Genetics and Prejudice


It seems things are getting more intense on the genetics front, specifically with the implications of being able to clearly identify precisely which groups we fall into. They’ve just found the genes that make white people white, for example, and that keep Asians from sweating as much as other groups. According to this New York Times article many scientists are getting worried about how their work will be interpreted.

I’m worried about this as well. On one hand I think it’d be beneficial to understand our respective talents and limitations. In general I think the more information we have the better. But at the same time I see some very negative reactions to this entire line of exploration.

For one, I see bumper stickers with genetic information on them.

I have one basic response to the concept of showing off one’s superior genes. What have you done? It’s like a Mensa meeting — a room full of unfulfilled people who’s only peacock feather is being part of that particular group. Great, you’re smart, now take a shower and get a job.

Still, I find it repulsive to actively deny what seems to be right in front of us, i.e. the fact that there obviously are differences between us. I think any time we deny uncomfortable truths we do ourselves a disservice and impede progress. But the question remains, is there ever a time when we shouldn’t talk about something?

From the New York Times article:

Indeed. But I don’t think this is going to be an issue for long. I think almost as soon as we figure out exactly what our differences are we’re going to be able to build ourselves as desired.

Take this from here, that from there, add this new enhanced functionality, include a Google interface for the brain and some nanobots for a super-immune system and…bam! Superhuman.

I’ve got a demeaning future-name for people who are born naturally, i.e. non-augmented: defaulters.:

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