Mudcat Café message #2304751 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #109821   Message #2304751
Posted By: Mrrzy
02-Apr-08 - 03:28 PM
Thread Name: BS: Religious freedom, or murder?
Subject: RE: BS: Religious freedom, or murder?
For those in the Darwin-and-intelligence aside, I'd like to toss in the finding that yes, with eyeglasses, dentistry, wheelchairs, epilepsy-warning dogs, we as a species ARE trashing our gene pool. That is the price of civilization, and one we pay willingly. Wesley S, it isn't that the world -or even the human species- would be "better off" if we let all the individuals who were sub-average on ANY scale die off instead of caring and loving them. But it is an undeniable reality that if we did, we would not be nearly as genetically prone to things like bad eyesight - when did you last see an open-ground predator of ungulates, like great cats and humans, who hunted by near-sightedness? Compare that to, When did you last meet an adult who didn't need glasses, contact lenses, or Lasik? We would be genetically stronger, or prone to other things less minor and treatable, but we'd be the kind of people I wouldn't want to be, and not the kind of people we ARE, who HAVE evolved not only the ability, but the DESIRE to care for and about people with diabetes and other treatable conditions that, in most futuristic (read: realistic, in many eyes, to the issue of population control) writings, are banned from reproducing.
Meanwhile, on the tower {anybody recognize that reference?}, it is also being discovered that being a CARRIER (of more and more things that are a bad thing to have) is often a good thing to be. Carriers of sickle-cell anemia, for instance, are resistant to malaria (which is why only peoples from malaria-ridden areas developed the gene which, when expressed as sickle-cell anemia, is a terrible thing to have - OR everybody had it but everybody ELSE lost it when we came out of Africa). But that is a simple one-allele thing; others are more complex and include more genes, so "carrier" becomes shorthand for "someone who has this in their family tree but doesn't suffer from it themselves" - not to imply that there is A gene for anything that follows:
Carriers of bipolar disorder and schizophrenia, which last is becoming associated with older *fathers*, and of other disorders including autism, are showing up as remarkably intelligent and/or creative. Kind of like the math geniuses who are so much more likely to be left-handed or stutter or both. So our caring for our subaverages may actually be HELPING us in weird, unintended and unimagined ways. And in fact the evolution OF disorders like bipolarity, schizophrenia, autism, dyslexia may actually signal interesting turning points in the evolution of our intelligence and emotional capabilities.
But again, just because someone acknowledges that many genetic deficits do exist in our society and are not only tolerated but cherished, does NOT mean that a) they think society would be a better place without those individuals, or that b) they are actually serious when they use the genetic metaphor for meme-disabilities like believing in fairy tales when you're a grown-up, or other religious lunacies.
Now, we don't know if carriers of diabetes, which is all the little girl had in the original thread, are stronger in some way - and I doubt it, diabetes is not a human disease, it's a mammal disease, sugar metabolism is an old and complex cycle that is multiple-y disruptable. So these people were, to quote a current writer, either dangerously stupid or equally if not more dangerously insane. Sure, they had a *reason* to believe that if they made mouth movements of a certain kind, the physical laws of the universe would be suspended in their case: they had been told so by a priest. Or by *their* parents, who'd been told so by a priest. Now, is that OK with anybody who isn't an American?