Re: UPL: Dogs and Domestication

Technotranscendence (
Fri, 3 Dec 1999 23:19:47 -0800

On Friday, December 03, 1999 4:37 PM Glen Finney wrote:
> Actually, I think that affection might be one of the best reasons I can
> of to uplift. And while some people might call it animal cruelty, I do
> and hey, some people probably think breeding dogs is also animal cruelty.

Yes, but you can see some of their reasoning on the latter, no? I mean, if you breed for certain traits you might produce a dog that has trouble breathing (as in pugs), hip problems (in the larger breeds), and other quality of life issues.

Uplifting would, hopefully, differ in that the goal is not to breed for some superficial trait. Nor once we get an uplifted organism would we continue to uplift it -- unless it agrees.

>> The case is not so clear as Glen would think. I recommend he and others
>> read Darcy F. Morey's "The Early Evolution of the Domestic Dog" (in
>> _American Scientist_ 82(4) July-August 1994) and Lyudmila N. Trut's
>> Canid Domestication: The Farm-Fox Experiment" (in _American Scientist_
>> March-April 1999). While I don't think humans have had no input into
>> domestication, domestication (for dogs and other domesticated organisms)
>> a type of niche exploitation.
> I agree that in the case of dogs, we might have a situation where the
> actually "chose" to be "domesticated". I actually think that makes it
> better to uplift dogs; we're not uplifting an enslaved species but our
> willing partners. However, we certaily have been in the driver's seat
> far as developing different breeds. Do you think those early proto dogs
> really had in mind becoming toy poodles when they joined our hunting
> parties?<G>

That's why I typed my last sentence in the above quoted paragraph as I did. Notably, the domestication process itself was a form of niche exploitation. However, one the domestication was over, humans were able to, as they became more aware of what selective breeding (and now genetic engineering) can do, take more control over the process. Still, humans are not outside evolution.:)

> It's all the insidious plan of Professor Peabody! Soon humans shall be
> reduced to a mass of Shermans!<rbsg>

There's an Erik Frank Russell short story the name of which escapes me that has dogs using humans to take over an alien race. For some strange reason, I'm more suspicious of cats.:)


Daniel Ust