The Instigator
Taylur
Pro (for)
Tied
0 Points
The Contender
Defro
Con (against)
Tied
0 Points

DNA Should Be Collected From All Newborn Babies And Stored Indefinitely

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/27/2014 Category: Society
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 3,091 times Debate No: 47890
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (21)
Votes (0)

 

Taylur

Pro

I believe DNA from every newborn should be collected via a simple and pain-free swab in the mouth and stored in the national database. Having the DNA of every citizen will have multiple benefits that outweigh any consequences:

1. Criminals (including rapists and murderers) will have a higher chance of being identified and subsequently brought to justice.
2. Young children that have been kidnapped will be identified as being a missing person if they ever have a DNA test in the future for an unrelated issue.
3. Crime rate may fall dramatically due to the higher risk of being caught.
4. Long lost family members could be reunited by comparing their DNA to the database.

You, my opponent, will be CON; you will argue that DNA should not be taken and stored.
Defro

Con

I accept, and I will begin with a breif rebuttal of Pro's mentioned "benefits"
I am assuming Pro means "all newborn babies in the world" and not "all newborns in a specific country"


Rebuttals:

1. Concerning Pro's mention of criminals. I don't believe they will have a higher chance of being identified. In fact, the chances would likely remain constant, if not decrease. It has been shown throughout history that the more advancements made to capture and defy criminals only advance criminals even farther. If we are able to use DNA to our advantage, criminals would be able to do just the same. This would mean they can more effectively frame someone just by making sure their DNA is at a crime scene.

2. Concerning the kidnappings of children. If they ever have a DNA test in the future for an unrelated issue, that just means they are no longer kidnapped (held captive), so there is no danger and it would be easier for the children to inform the authorities rather than have a DNA test.

3. Pro's 3rd reason is tied with his 1st reason, which I have refuted. My rebuttal states that crime rates would remain constant and unchanged if not increase.

4. Con's proposition in his 4th reason is limited to people who are biologically related. Therefore, this excludes wives, husbands, in-laws, adoptive parents and children, etc. Besides, if the isolated family members knew each other personally before being isolated, they can easily be reunited through the use of social media. In fact, several isolated people have been reunited like this, and it is very easy and requires no DNA extraction. All they need to know is each other's names. Therefore, the only case in which this would be truly useful would be when finding relatives you never knew. But let me ask you this: if you found out you had a second cousin in a country thousands of miles away, would you be excited and contact him or maybe even try to visit him? That was a rhetorical question of course on for most the answer would be "no". Therefore, having a DNA database of everyone in the world isn't as beneficial as Pro though. It's benefits are not significant enough for there to be a need for it.


Addendum:

1. The method of comparing people's DNA based on database has a problem. It can easily be changed and it is very risky. If a hacker manages to break in to the database and change anything, which could harm a lot of people and would be a huge problem for the government, who must spend a huge amount of funding on repairing it.

2. It can be easily tricked or used to frame someone, therefore crime rates will stay the same. If a killer kills someone, he can have a source of DNA prepared, like someones hair, blood, finger prints, etc. All he needs to do is leave this at the crime scene and make sure he himself doesn't leave any DNA.

3. This is not effective and unfair with those who have cancer or genetic mutations that occur after they are born and got their DNA collected. People who have cancer or genetic mutations have different DNA from the time they are born because their DNA has been mutated.

4. It would decrease the quality of performance of crime investigators. Nowadays, the process in which we use to compare DNA for solving crime is called Gel Electrophoresis. It is very precise and easy (cheap) to do. Why, I did it just the other day in my biology lab with DNA from onions. It is a better method for crime investigation because it only compares the DNA found at the crime scene with the DNA of suspects to determine the culprit. This is a lot more precise than comparing the DNA with everyone in the database. If there were a whole database of DNA, the authorities would get lazy and rely on this database heavily, which is not good.

5. If someone steals someone else's DNA information, he could cause a lot of harm with this info. With the implemation of a DNA database, that just gives swindlers and scammers a new thing to steal and take that they can maybe sell in the black market.

6. Pro's resolution focuses on all newborn babies in the world. The fact that it can be used to find long lost family members in different parts of the world like Pro implies, means that it would be one large combined database containing the DNA information of everyone in every country. Now, I would like to ask Pro, who owns this database? Wouldn't this be a problem for countries who are enemies because they know the DNA information of each other's citizens?

7. Funding is also a huge problem. This would require a lot of money. This leads to my 8th point.

8. Who pays for this? Who pays for the DNA collection of the whole world? Surely not the government of a particular country. Do all the countries pitch in? Would that not be a problem for opposing countries or countries in poverty or debt? Pro must explain the mechanics of this system.

Closing Statement:

While having a DNA database can be a good tool with benefits, it's benefits are not significant enough for the proposition to be worth executed. Also due to the expense, reduction in crime investigation performance, and vulnerability of the identity of everyone in the world.




Over to Pro...
Debate Round No. 1
Taylur

Pro

My opponent's argument is nothing but conjecture; unfounded and unsourced. I'd also like to point out that a national database does not imply globalisation; this debate was aimed at Western countries such as the USA, but I do not contest to having a global DNA database under the condition that each nation funds their own and does not borrow money from any other country.

Crime/Police: Storing DNA in a database does not increase the likelihood that criminals will frame somebody else. Nothing currently stops criminals from placing somebody else's hair at the scene of their crime. The only thing that would change is that the police would be able to identify whose hair it was, and with some detective work, they would subsequently learn that the person in question was framed. CSI teams know not to convict someone solely on their DNA being present at a scene if they have no other motive or reason to be there. The person being framed may be able to help discover the suspect. Police quality will not drop; just because there would be a complete DNA database does not mean the police will get lazy; they will check the database to build up suspects, and then take enquiries further. The fact you think that crime rates would increase for having a DNA database is illogical and completely void of truth.

Kidnapping: Young children will be unlikely to remember that they were kidnapped, such as in the case of Savanna Harris Todd who was found 20 years later. [1] On top of this, many kidnapped victims suffer from extreme paranoia and feel as if they cannot escape even when their kidnapper is no longer around. Elizabeth Smart, 14-years-old, was taken from her home and was missing for 9 months; she had many opportunities to escape and even denied that she was kidnapped when police found her. [2] Here's an entire article on the phenomenon of kidnapped victims not taking the opportunity to run. [3] Any kidnapped individual who took a DNA test would be immediately identified as a missing person and thus be saved.

Finding relatives: Adopted children often have no name to search for. Children born under one-night-stands are in the same position. There are many scenarios where a DNA test would be a lot quicker in finding lost relatives. This debate was not intended to implicate a global database, but if that were the case, I imagine a lot of people would actually be interested in knowing if they had any close relatives abroad. Finding relatives is not the main benefit for having a DNA database, it is just one more to add to the list of uses; the benefits are definitely significant enough to be warranted.

Hacking: Hacking government databases is extremely rare, but in the unlikely scenario that the DNA does get out in the public, what is the problem? I would much rather somebody have access to my DNA profile than my name, address and other tangible details which are already stored in databases. In the event that a hacker deletes the profiles, there is no real loss as we simply return to the position we are currently in -- no DNA profiles. But like I say, that's a very improbable circumstance for a high-security Western country.

DNA Mutations: You mention that the system is unfair for cancer patients, but that's compeltely wrong. It is true that cancer patients have small changes in their DNA, but the keyword here is small; their DNA would still register as an extremely close match to their original birth DNA. Cancer patients do not gain radical new DNA profiles. [4]

Comments: Having a national DNA database come with very little drawbacks and massive benefits. There are no risks to security, not even if your DNA profile is leaked on the black market -- what are they going to do with it? I could get a better, tangible sample of your DNA via a strand of your hair and I wouldn't have to hack a thing. Many, many rapists would be brought to justice as it is extremely difficult to carry out such crimes without close physical contact. Murders and other serious crimes will also be solved. There are many DNA samples collected from crimes that have not been matched to a person... the number of unidentified DNA samples only rises every single year. If we had everyone's DNA taken from birth, a lot more crimes would be solved.

[1] - http://www.dailymail.co.uk...
[2] - http://www.nydailynews.com...
[3] - http://ricochet.com...
[4] - http://www.wisegeek.org...;
Defro

Con

Defro forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2
Taylur

Pro

Taylur forfeited this round.
Defro

Con

*My contender claimed that my argument is "nothing but conjecture; unfounded and unsourced." Also, he claimed that this debate was aimed towards Western countries. I would like to address his first claim by saying that his arguments are also conjecture; unfounded and unsourced. We are talking theoretically here because the world has not adopted his policy, therefore we don't know for sure what would happen if his policy were to be adopted. Because of this, there obviously would be no sources for either of us and we would have to form conjectures. Also, he did not specify that he was aiming towards only Western countries. Therefore I was under the impression that his suggested resolution entailed the entire world.
_______________________________________________________________________________

Rebuttal:

"Nothing currently stops criminals from placing somebody else's hair at the scene of their crime."

-And enforcing a DNA database would not stop it either.


"The only thing that would change is that the police would be able to identify whose hair it was."

-Pro has conceded that enforcing a DNA database would not bring a ver significant benefit to crime investigation.


"CSI teams know not to convict someone solely on their DNA being present at a scene if they have no other motive or reason to be there."

-Exactly! That is how they currently work! And I am arguing that if there is a national DNA database, crime investigators won't be as cautious.


"Police quality will not drop; just because there would be a complete DNA database does not mean the police will get lazy; they will check the database to build up suspects, and then take enquiries further."

-If they check the database, they will be comparing DNA with millions of people, whereas the current system, which uses Gel Electrophoresis compares it with only the suspects, making it more precise. Because the database contains would contain the entire population and Gel Electrophoresis only compares it with about 20 people, it is logical to conclude that crime investigators would be lazy because they would rather not look through millions of people.


"Elizabeth Smart, 14-years-old, was taken from her home and was missing for 9 months; she had many opportunities to escape and even denied that she was kidnapped when police found her."

-If this is the case, Elizabeth Smart would likely not choose to get a DNA test.


"Any kidnapped individual who took a DNA test would be immediately identified as a missing person and thus be saved."

-Yes, because the first and easiest thing a kidnapped victim would do is to go to a public place and get a DNA test. That was sarcasm. I agree with your claims on the conditions on kidnapped victims, but they likely not take a DNA test very soon after they are kidnapped.


"There are many scenarios where a DNA test would be a lot quicker in finding lost relatives. This debate was not intended to implicate a global database"

-If the debate was not intened to implicate a global database, then your point is fundamentally flawed, because people cannot any foreign family members. Say the father of the child produced from the one night stand was from Europe and the DNA database only covers the United States. The child would not have much luck finding him.


"Hacking government databases is extremely rare"

-While it might be rare and unlikely, if it were to happen, the consequences would be tremendous.


"I would much rather somebody have access to my DNA profile than my name, address"

-If somebody has access to your DNA in your theoretical database, they would certainly also have your name and address. If not, then people wouldn't be able to find long lost relatives through this DNA database. In fact, if somebody has access to your DNA profile, then this person would also know all your relatives and their names and addresses.


"It is true that cancer patients have small changes in their DNA, but the keyword here is small"

-Yes, I concede, cancer patients don't have to worry about this because their mutation is small. But there are people who have HUGE mutations, either since birth or during their lives. This is not cancer though, simply a genetic disorder. People with genetic mutations this huge would certainly affect the outcomes in the DNA database.


Addendum:

-Pro's policy suggests that everyone is to be forced to do this, because if not everyone contributes their DNA, the system would ultimately be flawed. However, there would certainly be people who refuse to participate in this system. By enforcing this upon them you are viloating their Freedom of Choice.


Conclusion:

-I have shown how the benefits that come from Pro's resolution does not
bring significant enough benefits for it to be deserved to be enforced. In some cases, it even violates peoples' freedom.

_______________________________________________________________

Note to viewers:
I would prefer if this debate did not recieve any votes, mainly because I was too occupied to submit my argument in the second round and feel that since Pro has also forfeited and that his account is no longer active, voting for either Pro or Con (me) wouldn't be fair.

Also, this debate was incredibly hypothetical.
Debate Round No. 3
21 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Defro 3 years ago
Defro
Crap! Did not mean to forfeit! Ahhhhhhh this sucks. Anyhow, I don't think I would be able to continue this debate because I've to military training to do next week, so I'll be gone for a while.

Sorry Taylur!
Posted by The_Scapegoat_bleats 3 years ago
The_Scapegoat_bleats
Well, you see: I have adifferent approach to it than both of you, one inbetween.
I think it's fair to leave an opinion before someone accepts. Because that's the only way to point out flaws in the resolution so that it can be amended.
Like the one where we got to know each other.
But once the debate is accepted, it's no use, since then both have accepted the flawed resolution.
Posted by Taylur 3 years ago
Taylur
Defro's comment still stands whether he accepted or not because you were helping whoever decided to pick up the challenge in the future. Timing doesn't matter.

Although, I disagree with that etiquette. I like to leave my opinions in the comments section regardless.
Posted by The_Scapegoat_bleats 3 years ago
The_Scapegoat_bleats
@Defro: When I started typing my comment, you had not yet accepted.
I don't interfere with running debates.
But while I was typing, you decided to pick this up. Sorry for the inconvenient timing.
Posted by Taylur 3 years ago
Taylur
I was only suggesting that it was possible, Angie. Wasn't trying to force you ahaha.
Posted by Angie1 3 years ago
Angie1
I only joined an hour ago or so and already i have done one and busy with two.. dude next one...
Posted by Taylur 3 years ago
Taylur
*evil smirk*
Posted by Defro 3 years ago
Defro
@Taylur
Very well. I shall play by your rules.
Posted by Taylur 3 years ago
Taylur
You can join several debates. I am currently in many. Some debates give you over 2 days to reply, so you have plenty of time, usually. :)
Posted by Angie1 3 years ago
Angie1
yes I know I thought you'd say that but I am already in a debate :)
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