincts are built into their
> > brains by DNA?
> Yes, but most aren't as high-level as "big antlers".

How do you think an animal knows to have sex with something from its
own race, rather than dogs trying to shag cats? It's all coded in there.
Antlers is just part of it.

> > So why can't there also be instincts to want to have sex
> > with big antlers?
> Encoding "big antlers" is more like encoding symphonies in
> heartbeats than encoding a heart, and to do that you have to
> know a lot about the heart and a lot about music. A useful
> mutation occurring within the brain (at that level) has to
> be at least several orders of magnitude less likely than in
> organs, limbs, and so on. (And impossible if you think the
> brain is just one big "pattern catcher".)

The brain obviously is not only a pattern catcher- there are
structures even recognizable without a microscope. I won't go there.

DNA knows nothing (as if it were sentient, which is not), and doesn't
have to know anything about the brain in order to code in these
instincts. It just happens through evolution. And it's not like
DNA has to start all over with each new branch of animal.. many
of these instincts were evolved long before animals with antlers
even existed. They just have very slight mods to the DNA of whatever
they came from.

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Mon Oct 02 2000 - 17:33:55 MDT