The Instigator
asyetundefined
Pro (for)
Winning
8 Points
The Contender
Democritas
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

Gene Selection in Embryos

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/22/2008 Category: Science
Updated: 8 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 2,433 times Debate No: 5777
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (12)
Votes (2)

 

asyetundefined

Pro

The category is better defined as "bioethics".

It should be acceptable for parents planning on having a child to perform gene-selection upon embryos.

The major benefit of embryonic selection is the ability to prevent genetic diseases from one's immediate offspring.

-I have kept my position light as to keep the debate open-ended. Take this position any-which way you prefer.
Democritas

Con

I don't necessarily agree. I understand that a parent would want to keep their child free of genetic disease, and I actually have a congenital disease.

However, it's like playing God. That's not okay in my eyes. It's Eugenics. It's what Hitler was trying to do and it's a little scary.
Debate Round No. 1
asyetundefined

Pro

Thank you Democritas for entering the debate. I must say I do sympathize with your condition- and I stress that if it is a genetic disease, using a technique like gene-selection you could guarantee that your children can be born free from it.

Firstly as to your claim that embryonic selection is reminiscent to Nazism and eugenics- you have muddled various ethical and biological issues and are claiming different things to be the same. Eugenics is based mainly on scientific models and theories that with the emergence of new genetic information, have proven to be incomplete and faulty. It is undeniably true that embryonic selection for genetic enhancement can be used as a technique for eugenics; but the fact of the matter is that the only ones ever actually practiced (because of cost- efficiency- and intended results) have been euthanasia {like the Nazi's}, legal restrictions {like China's one-child policy}, and Sterilization {practiced in North America until 30 years ago- and on a mass scale in India}. Blaming gene-selection for the many ethical nightmares caused by the various misuses of eugenics is like blaming bullets and gunpowder for the atrocities of world war II- yes they played a part but their link is not a form of guilt by association. Gene-selection has never actually been used for eugenics purposes, and probably never could, since the process in expensive, limited in range and result, and invasive to the female body. Hopefully now you realize that eugenics is a separate and distinct issue from that of gene-selection- and that playing the Nazi card is a poor way to convince people (Hey Hitler used a comb! Combs must be wrong!- sorry- out of context and anecdotal).

Anyways back to the core issue: Gene selection. What does this mean? First eggs are harvested then fertilized, the result embryos then have their DNA sequenced. From the DNA sequences we can find out what genetic diseases may be present. The preferred embryo (preferred could mean many things: gender, lack of certain diseases, existence of certain traits or abilities ect.) is then selected, not altered, then implanted back into the mother in hopes of conception.

Only a few embryos are harvested, and those that are not used can even be frozen instead of being discarded. the process takes place before conception- so any right-to-life argument generally collapses, and finally the limited amount of results available from selecting embryos means that the choices being made are entirely focused on disease, gender, (and more far-fetched and unlikely) appearance & intelligence.
There is no possibility to create a "super-race", since we would not be capable of reproducing any more than a hand-full of healthy people (not super-strong Aryans like much fantasy has thought) due several factors I named above (expense, invasiveness, and limit of results).
This is why Gene-selection should be thought of as an acceptable practice.
Democritas

Con

Democritas forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2
asyetundefined

Pro

Since Democritas has added nothing of value to the argument- and has also forfeited, the debate is unfortunately quite easily mine.....
Democritas

Con

Democritas forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
asyetundefined

Pro

I urge Democritas to write.....perhaps she has a legitimate reason for not responding, but you'd think 72 hours would me more than enough....oh well- my argument still stands.
Democritas

Con

Democritas forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
asyetundefined

Pro

Democritas, i hate to say it but your argument is an epic fail....
Democritas

Con

Democritas forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 5
12 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Ragnar_Rahl 8 years ago
Ragnar_Rahl
"By selecting genes, and altering DNA, aren't we trying to create a master race? Superhumans? We're trying to circumvent evolution."

Key word in my statement was "Forcibly breed." Not "master race." We aren't forcing people to select genes, they get to decide... just like they do every day when they decide to date the pretty girl rather than the ugly one.
Posted by Rezzealaux 8 years ago
Rezzealaux
Anything and everything can be abused.

By your logic we should all go back to before the stone age.

And I refuse to buy that.
Posted by Democritas 8 years ago
Democritas
Being "religious" has nothing to do with believing in God. i am not religious by any stretch of the imagination, but I believe in God.

Technology like this can fall into the wrong hands and be used for horrible things. I just don't see how it's a good idea.
Posted by brian_eggleston 8 years ago
brian_eggleston
If the parents are not religious they cannot be "playing God" and there's nothing wrong with eugenics if it improves the health and happiness of mankind.
Posted by Puck 8 years ago
Puck
"By selecting genes, and altering DNA, aren't we trying to create a master race? Superhumans? We're trying to circumvent evolution."

To have a 'master' race one needs a master to decide what genes are best for all - then enforce it. "Superhumans" is erronous - only the available genetic material is used, and only that is of human origin. Selecting for gene fitness is a process of evolution - gene selection in an embryo simply speeds this up.
Posted by Democritas 8 years ago
Democritas
By selecting genes, and altering DNA, aren't we trying to create a master race? Superhumans? We're trying to circumvent evolution.
If it had been possible then, he'd have been doing that.

I don't expect anyone to "buy" my case, only hear me out. Nothing more, nothing less.
Posted by Ragnar_Rahl 8 years ago
Ragnar_Rahl
What's this "God" game? Sounds awesome.

and no, Hitler was trying to forcibly breed a master race, and slaughter the rest... he was not trying to play with genes :D
Posted by TheSkeptic 8 years ago
TheSkeptic
I love playing God.
Posted by Rezzealaux 8 years ago
Rezzealaux
To THINK is to play God.
I don't buy your case.

NEXT.
Posted by Puck 8 years ago
Puck
"It's what Hitler was trying to do and it's a little scary."

Lol. Argumentum ad Hitlerum.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by U.n 1 year ago
U.n
asyetundefinedDemocritasTied
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Total points awarded:10 
Reasons for voting decision: Forfeiture
Vote Placed by asyetundefined 8 years ago
asyetundefined
asyetundefinedDemocritasTied
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Total points awarded:70