Kuro5hin.org: technology and culture, from the trenches
create account | help/FAQ | contact | links | search | IRC | site news
[ Everything | Diaries | Technology | Science | Culture | Politics | Media | News | Internet | Op-Ed | Fiction | Meta | MLP ]
We need your support: buy an ad | premium membership

[P]
Ectogenesis - Panacea or Ethical Nightmare?

By catseye in Technology
Wed Oct 01, 2003 at 05:51:49 PM EST
Tags: Science (all tags)
Science

Stem cell research, abortion, teenage sex, cloning, genetic manipulation, surrogacy... nothing seems to raise the red flag more than reproductive issues. Add ectogenesis to the list.

Ectogenesis is the development of an organism in an artificial environment and when it comes to humans, it is no longer something out of Aldous Huxley's Brave New World. Scientists have been attempting to create artificial wombs since the 1950s, but it was not until the 1990s that fetuses survived in them for more than a few hours.


Recent Advances

Dr. Hung-Ching Liu of Cornell University and her team made headlines in 2002 when they actually grew a human uterus by taking endometrial cells and growing them over a scaffolding in the shape of a uterus. The scaffolding dissolved as the cells grew into uterine tissue, which was then supplied with proper nutrients and hormones. To test the womb, embryos left over from in vitro fertilization (IVF) programs were introduced, and they actually began to settle properly. The experiment was halted after six days. An interview with Dr. Liu gives more details on the process.

In Japan, Yoshinori Kuwabara of Juntendo University conducted his experiments on goats. Goat fetuses were removed from their dams and placed in clear plastic tanks filled with amniotic fluid, their umbilical cords connected to machines that removed waste and supplied nutrients. The fetuses were kept alive for ten days in this experiment, and later experiments extended the time to three weeks. After removal, some goats lived for a few days, and others for much longer.

Artificial Wombs as a Panacea for Many Reproductive Problems

  • During in vitro fertilization, it will make it possible for doctors to keep the embryos in the lab a little longer, to see which ones are most viable before implantation.
  • Women who are diagnosed with Preeclampsia or HEELP early in pregnancy would no longer need to spend months hospitalized or in bed. The only cure for these conditions is delivery of the baby, and right now all that can be done is to keep the woman as immobile as possible until the fetus can survive outside the womb. If an artificial womb was an option, the fetus could be transferred to it while the mother regains her heath.
  • Artificial wombs will allow women with damaged uteruses (or other medical conditions that make pregnancy dangerous) but viable ovaries to have their own genetic children without resorting to surrogacy, which can bring all sorts of legal hassles into the picture.
  • Premature babies could be placed in artificial wombs instead of incubators, and allowed to continue development in the proper environment. Currently, mechanical ventilation damages lungs, and many very premature babies end up brain damaged or developmentally delayed due to lack of proper respiration.
  • From a purely selfish point of view, it would even allow women who simply do not want to be pregnant to have children. Although it is the most natural thing in the world, pregnancy can turn a woman's life upside down in Western society. Careers are interrupted or no longer possible, education must be postponed, and unemployed pregnant women find it almost impossible to find a job other than temp work.
  • Artificial wombs would be a reasonable and perhaps welcome alternative to abortion.

Ethical Issues Surrounding Artificial Wombs

  • If artificial wombs provide safer environments than natural ones, it might be possible for pregnant women to be forced by the courts to have their fetuses placed in artificial wombs instead. In the case of a crack addict mother, this is probably not a bad thing, but given the nature of our court system, a social worker could see a pregnant woman wearing a seat belt improperly or performing a risky activity, and have the fetus removed from her for its own good.
  • Combine artificial wombs with cloning technology and a donor egg, and gay males can actually have their own biological children. While many people would see this as something amazing and wonderful, right wing conservatives and the ultra-religious would become apoplectic.
  • Health insurance companies might encourage or even require that pregnancies occur this way, simply because it would be cheaper for them in the long run.
  • Companies might attempt to write clauses into employment contracts stating that if a pregnancy interferes with work, then the fetus must be transferred into an artificial womb. While the average fast food clerk, secretary or computer programmer might not have to worry about that, female executives or laborers would.
  • Would mothers feel less attached to babies to whom they did not give birth to?
  • It would be easier for researchers to harvest fetal tissue for research, giving rise to numerous ethical and legal issues.
  • Could this lead to eugenics?
  • How do the major world religions feel about it?
  • Would their be any complications or developmental issues for the fetus before or after birth due to things that might be missing from an artificial womb, such as maternal heartbeat, hormones generated by mood, touch, etc.

Artificial Wombs -- The End of Elective Abortion?

Most of the benefits or issues stated above are fairly straightforward, but using an artificial womb as an alternative to abortion deserves more discussion.

Abortions can be separated into five categories:

  1. Gross defects or abnormalities in the fetus that are 'incompatible with life'.
  2. Defects or abnormalities in the fetus that would seriously restrict quality of life.
  3. Clear and present danger (physical) to the mother's life.
  4. Danger to the mother's psychological well being.
  5. Convenience/Birth Control.

Abortions would probably still be the preferred choice for category 1 in many cases. For example, if ultrasound and other scans detect that the fetus is missing critical internal organs, has anencephaly, is an improperly split conjoined twin, and will either be stillborn or die shortly after birth, abortion is still an option, although when artificial wombs are commonplace, surgical and other treatments may become possible that were not possible with the fetus in utero.

In the case of category number 2, abortions are sometimes performed if the fetus is found to have gross deformities or genetic defects that would leave the child either severely retarded, grossly deformed, or developmentally restricted in other ways. If the conditions cannot be corrected by doctors (with appropriate advances in medical technology that would most likely go hand in hand with artificial wombs due to easier access to the fetus), then this remains a grey area.

If artificial wombs were available, abortion would no longer be necessary for categories 3-5. The embryo/fetus could be safely removed and placed in an artificial womb until development is complete.

In all cases, after moving the fetus to an artificial womb, parents would have the option of deciding whether to keep the baby or give it up for adoption, just as they do now. When the technology becomes commonplace, the cost of maintaining the fetus in an artificial womb full term might be comparable to the cost of an abortion. In addition, religious and conservative groups that currently spend millions protesting and lobbying against abortion should subsidize the cost for low-income women; anything less would be immoral and hypocritical.

The mere existence of a functioning, affordable artificial womb would turn Roe vs. Wade on its ear. Roe vs. Wade, the US Supreme Court decision making abortion a constitutional right, was based on a woman's right to privacy, which included the right not to be pregnant, and viability, the ability of the fetus to survive outside the mother's womb. Viability is currently listed as 24 weeks, but technically the embryo would be viable outside the mother's body from the moment of conception, if an artificial womb were available. As well, artificial wombs satisfy the woman's right to not be pregnant. By this logic, elective abortion could become illegal in the United States.

Fortunately, full-term ectogenesis for humans in still future science, and we still have time to consider the ethical, moral and legal ramifications of such technology. Placing fetuses in artificial wombs short-term, however, is practically right around the corner, and we had best prepare ourselves for it. While I have no opinion as yet on whether ectogenesis should be preferable to natural pregnancy, I can see nothing but good coming from the ability to provide an artificial, but safe and viable, environment for premature babies in which to finish developing.

Other Sources:

Guardian Unlimited: Men Redundant? Now we don't need women either
Nature Magazine: Artificial Wombs: An out of body experience
Reason Online: Babies In a Bottle

Sponsors

Voxel dot net
o Managed Hosting
o VoxCAST Content Delivery
o Raw Infrastructure

Login

Related Links
o Aldous Huxley
o Brave New World
o grew a human uterus
o interview with Dr. Liu
o experiment s on goats
o Preeclampsia
o HEELP
o anencephaly
o Men Redundant? Now we don't need women either
o Artificial Wombs: An out of body experience
o Babies In a Bottle
o Also by catseye


Display: Sort:
Ectogenesis - Panacea or Ethical Nightmare? | 246 comments (228 topical, 18 editorial, 0 hidden)
I have to go re -read it. (4.00 / 5) (#1)
by Easyas123 on Wed Oct 01, 2003 at 12:54:35 PM EST

Before I do any editing, but that is the way to start an argument!

***********************
As the wise men fortold.

Nice. +1 (none / 1) (#13)
by Easyas123 on Wed Oct 01, 2003 at 02:37:40 PM EST

The only thing I can think to add, (and this has it's own set of baggage), is a religous view.

I appreciate that the main thrust of your article was medical, but many people will not separate the issue of abortion with the one of souls. We already have issues with cloning and stem cells, I can only imagine the furor over artificial wombs.

I like this as written, but be prepared for this slant.

***********************
As the wise men fortold.

Now there's a nice touch! (3.22 / 9) (#18)
by Pluto on Wed Oct 01, 2003 at 03:28:14 PM EST

Ahhhh, the religious view has always been a big treat for women.

Somewhere in Genesis, god promised woman that they would be doomed to suffer in agony during childbirth because that uppity Eve pissed him off no end.

Of course, until 1900 AD, one out of every 2 women died in childbirth. Then, all of a sudden, midwives started washing their hands. I bet god was pissed about that loophole (not to mention painkillers).

By all means, let's bring religion into this. It can be ever so uplifting in scientific discussions.
_______________________________________
Burgeoning technologies require outlaw zones... deliberately unsupervised playgrounds for technology itself. -- William Gibson
[ Parent ]

Whoa! Pluto (5.00 / 3) (#21)
by Easyas123 on Wed Oct 01, 2003 at 03:44:08 PM EST

The article is partially about the ethics of artificial wombs. To certain people religion has a place in ethical discussions. This was an editorial comment, no more no less.

Anyway, there is an entire section of the article dedicated to abortion. If you do not think that that will get it started, you aren't thinking straight.

Regardless of who likes it and who does not, if an article is supposed to debate scientific advancement vs. ethics/morality, and religion is not mentioned, there will be a hole in your argument. No matter which way you lean.

***********************
As the wise men fortold.
[ Parent ]

Thanks for pointing this comment out, Pluto. (5.00 / 2) (#137)
by regeya on Thu Oct 02, 2003 at 01:52:42 PM EST

I'll give it the rating it deserves.

[ yokelpunk | kuro5hin diary ]
[ Parent ]

it will play out like this (4.30 / 23) (#15)
by circletimessquare on Wed Oct 01, 2003 at 03:01:39 PM EST

rich women who don't want stretch marks/ flabby tummies will pay hand over fist to do this first... they may have to do it in cuba or china because of the moralists in the west who will make this illegal. rumors will spread everywhere about how fabulous so-and-so rich movie star/ ms. wife-of-ceo looks after having a few kids and why.

in places like cuba/ china where this procedure is legal, the procedure will become more public and commonly known, and begin to trickle down into the upper middle class, then the middle class, and gain enthusiastic acceptance in these countries.

a division in the world will appear between those areas of the world where this is legal- china, cuba, versus those where it is illegal- the us, ireland. in places where it is illegal, women who see how their brethren in cuba and china who have nice flat tummies and children at the same time will face the usual cast of suspects in the west who fight their attempts at legalizing this procedure tooth and nail: the fundamentalists, the moralists.

gradually, piecemail, nations where ectogenesis was initially illegal, but who are more socially progessive than the us, such as canada, japan, italy, etc... they will allow this procedure to become legal. but the reactionary religious places similar to the us- ireland, the philippines, etc., they will continue to resist this procedure for a long time to come, and only the upper middle class women from these countries will be able to fly elsewhere to get this done in secret. they will face no social stigma amognst their friends back home for doing this, only envy form those under pressure from their moralizing relatives, or suffering from simple fear of being caught. some will be "outted" by religious bigots and hypocritical moralists similiar to how homosexuals were "outted" by some radical homosexual groups in the early 90s/ late 80s.

the slow acceptance of ectogenesis will play out similar to the debate over abortion, of which the debate is currently dwindling and there is growing acceptance. ectogenesis will face the same of arc of initial fierce resistance from luddites and reaciotnary moralists, lapsing into concern and begrudging acceptance, to eventual psychological acceptance of that which is initially perceived as a want, seen as inevitably to be a need... as is the arc with all controversial technology: look up the definition of the word "luddite" and automated looms, or look at the current death throes of the music industry on the face of inevitable file sharing.

and of course, there is nothing wrong with ectogenesis at all, it is just the age old story of human existence- new technology faces fear and distrust in the eyes of some, and eventually gets accepted as the distrustful, closed-minded reactionary types die off.

mark my words, the us and europe will fall behind china and the far east in general when it comes to biotechnology. the luddites will successfully roadblock research in the us and europe in frankenfood, stem cell research, etc., and all of the great advances throughout the 21st century in the field of biotechnology will happen in china and the far east. to what end result? china and the far east will reap trillions of dollars and happier, long-lived, cancer and heart attack free citizens. those trapped in the reactionary west will look on in envy to china and the far east much as parts of the world look on in envy at the west today with our high tech.

you embrace the future or you fall behind, simple as that folks. fear the moralists and fundamentalists: they spell the doom of the west. i'm so glad y'all wish women to continue suffering through childbirth, so nice of you, really. i guess you are sad penicillin got discovered because thousands dying of simple infections is nature's way too.

technology changes the world and what is "natural." simple as that. get used to it.

all of the "concerns" about biotechnology boils down to nothing but fear of the unknown, ignorance, simplistic religious interpretations, and imaginative unfounded paranoia: fear of pod people without souls, armies being bred in secret installations, getting your eggs/ sperm stolen and having your clone/ children bred without your existence, etc.

i just wish some people could draw the line between scientific progress and scientific fantasy.


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

Mabye. (3.00 / 6) (#16)
by Easyas123 on Wed Oct 01, 2003 at 03:18:06 PM EST

But don't you think that time, (this is years away remember), plus the outher bio-revolutions already in line, (cloning, stem cell-research), will have served to resolve this issue?

Plus if there is serious coin to be made off of it, It'll end up in the U.S. eventually.

***********************
As the wise men fortold.
[ Parent ]

yes, you are right (3.20 / 5) (#17)
by circletimessquare on Wed Oct 01, 2003 at 03:21:34 PM EST

the details of my scenario i do not believe will happen exactly as i said, but the spirit of what i say: religious luddites versus acceptance of the inevitable, that will definitely happen.

who knows how it will play out or who will initally prevail where, but the outcome is inescapable: ectogenesis for all. of course, exactly WHEN that will happen is strictly a matter of how fast we can kill off the religious luddites, lol. ;-P


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

What happened? (3.00 / 6) (#26)
by jjayson on Wed Oct 01, 2003 at 03:57:37 PM EST

You wrote in full sentence and have more than a single line per paragraph. Are you okay?
_______
Smile =)
Given the culinary lineage of its former colonial masters, America's "theft" of other nation's cuisines is considered by mo
[ Parent ]
i'm sorry (3.00 / 3) (#29)
by circletimessquare on Wed Oct 01, 2003 at 04:07:25 PM EST

i didn't capitalize... does that redeem me?

i tend to lapse into william shatner school of typing when i'm pissed off

i am capable of proper grammar, just look at one of my stories

but i fail to care enough to try to find the shift key or punction marks when i am posting comments

i mean, really what the fuck do or anyone else care about punctuation? i can still get my ideas across apparently quite well- isn't that what writing is for?

for those of whom my bad formatting gets in the way of people understanding me, i tend to think of that as the sign of a small mind, and so, when i piss off a grammar nazi, i take it as a point of pride

lol ;-)

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

Caps (3.50 / 6) (#39)
by dennis on Wed Oct 01, 2003 at 05:26:03 PM EST

e.e.cummings proved it works for poetry, but for prose, personally, my eyes glaze over if the caps are missing. It's the more uniform letter height. Same reason it's harder to read ALL CAPS in large quantities, which tells you how smart our legislators and lawyers are since they keep putting the important contract stuff in caps.

[ Parent ]
i'm just lazy (1.20 / 5) (#40)
by circletimessquare on Wed Oct 01, 2003 at 05:37:20 PM EST

sorry

losing a segment of a potential audience for my comments due to bad formatting is less important to me than just being my lazy ass self

i go to kuro5hin to kvetch, not practice my etiquette

sorry, but i'd rather you just stop reading my comments than me conform to a more rigid typing style i've grown unaccustomed to

shrugs


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

I sometimes feel the same way... (5.00 / 5) (#119)
by dennis on Thu Oct 02, 2003 at 10:28:23 AM EST

...although personally, when I don't care about an audience for my writing, I just save it as a text file on my own machine.

[ Parent ]
communication is (1.00 / 5) (#132)
by circletimessquare on Thu Oct 02, 2003 at 12:38:51 PM EST

as communication does


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]
yes, that's what you want. (3.00 / 3) (#73)
by rmg on Wed Oct 01, 2003 at 11:13:09 PM EST

the eye glazing is good. it gives the text eerie hypnotic powers.

_____ intellectual tiddlywinks
[ Parent ]

HAHAHA i love you rmg ;-) (2.50 / 4) (#80)
by circletimessquare on Thu Oct 02, 2003 at 12:08:31 AM EST

you cut through all my bullshit with a lightsaber

but now i have to kill you for revealing my subversive, subconscious writing style and its effects on the humans on kuro5hin i wish to enslave in to my cult

all i need is to put them on low protein diets and my brainwashing will be complete!

BRING ON THE VEGETARIAN TROLLS!!!!

MUAHAHAHA

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

small correction (4.14 / 7) (#34)
by tranx on Wed Oct 01, 2003 at 05:06:37 PM EST

nations ... more socially progessive than the us, such as canada, japan, italy

Erm... maybe you meant Denmark or The Netherlands... I wish my country could be as progressive as you think. Sadly, it isn't, or do I have to remind you where Mr Woityla lives? Or that we were governed by christian democrats for fifty years straight?

I agree with most of your post though...


"World War III is a guerrilla information war, with no division between military and civilian participation." -- Marshall McLuhan
[ Parent ]

i always thought italy was really progressive... (2.50 / 4) (#38)
by circletimessquare on Wed Oct 01, 2003 at 05:20:49 PM EST

sorry ;-)

i've visited there twice, and there seemed ot be a lot of racy media freely available

plus, didn't you elect a porn star to your senate/ congress/ whatever it's called there?

i always hear about churches being turned into discotecs and fashion runways (didn't another recently needed to be re-blessed because a porn film was shot there?)... plus, you're population is shrinking faster than even japan's, and birthrate seems to be a good reflection of women's freedoms, which in turn is a good reflection of how progressive a society is

i was always impressed with egalitarian italian society, even if your car and moped drivers in rome suck ass and you're pm burlesconi (sp?) is a loud mouthed archie bunker bigot lol ;-P


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

egalitarians... (4.25 / 5) (#51)
by tranx on Wed Oct 01, 2003 at 07:11:09 PM EST

Go out at night and see the ratio of men to women around, compare with other EU countries or US: my personal statistics says it's higher here, we're still very much sexist (the place of the woman is at home). Official statistics say we're much behind the others with respect to women in power positions (MPs and Top mgmgt). The macho culture...

The reason behind low birth rate is manifold: low wages, high unemployment especially in the once prolific south, less inclination to sacrifice.

The facts you cited are (unluckily maybe) exceptions.

Berlusconi could be considered living proof of what I stated. If Rocco should be appointed PM then it could be different...

And finally: I'm one of those moped drivers in Rome, I'm all for a law forbidding driving slower than 55 mph in town!

"World War III is a guerrilla information war, with no division between military and civilian participation." -- Marshall McLuhan
[ Parent ]

lol (none / 1) (#56)
by circletimessquare on Wed Oct 01, 2003 at 07:35:03 PM EST

it is pretty silly of me to debate italian political/ sexual culture with an italian, so then all i can say is: i stand corrected, thank you

however, "slow the fuck down you maniac, you're going to kill a dimwitted tourist!" (translation not included)

lol ;-)


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

hehe (5.00 / 2) (#87)
by Wah on Thu Oct 02, 2003 at 12:49:52 AM EST

it is pretty silly of me to debate italian political/ sexual culture with an italian ...

with a .sig like yours...
--
kewpie
[ Parent ]

you didn't get the memo? (none / 1) (#94)
by circletimessquare on Thu Oct 02, 2003 at 01:28:52 AM EST

us americans own the whole planet now

lol

IT'S A JOKE FOR THE HUMOR CHALLENGED AMONGST US I DON'T REALLY BELIEVE THAT

;-P


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

that's why (5.00 / 2) (#129)
by Wah on Thu Oct 02, 2003 at 12:03:58 PM EST

this next election is going to be so vicious.
--
kewpie
[ Parent ]
All countries look better from abroad. -nt (none / 0) (#243)
by paranoid on Tue Oct 14, 2003 at 04:53:59 PM EST

 

[ Parent ]
To use a idea... (4.75 / 5) (#41)
by Gornauth on Wed Oct 01, 2003 at 05:47:46 PM EST

...from science-fiction;

In the Honor Harrington stories by i think Webber, the most advanced planet in bio-sciences chooses to have their babies naturally.

Why presume women don't want to carry a child to term?

The females i have met who have become pregnant and had a succesfull/uneventfull delivery of a healthy young human tend to be aching to do it again.

And the change in them is also quite cool. Somehow they become more real/solid/in touch with nature/world.

[ Parent ]

i agree with you 100% (2.75 / 4) (#44)
by circletimessquare on Wed Oct 01, 2003 at 06:28:41 PM EST

but i am not the one denying them the choice, the religious luddites are.

i fully expect, as with any counterculture movement, to have people who choose the low-tech way.

for example, there are people today who willfully choose to live life without cellphones, some choose to go without television, some dislike email.

the amish go without electricity.

but most important in all of these distinctions is that NO ONE IS FORCING THEM TO GO HIGH TECH.

sure some of us think, for example, "life without a cell phone?! how daft!"

but most notable in our modern reaction is we don't also think "life without a cell phone?! that's evil! make a law against that!"

but that's exactly what religious luddites and ignorant chicken littles do with frankenfood, stem cell research, etc.

i fully expect some women to consider natural childbirth a superior alternative to ectogenesis. just like some would never use artificial insemination: that's 100% fine by me and society. or how some only go for natural childbirth/ a midwife instead of hospitals and doctors: fine too, suit yourself.

but religious luddites merely roadblock undeniable, unstoppable, inevitable scientific, cultural, and technical progress. to them, there is no other choice besides what their closed minds tell them you HAVE to do.


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

I think you have it backwards... (3.66 / 6) (#74)
by SvnLyrBrto on Wed Oct 01, 2003 at 11:15:41 PM EST

> but most important in all of these distinctions is that NO
> ONE IS FORCING THEM TO GO HIGH TECH.

I think the far more important point is that NO ONE IS FORCING THEM TO REMAIN LOW TECH.

The Amish are perfectly free to move to New York and live the fast-paced yuppie life, if they choose.  The anti-cellphone luddite is perfectly free to join the rest of us in the 21st century, if he chooses.  The computer-phobe is free to buy an iMac and sign up for Earthlink, if he chooses.  In all these cases, the people who are living low-tech lifestyles are living them by their own choice.  No one is denying them the technology to improve their lives.

And just like the Amish are free to leave the farm for Silicon Valley, if they choose; every couple should have the freedom to employ ectogenesis, if they choose.

cya,
john

Imagine all the people...
[ Parent ]

amen! ;-P (nt) (1.00 / 3) (#92)
by circletimessquare on Thu Oct 02, 2003 at 01:27:31 AM EST



The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]
and later still... (3.57 / 7) (#46)
by LilDebbie on Wed Oct 01, 2003 at 06:38:29 PM EST

people will realize how pointless kids are and how they really are just a vanity thing. the pharma companies will come out with new medication to deal with the whole "family instinct" so you can better get on with your work day. and if we try hard enough, we might even eventually masturbate ourselves out of existence.

build all the toys and conveniences you like; it's all just a huge pile of complicated shit without meaning.

My name is LilDebbie and I have a garden.
- hugin -

[ Parent ]
this is already happening (2.60 / 5) (#49)
by circletimessquare on Wed Oct 01, 2003 at 06:48:38 PM EST

look at italy and japan, their birthrates are shrinking dramatically

japanese women in their 20s can't possible conceive of why they would want to cohabitate with some bossy troll that is us men, and they are going into their 30s and 40s unmarried and HAPPY

masturbation is most definitely superior to marriage!

invest in those vibrator companies folks ;-P

is this alarming?

hell no!

do you prefer we overpopulate the planet to death?

i just hope the whole planet becomes like italy and japan asap, and the world human population shrinks further and the trend even begins to accelerate

with any luck, by the year 2500, we'll level out at 2-4 billion worldwide

you do not have to worry about the fate of the human species dear

our procreative instinct allowed us to reproduce and even prosper in the face of threats magnitudes far greater than evil pharmaceutical companies and vibrators, even when our populations were tiny

have some faith in humanity, we made it this far


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

faith? (3.25 / 4) (#50)
by LilDebbie on Wed Oct 01, 2003 at 06:58:23 PM EST

survival of the species is not the only question here. jesus shat. what are we supposed to be striving for anyhow? eventually we'll have the technology to jack our brains to the point of constant stimulation of whatever kind in particular gets you off. this is what I mean by masturbation (although your interpretation of what I said probably makes more sense than what I intended to convey). then will come the day when no one cares anymore and by then we're dead anyway because our existance won't matter (if it ever did in the first place).

yes, I'm kind of pissy right now. "someone took a big hit of who the fuck gives a shit" - little jimmy urine.

My name is LilDebbie and I have a garden.
- hugin -

[ Parent ]
truedat (3.00 / 4) (#54)
by circletimessquare on Wed Oct 01, 2003 at 07:31:30 PM EST

except, again, i think you overqualify the human desire to jack in, jack off, and drop out of existence

yes, addiction of any sort- porn, cocaine, debating endlessly on kuro5hin, is always a threat to a meaningful existence

but at the same time, we've been in the company of morphine for hundreds, if not thousands, of years, and we seem to be doing alright

you'll excuse me if virtual reality porn attached to masturbation devices of medieval tortue device intricacy (which seems to be what you are talking about) seems less of a threat to me than the VERY CHEMICAL MESSENGER OF PLEASURE ITSELF IN THE HUMAN BRAIN

human civilization has survived morphine just fine, and prospered, in fact. by your logic, morphine should have laid waste to human existence. but it didn't.

so bring on the vr porn and the insane masturbation devices of pleasure-giving quality stronger than any real living member of the opposite sex can possible deliver... by my reckoning it will hardly make a blip in the population of addicted humans who drop out of existence

it won't take over the human race and kill it off through over-placation and overstimulation. i promise.

have some faith in humanity... lol. ;-P


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

endlessly arguing... *spoog0rz* (5.00 / 4) (#59)
by LilDebbie on Wed Oct 01, 2003 at 07:40:51 PM EST

morphine and its derivatives failed because it isn't sustainable. people still need to work in order to meet basic needs/fulfill the heroine quota. however, robotics and AI might develop to the point where no one has to work anymore for basic needs, and then where will we be? I liked [was it local_roger?]'s _metamorphosis of prime intellect_ as it addressed this possibility, but only within the context of the masturbatory machine. the question is what happens to the outside world after we jack in because, well, why not?

I'll let you have the last say in this thread after this one. Don't want to contradict my own concerns and all that.

My name is LilDebbie and I have a garden.
- hugin -

[ Parent ]
i can answer that easy (2.75 / 4) (#61)
by circletimessquare on Wed Oct 01, 2003 at 07:48:07 PM EST

rhetorical exchange...

circletimessquare:

"lildebbie, are you disgusted by the prospect of human beings jacking in, jacking off, and dropping out?"

lildebbie:

"yes"

circletimessquare:

"what makes you think you are alone or even in the minority in thinking this thought"

lildebbie:

"nothing does"

circletimessquare:

"well then, have some faith in humanity... with all the free time future tech will give us, you are right to assume we will spend more time on leisure... but we won't stop doing what we do best as well"

;-)


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

Check out some FAQs (none / 0) (#244)
by paranoid on Tue Oct 14, 2003 at 04:59:18 PM EST

what are we supposed to be striving for anyhow?

eventually we'll have the technology to jack our brains to the point of constant stimulation of whatever kind in particular gets you off.

then will come the day when no one cares anymore and by then we're dead anyway because our existance won't matter.

Well, there are tons of documents written about this topic. Just search for "faq meaning of life" and you'll find it. :) Personally I lean to a simple answer: "learning about the world and being creative in changing it". That's enough to occupy me for millions of years of subjective time and hopefully by then I will better understand the problem. ;)

[ Parent ]

Why the focus on China? (4.50 / 5) (#75)
by SvnLyrBrto on Wed Oct 01, 2003 at 11:28:51 PM EST

You keep mentioning China as the place people choosing ectogenesis will go. But I think you have the wrong country there.

Despite it's pretensions otherwise, and despite a few pockets pf progress like Hong Kong, China is still a socially conservative, mostly low-tech, mostly third-world country.

Japan, on the other hand, is a highly developed first-world country with few pockets of the backwards, rural, poor, lifestyle. They have a long standing tradition of scientific and engineering exellence. Their culture is fast to embrace and accept the newest technology available. They have an upwardly-mobile female population that would be well-serven by artifical wombs. Hell, as the article mentions, much of the basic research in ectogenesis was PERFORMED in Japan. And they are remarkably unencumbered by xtians, and their tedious tendancy to try to force their "morals" upon others.

So, yeah... mostly, I agree with you. I just think that you'd have made a better point if, everywhere wou wrote "china", you had written "Japan".

cya,
john

Imagine all the people...
[ Parent ]

agreed (3.00 / 2) (#81)
by circletimessquare on Thu Oct 02, 2003 at 12:10:18 AM EST

i said as much in 2 related posts in this thread:

http://www.kuro5hin.org/comments/2003/10/1/124441/622/49#49

look at italy and japan, their birthrates are shrinking dramatically

japanese women in their 20s can't possible conceive of why they would want to cohabitate with some bossy troll that is us men, and they are going into their 30s and 40s unmarried and HAPPY

http://www.kuro5hin.org/comments/2003/10/1/124441/622/17#17

the details of my scenario i do not believe will happen exactly as i said, but the spirit of what i say: religious luddites versus acceptance of the inevitable, that will definitely happen.

who knows how it will play out or who will initally prevail where, but the outcome is inescapable: ectogenesis for all. of course, exactly WHEN that will happen is strictly a matter of how fast we can kill off the religious luddites, lol. ;-P

however, china is changing far more rapidly than you give it credit for... and all of the social environmental variables you allude to are more or less equally present in china, with a similar eastern philisophical perspective... at the very least, as you allude to as well, no judeochristian fundamentalist loonies runing around trying to create theocracies like in the west

so i beg to differ with you: china will eclipse japan very rapidly in the near future. i need only to allude to the continuing economic slump in japan and the rapid heating up of the chinese economy.

china will eat japan's lunch very shortly


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

Partially agree... (4.00 / 3) (#141)
by SvnLyrBrto on Thu Oct 02, 2003 at 03:36:14 PM EST

> i said as much in 2 related posts in this thread:

Point conceeded.  That's my bad.  Unless I get into an extended arguement in a thread, when I reply to a post; I tend to do so in a vacuum.  I didn't take your other posts into account when replying to this one.

> china will eclipse japan very rapidly in the near future. i
> need only to allude to the continuing economic slump in
> japan and the rapid heating up of the chinese economy.

> china will eat japan's lunch very shortly

I still have to disagree there though.

See, regardless of whatever pretensions of rising to the leading edge of culture and technology China has; Japan is already there.  Sure, they have been in something of a slump for a while.  But that is not due to any inherent weakness in their economy or culture.  It's mostly do to some problems with their currency policy, and some high-level corruption.  But once they get those issues sorted out, Japan is already poised to jump right back out ahead of everyone else once again.

China, OTOH, also has severe problems with high-level corruption.  But it's more difficult to displace corrupt politburo and PLA members than Diet members.  The New York Times has been folowing some problems and scandals with the valuation of the yuan of late; which mirror Japan's problems with the Yen, a few years back, which got Japan into its slump in the first place.

Essentially, China's main advantages are in available natural resources, and its population.  Japan has demonstrated quite well that you don't need an abundance of local natural resources to be the leading econimic powerhouse.  You just buy them from poorer countries.  And the population advantage is mitigated by the fact that the vast bulk of China's population is poor, low-tech, and uneducated.  Virtually the entire population of Japan, OTOH, is reasonably affluent, highly educated, very motivated, and VERY competetive.

I really think you're not giving Japan nearly enough credit here.

cya,
john

Imagine all the people...
[ Parent ]

erm (none / 1) (#202)
by circletimessquare on Fri Oct 03, 2003 at 11:42:30 PM EST

there are more than 10 chinese for every 1 japanese

even if the chinese economy works with people, because of poverty and corruption, who are 20% as efficient/ competitive/ etc. as japan, they are double japan's output

in short, they eat japan for lunch


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

Pill is very difficult to get in Japan [nt] (4.00 / 3) (#86)
by des mots on Thu Oct 02, 2003 at 12:45:35 AM EST



[ Parent ]
Aren't there already enough people in the world? (3.25 / 8) (#19)
by lb008d on Wed Oct 01, 2003 at 03:36:34 PM EST



Yes and no (3.20 / 5) (#24)
by NoBeardPete on Wed Oct 01, 2003 at 03:54:28 PM EST

In many rich countries, the average number of children per woman has dropped below the replacement rate. In Italy, for example, this figure is around 1.2 now. A value of 2.1 is needed for the population to be stable. Richer countries seem to have lower fertility rates. As more countries become wealthy, then we should expect more and more countries to lose the ability to keep themselves populated.

As long as some parts of the world have a fertility rate of over 2.1, the parts of the world that are less fertile can get by with immigration. Importing massive numbers of immigrants is stressful for many countries, though. Countries like the US, Canada, or perhaps Australia are fairly accepting to immigrants. Much of Europe is less so. A country like Japan is looking at the potential for a huge population crash.

There isn't much wrong, in and of itself, with declining populations. Populations that decline very rapidly, though, are big trouble. In Western Europe, there are currently 4 working-aged people for every senior citizen. The combination of low fertility (which will decrease the number of young people) and growing life-span could see this figure halve in the next 50 years. I don't think I really need to spell out the kind of economic trouble this can cause.

It may well be the case that, as the world becomes richer, a technology like artificial wombs could be a great boon to humanity. It might help keep populations from plummeting too fast in the industrialized world, by making the process of having children more attractive.


Arrr, it be the infamous pirate, No Beard Pete!
[ Parent ]

I'm pretty sure... (5.00 / 3) (#28)
by nusuth on Wed Oct 01, 2003 at 04:06:05 PM EST

that my mother had at least two orders of magnitude more problems while I was growing up compared pregnancy. Of course that might just be me being a bad boy.

I don't think artifical wombs will increase fertility rate significantly. As long as raising children is a responsibily of parents, no amount of financial or birth-procedural incentives will change much by themselves. OTOH changing child-care pradigms may skyrocket birth rates, especially if combined with hassle-free pregnancy.

[ Parent ]

Yeah (4.00 / 2) (#30)
by NoBeardPete on Wed Oct 01, 2003 at 04:15:27 PM EST

Just making artificial wombs available won't suddenly make having kids seem like great fun to all the women that had previously been a little apprehensive about it. But I'll bet it'd make a substantial difference in the fertility rate of the rich countries that are doing the worst right now.


Arrr, it be the infamous pirate, No Beard Pete!
[ Parent ]

Easier Reproduction (none / 1) (#69)
by CheeseburgerBrown on Wed Oct 01, 2003 at 10:54:33 PM EST

... It might help keep populations from plummeting too fast in the industrialized world, by making the process of having children more attractive.

I was listening to piece on CBC today (or maybe yesterday, the days leading up to deadline are always a blur) about how "elective caesarian" births are gaining in popularity among the more vain Western cultures (Brazil was singled out, for example).

I found the idea a bit frightening -- the serious drawbacks of pregnancy, child-birth and child-rearing are the only filters we have in many instances to keep people too selfish and/or too stupid to be effective parents from reproducing.

The barrier to entry definitely doesn't need lowering. It's not a matter of quantity, but of quality.


___
I am from a small, unknown country in the north called Ca-na-da. We are a simple, grease-loving people who enjoy le weekend de ski. Personally, I pref
[ Parent ]
Wait a minute (none / 2) (#124)
by NoBeardPete on Thu Oct 02, 2003 at 11:09:06 AM EST

Are you saying that people who are too stupid to be good parents are also too stupid to put up with the drawbacks of pregnancy? In my corner of the world, there are plenty of people who still get pregnant unintentionally, many of whom may well be stupid.

The barrier to entry for pregnancy is pretty low right now. All that needs to happen is for some guy to knock up some girl. This happens all the time, to all manner of people.


Arrr, it be the infamous pirate, No Beard Pete!
[ Parent ]

Enough people for what? (n/t) (3.20 / 5) (#25)
by niom on Wed Oct 01, 2003 at 03:54:50 PM EST



[ Parent ]
To eat up all of earths resources (4.50 / 3) (#31)
by hovil on Wed Oct 01, 2003 at 04:45:25 PM EST

and wipe ourselves out. But never fear, there are quite a number of animals and insects that will be vying for the #1 job as soon as we're gone.

[ Parent ]
Then, the answer is: it depends (3.60 / 5) (#35)
by niom on Wed Oct 01, 2003 at 05:07:02 PM EST

Resource consumption per person varies a lot from one country to another, and probably over time as well. So the risk of exhausting Earth's resources does not depend very directly on the number of people in the world. It probably depends more on, for example, U.S. government policies.

[ Parent ]
Damn. (1.25 / 4) (#113)
by tkatchev on Thu Oct 02, 2003 at 07:53:41 AM EST

Start with yourself, please.


   -- Signed, Lev Andropoff, cosmonaut.
[ Parent ]

Wait a minute. (3.33 / 6) (#27)
by /dev/trash on Wed Oct 01, 2003 at 04:00:45 PM EST

From a purely selfish point of view, it would even allow women who simply do not want to be pregnant to have children. Although it is the most natural thing in the world, pregnancy can turn a woman's life upside down in Western society. Careers are interrupted or no longer possible, education must be postponed, and unemployed pregnant women find it almost impossible to find a job other than temp work.

So somehow once a baby is born, careers are back on track, education can be started, unemployment ends?

---
Updated 07/20/2003!!
Summer Tour!

Solutions for the Professional Mother(tm) (3.80 / 10) (#32)
by czth on Wed Oct 01, 2003 at 04:54:15 PM EST

So somehow once a baby is born, careers are back on track, education can be started, unemployment ends?

In fact, the Professional Mother™ has a plenitude of options:

  1. Return to work, hire nannies for kid, put kid in boarding school as soon as is old enough to be accepted. Wake up one day, realize there's a stranger in your house that looks strangely like you (or your spouse)... and he's moving out.

  2. Rent-a-kid - especially good for the less well-to-do families, as this done well can make great inroads on educational costs (NB: like me, my kid gets to pay his own educational costs...), plus the renters pay to take care of the kid for you.

  3. A "modest proposal."

  4. This one is really far-out... it involves self-sacrifice and stuff, and taking care of the kid and getting to know him/her and taking a role in development and going to PTA meetings and weird and unmodern things like that. I know, I know <blush>, but I had to include it for completeness.

czth

[ Parent ]

Free nanny included! (3.50 / 3) (#33)
by Pac on Wed Oct 01, 2003 at 05:00:36 PM EST

Have your baby with us and get one year of free nanny service! And you haven't even heard it all yet: as most of out Mexican nannies don't speak English, your baby gets a much valued bilingual upbringing, putting he/she on the right track for Ivy League from the beginning.

Evolution doesn't take prisoners


[ Parent ]
Don't be silly... (none / 1) (#66)
by catseye on Wed Oct 01, 2003 at 08:55:27 PM EST

Speaking as someone who has been pregnant... past about the fifth month I had serious restrictions on my job. I was a computer tech who could no longer pick up computers, run cables, or do much of anything physical. I was also out for frequent doctors appointment.

After maternity leave, which would still need to remain the same because most day cares do not take babies under 6 weeks (nor should they), things did get back on track. I could once again physically do my job.


----------
How can we fight Islamic Fundamentalism abroad if we do not fight Christian Fundamentalism at home?
[ Parent ]

Attacks on both fronts (4.12 / 8) (#36)
by alientrendy on Wed Oct 01, 2003 at 05:15:28 PM EST

The religious right won't go for it, because of the techniques needed to come up with the technology and the challenge to the biblical notion of Eve's curse among women. The far liberal left won't like it because of it's consequences on Roe vs. Wade. People who are moderate in political views that won't find any ethical problems with this technology usually aren't pro-active enough about their views. I can see this technology being terminated by two minority groups that usually have nothing in common.

-----
Hanlon's Razor: ``Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity''.
a bit simplistic. (3.66 / 6) (#47)
by Work on Wed Oct 01, 2003 at 06:40:46 PM EST

Most of the religious right's arguments center around the 'lifeform' argument as opposed to the supposed role of a woman. Every life is sacred yadda yadda... such a system would allow lives otherwise terminated to continue. This would sit well with many anti-abortionists.

Same goes for the left. You would be challenged to find pro-*abortion*ers. They call themselves pro-choice for a reason. Most would agree that bringing a child to term and putting it up for adoption is preferable to abortion, but support the right of choice because the decision to get an abortion varies, but often has to do with either not wanting their partner or parent to know their pregnant, or don't see themselves as ready to go through pregnancy and have a child. Eliminate the pregnancy part and many would likely choose to have the child brought to term artificially, and then placed up for adoption.

I don't see how this has consequences for roe v. wade... thats a complex case that is about right to privacy more than anything. Technology doesn't overrule the court case.

[ Parent ]

More than right about privacy (4.00 / 2) (#60)
by alientrendy on Wed Oct 01, 2003 at 07:42:43 PM EST

With respect to the State's important and legitimate interest in potential life, the "compelling" point is at viability. This is so because the fetus then presumably has the capability of meaningful life outside the mother's womb. State regulation protective of fetal life after viability thus has both logical and biological justifications. Roe v. Wade

I know Roe v. Wade can be complicated. So, here's the part that has consequences for Roe v. Wade.

-----
Hanlon's Razor: ``Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity''.
[ Parent ]
The opposition on the left... (4.12 / 8) (#58)
by rodgerd on Wed Oct 01, 2003 at 07:38:52 PM EST

...is more likely to come from self-styled representitives of women who currently use childbearing as a political tool, and will be horrified at the idea of men having children without any women needing to be involved.

If you track any cases where gays have hired a surrogate mother to achieve this end in low-tech fashion, you'll see meny of the most vicious attacks have come from self-proclaimed feminists whose main concern appears to be losing a monopoly on reproductive control.

[ Parent ]

what is Eve's curse? (nt) (none / 1) (#186)
by haakon on Fri Oct 03, 2003 at 10:31:21 AM EST



[ Parent ]
Eve cursed w/ painful childbirth b/c of temptation (none / 2) (#224)
by Xenophon Fenderson, the Carbon(d)ated on Mon Oct 06, 2003 at 12:29:23 AM EST

In Genesis, Eve was cursed with difficulties in childbirth and submission to men because she gave into the serpent's temptation and ate of the (forbidden) fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. From Genesis, chapter 3:

Unto the woman [God] said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.
Thus endeth the lesson.



--
Rev. Dr. Xenophon Fenderson, the Carbon(d)ated, KSC, mhm21x16, and the Patron Saint of All Things Plastic fnord
I'm proud of my Northern Tibetian heritage!
[ Parent ]
okay, i'll bite. (2.66 / 6) (#37)
by rmg on Wed Oct 01, 2003 at 05:18:48 PM EST

it all depends on what you mean by panacea and ethical.

if by panacea, you mean a cure-all that would fully eliminate the threat of the disease or other difficulty in question, then might the practical advantages outweigh whatever moral issues might come into play here?

of course, this depends on what you mean by ethical. if you mean in some relativist or utilitarian sense, then it could well be that the mere fact of this being a cure-all for whatever trouble we are discussing might override our sentimental inclinations. on the other hand, if you mean to frame the issue in some "objective" or "absolute categorical" sense, then you might run into trouble, because the ends might not necessarily justify the means.

the matter becomes more complex if the author, whoever that might be, means to use the word in a dramatic or hyperbolic sense. then we may be forced to get into a careful weighing of the pros and cons of this new method of ameliorating the situation, problem, or malady in need of amelioration.

this leads us into the question of the nightmare the author darkly alludes to. this could indeed be a nightmare given certain unfavorable conditions -- namely, that the panacea is somehow flawed or imperfect and/or the evaluating party demands an absolute, Kantian standard of ethics. ultimately, we are in a spot though, as there is no way to know for sure what the author means when he says "nightmare."

_____ intellectual tiddlywinks

wow (3.75 / 8) (#48)
by LilDebbie on Wed Oct 01, 2003 at 06:46:20 PM EST

it's been a while since I've read something so full of style and so lacking in substance. it's like I'm in a class for a liberal arts degree or seomthing.

My name is LilDebbie and I have a garden.
- hugin -

[ Parent ]
I'm a misanthrope. (2.60 / 5) (#42)
by debacle on Wed Oct 01, 2003 at 05:49:44 PM EST

There's no doubt about it.

I mean, fuck, do we really need more babies? Do we need to dilute the gene pool anymore?

By the way, there's no need to go into any of the regular arguements about gene pools and racism. I wouldn't care if the Aryan race was a bunch of squinty eyed taco-eating dark skinned foreskin-less freaks. Not that there's anything wrong with being a squinty eyed taco-eating dark skinned foreskin-less person.

Evolution is evolution. This, on the other hand, is an abomination.

It tastes sweet.

There are plenty of people who would like this... (none / 1) (#55)
by rodgerd on Wed Oct 01, 2003 at 07:34:25 PM EST

...whose rate of breeding wouldn't be affected at all by the development of the technology.  Lots of women still die or suffer long-lasting physical trauma from childbirth; I can imagine any number of wome nhaving the same two kids they always planned on having and cutting out the risk of bearing them personally.

[ Parent ]
Perhaps you don't understand where I'm coming from (4.00 / 3) (#64)
by debacle on Wed Oct 01, 2003 at 08:19:47 PM EST

People die.

It happens.

If people didn't die, we'd be fucked.

There's no point to doing something like this. That's what your uteris is for. If your uteris doesn't work, what says that your daughter's wll?

It tastes sweet.
[ Parent ]

Of course there's a point.... (none / 1) (#120)
by catseye on Thu Oct 02, 2003 at 10:36:10 AM EST

There are many reasons a woman cannot carry a pregnancy to term, and not all of them have to do with a genetically faulty uterus or nature saying "DON'T REPRODUCE!"

Injuries can cause the same problems... if a woman gets into a car accident or is violently raped and left with the inability to have children, why not opt to have it done via an artificial womb? There's nothing genetically wrong with her, at least not in that fashion anyway.

----------
How can we fight Islamic Fundamentalism abroad if we do not fight Christian Fundamentalism at home?
[ Parent ]

Sure there is (none / 1) (#157)
by debacle on Thu Oct 02, 2003 at 06:18:38 PM EST

If a woman's ab muscles aren't strong enough to withstand falling on a rock, or somesuch, then you come again to evolution. I'd ask you not to talk about something you don't know much about.

It tastes sweet.
[ Parent ]
Damn. (1.25 / 4) (#112)
by tkatchev on Thu Oct 02, 2003 at 07:53:04 AM EST

Start with yourself, please.


   -- Signed, Lev Andropoff, cosmonaut.
[ Parent ]

Elective abortion, reason no 6 (3.66 / 6) (#43)
by tetsuwan on Wed Oct 01, 2003 at 06:16:55 PM EST

The fetus is of the wrong sex.

I don't understand why abortions should become obsolete, the main reason being that a child is unwanted with the current partner and that giving away your own child would be unacceptable.

Njal's Saga: Just like Romeo & Juliet without the romance

hm (5.00 / 2) (#45)
by Work on Wed Oct 01, 2003 at 06:31:04 PM EST

that giving away your own child would be unacceptable.

I'm curious as to how many people who pursue abortions feel this way.

I agree with your first reason, but mainly I think if there was a procedure where the fetus could be taken from the mother and grown externally, rather than terminated, and then put up for adoption (where there are LONG waiting lists) most would choose that option.

[ Parent ]

I feel this way (5.00 / 2) (#88)
by Roman on Thu Oct 02, 2003 at 12:58:28 AM EST

since you wanted to know, and all...

[ Parent ]
okay, so why? (none / 1) (#123)
by Work on Thu Oct 02, 2003 at 11:08:39 AM EST

why would you choose to terminate a child, as opposed to letting it live and given to someone who can't have one? Theres a good chance you could keep in contact with the child as they grow up...

[ Parent ]
My genes (5.00 / 2) (#126)
by Roman on Thu Oct 02, 2003 at 11:31:52 AM EST

will die with me. Just say no to having kids - that is my motto. I in principle don't want to have kids and I don't want any part of my genes to be around after I am dead. That's about it.

[ Parent ]
I do too (none / 2) (#214)
by livus on Sun Oct 05, 2003 at 07:33:58 AM EST

because if you can't do something properly why do it at all?

I'd rather stop that blob of pre-human right there. Otherwise I'd definately feel I had an ethical responsibility to look after the poor thing when it turned into a full fledged human.

Besides, unles you involve yourself fully in its life (in which case you may as well just parent it yourself) you'll never be 100% sure it isnt getting abused or some freaky thing. And it's your own flesh and blood then its your responsibility. At least, that's how I feel about it.

To me a fetus has less feelings than a cow, and I eat beef.

---
HIREZ substitute.
be concrete asshole, or shut up. - CTS
I guess I skipped school or something to drink on the internet? - lonelyhobo
I'd like to hope that any impression you got about us from internet forums was incorrect. - debillitatus
I consider myself trolled more or less just by visiting the site. HollyHopDrive

[ Parent ]

Giving away unacceptable? (4.66 / 4) (#53)
by catseye on Wed Oct 01, 2003 at 07:29:24 PM EST

While I have never had an abortion, several of my friends have. They had abortions because they simply did not want to be pregnant. The pregnancies were accidents while on birth control, and pregnancy would have grossly interfered with school, work, or family life.

I think that if the artificial womb option had been around when they were pregnant, they would have done it since all of them expressed at least a little regret or remorse over the situation.

You know... I'm not sure I would ever want to meet a person who would say, "I would rather kill this baby than let it go to a family that wants it." Extreme, yes, but that's what choosing abortion over placing the child in an artificial womb to be given to another family upon birth would be.

----------
How can we fight Islamic Fundamentalism abroad if we do not fight Christian Fundamentalism at home?
[ Parent ]

yes, exactly (none / 1) (#68)
by Work on Wed Oct 01, 2003 at 10:39:43 PM EST

in fact, it wouldnt surprise me, nor would i have any problems with, if it did in fact become possible to grow a fetus outside the womb into a normal healthy person that could be adopted, abortions would be rightly outlawed except in extreme circumstances.

[ Parent ]
False dichotomy (3.00 / 2) (#100)
by nusuth on Thu Oct 02, 2003 at 03:52:36 AM EST

"I would rather kill this baby than let it go to a family that wants it." Extreme, yes, but that's what choosing abortion over placing the child in an artificial womb to be given to another family upon birth would be.

The choice is between having a baby and giving it to strangers vs. not having a baby at all.

[ Parent ]

Define baby (3.00 / 3) (#108)
by SlashDread on Thu Oct 02, 2003 at 07:37:36 AM EST

Once cell penetration in the egg happened by a sperm? After a week? twelve weeks? To me it is a baby after birth, before that it isnt. Its a foetus. And for all practical reasons, its a part of the woman. Ive clipped my nails before, I expect woman want control over their body too. I know Im being trollish, but pro-life hoopla about killing babies is propaganda. So please define. "/Dread"

[ Parent ]
Baby... (3.00 / 2) (#117)
by catseye on Thu Oct 02, 2003 at 09:43:07 AM EST

Technically, it's an embryo or fetus until it's born, and people have been debating when an embryo/fetus/baby actually becomes a "person". (Those asking when it becomes "human" are idiots.. genetically it's human from the moment of conception, since it's not going to grow into a fish, a dog or an ardvaark.)

No one really has a scientific answer to that question... the closest we've been able to come legally is to say when the fetus is viable outside the womb, which has apparently been set around 24 weeks, and I believe 41 US states have legislation against abortion after that time unless it's medically necessary.

With every passing year, however, doctors are able to keep younger and younger babies alive. It's not unusual for a 21 week old fetus to survive outside the womb. The age of viability will continue to decrease.

Legality aside... Personally, I believe that a fetus becomes a person when it has enough brain activity to become aware of its surroundings, react to them, feel pain, etc., which would be somewhere around the end of the first trimester.

----------
How can we fight Islamic Fundamentalism abroad if we do not fight Christian Fundamentalism at home?
[ Parent ]

potential isn't is (2.00 / 2) (#121)
by nusuth on Thu Oct 02, 2003 at 10:57:30 AM EST

idiot

[ Parent ]
Someone who can't put 3 words together coherently (2.00 / 2) (#125)
by catseye on Thu Oct 02, 2003 at 11:24:24 AM EST

... is calling someone else an idiot?

Would you care to translate "potential isn't is" for us please?


----------
How can we fight Islamic Fundamentalism abroad if we do not fight Christian Fundamentalism at home?
[ Parent ]

Hey, I'm just returning the favor (none / 1) (#128)
by nusuth on Thu Oct 02, 2003 at 11:54:59 AM EST

It is certain that you will die and when you die, you will become a corpse. You are a potential corpse, just as we all are. You aren't yet corpse, simply because you are not dead yet.

You get the point yet?

[ Parent ]

You asked me... (3.00 / 2) (#142)
by catseye on Thu Oct 02, 2003 at 03:36:27 PM EST

... to define baby. I told you the legal definition of viability, which pretty much means baby -- 24 weeks.

I then told you my own personal option, which was towards the end of the first trimester.

If you have differing opinions, they are just that... opinions. No more or less valid than mine, when taken alone, so stop being an ass.

----------
How can we fight Islamic Fundamentalism abroad if we do not fight Christian Fundamentalism at home?
[ Parent ]

I didn't ask you anything at all (none / 1) (#181)
by nusuth on Fri Oct 03, 2003 at 02:16:41 AM EST

You just called those who do not believe a human being requires more than genetic make-up match idiots while answering someone else. So I'll have to ask YOU stop being an ass.

Also "all opinions are equally valid" is a fallacy. Perhaps neither of us may be able to tell exactly what is a baby, because the non-babies doesn't overnight change into a real babies. Perhaps we could agree on disagreeing on exactly when the cell collection has property of being human. Then and only then both of our opinions may be "no more or no less valid" than each other. But existance of pink doesn't mean red and white are one and the same color. During early pregnancy, the cell collection is not a human being, is not a person, is not a baby. If you are of the opposite opinion, you are wrong, simple as that. Just as the opinion that Earth is flat is not equally valid as opinion that Earth is a sphere, the opinion that all kinds of abortion - even those done the earliest days of pregnancy- is killing a human being is not equally valid as its alternative.

[ Parent ]

Hm. Sorry... (none / 1) (#185)
by catseye on Fri Oct 03, 2003 at 09:59:12 AM EST

Thought it was you, looks like it was SlashDread that asked.

----------
How can we fight Islamic Fundamentalism abroad if we do not fight Christian Fundamentalism at home?
[ Parent ]
BTW I do agree with 24 weeks definition [NT] (none / 1) (#182)
by nusuth on Fri Oct 03, 2003 at 02:17:58 AM EST



[ Parent ]
Potential my hairy ass (none / 1) (#152)
by SlashDread on Thu Oct 02, 2003 at 05:16:08 PM EST

Ive got a few million potentials in my drawers, rudeboy.

"/Dread"

[ Parent ]

Full responsibility (none / 1) (#159)
by tetsuwan on Thu Oct 02, 2003 at 06:58:05 PM EST

When I want a child, I want to take the full responsibility for it and raise it. Not just provide for it, or make sure it can live on with someone else.

If I was in a situation where I wouldn't want to share a baby with the woman I made pregnant, I probably wouldn't want the child to be born anyhow. I don't believe in fire and forget - very often adopted children feel the need to find their biological roots. When this happens I mmight have a family of my own with children I'd be 100% devoted to. All I could say is to such a child is: "well, I didn't really want to have a child with your mother anyhow, so we decided to give you away".

The beginning of Ken Park. Curtain.

Njal's Saga: Just like Romeo & Juliet without the romance
[ Parent ]

A Somewhat Related Concern (3.77 / 9) (#52)
by virtualjay222 on Wed Oct 01, 2003 at 07:14:32 PM EST

I'm becoming concerned with the state of scientific research in the United States. I can understand the moral arguements against stem-cell research, or ectogenesis, or whatever, but does the federal government really have the right to interfere with the pursuit of knowledge in these areas?

What is the general opinion here on K5 - ends-justifies-the-means, no holds barred research for the sake of science, or caution and values - and why? Where does peer-review fit into all of this?

---

I'm not in denial, I'm just selective about the reality I choose to accept.

-Calvin and Hobbes


Do you know any country or any time (3.33 / 5) (#62)
by porkchop_d_clown on Wed Oct 01, 2003 at 08:06:03 PM EST

where the patron didn't have a big say in what the starving artist (or scientist) got to do?

--
Heinz was quoted as saying: "But the sheep are so soft and wooley," immediately before he was put into custody.


[ Parent ]
On a related note (3.00 / 4) (#63)
by porkchop_d_clown on Wed Oct 01, 2003 at 08:07:03 PM EST

If a scientist wants to perform vivisections, should we let him? After all, what right do we have to interfere?

--
Heinz was quoted as saying: "But the sheep are so soft and wooley," immediately before he was put into custody.


[ Parent ]
If scientist has deadly weapon pointed at you... (none / 2) (#97)
by Fen on Thu Oct 02, 2003 at 02:32:00 AM EST

...you'll let him do anything he wants. And enjoy the fetus soup you're given.
--Self.
[ Parent ]
I guess the goverment should oversee some things! (4.00 / 4) (#65)
by xutopia on Wed Oct 01, 2003 at 08:32:08 PM EST

With stem cell for example a concern some had was that it used unborn fetuses (with no develloped brains). Though I don't care about a brainless fetus any more than I care about a sperm or an ovum I can see why some people have trouble with this.

I'm under the belief that people should be more educated on the matter so that they can make real decisions instead of the emotional ones they make with Pro-Life propaganda.

[ Parent ]

not just the US... (none / 2) (#67)
by Work on Wed Oct 01, 2003 at 10:37:04 PM EST

most developed countries have laws about science research... try going to europe to do research on introducing GM crops and see how much government money you get..

most european countries i believe also are quite leery of most human cloning research and the assorted research that relates to it.

[ Parent ]

but should government subsidize it? (none / 2) (#71)
by danharan on Wed Oct 01, 2003 at 10:59:48 PM EST

A lot of research is heavily subsidized. A hands-off approach would be to ban as few things as possible, but not subsidize those that cause concern to a large percentage of the population.

I also don't put a very high value on the pursuit of knowledge for its own sake. True, sometimes we find neat and wondrous things, but other times we find dangerous stuff.

Many of these scientists are promising the moon... but I'd be happy just figuring out how to get along on this planet first. There are many smaller real problems that can easily be solved without creating too many new ones, and I wish we'd start with those.

[ Parent ]

True, but... (4.00 / 2) (#146)
by virtualjay222 on Thu Oct 02, 2003 at 04:14:24 PM EST

The problem comes in choosing what is considered a large concern. Who is to really judge that?

The pursuit of knowledge for the sake of learning may sound wasteful, but had Newton not developed his theories out of curosity, we would be years behind our current position today. You may not see the immediate benefits of raw knowledge, but they are there.

---

I'm not in denial, I'm just selective about the reality I choose to accept.

-Calvin and Hobbes


[ Parent ]

Corporate owned children (3.00 / 4) (#70)
by QuantumG on Wed Oct 01, 2003 at 10:57:24 PM EST

When it's possible to buy donor sperm and donor eggs on the open market and the artificial womb is a viable technology, what will stop McDonalds from growing the perfect employee? There is that slight problem of the 11 or 12 years between birth and the child's ability to perform basic burger flipping, but perhaps other technologies (like advanced growth and learning) will make that annoying time fly by.

Think I'm crazy? McDonalds just introduced a clause that says that no-one can become a franchisee without completing at least 3 years as a store worker. McDonalds doesn't hire new workers who are over the age of 16 (or whatever the "child wage" laws in your country say). So very soon every McDonalds you go into will by owned by someone who has never worked anywhere else in their lives. The store will be bought with money borrowed or saved as a result of working at McDonalds. McDonalds is, even more than ever, becoming a lifetime career path, and the decision to enter into that career path happens when you're 12 or 13 years old.

Gun fire is the sound of freedom.

hm. (none / 1) (#77)
by Work on Wed Oct 01, 2003 at 11:45:00 PM EST

McDonalds doesn't hire new workers who are over the age of 16 (or whatever the "child wage" laws in your country say).

This is called discrimination and is illegal.

I think you're just trolling anyway :P

[ Parent ]

In the United States anyway... (none / 1) (#78)
by randyk on Wed Oct 01, 2003 at 11:54:24 PM EST

The only illegal age discrimination is between the ages of 40 and 70. So, you're half right... but an employer can say: "You're twenty/thirty something. We won't hire you." and there's jack all you can do about it.

Your rights may also vary from state to state.



[ Parent ]
Hah (none / 1) (#83)
by LittleZephyr on Thu Oct 02, 2003 at 12:33:38 AM EST

Almost any place won't hire anyone UNDER 16, how is that different?
(\♥/) What if instead of posting that comment,
(0.-) you had actually taken a knife and stabbed
("_") me in the eye? You murderer. ~ Rusty

[ Parent ]
because that is illegal (none / 1) (#122)
by Work on Thu Oct 02, 2003 at 11:07:28 AM EST

its called child labor laws :).

Actually you can usually get a job at 15, if you have a work permit.

[ Parent ]

Yeah, bullshit on that. (none / 1) (#82)
by CaptainSuperBoy on Thu Oct 02, 2003 at 12:24:57 AM EST

McDonalds doesn't hire new workers who are over the age of 16

This looks like an urban legend from a mile away. Where did you hear that? Hint: FOAF doesn't count. It seems hard to believe that they either hire 16 year olds straight to manager or every single manager there is promoted from burger flipper.

--
jimmysquid.com - I take pictures.
[ Parent ]

Every single manger is promoted (none / 1) (#84)
by QuantumG on Thu Oct 02, 2003 at 12:34:20 AM EST

You can't walk into a manger position at McDonalds.. you have to be promoted. It's not a myth. Ask anyone who has worked at McDonalds.

Gun fire is the sound of freedom.
[ Parent ]
OK (none / 1) (#111)
by CaptainSuperBoy on Thu Oct 02, 2003 at 07:51:54 AM EST

I don't believe that but fine, what about the 16 year olds?

--
jimmysquid.com - I take pictures.
[ Parent ]
Yeah right.. (5.00 / 2) (#89)
by Wateshay on Thu Oct 02, 2003 at 01:01:02 AM EST

I don't know about you, but I eat in McDonald's all the time, and the people working there generally range in age from teenager to mid-60's. Now, are you telling me that all those old men and women who work in McDonald's have made a lifelong career of being a burger flipper? I don't doubt at all their franchisee rule, or one of the respondant's claims that you have to work as a burger flipper and get promoted to manager, but there just isn't a logical reason for them to limit themselves to hiring only under 16 employees. Kids that young aren't looking for a career, they're looking for part time work. They also can't work certain hours, aren't available during the day (that pesky school), and generally don't stay long (they're not still going to be working for you when they're 18).

"If English was good enough for Jesus, it's good enough for everyone else."


[ Parent ]
sigh (2.00 / 2) (#91)
by QuantumG on Thu Oct 02, 2003 at 01:12:13 AM EST

I don't know where you eat but I've never seen anyone over 25 working at McDonalds, except possibly, that is, the owner of the franchise and, as I said, the 3 year store worker rule for francishees has only just been introduced.

Gun fire is the sound of freedom.
[ Parent ]
I call BS too (none / 1) (#131)
by MorePower on Thu Oct 02, 2003 at 12:38:30 PM EST

I've seen plenty of nearly geriatric McDonalds employee's, both recently and back when I was 17 and worked there myself. They are always bottom rung employees either working in the back cooking or working a mop/cleaning the bathrooms. Every once in a while they work the register and take forever to punch in your order (they are frequently mildly retarded or senile). They most commonly work either at closing time (later than the law allows <18 year-olds to work) or during the weekdays (when all the minors are in school). This class of employees are more commonly found in rural small towns with no college students to fill the employee ranks.

[ Parent ]
Spose so.. (none / 1) (#158)
by QuantumG on Thu Oct 02, 2003 at 06:30:47 PM EST

but the vast majority of employees are kids.

Gun fire is the sound of freedom.
[ Parent ]
6. There is nothing more harmful to a society (3.16 / 6) (#72)
by auraslip on Wed Oct 01, 2003 at 11:08:07 PM EST

then an unwanted or unneeded child
___-___
there is nothing more harmful (2.00 / 4) (#85)
by Wah on Thu Oct 02, 2003 at 12:42:52 AM EST

than a society that doesn't value children.
--
kewpie
[ Parent ]
there is nothing more harmful (2.50 / 3) (#90)
by bugmaster on Thu Oct 02, 2003 at 01:04:08 AM EST

Than one-liner troll comments.

Come on people ! Keep the chain alive !


>|<*:=
[ Parent ]

there is nothing more harmful (2.40 / 5) (#93)
by glor on Thu Oct 02, 2003 at 01:28:52 AM EST

than keeping this chain alive

--
Disclaimer: I am not the most intelligent kuron.
[ Parent ]

porn (2.62 / 8) (#99)
by auraslip on Thu Oct 02, 2003 at 03:34:44 AM EST


___-___
[ Parent ]
Issues (4.50 / 5) (#76)
by bugmaster on Wed Oct 01, 2003 at 11:31:49 PM EST

Would their be any complications or developmental issues for the fetus before or after birth due to things that might be missing from an artificial womb, such as maternal heartbeat, hormones generated by mood, touch, etc.
This, in my mind, is the only valid reason to block deployment of artificial wombs. Like any technology, they should not be used if they don't work properly. Note that I said "deployment", not "development" -- if the bugs can be fixed, then by all means, fix the bugs.

The other issues are mostly social in nature, and they all have established solution paths: voting and legislation. For example if we, as a society, decide that it is a mother's right to develop her fetus as sees fit, we should prohibit employers from writing in these nasty "use ex utero or get fired" clauses. If, on the other hand, we decide that the life of the child is paramount, we should pass laws requiring crack mothers to develop their children ex utero... etc. etc.

The "major world religions", eugenics proponents, eugenics opponents, etc. are not a factor in this. At all. They can vote yea or nay, and this is all they can do. For all other issues, this is enough -- so why single out artificial wombs, space travel, monkey racing, or any other technology ?
>|<*:=

Brave New World: A Different Projection (3.00 / 6) (#79)
by Baldrson on Wed Oct 01, 2003 at 11:58:34 PM EST

Some folks who were so concerned about the invention of an artificial womb that they formed a secluded community some decades ago to do what they called "an about face" from the world-wide trends they saw toward take over by "group entities" wrote some books about their ideas. A couple of key books are The Six Disciplines of Man's Being and Man's Relation to Government by Melvin Gorham and Brave New World: A Different Projection by John Harland.

Basically their idea is that sexual reproduction represents a plateu of evolution that occurs when a bunch of clones congregate in a single group entity -- and the eusocial insects are an evolutionary regression rather than an advance.

They believe that Huxley's "Brave New World" is inevitable once certain choices are made about the relationship between government and their concept of sexuality -- particularly as it pertains to humans. The idea is that "sovereignty" is something akin to organic self-sufficiency found in animals and plants -- not ideological -- and is upheld by current civilizations only in the case of female reproductive choice. Male sovereignty is about single combat and is not upheld. This has consequences -- not the least of which is the regressive evolution of civilization toward a eusocial organism. (They don't see female sovereignty as entirely upheld BTW -- they have a much broader definition of "rape" than current laws and consider "rape" to be a capital offense).

I found some of their ideas about the evolution of group entities interesting since they matched to some degree my own belief about differential human evolution based on caloric availability. However they seem a bit too sanguine, for my money, about hybridization in the presence of transportation technology. In any event they are not responding to communications and are no longer publishing new material so far as I've been able to discover. I suspect they were 'dealt with' at some point and no longer exist as a society. The use of single combat to the death as the appeal of last resort in dispute processing is something political leadership finds too threatening to allow to be practiced.

-------- Empty the Cities --------


Weapons and ethics. (2.00 / 6) (#95)
by Fen on Thu Oct 02, 2003 at 02:15:59 AM EST

Say a group of people developed artifical wombs, and killed lots of babies in the process--but they have vastly superior weapons. Doesn't ethics become a totally moot point then? Dead people don't moralize, ethicize, or in general blow hot air around.
--Self.
Possible to have strictly technical discussion? (3.00 / 5) (#96)
by Fen on Thu Oct 02, 2003 at 02:20:45 AM EST

It's a similar issue with new weapons technology. Cloning, genetic design as well. Is it possible for people to speak strictly about technical matters and ignore "ethical concerns"? I think it's yet another case of human stupidity. It's a lot easier to emotionally think "chemical and bio weapons are evil", than to learn about their technical characteristics.
--Self.
Ethical Considerations (2.25 / 4) (#116)
by catseye on Thu Oct 02, 2003 at 09:32:12 AM EST

It is certainly possible to discuss simply the technological aspects of this or any other scientific advance, but you cannot ignore ethics.

Just because something can be done, doesn't mean it should be done, and if people agree that something should not be done, they don't want to waste time talking about the specifications.

----------
How can we fight Islamic Fundamentalism abroad if we do not fight Christian Fundamentalism at home?
[ Parent ]

Ignore ethics? (3.00 / 2) (#140)
by Fen on Thu Oct 02, 2003 at 03:32:04 PM EST

Why not? What physical law says you must consider ethics? You can't ignore gravity. You can ignore ethics.
--Self.
[ Parent ]
Heh (3.00 / 2) (#127)
by TheModerate on Thu Oct 02, 2003 at 11:44:29 AM EST

I forgot who said this, but: "I like ethical problems much more than real ones."

"What a man has in himself is, then, the chief element in his happiness." -- Schopenhauer
[ Parent ]

Can we try that with oil too? nt (none / 1) (#155)
by mmsmatt on Thu Oct 02, 2003 at 05:26:17 PM EST



[ Parent ]
Trolling a bit here, but.... (2.50 / 5) (#98)
by starX on Thu Oct 02, 2003 at 02:54:38 AM EST

"In addition, religious and conservative groups that currently spend millions protesting and lobbying against abortion should subsidize the cost for low-income women; anything less would be immoral and hypocritical."

Since when have religious and conservative groups given one wot about acting in "immoral" (or even amoral) and "hypocritical" ways? Some of these folk (Jerry Falwell being the best example in my mind) are every bit as debaucherous as Larry Flynt; but whereas he makes his money with vice, they make theirs with "virtue."  Afterall, what good is having a tele-congregation of thousands if you don't have a monument to yourself, and why waste such a base of voters by not running for political office?  

"I like you starX, you disagree without sounding like a fanatic from a rock-solid point of view. Highfive." --WonderJoust

Common guys! (2.00 / 4) (#101)
by bob6 on Thu Oct 02, 2003 at 04:00:24 AM EST

Would you miss that opportunity to have such an womb implanted inside your belly?

Cheers.
Hmm, actually (none / 1) (#114)
by locke baron on Thu Oct 02, 2003 at 08:10:11 AM EST

That idea might have some sort of potential for more complete SRS. Imagine an M2F transsexual being able to become a mother...

I like it! Go science!

Micro$oft uses Quake clannies to wage war on Iraq! - explodingheadboy
[ Parent ]

crazy (1.57 / 7) (#102)
by loorihc on Thu Oct 02, 2003 at 04:12:13 AM EST

Ectogenesis sounds like a sick sex fetish. So does "Panacea".

Uhoh. (1.00 / 3) (#110)
by tkatchev on Thu Oct 02, 2003 at 07:50:41 AM EST

Get some therapy, dude.

   -- Signed, Lev Andropoff, cosmonaut.
[ Parent ]

No end to abortion (4.16 / 6) (#104)
by kvan on Thu Oct 02, 2003 at 05:55:26 AM EST

This technology, as you mention, will lead to more people being able to have their own genetic children despite being infertile. Infertile couples, however, are the single largest group of adopters, so there would be fewer adopters for a lot more unwanted babies, were ectogenesis to be used in the interest of obsoleting abortions.

"Many people would sooner die than think; in fact, most do." - Bertrand Russell


Not a problem... (5.00 / 3) (#130)
by gnovos on Thu Oct 02, 2003 at 12:11:11 PM EST

One would think that those very people outside of the abortion offices right now chanting and waving signs would be MORE than willing to adopt these children, right?  Right?

(I would hope so, I'd hate think that they were any sort of hypocrites, especailly given the religious fevor that many of them have driving them to keep up the vigil...)

A Haiku: "fuck you fuck you fuck/you fuck you fuck you fuck you/fuck you fuck you snow" - JChen
[ Parent ]

Lesbians! (2.60 / 5) (#105)
by OmniCognate on Thu Oct 02, 2003 at 06:00:31 AM EST

Hey, gay males would be able to have their own biological children, and so would lesbians. However, lesbians would only be able to have female children, because there's no Y chromosome. Strange, that.

Er (3.00 / 3) (#106)
by OmniCognate on Thu Oct 02, 2003 at 06:12:00 AM EST

Of course, they wouldn't need artificial wombs, but I was just referring to the cloning technology business. You'd need a donor sperm, but still they could only have girls. Or could you use a donor Y chromosome. They could have twins with different mothers. Argh! The confusion! Hmmmmm...

[ Parent ]
Do you even know what the article is about? [nt] (1.00 / 3) (#107)
by mcherm on Thu Oct 02, 2003 at 07:16:16 AM EST



[ Parent ]
Yup [n/t] (1.50 / 3) (#115)
by OmniCognate on Thu Oct 02, 2003 at 08:16:04 AM EST



[ Parent ]
Homosapien Park! (2.33 / 6) (#109)
by ksiew on Thu Oct 02, 2003 at 07:40:10 AM EST

There was a rich person who was facinated by planet earth. Planet earth whose past is strange as 56 millions years ago the earth was ruled by an ape like species know as homosapiens.

The rich old bastard wanted to bring them back. With financial backing from the banks, he created "Homo Park", using the fossilized dna in the blood of a mosquito trapped in amber for 56 million years and the latest Ectogenesis technology, he brought them all back.

But because of an accident at the park, the bankers become worried, so they send a team of homo palentoligist and a mathematician to investigate the safety aspect of the park.

"Homo will find a way!" said the mathematician. "You kept saying that! You Chausitician!" yap back the old bastard. "Chaostition! I study the non-linear dynamics of mathematics. These homo are more non-linear than you and I can imagine. They never think straight. Besides have you heard my theory of how they blasted themselves with nukes 56 million years ago, blasted to extinction!"

"Ridicules! No species is so stupid as to destroy themselves when there is plenty to go around." the old bastard said.

"Ah! yes but these are homos, they don't think straight like us. They think in a highly non-linear fashion. If there is a weak stop in the park, they will find a way. Have you seen how they look as us. They are thinking, think hard and they are always testing the electric fences trying to find a way out. These creatures are dangerous. They hunt in groups. Nature will find a way."

Hypocrisy (2.40 / 5) (#118)
by blaaf on Thu Oct 02, 2003 at 10:15:21 AM EST

In addition, religious and conservative groups that currently spend millions protesting and lobbying against abortion should subsidize the cost for low-income women; anything less would be immoral and hypocritical.

Since when have "religious and conservative groups" had a problem with being immoral and hypocritical? I see lots of wing-nuts dispensing free, unsolicited advice to pregnant teens that they should keep their baby (lest they burn in hell), but I don't see them shelling out diaper money to the same or volunteering to adopt these babies.

Disturbing Trend (3.00 / 6) (#133)
by CENGEL3 on Thu Oct 02, 2003 at 01:02:34 PM EST

While I would have no problems with this sort of technology (assuming it was properly tested) when utilized for valid medical reasons (i.e. women that couldn't otherwise have children). I see a bit of a distrubing trend in some of the posts here... lauding this technology because it will make child-bearing "easier" for women (i.e. no gaining weight, no morning sickness, etc).

I think it is a false assumption that having things made "easier" is neccesarly better in every case. Case in point, is the world really so much better off now that any single person can be reached by anyone else (boss, annoying relative, salesperson, etc) 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, no matter where they are or what they are doing?

Some things, I believe, SHOULD be difficult to do.
A momentous decision like bringing another life into the world aught to be one of them. While getting pregnant is easy enough (for some people)... carrying a child in the womb for 9 months certainly isn't (according to every pregnant woman I've ever talked to). At least that experience seems to impart to the woman just how serious a thing becoming a mother really is.

I'm just a little worried that if a woman can drop off a fetus at the local "gestation center" and come back 9 months later at pick up her brand new baby(tm) that it's going to lead to an even more casual attitude about having children...and that's going to be a very rude shock once the reality of actualy raising a child hits home.

Society already has enough problems with people who are ill-prepared to be parents having children (with all the damage it does to those children).... I think anything that helps promote a more cavalier attitude about bringing a child into the world aught to be looked at with a healthy dose of trepidation.

Nothing achieved easly was ever really worth achieving.

Ah yes, this point of view is popular and familiar (1.57 / 7) (#135)
by the on Thu Oct 02, 2003 at 01:37:40 PM EST

The point of view that says sex is sinful, nice women don't do it and that women should therefore be punished for having sex. And therefore women should suffer pain, sickness and other problems whenever they do have sex. Usually people disguise it better than you (for example by using a euphemism like "pro-life" for "anti-abortion") but it's still the same thing.

Or maybe you're proposing that men should also suffer too. Maybe we could inject them with drugs that mess up their bodies when they get women pregnant. That might make them think harder about their responsibilities too.

--
The Definite Article
[ Parent ]

Barking up the wrong tree (5.00 / 2) (#144)
by CENGEL3 on Thu Oct 02, 2003 at 03:45:43 PM EST

I don't believe sex is "sinfull" or that people should be punished for it. I certainly believe in birth control and in point of fact, I'm not actualy anti-abortion. Heck, I even happen to be agnostic so religion doesn't even enter into it for me.

I hate to burst your self-righteous liberal confronting right-wingnut bubble there but you are completely mis-characterizing my arguement.
The main point I am trying to make is that in society today far too many people are looking for the Quick & Hassle Free(tm) solution to everything. This has some very harmfull side effects. Patience and adversity are important life tools in forming a healthy and mature personality and a healthy and mature society.

Some things should not be Quick & Hassle Free(tm) because thier ramifications are far too important to entered into lightly and patience and adversity not only help encourage people to consider such decisions with gravity but help provide people with preperation to deal with the later ramifications of such decisions.

People need to be reminded that having children is different then going to the pet store to buy a goldfish and the tribulations of pregnancy are one way nature has of making that reminder.

[ Parent ]

Some things should not be Quick & Hassle Free (2.50 / 6) (#151)
by the on Thu Oct 02, 2003 at 05:10:23 PM EST

You can claim not to be a right wing nut all you like but you're failing to see that your inner Puritan is saying these things. I can understand someone arguing that it should be hard to become pregnant, but suffering after the fact doesn't do anything to help.

And you might like to consider the fairness of not having men carry the burden of childbirth.

--
The Definite Article
[ Parent ]

the fairness? (5.00 / 2) (#183)
by Wiseson on Fri Oct 03, 2003 at 07:22:52 AM EST

The fairness?! Give me a break, it's a female of any species' biological role to carry children. 'It's not fair, men should have to be pregnant' too. Sheesh. And it's certainly not MY inner puritan speaking, because I think we should go back to the role of the male being to impregnate as many females as possible before death. However, in light of modern conditions.. I'm willing to make some compromises. Get real, if you have issue with anyone it's not with the people who are against this technology, it's with nature, God, the devil, or whoever have you. Sheesh, I bet you want a packet of euthanasia pills with your Quick & Hassle Free child should the post-birth hassle become too much. And no, I'm not anti-abortion, pregnancy is a nice 'What the hell am I doing?!' period and it's good that it can be backed out of. If you change your mind with you Q&HF-Child what are you goign to do then? Call the lab and cancel your order?

[ Parent ]
for women. For men it's still just a goldfish n/t (none / 1) (#213)
by livus on Sun Oct 05, 2003 at 07:27:41 AM EST



---
HIREZ substitute.
be concrete asshole, or shut up. - CTS
I guess I skipped school or something to drink on the internet? - lonelyhobo
I'd like to hope that any impression you got about us from internet forums was incorrect. - debillitatus
I consider myself trolled more or less just by visiting the site. HollyHopDrive

[ Parent ]
This well help you sleep easier tonight..... (3.00 / 4) (#163)
by Pluto on Thu Oct 02, 2003 at 08:04:10 PM EST

Such procedures will be enormously expensive.

The Jerry Springer crowd can still have all their legions of unwanted, unplanned, uncaredfor babies.

Not to worry.
_______________________________________
Burgeoning technologies require outlaw zones... deliberately unsupervised playgrounds for technology itself. -- William Gibson
[ Parent ]

Fits well with the end of sex. (none / 1) (#134)
by Fen on Thu Oct 02, 2003 at 01:18:18 PM EST

When nobody has to carry a baby inside, there is no real difference between the sexes. So we'll converge on a single form for humans, not the division we have now. It fits well with evolution in general--humans evolved to be very flexible and not have specific roles (like fins for swimming or claws for hunting). The last specific role, that have child bearer versus hunter, will be next to fall. Any sci-fi have this concept in it? It seems inevitable to me.
--Self.
we will still need some one to donate and egg (none / 1) (#138)
by modmans2ndcoming on Thu Oct 02, 2003 at 02:46:02 PM EST

unless we can develop technologies (marrow stem cell manipulation into sex cells?) to clone a human that has a diffrent genetic structure from the parents, sex will still be needed.

[ Parent ]
Depends on what you mean by sex (none / 1) (#172)
by acronos on Thu Oct 02, 2003 at 10:15:42 PM EST

1) Take a Male sperm and grow it into an egg, or just start with a female egg.
2) Take different male's sperm and fertilize the egg, or convert the females egg to a sperm to fertilize another females egg
3) Make whatever desired modifications to the DNA chain.  Salt and pepper to taste.
4) Put the results in an artificial womb.

Presto, child with no sex.  At least not what I typically mean by the word.

[ Parent ]

Rememeber you could still have gene mixing. (none / 1) (#139)
by Fen on Thu Oct 02, 2003 at 03:17:35 PM EST

It would be hermaphrodite DNA mixing, like Earthworms. They've already made eggs from males in Pennsylvania earlier. This may be even easier than the artificial wombs.
--Self.
[ Parent ]
Not inevitable, not even likely. (none / 2) (#232)
by kitten on Mon Oct 06, 2003 at 11:55:50 AM EST

Almost impossible, I'd say.

Humans aren't evolving anymore. They stopped evolving long, long ago.

Think about the conditions necessary for evolution to occur:

1. There must be a reason for it to occur. Humans don't need natural defense against the elements, as we build shelters, nor do we have any natural predators (any that we may have had in the dim past, we exterminated). We don't compete with each other in the same sense that animals do. In evolution, organisms adapt to their environment. Humans adapt the environment to themselves.

2. Evolution only really occurs in small and isolated groups. With a global population of six billion and a wide range of mobility from cars and airplanes, humans are not limited to a selection of mates within a small radius, like most animals. In a group of a hundred animals, one animal with some advantage may live longer or outcompete the others. In a group of a thousand busy breeders, the one with an advantage will barely be noticed. In a group of a million, the one with an advantage makes no difference at all.

3. We have removed ourselves from the "law of the jungle" with the rise of industrial society. The weak, one-legged man would have been wolf food in ages past - today he can make a decent living in any number of professions. Our various systems of social security and welfare play into it as well. Not to mention the obvious fact that the dull-witted morons are usually the ones producing more children than the intelligent, ambitious person, who is focussing on their career or education and may only have one or two children, if that.

There are literally dozens of reasons why human evolution has ceased, but those are the main ones: A large and mobile population, a society where even the most stupid and weak can successfully produce offspring, and the human ability to adapt the environment to their liking, rather than being forced to adapt to environmental pressure.

The only way genders will vanish is if they are genetically engineered to, and given that human sexuality has very little to do with actual reproduction and more to do with recreation, that isn't going to happen.

SCIENTIST A. Hey, wouldn't it be cool if we genetically engineered humans so nobody would ever get laid ever again?

SCIENTIST B. ...you're fired.
mirrorshades radio - darkwave, synthpop, industrial, futurepop.
[ Parent ]
Evolution. (none / 1) (#236)
by Fen on Tue Oct 07, 2003 at 05:39:59 PM EST

In evolution, organisms adapt to their environment. Humans adapt the environment to themselves.
Wrong. In evolution, it's only about survival. If that means changing the environment instead of adapting, that's still being the one who survives.
True, it's no longer the "law of the jungle" for the reasons you mention. But when it is, separate sexes will be a detriment. Why do defending cities fall despite being dug in? Because they have to protect the women.
--Self.
[ Parent ]
Something troubles me (4.00 / 4) (#143)
by xutopia on Thu Oct 02, 2003 at 03:41:44 PM EST

I often get real excited about the benefits of something and then go on realizing that some of the benefits might be a bad thing.

I think there is a general almost sacrilegous problem with the described usages. I may be biased because I hate that our society goes towards more and more dependance on unnatural processes for its own survival.

If we can make artificial wombs and make sure that the process of evolution continues in the natural way I'll be happy. But I'm scared that too many important factors about our well being in the future is going to be lost in such a process.

Happiness through physical means is important. Today we are discovering that DNA is far from the tell-all in someone's makeup. Other factors play a very important part in how the DNA unfolds. The womb is probably the most important of them all.

To me an animal living in a Zoo is not as happy as one living in nature. The difference is that the one in nature has to use it's energy towards finding food and fighting off the right predators. An animal in captivity doesn't have to deal with hunting or running away. These "happiness triggers" are never used in captivity and they walk back and forth to use up that energy they can't use the way their body tells them they should.

I see this ectogenesis as being a zoo-like environnement for our feotuses. I also see it as something that if we start using we'll need more and more off. If someone's genes says that you are to require the usage of such a thing it'll mean that all your children most likely will have that problem too.

Really? (4.00 / 3) (#148)
by Easyas123 on Thu Oct 02, 2003 at 04:27:55 PM EST

I can get your comment anout tigers and whatnot, but what effect are you talking about in the womb that cannot be re created in an artificial one?

I am guessing that if science can re-create the environments of a womb for growth, other environmental issues wouldn't be a problem.

What I am asking, is what will the baby be missing? I can see where tigers have to hunt and run , but where is the similarity to babies in artificial wombs?

***********************
As the wise men fortold.
[ Parent ]

Doctors (1.20 / 5) (#145)
by CoolName on Thu Oct 02, 2003 at 04:12:34 PM EST

One always finds doctors at the forefront of crazy medicine. Helping people ranks around fourth in terms of medical priorities behind money, fame and dodging malpractice suits for most doctors. Some crazy doctor was trying to clone a human awhile back despite problems with the basic cloning technology. Now apparently there are doctors eager to experiment on babies to perfect those much needed (ha ha)artificial wombs

"What does your conscience say? -- 'You shall become the person you are.'" Friedrich Nietzsche


eh? (5.00 / 2) (#147)
by bblaze on Thu Oct 02, 2003 at 04:23:21 PM EST

Doctors? At the forefront of medicine? That's absurd!

Tollis lintea neglegentiorum. Hoc salsum esse putas? Fugit te inepte: quamvis sordida res et invenusta est est. - Catullus
[ Parent ]
Not all "doctors" are M.D.s (none / 1) (#160)
by mulescent on Thu Oct 02, 2003 at 06:58:38 PM EST

Please note that not all people colloquially referred to as doctor are medical doctors. The doctors actually doing research and publishing papers are, by in large, scientists with Ph.D.s. Your local gynecologist/internist/general practitioner does not do research.



You better stop that laser game, or you'll smell my mule
[ Parent ]
Happy tp Hear This (none / 1) (#223)
by CoolName on Sun Oct 05, 2003 at 07:53:19 PM EST

I think mdeical research by people who by and large see patients every day is best illegal. No endrocinologist is going to come up with a cure for diabetes for example as diabetes is the bread and butter of endroncinology. Health can be viewed as series of mountain ranges with say Mount Everest being the summit of health. MDs who do research have people wandering around say the Appalachias. Stop treatment and one's condition does worsen but given where one is so to speak really excellent health is unobtainable at least via the intermediation of MDs. Research by MDs is geared to find low health maxima. A top priority of MDs is office visits and whatever the 'answer' office visits must continue apace and that means people must be chronically ill.

"What does your conscience say? -- 'You shall become the person you are.'" Friedrich Nietzsche


[ Parent ]

I have a vision... a horrible, horrible vision... (5.00 / 2) (#149)
by Tatarigami on Thu Oct 02, 2003 at 04:41:47 PM EST

On the one hand, I'm almost certain we'll see this technology abused by ultra-ultra-right wing zealots to breed greater and greater numbers of their particular master race.

And on the other hand, I worry that dictatorial left-wing governments will feel free to mandate that a certain percentage of children born each year must belong to a particular racial demographic, and using a technological solution to adjust the numbers.

Given the number of paranoid fears I've dismissed in the past which are coming true at the moment, I don't feel so confident anymore saying this'll never happen.

Eugenics indeed... (2.50 / 3) (#150)
by ckaminski on Thu Oct 02, 2003 at 04:52:26 PM EST

Macy's babies, Gap babies... you think it's bad now?

But on the other hand, perhaps more insidious:
  Can this be used as an excuse for forced population control?  Licensed parenthood?

  Harvest your ovaries and testes at puberty, and require intensive testing and licensure to get them back if you don't want standard off-the-shelf Macy's babies?

Now, a word from your sponsor.... (none / 2) (#162)
by Pluto on Thu Oct 02, 2003 at 07:54:42 PM EST

Can this be used as an excuse for forced population control?  Licensed parenthood?

God, I hope so!
_______________________________________
Burgeoning technologies require outlaw zones... deliberately unsupervised playgrounds for technology itself. -- William Gibson
[ Parent ]

Ah... you say that now... (none / 2) (#193)
by ckaminski on Fri Oct 03, 2003 at 02:19:23 PM EST

But what if you're on the receiving end of "parenting discrimination"?  

I'm all for parental licensure.  I'm going out of my way to provide for my child before it's born (have a house well paid for, education saved up for etc). I think I'd make a good parent, but what sorts of tests do we have?  People have to carry around some modern version of the "home ec. sack of flour" for a few months?

Programmed to wake up every 30 minutes with loud klaxons?  

Granted, it's a good thought, no more psychos having 50 children because putting on a condom is too much effort... But who sets the standards?  How do you even begin to set standards?

[ Parent ]

That's a good point (none / 1) (#194)
by Pluto on Fri Oct 03, 2003 at 02:52:57 PM EST

In fact, that is SUCH a good point, that I withdraw my comment.

Discussions of responsible parenting or conscientious population standards are as nonsensical as they are pointless.

The wave of probability about the fate of humans as a species has already collapsed into certainty.

(You sound like you'd make a wonderful parent, BTW.)
_______________________________________
Burgeoning technologies require outlaw zones... deliberately unsupervised playgrounds for technology itself. -- William Gibson
[ Parent ]

For illustration (none / 1) (#153)
by mmsmatt on Thu Oct 02, 2003 at 05:20:04 PM EST

The Hand of Hope

Urban Legend, but picure is real. (none / 0) (#245)
by snowmoon on Mon Nov 03, 2003 at 03:26:44 PM EST

 What actually happened, as described in news reports of the surgery, was that:

    [J]ust as surgeon Dr. Joseph Bruner was closing the incision in Julie Armas' uterus, Samuel's thumbnail-sized hand flopped out. Bruner lifted it gently and tucked it back in.

http://www.snopes.com/photos/thehand.asp

[ Parent ]

We know so little (5.00 / 2) (#154)
by CaptainSuperBoy on Thu Oct 02, 2003 at 05:23:28 PM EST

The amount we know about most things versus the amount that we don't know is very tiny. There's a lot we don't understand about the development process right now, and there could be many conditions in the womb that we're not aware of which affect the baby. I have no doubt that the first babies raised in artificial wombs will have shorter life expectancies, weaker immune systems, and higher risk of developmental disorders. This is similar to how cloned animals appear to suffer from health problems.

It's also possible that there is a certain genetic makeup that is conducive to being raised in an artificial womb. Babies with this trait might have a greater chance of survival. They would pass that down to their children, who would also have a greater chance of survival in an artificial womb and possibly a lesser chance of survival in a real womb. This sounds far-fetched but it is possible that some people's genetics would eventually make them dependent on artificial wombs to reproduce.

--
jimmysquid.com - I take pictures.

Machine babies (none / 2) (#192)
by wrax on Fri Oct 03, 2003 at 02:16:13 PM EST

Resistance is futile!
--------------------

I don't know whats worse, the fact that people actually write this crap or the fact that people actually vote it up.
[ Parent ]

Stronger babies? (none / 1) (#198)
by Fen on Fri Oct 03, 2003 at 05:53:12 PM EST

Maybe you're right that there will be kinks along the way, but those can go either way. Perhaps the babies will be stronger because they have a more constant development environment.
--Self.
[ Parent ]
Omlettes... (none / 1) (#208)
by StrifeZ on Sat Oct 04, 2003 at 05:26:49 PM EST

Can't make an omlette without breaking a few dozen eggs.


KITTENS@(_%&@%@_($&@(_$&^@$()&@%@+(&%
[ Parent ]
genetic vigor (4.00 / 3) (#156)
by Rahyl on Thu Oct 02, 2003 at 05:40:32 PM EST

If artificial wombs allow otherwise infertile women to have children, won't those children be more likely to have the same problems?  Wouldn't the artificial womb in this particular case have a short-term pay off in exchange for long-term complications?

Messing with the process of natural selection just doesn't sound like a good idea, call me crazy.

I'm also thinking that a lot of sensory input would be lacking in an artificial environment.  Science already tells us that the mother's movement does have an affect on muscular and neural development.  Is it possible to replicate this movement as well as natural body temperature fluctuation, changes in hormonal and nutrient levels, and other variables?

It's definitely interesting stuff but not a band wagon I'm ready to jump onto just yet :)


We're beyond evolution (5.00 / 3) (#161)
by QuantumG on Thu Oct 02, 2003 at 07:12:36 PM EST

Evolution is for species that fight for survival. Maybe that's the case in some parts of the world but us Westerners have no more use for "natural selection". Do we really need better genes to post on kuro5hin?

Gun fire is the sound of freedom.
[ Parent ]
Well not quite.... (none / 2) (#164)
by stpap on Thu Oct 02, 2003 at 08:10:46 PM EST

The theory of evolution is not just about survival. It is about propagation of genes that solicit behavior and physical characteristics that make the host a capable reproductive machine (which has to live long enough to reproduce of course, but does not necessarily live a long time). An example of this would be a caveman who lived to his 30th birthday  (when the average death age was 21) but did not procreate. Even though he lived longer than everyone else his genes are not passed on and hence much of his genetic makeup and whatever inate character traits he may have had did not get propagated through the ages.

--Westerners have no more use for "natural selection". That is a bogus argument in my view. Rich people's offsprings have a much better chance at gene propagation than poor people's.

--Evolution is for species that fight for survival.
I hope that my argument is clear now. Even though both a homeless person and a rich person may die at 60, their chances of gene propagation are much different. You could argue that evolution in humans has slowed down, because social welfare and other such schemes have ensured the survival and even propagation of the genes of people who would not have made it in the 'old days'. In modern societies the 'weak' (least fit for survival as defined in years past) have a decent chance of propagating their genes, since they are not so severely penalised as to not produce offspring (a person born disabled is not left to die for instance, and it is the norm now that such individuals lead productive lives and may even be protected by the state or charities). However, evolution has not stopped. It cannot stop by definition. As long as life exists, genes that promote the propagation of individuals will continue through time, whilst those who don't will not. It is just that these days more and more physical or behavioural traits do not lead to death before propagation and as such it looks like the evolutionary process has slowed down (a physically weak human has as many chances as any other to earn a decent living in academia for instance).

Ok a bit of a long comment but hey, it is just me.
   

[ Parent ]

rapists spread their genes further than others.. (none / 1) (#165)
by QuantumG on Thu Oct 02, 2003 at 08:44:25 PM EST

but in modern civilized societies, women who are raped are not required to carry their children to term.. we are beyond evolution because we conciously choose our own destinies.

Gun fire is the sound of freedom.
[ Parent ]
That doesn't even slow down evolution (none / 2) (#167)
by Hizonner on Thu Oct 02, 2003 at 09:34:42 PM EST

All that means is that rape is no longer favored by evolution as a viable reproductive strategy. Evolution continues to operate. In fact, nowadays, since rape gets you tossed in jail and lowers your social status, thus probably reducing your reproductive success, there's probably an evolutionary pressure against rape. That will continue as long as the present social conditions hold out... and it's still evolution in action.

Now, if you started actively designing children, rather than letting natural selection continue over natural variation, then you could reasonably make a claim to have made a major change in the way evolution operates. It's not impossible that we'll do that, even relatively soon.

Even then, though, evolution would continue to operate in some form as long as:

  1. There was any tendency for a person to produce children more similar to herself than to any random member of the space of available choices.
  2. There was at least some change from one generation to the next, whether deliberately introduced, introduced by random variation, or introduced by some outside force or forces.
  3. At least some of the differences introduced by that change had effects on the probability of reproduction by the children.
That's all it takes for evolution, and those conditions are likely to hold for a very large number of people for the indefinite future.

[ Parent ]
So even unnatural selection is evolution to you? (none / 3) (#168)
by QuantumG on Thu Oct 02, 2003 at 09:39:01 PM EST



Gun fire is the sound of freedom.
[ Parent ]
Yes (none / 3) (#169)
by Hizonner on Thu Oct 02, 2003 at 09:47:11 PM EST

Any heritable change of replicating units under selective pressure is evolution... and I believe that that's a pretty well accepted viewpoint.

I have no idea what would be "unnatural" selection anyway. By definition, nothing "unnatural" ever happens, and the idea that human culture or human actions are somehow less "natural" than any other selective pressure makes no sense.

[ Parent ]

Then what does "natural" mean? (none / 3) (#170)
by QuantumG on Thu Oct 02, 2003 at 10:00:54 PM EST

By definition anything we (humans) conciously decide and do is unnatural. That's the point of having the word "natural" to distinquish those things that happen out there in the wild to the things that happen in our nice little organised societies.

You may replace my use of the word "evolution" with "natural selection". We are beyond natural selection.

Gun fire is the sound of freedom.
[ Parent ]

erm... (none / 2) (#175)
by stpap on Thu Oct 02, 2003 at 11:20:45 PM EST

--By definition anything we (humans) conciously decide and do is unnatural.

Why would you think that? Other animals on this planet of ours counciously decide and do things. Pigeons, bats, dolphins, dogs and cats learn through their lives and react according to experience. Humans are different to animals in many ways but I cannot see any sort of uniformity in the animal kingdom, or in nature if you will, that can sum that group as "natural" and us as "unnatural". Unless you define unnatural as "any product of human society" in which case I would concur. "anything we (humans) conciously decide and do is unnatural."

--We are beyond natural selection.
I think the previous poster established that the genes which create the most efficient agents for reproduction will replace those who don't. Simply because they are more efficient and when in competition with other agents, the more efficient variety wins. Humans cannot be "beyond" natural selection. There are limited resources on the planet, some people have more offspring than others and we all have finite lives.

--Personal comment
I think your primary concern does not have anything to do with natural selection per se. I dare to guess that you hold to the belief that natural selection is linked with the "brutality" observed in the animal kingdom and you need to disassociate yourself from it. Like it or not, the evidence is overwhelming that we are all part of this natural selection mechanism, all our ancestors were strong enough, or clever enough or/and good cheaters to propagate through the centuries (by outsmarting/outproducing or flat out killing other reproductive human agents-competitors). However, products of the human nature are also society and all the good things you see around you.

Ok I tried not to be condescending but I think I just walked on a thin layer of ice over a deep lake.
Hope I got my point accross though.

[ Parent ]

Defining a word (none / 1) (#178)
by QuantumG on Fri Oct 03, 2003 at 12:46:28 AM EST

Why would you think that? Other animals on this planet of ours counciously decide and do things. Pigeons, bats, dolphins, dogs and cats learn through their lives and react according to experience. Humans are different to animals in many ways but I cannot see any sort of uniformity in the animal kingdom, or in nature if you will, that can sum that group as "natural" and us as "unnatural". Unless you define unnatural as "any product of human society" in which case I would concur.
Humans define the word "unnatural".. not any other animals.. The word is defined as:
not in accordance with or determined by nature
Which I think is a not so clear way of saying "something humans make or do".

Gun fire is the sound of freedom.
[ Parent ]
I'm not buying that (none / 2) (#176)
by Hizonner on Thu Oct 02, 2003 at 11:36:27 PM EST

Well, given the way I used the word, and given that you yourself had supplied no defintion, I figured you'd realize that I was using more or less the definition of "unnatural" that I give below.

The conclusion that nothing is unnatural is what you tend to come up if you bat that definition around in a bull session for long enough. I sort of assume that everybody's had that bull session, and will therefore undertand what's implicit in my saying that nothing's unnatural.

Obviously, "natural" and "unnatural" are words with long, complex histories behind them, and therefore with fuzzy meanings. You can probably find somebody who uses them in almost any way you want. I think, however, that you're in a minority of very close to one in claiming that everything done by human will is unnatural.

Very roughly, I think that "natural to <some subject>" commonly means something close to "according to the innate properties and predispositions of that subject, considered independent of outside influences". That's still a hellish mess, and basically wrong, because you can't observe anything in a isolation, and nothing would behave "naturally" in such a vacuum if you could. On the other hand, if you add an environment, you rapidly end up arguing about whether it's the "natural environment" or not. Nonetheless, I think that definition is pretty close to what most people would choose.

"Natural", without any subject, means something like "according to the innate properties of the Universe as a whole". There is, of course, nothing outside the Universe, and the Universe can't very well act against its own properties, so everything ends up being natural by that definition.

The fact that one of these definitions is incomplete and incomprehensible, while the second trivially leads to everything or nothing, tends to make one suspect that the word doesn't really refer to any useful concept... which is basically true for formal scientific and philosophical purposes.

The definition you use seems to come from interpreting what I just said under a dualistic tradition, where mind and will aren't quite thought of as part of the same world as material things, and therefore as being capable of exerting outside, and therefore "unnatural", influences on the Universe and its constituent objects. There's a lot of hairy messiness there, but that's where I think it comes from.

You can get away with that in common use as long as you don't look at it too closely, but it falls apart as soon as you try to use it for anything serious. For example, under the way you state the definition, my deciding to take a crap is unnatural, somebody's choosing to have children is unnatural, and evolutionary pressures caused by social behavior snapped from being "natural" to being "unnatural" at some arbitrary point in human evolution. I don't think most users of the words would want to agree with any of those.

The whole thing is further complicated by the fact that, in evolutionary biology, "natural selection" is basically a stock phrase that's used without a lot of examination most of the time. That's how I was using it up until you brought up the phrase "unnatural selection". When biologists do think about the meaning of "natural" in "natural selection", they tend to take it to mean "without anybody deliberately trying to select".

That's different from your definition... you say that any selection through deliberate human action is "unnatural", whereas I think most evolutionary biologists would tend to say that an action is "artificial" selection true only if the action is taken for the purpose of selection. Note the word "artificial", by the way... most people in the sciences these days seem to avoid the word "unnatural" whenever they can, specifically so they can stay away from the whole terminology morass we're in right now.

We don't (primarily) put rapists in jail to keep them from reproducing, so, although it might be "unnatural selection" to you, it wouldn't be "artificial selection" to a biologist.

... and a philosopher, as opposed to a biologist, would almost certainly try to get as far away from even the word "artificial" is possible.

... the reason for which is that this is a terminology argument, and therefore fundamentally uninteresting.

However, even under your extreme, and I believe idiosyncratic, definition of "natural", I don't believe that human beings are or ever will be completely exempt from natural selection. I could probably skewer you on the word "consciously", since people do things unconsciously as well, but even giving you that, there will always be selective pressures that are not created by the human psyche. Whatever the human psyche is.

[ Parent ]

So assuming the sematics wars are over... (none / 1) (#179)
by QuantumG on Fri Oct 03, 2003 at 01:03:39 AM EST

The kinds of selective pressures that affect the animal kingdom do not affect us humans.. it is therefore not valid to apply principles of the theory of evolution to us!

Gun fire is the sound of freedom.
[ Parent ]
Bull session (none / 1) (#195)
by Razitshakra on Fri Oct 03, 2003 at 03:13:45 PM EST

Sorry, can't help myself.

When I hear the word "natural" I draw my revolver.

The word "natural" is mostly used as an equivalent to "good", only more objective sounding.

Two prime examples of this are hair care products that claim to give you naturally looking good hair and that homosexuality is unnatural. These claims are obviously bogus.

Naturally good looking hair is aquired by never, ever, taking a shower.

Homosexuality has always existed among humans and in some animal species as well.

--
Lets ride / You and I / In the midnight ambulance
- The Northern Territories
[ Parent ]

What is your basis for this. (none / 3) (#171)
by acronos on Thu Oct 02, 2003 at 10:01:02 PM EST

--Rich people's offsprings have a much better chance at gene propagation than poor people's.

I don't think a look at the world bears this out. My observation is that poor people have lots of children and rich people tend to only have a few.

[ Parent ]

Hmm... (none / 2) (#173)
by stpap on Thu Oct 02, 2003 at 10:50:34 PM EST

Okay I have not checked this statistically but even if true consider this:
What are the odds of a rich man reproducing and his offspring actually having more descendants against those of a poor man.
Even if the poor man breeds more than the rich one his offspring is more probable to perish without having any descendants. More offspring/less money for each/ fewer possibilities for survival.
What do you think?

[ Parent ]
Hmm (none / 1) (#205)
by awgsilyari on Sat Oct 04, 2003 at 11:32:59 AM EST

An argument could be made that evolutionary pressure helps prevent the genome from invariably decaying. Without any selective pressure there is no "incentive" for damaged genes to get replaced by better copies. It isn't that we must continually improve -- it's that without any external selective pressures, there is nothing to maintain the quality of the gene pool.

We are at grave risk of moving our genome into a situation where reproduction cannot occur unassisted. If we reach that point, and a worldwide war wipes out our technological knowledge, then the human race will be doomed.

--------
Please direct SPAM to john@neuralnw.com
[ Parent ]

Adaptation to prevailing conditions (4.00 / 2) (#166)
by Hizonner on Thu Oct 02, 2003 at 09:21:03 PM EST

So what?

The inability to reproduce without artificial help is only a "problem" if the artificial help isn't available. A shift toward needing such help would be an evolutionary response to a change in conditions. That's not a change in the process of natural selection... just a change in the selective pressures.

Humans are already dependent on technology for survival and reproduction... and I doubt that most of the humans on the planet, if dropped in a wilderness, with no tools, regardless of the groupings, would be able to recreate a survivable level of technology, let alone live without recreating it. If we were suddenly stripped of our technology, the overwhelming majority of us, and maybe all of us, would die.

If you're afraid of people evolving to be incapable of surviving without technology, I think your fears have already been realized. Personally, I don't worry about it. Yeah, there's a risk, but there's a risk in any evolutionary change, and in lack of change. Evolution never deals with future conditions, so something can always blindside you.

If anybody's thinking about piping up to tell me how human ectogenesis is "high" technology, and is new and unreliable, and is somehow more inherently brittle than the technology we already rely on, I ask that that person first think about how long it would take for the species to become seriously dependent on it, and about how those issues might change during that time. It might also be a good idea to think about how likely it really is for there to be really widespread losses of the capability. Is this really more brittle than what we have now?

Myself, I'm not so emotionally invested in the human species as a species, rather than as a collection of individuals, that I'm all that concerned anyhow. Certainly I'm not that emotionally invested in the current form of the human species.

All species change, gain abilities to survive in new conditions, lose abilities to survive in old conditions, branch into separate new species. Modern humans will probably have descendants we wouldn't recognize as "human", possibly even sharing the world with people very much like ourselves. Why is that bad?

Now, on the separate issue of imperfectly replicating of important conditions for development: yeah, you're right. I could imagine the first kids born this way being pretty screwed up, not in the sense of being reproductively unfit, but in the sense of being miserable. From my point of view, that individual misery is a good argument for never doing it, or at least for not doing it until we really, really understand it... which could be very hard to do without trying it.

However, if you could in fact identify all the important factors, of course you could recreate them. The whole system is material, not magical.

[ Parent ]

Let's rephrase that a bit... (1.40 / 5) (#177)
by SvnLyrBrto on Fri Oct 03, 2003 at 12:03:47 AM EST

> If artificial wombs allow otherwise infertile women to
> have children, won't those children be more likely to have
> the same problems?  Wouldn't the artificial womb in this
> particular case have a short-term pay off in exchange for
> long-term complications?

If insulin injections allow diabetics to live long enough to have children, won't those children be more likely to have the same problems?  Wouldn't the insulin in this particular case have a short-term pay off in exchange for long-term complications?

I'm sorry for imitating an old slashdot trolling technique.  But this time it actually raises a valid (I think) point.  Though YOUR point is valid as well, it could be easily re-worded to  be valid against pretty much any ailment, mitigated by modern medecine, which used to kill before before someone could reach reproductive age.

Natural selection, in humans, went away with the advant of doctors and medicines.  We have already made the choice that there is more value in treating and saving the sick and injured, than in letting them die and improving the gene pool.

There's no praticular rerason why ectogenesis is any different in this regard than any other medical technique which brings life to those who would not have had it "naturally".

cya,
john

Imagine all the people...
[ Parent ]

no (none / 1) (#230)
by ph0rk on Mon Oct 06, 2003 at 11:24:10 AM EST

natural selection still exists with humans, it is just no longer selecting for survivablity into the reproductive years.

What exactly it is selecting for, I'm not certain; it looks like obesity and stupidity in the states though.
.
[ f o r k . s c h i z o i d . c o m ]
[ Parent ]

Well, technically (none / 2) (#231)
by kitten on Mon Oct 06, 2003 at 11:25:50 AM EST

Natural selection, in humans, went away with the advant of doctors and medicines.

I'd argue that natural selection for humans vanished with the advent of civilization, or at least as early as any sort of industrialized civilization.

With agriculture and money, competition for limited resources became a thing of the past, and even the slow, crippled man could make a decent living in some trade or other, whereas before he would be wolf food.

Natural selection in humans probably went away earlier than that; though I have no specific data on population sizes of humans through the millenia, natural selection only occurs in relatively small and isolated groups. In a group of a hundred organisms, one that happens to have some advantage will live longer or outcompete the others in short order. In a group of a thousand, one barely makes a difference. In a group of a million, it ceases to matter altogether.

Furthermore (yes, I'm long winded today) evolution only occurs when there's a reason for it to. Humans shed the need for much of that when they rose to intelligence. The climate is too cold? Animals respond by either developing defenses (feathers, fur, blubber, etc), or dying out. Humans respond by taking the fur from other animals, building shelters, fires, etc. There's no reason for them to be selected against due to environmental pressures, and we have no natural predators (at least, not anymore - we managed to exterminate them early on).

Today's modern society protects the slow, the weak, the stupid, and any two-bit schmuck can reproduce (indeed, it is often the case that the bottom of the intellectual heap tends to have more children than the intelligent, driven, ambitious person, who is busy focussing on career or education). Welfare, social security, and other constructs of society have more or less eliminated any remaining need for humans to continue developing.
mirrorshades radio - darkwave, synthpop, industrial, futurepop.
[ Parent ]
Natural selection (4.00 / 3) (#187)
by pyro9 on Fri Oct 03, 2003 at 11:47:21 AM EST

We already mess with natural selection. Anyone who lives to reproduce because of medical intervention at any point in their life represents a case of 'messing with natural selection'

Of course, it can also be argued that since our intelligence arose through natural selection, the fruits of that intelligence such as medical technology are a 'legitimate' part of natural selection now.


The future isn't what it used to be
[ Parent ]
No need for donor eggs or sperm (none / 1) (#174)
by wurp on Thu Oct 02, 2003 at 11:01:46 PM EST

You can build a baby all on your own, whether you're a boy or a girl.

We can gather stem cells from adults.  We can also induce stem cells into being sperm cells.  We can also induce stem cells into being egg cells.

Two males, two females, an infertile couple, or even one individual of either sex can be the "mother" and "father" of a baby, assuming that these technologies all pan out.

Reproduction as we know it probably won't be the only, perhaps even the main, option for much longer.
---
Buy my stuff

But the new options don't seem NEARLY as much fun. (5.00 / 3) (#184)
by AnalogBoy on Fri Oct 03, 2003 at 09:47:31 AM EST

now do they?

--
Save the environment, plant a Bush back in Texas.
Religous Tolerance (And click a banner while you're there)
[ Parent ]
What you meant to say.. (none / 1) (#188)
by Magnetic North on Fri Oct 03, 2003 at 12:32:37 PM EST

is that there is nothing like a good old fuck.

--
<33333
[ Parent ]
One individual? (none / 1) (#189)
by Fen on Fri Oct 03, 2003 at 12:40:54 PM EST

You're right about two males/females.  But one individual would have a huge chance for recessive genes coming out (it's like brother and sister having kids, but even closer).  You're pretty much limited to straight cloning.  But the interesting case is a male cloning himself, but repeating the X chromosome to have a female clone.
--Self.
[ Parent ]
I hate to burst your bubble (2.71 / 7) (#180)
by Lode Runner on Fri Oct 03, 2003 at 01:57:45 AM EST

but artificial wombs for humans are the stuff of speculative fantasy rather than a research goal for today's scientists. Given what we now know about development, artificial wombs are not decades, but centuries off.

I'm pretty familiar with the contemporary biology literature so I can tell you that there isn't any significant interest in this area. Even Lee Silver, who's the champion of nutty reproductive schemes, says that artificial wombs won't be an issue for the foreseeable future. (see Remaking Eden)

Be all of that as it may, much of the discussion related to this story is still valuable because the vast majority of the issues with which you're grappling come up when bioethicists chew over surrogate pregnancy. If you're a woman who has ovaries, but no functioning womb, you can still have a biological child without an artificial womb because you can put your fertilized egg(s) into another woman's uterus. It's already being done, a lot; and there's no reason a sufficiently motivated State couldn't harness/industrialize surrogacy to, uh, meet certain needs. . .

Note also that the possibility of a safe ectopic pregnancy would obviate the need to build an artificial womb. We already know from (a few very unfortunate) real cases that embryos can develop normally even if they completly escape the fallopian tube and enter the mother's body cavity; they attach themselves to a kidney or a liver or whatever and the necessary blood vessels just grow! Of course, getting the baby out without killing the mother is almost impossible. (A corollary of this is that the uterus isn't some unique place where a baby can develop, rather it's a structure that allows the development of a mechanism--the placenta--that enables the mother to safely detach herself her offspring.)

Hate to burst your bubble bursting (none / 1) (#190)
by Fen on Fri Oct 03, 2003 at 12:44:59 PM EST

How much of this is ethical versus scientific?  If it's ethical, no problem--just do it in a more enlightened area.  If it's scientific, that's more of a problem.

I'm guessing it's largely ethical issues which prevent interest.
--Self.
[ Parent ]

I thought it was scientific (none / 1) (#196)
by simul on Fri Oct 03, 2003 at 04:37:23 PM EST

The complexity involved in nurturing an embryo is apparently vast.

Read this book - first 24 pages are free to browse - it rocks
[ Parent ]
Ah yes, navigating Christians, Luddites. (none / 1) (#197)
by Fen on Fri Oct 03, 2003 at 05:47:53 PM EST

That's sure complex, unless you can ignore them and do the science. One group of wackos defends any form of human life (unless of course that form has committed a "sin"), and another defends the other animals.
--Self.
[ Parent ]
dear sir (none / 2) (#218)
by Battle Troll on Sun Oct 05, 2003 at 10:48:47 AM EST

Please stop trolling.
--
Skarphedinn was carrying the axe with which he had killed Thrainn Sigfusson and which he called 'Battle Troll.'
Njal's Saga, ca 1280 AD
[ Parent ]
b (5.00 / 3) (#191)
by jes5199 on Fri Oct 03, 2003 at 01:20:02 PM EST

penicillin
man on the moon
atomic bomb
supercomputer on every desk
mobile phones
cloning
cybernetic eyes
man-made diamonds
artificial blood
biotech

[ Parent ]
S (none / 1) (#201)
by Lode Runner on Fri Oct 03, 2003 at 11:11:22 PM EST

variants and spins-off of everything you listed have been marshalled in the effort to understand how regulatory pathways work and proteins fold; and the one thing that everyone involved argees upon is that they've a long way to go. Even taking Moore's Law for granted--and we shouldn't--it'll be decades before supercomputers can simulate a protein fold quickly enough for experiments to be done using data from the simulation.

Even when we figure all this stuff out and develop the nanotech--not listed by you I see--necessary to build and maintain an artificial womb, we'll need to know a lot more about how wombs work on the cellular level. Number of functioning artificial cells made to date: 0 (but Venter just got a grant to try to build the first).

[ Parent ]

oh come on (none / 2) (#217)
by Battle Troll on Sun Oct 05, 2003 at 10:48:23 AM EST

Those are blunt instruments, comparatively speaking. Put it this way: this isn't a question of 'building an internal combustion engine,' this is a question of 'building artificial cells.'

Smarten up, Popular Science boy.
--
Skarphedinn was carrying the axe with which he had killed Thrainn Sigfusson and which he called 'Battle Troll.'
Njal's Saga, ca 1280 AD
[ Parent ]

given what we know (none / 2) (#203)
by khallow on Sat Oct 04, 2003 at 12:02:16 AM EST

but artificial wombs for humans are the stuff of speculative fantasy rather than a research goal for today's scientists. Given what we now know about development, artificial wombs are not decades, but centuries off.

So the K5 community is slapping this thing together, eh? I'll see if I can rustle up a womb in the garage. I think I have one lying under some tennis rackets. ;-)

More seriously, you are making a blanket pronouncement about scientific progress over centuries. That's just as bad as saying that the discovery is a mere "twenty" years away, but that we haven't done it yet because of bad luck, lack of will-power, or luddites, religious nuts, and greedy politicians stealing our joy. It'll happen when it does. Maybe it'll be twenty years, maybe it'll be centuries, but you and me are clueless.

Stating the obvious since 1969.
[ Parent ]

A blueprint for the future. (1.00 / 6) (#199)
by Fen on Fri Oct 03, 2003 at 06:41:11 PM EST

A group of men use several different means to remove sex drive (castration, Androcur). They devise a means of injecting sperm DNA into an egg cell, and thus can have biological children from two men. One here, is actually the "mommy" (gives an X), and one is th "daddy" (gives a Y)...how cute. Once they can generate eggs artificially, and develop artificial wombs, women are no longer needed. Women are either made extinct or put in zoos. Genetically, the very same sexual reproduction is taking place. But now is where they can start doing real genetic design. Someone may propose using both X's to make a female, but it wouldn't go far. Why bring a dinosaur back, anyway?
--Self.
What is it with the gender annihilation fantasies? (none / 2) (#206)
by Kaki Nix Sain on Sat Oct 04, 2003 at 01:42:43 PM EST

I've a lesbian friend who writes short stories with such themes. And here you are with it too. I didn't realize this meme was more than a stereotype/caricature and actually existed in the wild.

What makes one fantasize about this?



[ Parent ]

It's simpler. (none / 1) (#209)
by Fen on Sat Oct 04, 2003 at 07:41:36 PM EST

Think how much effort is given to assigning things according to gender.  Look how much trouble language has had when it has to identify pronouns by gender.  It all becomes moot when there is no gender.  And with every scientific advance, it becomes more possibility and less fantasy.
--Self.
[ Parent ]
If trees had cunts.. (none / 2) (#211)
by QuantumG on Sat Oct 04, 2003 at 08:43:14 PM EST

we'd throw rocks at women.

Gun fire is the sound of freedom.
[ Parent ]
confusion and fear relating to the opposite gender (none / 3) (#229)
by ph0rk on Mon Oct 06, 2003 at 11:22:18 AM EST

Exterminating the opposite gender is a sort of final payback for all the wrongs/etc they have done.

Frankly, I think the idea of gender annihilation is wacko.

.
[ f o r k . s c h i z o i d . c o m ]
[ Parent ]

Actually it's easier with XX (none / 2) (#212)
by livus on Sun Oct 05, 2003 at 07:23:32 AM EST

you never have to throw out anything, XX is stronger in that there are lots of hereditary problems carried in Y (eg colour blindness), and the chromosomal anomaly XXX has no problems, whereas XYY has sub-standard intelligence.

This might be why I have actually read of people trying to do this with XX.

---
HIREZ substitute.
be concrete asshole, or shut up. - CTS
I guess I skipped school or something to drink on the internet? - lonelyhobo
I'd like to hope that any impression you got about us from internet forums was incorrect. - debillitatus
I consider myself trolled more or less just by visiting the site. HollyHopDrive

[ Parent ]

doh! (5.00 / 4) (#215)
by KiTaSuMbA on Sun Oct 05, 2003 at 09:02:56 AM EST

Apart from being an insane fantasy, let's see some details just for the mental exercise's sake:
  • the main trouble is using an "egg" cell to host the combined DNA. Stem cells are not so easy...
  • XX cells normally have no real gain over XY ones. In fact, one of the two X is condensed in the inactive Barr body form.
  • Y-related genetic diseases are more rare than you think. What is far more frequent is the case of X-borne mutations that appear constantly on males while masked in females by the heterozygous condition. From a darwinian point of view and a eugenic approach such a misguided society would most probably endorse, these diseases would soon enough be extinct as incompatible with a certain quality of life. Also consider the fact that a society with so much fiddling in genetics and the required tech would probably promote an aggressive genetic therapy policy.
  • the XXX trisomy: while far more bland than other chromosomal anomalies, I wouldn't go as far as call it a "no problems" situation.

There is no Dopaminergic Pepperoni Kabal!
[ Parent ]
christ, I'm not ADVOCATING it !!! n/t (none / 1) (#227)
by livus on Mon Oct 06, 2003 at 05:55:51 AM EST



---
HIREZ substitute.
be concrete asshole, or shut up. - CTS
I guess I skipped school or something to drink on the internet? - lonelyhobo
I'd like to hope that any impression you got about us from internet forums was incorrect. - debillitatus
I consider myself trolled more or less just by visiting the site. HollyHopDrive

[ Parent ]
* How do the major world religions feel about it? (2.71 / 7) (#200)
by vyruss on Fri Oct 03, 2003 at 10:54:10 PM EST

If anybody gave a flying f**k about that then we'd still believe the sun revolves around the earth.

Sorry but *NOT* intended as flamebait.

  • PRINT CHR$(147)

the sun DOES revolve around the earth (5.00 / 2) (#220)
by treat on Sun Oct 05, 2003 at 02:04:34 PM EST

If anybody gave a flying f**k about that then we'd still believe the sun revolves around the earth.

It does. They revolve around each other.

[ Parent ]

blah blah... (none / 1) (#225)
by vyruss on Mon Oct 06, 2003 at 01:36:25 AM EST

... centrifuge ... gravity ... blah blah ...

  • PRINT CHR$(147)

[ Parent ]
Only from certain reference frames [nt] (none / 2) (#233)
by Aemeth on Tue Oct 07, 2003 at 01:59:49 AM EST


...mathematics may be defined as the subject in which we never know what we are talking about, nor whether what we are saying is true.
Bertrand Russell


[ Parent ]
simplistically speaking (none / 1) (#240)
by dh003i on Thu Oct 09, 2003 at 10:30:18 AM EST

The earth revolves around the sun. Being very precise, the earth and the sun revolve around a point in space that's probably less than a meter from the center of the sun. (iow, the sun "wobbles", as do all stars with planets).

Social Security is a pyramid scam.
[ Parent ]

THE major world religion (1.16 / 6) (#239)
by sellison on Wed Oct 08, 2003 at 04:13:13 AM EST

(the one that is right), will ban it in the US just as we are  banning stem cell research and cloning.

Then the US will force the rest of the world to ban artificial wombs along with the other abominations of reproductive "medicine" (which should not even be called medicine nor those who practice it 'dr' as it represents a direct violation of the hippocratic oath!).

As I've said before, the one  area this research could be morally used is to rescue the thousands of helpless babies being created and killed every day by selfish couples and even singles trying to have unatural children they are not supposed to be having!



"No, I don't know that atheists should be considered as citizens, nor should they be considered as patriots. This is one nation under God."- George H.W. Bush
[ Parent ]

A couple of points... (5.00 / 4) (#204)
by ksandstr on Sat Oct 04, 2003 at 09:15:42 AM EST

Sure, from a coldly objective technological perspective, the "nothing but good" bit is quite reasonable.  But, take a look at how unbelievably socially backward the US is already with regard to many policies that affect childbirth and conception.  Can you argue that given the social, political and religious atmosphere of the US (given all the right-wing and ultra-conservative taint) that anything good would come out of introducing technology such as described in the article with a straight face?

Shit, most European countries, progressive as they may be, would most likely have a big fucking uproar over things like that.  Even though most of the corporate abuse type things (referring to the health insurance & employer points in the article) could be restricted with contract legislation, as has been done many times when new technology would have threatened the average worker's good, any western-type society must still progress a fair bit further until previously science-fiction technologies such as this could be introduced without causing great big ideological rifts.
(Not to say anything about non-western cultures; I just don't have any clue about those.)

Or maybe not.  Who knows how far we've actually come in the last 20 years?  Many countries on the European pseudo-continent have legislation that allows for a registered relationship between same-sex couples (wrt inheritance rights, etc) and while only some are planning or have already enacted laws allowing for mutual adoption of the partner's children (wrt inheritance and custody rights, etc, again), most every government is under some pressure to do so, with the possible exception of the Vatican.  Maybe this whole in-vitro thing will blow over in the 15 years following the serious introduction of the technology's applications.  Some people will still have the urge to breed naturally (if for nothing else then the aesthetic displeasure of seeing the foetus that is to become your child floating in a tank, being attended to by machines) and even the ultra-conservatives have displayed ability to get over things, to eventually adapt to what is actually happening around them regardless.

Interesting stuff, I must say.


Aesthetics (none / 0) (#242)
by paranoid on Tue Oct 14, 2003 at 04:38:29 PM EST

I have to disagree regarding the aesthetics. Is a person on life support or a prematurely born baby in the incubator disgusting? Of course, for some people ART (Artificial Reproduction Techniques) evoke images from the Matrix. But fear not - when a technology is adopted by the society, it quickly becomes aesthetically pleasing, simply because the it becomes the norm and the norm always is aesthetically pleasing. Sticking tubes into living people and pumping some fluids in/out was considered aesthetically displeasing for a long time in the past. But believe me, after a few minutes you feel fine about that, as anyone who have been under dropper can confirm.

[ Parent ]
Ethics and Science (2.30 / 13) (#207)
by StrifeZ on Sat Oct 04, 2003 at 05:24:24 PM EST

Coming from a long family tradition of doctors and scientists (300 years under the family name from Medical to Genetics to Engineering and now to Computer Science and Aeronautical Engineering), we've pretty much concluded that for the most part, ethics, especially those imposed by non-scientists, have no place in science. Science is about discovery and development. Declaring something unethical is to throw an artificial roadblock in the way of progess.

Science is a messy, dirty buisness that the weak of heart run from and the strong of mind thrive in. Inserting extraneous things like concepts of right or wrong always leads to long term suffering in the place of short term satisfaction.

Imagine if we had not harnessed the power of the atom to create the nuclear bomb when we did because it was "unethical". The lot less ethical Soviets would have first.

Imagine if organ transplantation had been outlawed becaused harvesting organs from the dead, even under their consent was "unethical". Tens of millions of people would have died.

Look at what is going on with Stem Cells now. While politicans try to debate if the very alive blastyocst is human life, my own dear great aunt is having her brain ravage by progressive neurological deterioration. The blsytocst is very much human life, but the well being of developed humans far outweighs a miserable ball of cells.

Yet people debate the ethics of this.

History has proven time and time and time again. The ends most certainly justify the means. Humans are just to arrogant and stupid to admit that their ethical problems are entirley of their own making and only prey on our emotional weaknessess.

While they debate, millions suffer. Millions die.

In response to this article, let the scientists do whatever they want. They are in the pursuit of discovery. Non-scientists have no buisnesses critquing their work.

Non-scientists do not understand and they can never be expected to be. They don't understand what it means to find or create something.

They are just incapable of understanding...


KITTENS@(_%&@%@_($&@(_$&^@$()&@%@+(&%
GMO and weapons. (none / 1) (#210)
by Fen on Sat Oct 04, 2003 at 07:49:33 PM EST

You're right in that the less informed take the easy way out.  It's so much easier to take an emotinal stance like "genetically modified food is unnatural" than to understand what is actually going on.  It's the stupid way of the masses.

However, those who protest weapons tend not to be around much longer to protest anymore, so it works itself out.
--Self.
[ Parent ]

How wrong you are... (2.00 / 5) (#216)
by Alhazred on Sun Oct 05, 2003 at 09:20:25 AM EST

First you set yourself up as a superior authority. What gives you the right to do that? Who pays the bills that keep the laboratories going that these scientists work in? I respond that scientists are the servants of society and most certainly the faithful and just execution of their end of the contract which provides them with the tools to do their job demands that they be answerable to that society for their actions.

Furthermore: Ends do not always justify means, not by any sane measure. To believe otherwise is to absolve oneself of virtually any ethical limits whatsoever. Of course that wouldn't bother someone who believes that ethics are 'extraneous things'!!!

All I can say is that if your contempt for 'non-scientists', for basic ethical and moral standards, and your utter and complete arrogance were the general sentiment of the scientific community then we would have never left the Dark Ages.
That is not dead which may eternal lie And with strange aeons death itself may die.
[ Parent ]

Ends and more (1.00 / 4) (#219)
by StrifeZ on Sun Oct 05, 2003 at 11:53:49 AM EST

My father is the world authority on Neuro HIV and Neuro AIDS essentially. Heck, he only discovered it and cloned it. He like me believes through experience that science is the infrastructure around which the world is build - without it, we'd be living in caves. There was a time when people just let scientists do their work and didn't ask questions. From that we got cars, airplanes, electricity, light bulbs and thousands of tiny creatios that are so common place that you couldn't imagine a world without them. Do not pretend for a second that any scientists did this for the betterment of all mankind. Humans are extraordinarily arrogant creatures, and scientists, despite their intellectual superiority, crave achievment and victory as much as anyone else. Hence rushing to publish the human genome first in the race between the Consortium and Celera a few years back. As for where scientists get their money - well scientists like my father who sits on the board at the National Institute of Health get their money from the Feds. But only a minority in this is from taxes - much of the research money is spent in joint programs between biotech companies, other governments and our own. Some equippment on my father's latest $8.5 million grant? Lets see. A few gene sequencer machines, money to hire 6 more people to be lab rats, a sophisticated microscope with a high resolution camera, money to set up several testing centers to see what makes the subjects tick, oh yeah, money for a new laptop. Far from being servants of society, scientists milk it for all its worth in our arrogant quest. I love your circular logic about ends and means. You essentially said the ends don't justify the means because its unethical. So really, the ends don't justify the means. I again point to Atomic weapons. Using them killed 200,000 people, mostly civilians. It saved the US from a conventional invasion that was projected at killing a million plus people. Using the bomb twice drew a line in the sand and for 65 years, the United States has maintained the right to nuclear first strike in the name of national security. And hence, we've have 50,000 nuclear weapons built and thousands of tests but none ever used against eachother. 200,000 people died, but The war was ended and decades of relative stability between the Soviet Union and the USA ensued. Is it any wonder no elected American official or military officer or anyone who knew what was at stake has never even shown a shred of regret over Hiroshima and Nagasaki? Heck, Oppenhimer jumped right from the A-Bomb to the H-Bomb. Now if you can find something more damning to you're argument than saying killing 200,000 people was A-OK, i'd love to hear it. Me, I'm going into computer science and aeronautical engineering. I'm in Airforce ROTC by choice (we could pay for college by ourselves without any scholarships, no sweat: i choose to serve). My hope is to after some military duty to enter Air Force Research and roll out the American scientists's next big trick. I'll let you think about exactly what that is.


KITTENS@(_%&@%@_($&@(_$&^@$()&@%@+(&%
[ Parent ]
My my you need a humility lesson (1.75 / 4) (#221)
by Alhazred on Sun Oct 05, 2003 at 02:24:50 PM EST

Don't you?

1st) you have no idea who I am, what I do, or what I stand for, aside from perhaps whatever you're reading on this board, so don't be so stupid as to play 'lets compare credentials' here. For your information my education, experience, and accomplishments, and those of my father before me if you want to drag that into it, would appear to compare very favourably with in all respects with your own. SO WHAT?

2nd) If you think that a college education, or military service, or even great scientific achievement gives one moral superiority over your fellow humans than all your accomplishments are as nothing because you have not learned the fundamental lessons of humanity.

3rd) Who are you to say that one course of history is superior to another. Those who worship the Logic of Power constantly reiterate this tired old refrain, that we must match violence against violence, fear and intimidation against fear and intimidation, great force with greater force. All this has produced throughout human history is an endless litany of hatred, suffering, and death. Most appallingly it has lead to the inevitable and escalating co-option of the tools of human progress to distructive ends. I suggest you read the words of men like Einstein, Bohr, Szillard, and 100s of other brilliant men. If you espouse the belief that such men are above the petty moral standards of the mundane folk of the world then surely you must acknowledge that a great preponderance of them would absolutely disavow your every word, and that THEY at least are worthy of an opinion!

4th) I do not pretend that any simple formula, such as 'The ends justify the means' in any way shape or form captures all of the subtleties of the moral landscape in which humans act. Yet we must act, and we must consider. We could exchange counter-arguments until the end of time, and it would prove nothing. The question before us is not what rules will we follow, but who's right to have a say in what society does will we honor? You defend an elitist view. Very well. That is your choice. Perhaps you will learn the value of listening to others and respecting there opinions in time.

5th) For your information well over 85% of all money spent in basic research comes from tax dollars.

6th) If you do not acknowledge the public's right to make moral decisions then how can you defend that of any group? Your arguments are two-edged sword. I could easily retort that I could care less about what you believe your rights are and insist on dictating to you what you will and will not do. If the scientific community believes that such control cannot be imposed on it, then they are fools indeed! Personally I don't advocate such things, but many do, and a wise man would 'give Ceasar his due'.

7th) Your view of the motives of the majority of scientists is not shared by many of us in the science community. Only a fool would believe that science is unnecessary to progress, and your invocation of such a concept is but a straw man.

In all my friend I am entirely in favor of scientific research, and do not believe in any particular restrictions on its direction. At the same time I acknowledge the right of society to decide where to put public resources. I also acknowledge that public good will is necessary to maintain the scientific endeavour. Finally I firmly believe that in the end all these questions are largely moot. Economic and political forces will inevitably drive progress.
That is not dead which may eternal lie And with strange aeons death itself may die.
[ Parent ]

Power (1.66 / 6) (#222)
by StrifeZ on Sun Oct 05, 2003 at 03:24:54 PM EST

humility is best left to those who have much to be humble about.

The entire point of America is that everyone gets an equal shot, but your victories and failures stand on their own and are largley consequences of your actions. In short, you have a fair shot, but equality in success is not a given. As a result of this fine "go get 'em" outlook, the US is currently purveyor of 53% of the world's R&D per year and rising (it was 47% in 1998, 33% in 1993). If you think that for the sake of being equal with thy fellow man takes precedent over discovery, move to Canada or some equally complacent western nation.

Power has solved all problems, always. Total war and overwhelming American (and in Europe, Soviet) power brought Japan and Germany to their knees, destroyed their nations and allowed us to build first world nations in our own image. Fast forward to the 1970s to the present, Japan and Germany are world benchmarks in terms of economy, human rights, social services, so on and so forth. The Axis problem was solved by unbridled power. Compare that to the UN, and its soft power, has let 750 wars rage in its 52 year history, while theres a security council meeting for everything the US and Israel ever do no matter how small. Pardon me if in light of history, I put very little stock on Soft Power. After all, hard power, such as but not exclusivley limited to war, has only largley ridded the world of Slavery, Colonialism, Communism, Fascism, and Nazism. Give us a few more years, we'll add Terrorism to that list to.

The short of it is, humanity always accomplishes more things more permanently when it throws its ethics aside.

Case in point. Around October 1st 2001, as the US was preparing to respond to 9/11, Putin and Bush had a phone call according to public record where Bush laid out to Putin the general plan for conquest of Afghanistan. Putin said that his government had to problem with the US retailating on the cave networks and training camps using nuclear weapons. In response, the US nuclear forces we prepositioned if the need to go nuclear would ever arise. After the fiasco at Tora Bora, its still debated to this day should the United States have used one of our larger Hydrogen bombs and blown the mountain wide open. Sure, it would have been the most powerful nation on earth laying waste to an area the size of Rhode Island in the poorest nation on Earth, but it would have killed the seemingly cornered Osama Bin Laden, a lot of Taliban and Al Queda and drawn a line to terrorists: don't mess with us, because our stick is of unspeakable size. But our morality got in the way and we didn't deliever the killing blow when we had the chance and to this day, our nemesis is hiding in Pakistan somewhere and the ultimate line in the sand was never drawn.

Not using nuclear weapons at Tora Bora: that was the biggest mistake so far in the war on terror- and all because of our "ethics", our "morality".

How many hundred or thousand more Americans or Westerners must be murdered before we draw the line and throw our ethics away for the time being?

on your 5th point, you're flat out wrong ;).

The scientific community has never really cared for the public, quite frankly and likely never will. How could they, and why should they care about the opinion of societies that still call Evolution a theory. Heck, to make it even funnier, the public vernacular of theory and the scientific definition of theory are completely different. The vernacular definition means "investigated but unprovable possibility". The scientific definition means that theres a high degree of certainty in it, but it is not fundimental enough to be considered a law. Something so trivial as the deffinition of a word led to that evolution/creationism fiasco in Kansas with civilians justifying it by saying "even scientists consider it a theory", utilizing the perversion of a word for their own ends.

You expect science to serve creatures like this?

You're right, in the end it is moot, because at the end of the day, scientists will always laugh at the games civilians play and then go back to their work.

Frankly, they/we just don't give a damn what people who can't even get the deffinition of a word right think.


KITTENS@(_%&@%@_($&@(_$&^@$()&@%@+(&%
[ Parent ]
Uhh (none / 2) (#235)
by michaelp on Tue Oct 07, 2003 at 05:59:37 AM EST

"Not using nuclear weapons at Tora Bora: that was the biggest mistake so far in the war on terror- and all because of our "ethics", our "morality". "

Our unwillingness to do the same thing to Islamabad also had something to do with it (you don't think Musharef would have been able to maintain his tenous leash on the fundamentalist majority in Pakistan if the US had nuked a mountain in his backyard, do you?).

See the problem with dealing with folks who's soldiers believe their death will take them to heaven is that they don't care if MAD leads to their destruction, so long as they take a few of the great satan's warriors with them.



"Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired, signifies in the final sense a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed."

[ Parent ]

Someone's sportin' a woody! (5.00 / 4) (#226)
by ti dave on Mon Oct 06, 2003 at 04:08:35 AM EST

Hey, dude. You're being trolledantagonised and the longer your responses are, the sooner he jizzes on his keyboard.

For Heaven's sake, he wrote that 'tens of millions' of people have been saved by organ transplants.

You didn't catch that line, did you?

I'm almost drunk enough to go on IRC. ~Herring
[ Parent ]

as for milking society dry... (none / 1) (#228)
by ph0rk on Mon Oct 06, 2003 at 11:04:03 AM EST

No matter how big daddy's grant is; if he doesn't show some results, he doesn't get any more.

That, and one too many yachts and his ass is grass. (see: spending grant money on private items)

Science is not and never has been the path to riches.

Also:
Your invocation of Oppenheimer was a bad move.  He was not in favor of development of the Hydrogen Bomb.  In fact, he lost his security clearance around that time.  

http://www.malaspina.com/site/person_901.asp?period_id=0&category_id=9

His own words on the first military use of nuclear weapons:

I have no remorse about the making of the bomb and Trinity [the first test of an a-bomb]. That was done right. As for how we used it, I understand why it happened and appreciate with what nobility those men with whom I'd worked made their decision. But I do not have the feeling that it was done right. The ultimatum to Japan [the Potsdam Proclamation demanding Japan's surrender] was full of pious platitudes. ...our government should have acted with more foresight and clarity in telling the world and Japan what the bomb meant. (Lansing Lamont, "Day of Trinity", pg. 332-333).

It seems to me he most clearly did not say that the use of atom bombs over Japan was "A-ok".

.
[ f o r k . s c h i z o i d . c o m ]
[ Parent ]

Whoa, 'science' geeks should use <p> tags (none / 2) (#234)
by michaelp on Tue Oct 07, 2003 at 05:47:42 AM EST

if anyone should, fergawdsakes, learn some of that there web technology before you post in html format.

I know theres lots of buttons and switches, but your dad should be able to figure it out and help you get a handle on it...

Or at least use the little menu to choose 'autoformat', a readable rant is much more likely to get read than an unformatted flood of wordz.



"Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired, signifies in the final sense a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed."

[ Parent ]

Science is Objective (none / 1) (#238)
by Samiti on Tue Oct 07, 2003 at 10:24:02 PM EST

It's true that science is objective, but as apurely objective medium, it's not fair to subjectivly say that the developments it presents shouldn't not be subjectivly considered. Science is only knowledge, and the best use of knowledge it to apply it somehow.

Take for example, the technology of the atomic bomb. Science detirmined it was possible, society, or at least the goverment, made it a weapon of war. Science deems no use of something, it's up to society to decide if uses of it are acceptible.

While I disagree with some of the limits set on embryolotical research, I say that defining social restrictions on applied science is more than a good idea. Possible ethical concerns of this technology aren't science's concern, they are society's concern. As such, science shouldn't interfere one way or another, merely provide objective facts in the matter.

Let the scientists do what they want CAN interfere with society, because waht a scientist wants to do is likely his/her subjective idea on the matter.

For Example:

In a far fetched scenerio, a scientist could argue that firing multiple bullets at one person could save the lives of millions by gatherine objective data about ballistics on a live target. While good for science, in terms of the test subject and ethics, it's a pretty dumb idea.

#/bin/bash script.kiddies
[ Parent ]

While this technology obviously must be forbidden (1.08 / 12) (#237)
by sellison on Tue Oct 07, 2003 at 06:35:14 PM EST

for general use, I can see some good come of it:

we could use it rescue the thousands of innocent 'snowflakes', living human beings who have been created by selfish couples and homosexuals in the process of getting for themselves children they were never meant to have.

But this is the only moral use for this 'science' all other uses should be banned as another technology that will enable the homosexual's dream of cloning themselves at whim.



"No, I don't know that atheists should be considered as citizens, nor should they be considered as patriots. This is one nation under God."- George H.W. Bush

some points (none / 3) (#241)
by dh003i on Thu Oct 09, 2003 at 10:55:09 AM EST

Analyzing this from a rational (libertarian) perspective...

First, regarding abortion and the right to choose. The right to choose would most likely not be restricted, but rather expanded to include the option of removing the foetus from the mother's women and placing it in an artificial womb. Questions formerly irrelevant under libertarianism, such as whether or not the foetus is a "person", may become relevant. When abortion or birth are the only options, whether or not the foetus is a "person" is irrelevant; no-one has the right to invade the property of another, least of all one's body, and everyone has the right to take whatever action is necessary to remove unwanted individuals from one's property. If you are tresspassing on my property to obtain shelter, I can throw you out, without myself being obligated to pay for your shelter. The same logic would apply to a pregnant woman. However, one thing that would change is that, if we determine that the foetus is a person, measures be taken to make sure it survives expulsion from the uterus, if possible; however, the woman would not be forced to pay for incubating it in an artificial uterus. Christians could pay for that with their own money if they so chose.

Now, regarding some of your concerns:

If artificial wombs provide safer environments than natural ones, it might be possible for pregnant women to be forced by the courts to have their fetuses placed in artificial wombs instead. In the case of a crack addict mother, this is probably not a bad thing, but given the nature of our court system, a social worker could see a pregnant woman wearing a seat belt improperly or performing a risky activity, and have the fetus removed from her for its own good.

Nope, this would constitute the initiation of violence against the woman. No-one has the right to cut open a woman's body because s/he thinks the woman isn't a fit mother.

Combine artificial wombs with cloning technology and a donor egg, and gay males can actually have their own biological children. While many people would see this as something amazing and wonderful, right wing conservatives and the ultra-religious would become apoplectic.

Who cares what the religious right thinks. It isn't their children. If they don't like homosexuals, fine; doesn't give them the right to prevent homosexuals from having children.

Health insurance companies might encourage or even require that pregnancies occur this way, simply because it would be cheaper for them in the long run.

Well, that's up to them to do or not to. If women don't want to do that, they can find a health company which doesn't require it, or pay a higher premium. For a clear description of how insurance works, and why it's not wrong for insurance companies to request such things or (if not) require a higher premium, see The Insurance Scam.

Companies might attempt to write clauses into employment contracts stating that if a pregnancy interferes with work, then the fetus must be transferred into an artificial womb. While the average fast food clerk, secretary or computer programmer might not have to worry about that, female executives or laborers would.

Well, the woman could always choose to void such contract by not doing so, in which case the company could fire her. If she doesn't like that term, she can look for a company that doesn't require such a thing. Companies that have such dubious requirements are not likely to attract many talented women.

Would mothers feel less attached to babies to whom they did not give birth to?

Depends on the mother. There are millions of adoptive parents who feel very close to their children, despite the fact that they didn't give birth to them.

It would be easier for researchers to harvest fetal tissue for research, giving rise to numerous ethical and legal issues.

Ethical questions can be dealt with by norms and boycotts. If religious people don't like the ethics of fetal tissue research, they can refuse to do business with those who do such, refuse to let them into their churches, and otherwise boycott them and exclude them by norms. Those who don't have any problem with such won't do that.

Could this lead to eugenics?

Eugenics most likely would require gene therapy and genetic engineering, which is also possible in the future. Artificial wombs are not necessary for eugenics, nor do they encourage it. In regards to eugenics, gene therapy and genetic engineering is a choice for every parent to make. Again, those who don't like it can deal with it by norms and boycotts. In no way does it constitute the initiation of violence against anyone else.

How do the major world religions feel about it?

Who cares what the "major world religions" think? If we halted social progress every time they got their panties in a bunch, we'd still be thinking the sun revolves around the earth, we'd all be getting from place to place on horse and buggy, women would still be wearing chastity belts, and we'd all think sex was an evil horrible thing.

Would their be any complications or developmental issues for the fetus before or after birth due to things that might be missing from an artificial womb, such as maternal heartbeat, hormones generated by mood, touch, etc.

The same questions could be made of for incubators for premies. In short, simply because we don't know all of the possible negative consequences doesn't mean we shouldn't proceed. Certainly, the solution to any possible problems is not for government to step in, but to let the free market work unhampered.

Social Security is a pyramid scam.

Hm... (none / 0) (#246)
by SirDvorak on Fri Nov 21, 2003 at 03:39:11 PM EST

I think that the conservative, anti-progress groups that want to stop us for pure sentimentality and otherwise useless feelings should close their mouths.  Like the first person to comment said, if we stopped every time they had a problem, we would be nowhere.

Ectogenesis - Panacea or Ethical Nightmare? | 246 comments (228 topical, 18 editorial, 0 hidden)
Display: Sort:

kuro5hin.org

[XML]
All trademarks and copyrights on this page are owned by their respective companies. The Rest 2000 - Present Kuro5hin.org Inc.
See our legalese page for copyright policies. Please also read our Privacy Policy.
Kuro5hin.org is powered by Free Software, including Apache, Perl, and Linux, The Scoop Engine that runs this site is freely available, under the terms of the GPL.
Need some help? Email help@kuro5hin.org.
My heart's the long stairs.

Powered by Scoop create account | help/FAQ | mission | links | search | IRC | YOU choose the stories!