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thordaddy



Posts: 486
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 11 2006,10:53   

It was just stated that if human life were to be defined by conception then it still WOULD NOT present "a good argument against allowing morning-after pills, embryonic stem cell research, therapeutic cloning, in vitro reproduction, etc."

That made me think... What are the "good arguments" against eugenics?

  
Faid



Posts: 1143
Joined: Mar. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 11 2006,11:15   

How about "go away, troll"?

--------------
A look into DAVE HAWKINS' sense of honesty:

"The truth is that ALL mutations REDUCE information"

"...mutations can add information to a genome.  And remember, I have never said that this is not possible."

  
sir_toejam



Posts: 846
Joined: April 2005

(Permalink) Posted: April 11 2006,11:17   

go away troll.

yay! finally someone who gets it.

  
thordaddy



Posts: 486
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 11 2006,11:46   

More ideologues masked as scientists.

Is "eugenics" not a scientific inquiry?  

What is "embryonic stem cell research," if not a form of eugenics?

  
jeannot



Posts: 1200
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 11 2006,12:02   

Quote (thordaddy @ April 11 2006,15:53)
It was just stated that if human life were to be defined by conception then it still WOULD NOT present "a good argument against allowing morning-after pills, embryonic stem cell research, therapeutic cloning, in vitro reproduction, etc."

That made me think... What are the "good arguments" against eugenics?

Since you obviously cannot make the difference between life and consciousness, faith and facts, science and religion... how could you understand any answer from us?

  
ericmurphy



Posts: 2460
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: April 11 2006,12:24   

Quote (jeannot @ April 11 2006,17<!--emo&:0)
Since you obviously cannot make the difference between life and consciousness, faith and facts, science and religion... how could you understand any answer from us?

Thordaddy cannot understand the difference between an adult person and a 20-minute old zygote. There's no way he could possibly understand a complex ethical argument.

I think this now makes the fifth thread Thordaddy has started on this topic. Is this a symptom of obsessive-compulsive disorder, I wonder?

--------------
2006 MVD award for most dogged defense of scientific sanity

"Atheism is a religion the same way NOT collecting stamps is a hobby." —Scott Adams

  
Faid



Posts: 1143
Joined: Mar. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 11 2006,12:26   

It's a symptom of trolling.

--------------
A look into DAVE HAWKINS' sense of honesty:

"The truth is that ALL mutations REDUCE information"

"...mutations can add information to a genome.  And remember, I have never said that this is not possible."

  
thordaddy



Posts: 486
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 11 2006,13:06   

ericmurphy opines,

Quote
Thordaddy cannot understand the difference between an adult person and a 20-minute old zygote. There's no way he could possibly understand a complex ethical argument


LOL!  You are all over the place.  I attempt to define the beginning of human life and you pooh-pooh such attempts at clarity.  Then you boldly claim the difference between an "adult person and a 20-minute old zygote."  But what's the difference between a specific zygote and the person it becomes, is the real question?

Again, your argument relies on ignorance.  "Eugenics" is fine for "human life" that we remain ambiguous about, but "eugenics" for other human "beings" that we have  arbitrarily defined is off-limits.

I want to know how you create this differentiation?

  
ericmurphy



Posts: 2460
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: April 11 2006,13:29   

Quote (thordaddy @ April 11 2006,18<!--emo&:0)
LOL!  You are all over the place.  I attempt to define the beginning of human life and you pooh-pooh such attempts at clarity.  


Thordaddy, you mistake consistency for clarity. You consistently fail to make distinctions that everyone else here makes as a matter of course, and then wonder why everyone thinks you're not listening.

For absolutely the last time, trying to define the beginning of life is an absolute waste of time. It's a legal nullity, and in the context of the abortion debate, the only important definitions are legal definitions. As Nike pointed out to you, the U.S. Supreme Court has defined personhood unambiguously, which has nothing to do with when human life begins. You don't like this definition, so you try to come up with another entirely irrelevant definition for something that has no legal significance.

Quote
Then you boldly claim the difference between an "adult person and a 20-minute old zygote."  But what's the difference between a specific zygote and the person it becomes, is the real question?


No, that's not the real question. There is no real question here, except why is Thordaddy incapable of making simple distinctions.

Quote
Again, your argument relies on ignorance.  "Eugenics" is fine for "human life" that we remain ambiguous about, but "eugenics" for other human "beings" that we have  arbitrarily defined is off-limits.


How does my argument rely on ignorance? My argument relies on meaningful distinctions as opposed to meaningless distinctions. The real ignorance here is yours. You simply cannot distinguish between a scientific argument and a legal argument, a religious argument and an ethical argument.

Quote
I want to know how you create this differentiation?


What, between an adult an a zygote? If you can't make that distinction without me pointing it out to you, you truly are a lost cause. If you cannot make a distinction beween killing an adult and killing a zygote, I fail to understand why you think you're qualified to discuss an issue as complex as abortion.

--------------
2006 MVD award for most dogged defense of scientific sanity

"Atheism is a religion the same way NOT collecting stamps is a hobby." —Scott Adams

  
sir_toejam



Posts: 846
Joined: April 2005

(Permalink) Posted: April 11 2006,13:59   

gees, eric, stop already, would ya?

i beginning to wonder exactly who has the obsessive-compulsive disorder;

the troll, or the respondents?

  
Chris Hyland



Posts: 705
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 11 2006,14:00   

Quote
What is "embryonic stem cell research," if not a form of eugenics?
Eugenics does not mean killing people, I dont see how stem cell research fits under any description. Screening embryos for genetic defects fits under a very very broad definition, but then the arguments are the same as those for abortion. In short this thread is useless because people are having the exact same arguments on other threads.

  
thordaddy



Posts: 486
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 11 2006,14:00   

ericmurphy,

You keep avoiding the issue at hand.

You say you can make distinctions between a zygote and an adult person while simultaneously stating that conception doesn't represent the beginning of human life.  You are "ambiguous" on this latter point while retaining great clarity on the former issue of differentiating between "zygote and adult person."  

On the other hand, I can certainly differentiate between a zygote and an adult person just like I can differentiate Cierra now from Cierra at birth.  This is stating the obvious.  What I can't differentiate is between Cierra as zygote and Cierra NOW.  They are the same unique human entity.  This is undeniable.

What I CAN'T ascertain is WHY this effects someone's right to live given the ambiguous nature of when "human life begins" in the context of science.  

You are saying that because we (science) can't define when "human life" begins then it is justified to kill the human organism.  But science readily knows that a specific person WAS represented by a specific zygote.  Science recognizes that these are the SAME ENTITY.  

You were a zygote, but how are you different from that zygote in any fundamental way?

You need the zygote, the zygote doesn't need you.

  
Arden Chatfield



Posts: 6657
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 11 2006,14:06   

Quote (thordaddy @ April 11 2006,19:00)
ericmurphy,

You keep avoiding the issue at hand.

You say you can make distinctions between a zygote and an adult person while simultaneously stating that conception doesn't represent the beginning of human life.  You are "ambiguous" on this latter point while retaining great clarity on the former issue of differentiating between "zygote and adult person."  

On the other hand, I can certainly differentiate between a zygote and an adult person just like I can differentiate Cierra now from Cierra at birth.  This is stating the obvious.  What I can't differentiate is between Cierra as zygote and Cierra NOW.  They are the same unique human entity.  This is undeniable.

What I CAN'T ascertain is WHY this effects someone's right to live given the ambiguous nature of when "human life begins" in the context of science.  

You are saying that because we (science) can't define when "human life" begins then it is justified to kill the human organism.  But science readily knows that a specific person WAS represented by a specific zygote.  Science recognizes that these are the SAME ENTITY.  

You were a zygote, but how are you different from that zygote in any fundamental way?

You need the zygote, the zygote doesn't need you.

Trippy.

You know, they call them 'fingers', but I've never seen them fing!

--------------
"Rich is just mad because he thought all titties had fur on them until last week when a shorn transvestite ruined his childhood dreams by jumping out of a spider man cake and man boobing him in the face lips." - Erasmus

  
Faid



Posts: 1143
Joined: Mar. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 11 2006,14:10   

Quote (Chris Hyland @ April 11 2006,19:00)
In short this thread is useless because people are having the exact same arguments on other threads.

Exactly. And that shows what thordad is.
In the beginning, I thought he might be another misled ID advocate. Later, he seemed more like an undereducated, arrogant fool who thought he could win internet debates using the oldest tricks in the book.
Now I know for sure he's just a troll.

--------------
A look into DAVE HAWKINS' sense of honesty:

"The truth is that ALL mutations REDUCE information"

"...mutations can add information to a genome.  And remember, I have never said that this is not possible."

  
thordaddy



Posts: 486
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 11 2006,14:18   

Chris Hyland opines,

Quote
Eugenics does not mean killing people, I dont see how stem cell research fits under any description. Screening embryos for genetic defects fits under a very very broad definition, but then the arguments are the same as those for abortion. In short this thread is useless because people are having the exact same arguments on other threads.


So we do practice eugenics?  Is this your stand?  

The thread has a tendency to go in different directions and I don't mind, but the original question was what are the "good arguments" against eugenics."

You've already implied the taboo nature of this branch of science when you said,

Quote
Screening embryos for genetic defects fits under a very very broad definition [of eugenics]...,,

  
sir_toejam



Posts: 846
Joined: April 2005

(Permalink) Posted: April 11 2006,14:19   

arden:

http://www.fing.it/

  
Arden Chatfield



Posts: 6657
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 11 2006,14:24   

Quote (sir_toejam @ April 11 2006,19:19)
arden:

http://www.fing.it/

SEE? That proves my whole point!

I am the zygote, and the zygote is me. QED.

But the zygote isn't you. I don't know what the he11 you guys are.  :p

--------------
"Rich is just mad because he thought all titties had fur on them until last week when a shorn transvestite ruined his childhood dreams by jumping out of a spider man cake and man boobing him in the face lips." - Erasmus

  
Faid



Posts: 1143
Joined: Mar. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 11 2006,14:26   

Quote (sir_toejam @ April 11 2006,19:19)
arden:

http://www.fing.it/

OMG! It seems the ability to use mobile phones was 'front-loaded' in fingers from the beginning!
Fingers were intelligently designed!

Sorry people, I'm switching sides now.

--------------
A look into DAVE HAWKINS' sense of honesty:

"The truth is that ALL mutations REDUCE information"

"...mutations can add information to a genome.  And remember, I have never said that this is not possible."

  
Chris Hyland



Posts: 705
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 11 2006,14:27   

Quote
You've already implied the taboo nature of this branch of science
About as taboo as abortion, and basically based on the same arguments. Most people i believe think its ok to select embryos to avoid potential birth defects due to in-vitro fertilization. The arguments for and against this are the same as for and against abortion.

  
ericmurphy



Posts: 2460
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: April 11 2006,15:03   

Quote (sir_toejam @ April 11 2006,18:59)
gees, eric, stop already, would ya?

i beginning to wonder exactly who has the obsessive-compulsive disorder;

the troll, or the respondents?

Good point. I'm done. :-)

--------------
2006 MVD award for most dogged defense of scientific sanity

"Atheism is a religion the same way NOT collecting stamps is a hobby." —Scott Adams

  
thordaddy



Posts: 486
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 11 2006,15:10   

Chris Hyland,

I try and answer your questions.  Will you be kind enough to answer mine?

What are the good argument against that branch of science known as eugenics?

There good arguments are...?

There are no good arguments because...?

Please, let's engage.

  
Seven Popes



Posts: 190
Joined: Mar. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 11 2006,15:17   

Quote
Chris Hyland,

I try and answer your questions.  Will you be kind enough to answer mine?

Clearly, Thordaddy is a man with an undeveloped sense of irony.

--------------
Cave ab homine unius libri - Beware of anyone who has just one book.

  
Arden Chatfield



Posts: 6657
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 11 2006,15:47   

Quote (Faid @ April 11 2006,19:26)
Sorry people, I'm switching sides now.

I hear DaveTard has poker at his house on Wednesday nights.

Careful, tho, I heard he doesn't take it well when he loses.

--------------
"Rich is just mad because he thought all titties had fur on them until last week when a shorn transvestite ruined his childhood dreams by jumping out of a spider man cake and man boobing him in the face lips." - Erasmus

  
sir_toejam



Posts: 846
Joined: April 2005

(Permalink) Posted: April 11 2006,16:03   

Davetard pokes who now?

  
Arden Chatfield



Posts: 6657
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 11 2006,17:57   

Quote (sir_toejam @ April 11 2006,21<!--emo&:0)
Davetard pokes who now?

Why, William Dembski, of course!

--------------
"Rich is just mad because he thought all titties had fur on them until last week when a shorn transvestite ruined his childhood dreams by jumping out of a spider man cake and man boobing him in the face lips." - Erasmus

  
Arden Chatfield



Posts: 6657
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 11 2006,18:07   

A confession here -- there's one thing I've never understood about eugenics -- who is this poor bastard Eugene they keep talking about? And why does Thordaddy want to argue against him?

Is he the same person as Big Gay Gene? Is that what this is about?

--------------
"Rich is just mad because he thought all titties had fur on them until last week when a shorn transvestite ruined his childhood dreams by jumping out of a spider man cake and man boobing him in the face lips." - Erasmus

  
BWE



Posts: 1898
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 11 2006,20:19   

DAD:
There are Jews in the world.
There are Buddhists.
There are Hindus and Mormons, and then
There are those that follow Mohammed, but
I've never been one of them.

I'm a Roman Catholic,
And have been since before I was born,
And the one thing they say about Catholics is:
They'll take you as soon as you're warm.

You don't have to be a six-footer.
You don't have to have a great brain.
You don't have to have any clothes on. You're
A Catholic the moment Dad came,

Because

Every sperm is sacred.
Every sperm is great.
If a sperm is wasted,
God gets quite irate.

CHILDREN:
Every sperm is sacred.
Every sperm is great.
If a sperm is wasted,
God gets quite irate.


GIRL:
Let the heathen spill theirs
On the dusty ground.
God shall make them pay for
Each sperm that can't be found.

CHILDREN:
Every sperm is wanted.
Every sperm is good.
Every sperm is needed
In your neighbourhood.

MUM:
Hindu, Taoist, Mormon,
Spill theirs just anywhere,
But God loves those who treat their
Semen with more care.

MEN:
Every sperm is sacred.
Every sperm is great.
WOMEN:
If a sperm is wasted,...
CHILDREN:
...God get quite irate.

PRIEST:
Every sperm is sacred.
BRIDE and GROOM:
Every sperm is good.
NANNIES:
Every sperm is needed...
CARDINALS:
...In your neighbourhood!

CHILDREN:
Every sperm is useful.
Every sperm is fine.
FUNERAL CORTEGE:
God needs everybody's.
MOURNER #1:
Mine!
MOURNER #2:
And mine!
CORPSE:
And mine!

NUN:
Let the Pagan spill theirs
O'er mountain, hill, and plain.
HOLY STATUES:
God shall strike them down for
Each sperm that's spilt in vain.

EVERYONE:
Every sperm is sacred.
Every sperm is good.
Every sperm is needed
In your neighbourhood.

Every sperm is sacred.
Every sperm is great.
If a sperm is wasted,
God gets quite iraaaaaate! :D

--------------
Who said that ev'ry wish would be heard and answered
When wished on the morning star
Somebody thought of that, and someone believed it
Look what it's done so far

The Daily Wingnut

   
sir_toejam



Posts: 846
Joined: April 2005

(Permalink) Posted: April 11 2006,20:33   

sexist pig brits, always talking about wasting sperm, but do they ever talk about wasting ova?

huh? hmmmm?

  
BWE



Posts: 1898
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 11 2006,20:48   

No. Because eggs are worth more to science. They'll maybe give you ten bucks to yank in a cup but they'll give a dame a couple grand to simply lay 'em an egg. :0

--------------
Who said that ev'ry wish would be heard and answered
When wished on the morning star
Somebody thought of that, and someone believed it
Look what it's done so far

The Daily Wingnut

   
sir_toejam



Posts: 846
Joined: April 2005

(Permalink) Posted: April 11 2006,21:01   

so... we need to have the almightly remind us not to waste sperm, but the bucks do just fine for ova, eh?

got it.

  
Chris Hyland



Posts: 705
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 12 2006,00:00   

Quote
I try and answer your questions.  Will you be kind enough to answer mine?
How about we skip to the end of this thread. You apparently want me to say something that will invalidate arguments for abortion. Well I have already said I agree with prenatal testing, which extends to genetic counselling. So Im not sure what your point is. Im assuming you don't need arguments against forcably breeding or steralizing people.

  
Faid



Posts: 1143
Joined: Mar. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 12 2006,00:28   

Chris, TD just wants to use his favorite "argument" without being the one to invoke Godwin's Law.
He's as easy to read as Dave's hand at poker.

--------------
A look into DAVE HAWKINS' sense of honesty:

"The truth is that ALL mutations REDUCE information"

"...mutations can add information to a genome.  And remember, I have never said that this is not possible."

  
Faid



Posts: 1143
Joined: Mar. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 12 2006,00:33   

From last night's session:

Quote
"Pair o' Jacks, pal! Read 'em and weep!"

"Well, sorry to dissapoint you, Dave, but I have... Hey where did my hand go?"

"It got deleted, sucka. Read the table rules."


--------------
A look into DAVE HAWKINS' sense of honesty:

"The truth is that ALL mutations REDUCE information"

"...mutations can add information to a genome.  And remember, I have never said that this is not possible."

  
Stephen Elliott



Posts: 1754
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: April 12 2006,05:12   

Another vague question Thordaddy. What about eugenics?

In the UK it is customary now to check as early as possible in a pregnancy for serious debilitating ilness'. Should these be found to be positive, the woman is asked if she wishes for an abortion or try to go full term.

That I agree with.

If you are refering to "designer babies" then I would probably be against that, in most situations.

Once again though, no easy binary rule, different situations call for different responses.

  
MidnightVoice



Posts: 380
Joined: Aug. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: April 12 2006,05:45   

I am begining to think Eugenics might be a good idea - for instance, if we could stop all these fundamentalists from breeding, the world might end up a saner place.  :D

--------------
If I fly the coop some time
And take nothing but a grip
With the few good books that really count
It's a necessary trip

I'll be gone with the girl in the gold silk jacket
The girl with the pearl-driller's hands

  
sir_toejam



Posts: 846
Joined: April 2005

(Permalink) Posted: April 12 2006,07:52   

Quote
How about we skip to the end of this thread.


second.

  
thordaddy



Posts: 486
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 12 2006,09:55   

Stephen,

Since eugenics is a branch of science, I was expecting more "scientists" to say that there are no good arguments against eugenics since we clearly already practice it to an extent.

It seems to me that science once again is playing politics.

  
Stephen Elliott



Posts: 1754
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: April 12 2006,09:58   

Quote (thordaddy @ April 12 2006,14:55)
Stephen,

Since eugenics is a branch of science, I was expecting more "scientists" to say that there are no good arguments against eugenics since we clearly already practice it to an extent.

It seems to me that science once again is playing politics.

I think it has become obvious by now that eugenics covers many things.

What exactly are you asking td?

  
jeannot



Posts: 1200
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 12 2006,11:16   

Quote (thordaddy @ April 12 2006,14:55)
Stephen,

Since eugenics is a branch of science, I was expecting more "scientists" to say that there are no good arguments against eugenics since we clearly already practice it to an extent.

It seems to me that science once again is playing politics.

Eugenics WAS an branch of science, rather popular before World war II and nazism.
Now eugenics is a thing of the past. There is no research in this field.

Is discarding an embryo bearing a lethal disease a form of eugenism? No because the aim is not the amelioration of the human kind, it's avoiding pain and suffering. Will you get the difference or will you remain intellectually dishonest?

  
Tom Ames



Posts: 238
Joined: Dec. 2002

(Permalink) Posted: April 13 2006,14:31   

Thordaddy: "Eugenics is a branch of science."

This is obvious tripe. Eugenics is a discredited social policy. It's no more a branch of science than was "Mutually Assured Destruction".

--------------
-Tom Ames

  
thordaddy



Posts: 486
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 14 2006,13:15   

Tom Ames,

eugenics

:a science that deals with the improvement (as by control of human mating) of hereditary qualities of a race or breed

Is this not science?  Why has this been discredited?  Is trying to improve hereditary qualities really discredited?  What of picking and discarding embryos?  This is not eugenics?

  
Flint



Posts: 478
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 14 2006,17:35   

Quote
Is this not science?  Why has this been discredited?

Two separate questions here. Can humans, sufficiently organized and of common mind, breed themselves for certain traits considered desirable, or alternatively breed themselves to minimize traits not wanted? Well, yes, I suppose we could if we tried.

Presumably, we could also genetically engineer ourselves (assuming we have the techniques and knowledge) for similar purposes. The first approach is mostly passive, the second is active, but the goals are the same.

Would it "work"? I suppose it would, again presuming near-universal agreement about the goals and methods.

There are societies (China and India come to mind) where sexual selection of embryos have led to imbalences in sexual distribution (too many men), which in turn are causing social accomodations not anticipated beforehand. I imagine if we had much finer discrimination of embryo characteristics (i.e, skin color, sexual orientation, etc.) we could selectively make matters much worse than they are.

The basic question has been posed long since: Would a Congress of gorillas, given this capability, have chosen humans? Would they have abandoned greater strength, superior ability to live in the jungle, better protection against the elements, etc.? Given universal agreement and determination, humans could breed for desired characteristics (within some limitations, since breeding doesn't seem to affect some characteristics). Would the result be *better* people? I certainly wouldn't want to pass that judgment.

  
jeannot



Posts: 1200
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 14 2006,21:26   

Quote (thordaddy @ April 14 2006,18:15)
Tom Ames,

eugenics

:a science that deals with the improvement (as by control of human mating) of hereditary qualities of a race or breed

Is this not science?  Why has this been discredited?  Is trying to improve hereditary qualities really discredited?  What of picking and discarding embryos?  This is not eugenics?

Dude, can you just read and try to understand what you're being told? ???

  
Tom Ames



Posts: 238
Joined: Dec. 2002

(Permalink) Posted: April 15 2006,12:39   

Tell me, Thordaddy, what happens to the frequency of a recessive deleterious allele if you select against individuals having the deleterious trait?

When you answer that, you'll understand why eugenics has been discredited, at least from the scientific standpoint.

--------------
-Tom Ames

  
thordaddy



Posts: 486
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: April 15 2006,12:47   

Tom Ames,

Why can't you just put it in your own words and help facilitate an understanding?

  
ericmurphy



Posts: 2460
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: April 16 2006,15:25   

Quote (thordaddy @ April 15 2006,17:47)
Tom Ames,

Why can't you just put it in your own words and help facilitate an understanding?

I'll save him the time. What happens is—nothing.

--------------
2006 MVD award for most dogged defense of scientific sanity

"Atheism is a religion the same way NOT collecting stamps is a hobby." —Scott Adams

  
Tom Ames



Posts: 238
Joined: Dec. 2002

(Permalink) Posted: April 17 2006,12:06   

Quote (ericmurphy @ April 16 2006,18:25)
[quote=thordaddy,April 15 2006,17:47]Tom Ames,

Why can't you just put it in your own words and help facilitate an understanding?

I'll save him the time. What happens is—nothing.[/quote]
ericmurphy wins the prize.

You can't select against rare recessive deleterious alleles by selecting against the homozygote.

As an example, assume that 1% of a population has a rare disorder caused by a recessive allele at a single locus. You wish to remove the bad allele by eugenically removing that 1%. What actually happens to the allele frequency?

The population is made up of 3 genotypes (call them AA, Aa and aa). Only the aa will have the disorder and be subject to culling. If the alleles are in equilibrium (explication of the term not provided), the genotypes have the following frequencies:

AA: p^2
Aa: 2p(1-p)
aa: (1-p)^2

where p is the frequency of allele A and (1-p) is that of allele a.

Since 1% of the population has the disease (i.e., is homozygous recessive, aa) the frequency of allele a in the population is the square root of 1%, or 10%.

This means that NINE TIMES as many of the alleles are in heterozygous carriers than are in the homozygotes. (And 1% is actually a pretty big fraction for such a disease. More reasonable numbers yield even bigger disparities.)

After culling 1% of the population, you'd wait a generation and have almost exactly the same frequency of homozygous recessives as before. It just doesn't work. And if the trait is (as is more likely) determined by several genes, the situation becomes even more hopeless.

Breeding works in domesticated plants and animals because we can inbreed to get all homozygotes, and then cull a huge fraction of the offspring.

What remains a mystery is why such geneticists as Galton and Fisher were so enthusiastic for eugenics. Unless they were pursuing conservative social goals for which the scientific authority was invoked in order to lend the project credibility. Much as Richard J. Herrnstein and Charles Murray did in The Bell Curve.

But the fact remains: eugenics is and has always been a tool for a conservative social program. The scientific basis for it is nil.

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-Tom Ames

  
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