Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from August, 2015

Bioethics of Gene editing, an analysis of some concerns as addressed by Steven Pinker

Steven Pinker provides some details regarding his view that banning gene editing technology outright is naive in this interview. I some times agree with what Pinker states on various issues and on this one a particular area of my research focus he does get the general reality correct in my view (that bans are naive at this point) however he's a philosopher and not a Scientist and thus has made a few errors that I will point out here.
First, the idea that crispr is prone to significant errors is false. The early versions of the technology produced by Doudna's team in late 2012 were but even then they were significantly less likely to induce errors than prior methods (zinc fingers and TALENS).
Since then far more advanced methods have emerged that are virtually perfect in make single gene modifications consistently, keep in mind that a large part of the accuracy is involved in ensuring the a sufficiently unique guide RNA is utilized to zero in on a given gene and induce a chang…

Altruism an emergent quality of having big brains, not directly gene driven.

Thus apparently altruism is a purely socially emergent phenomena and one that is not gene driven.

Why is this *not* surprising?

In some of my musings on altruism, morality (which I posit emerges from it) and later the ability for religions to form....the definition of altruism stems from one underlying reality of social organisms:

The competition for limited resources necessitates in closely living organisms of the same type a response heuristic to the resources various states of supply under demand. 

Here from 2012 I put a line under it:

"If a particular resource or resources is required for our survival and we are the only agent in the environment that can gain value from the resource we have no inherent desire to be altruistic, this may seem trivial but it is not...our altruism is not an absolute characteristic of our make up but rather an emergent quality of moral expression that ONLY becomes extant when others that also value that resource are present and subject to the same …