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Flap Your Lips Friday

Posted by Michelle Moquin on June 3rd, 2016

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Good morning – I found this to be an interesting write that could certainly spark some banter.

From the Huff Po:

What It Means To Be Human Is Changing Thanks To Gene Editing

“We might be splitting in class between those who can afford to manage our children eugenically and those who cannot.”

DNA assembly, artwork

Near the end of a wide-ranging conversation about the complexity of the human genome and the history and future of genetics, Arizona State University President Michael Crow noted the almost inconceivably large number — “10 to the 14th” power — of microorganisms in our bodies. And then he turned to cancer researcher Siddhartha Mukherjee and posed what Crow called “a complicated question.”

“What the hell are we?”

Crow and Mukherjee, author of the new book “The Gene: An Intimate History” and the Pulitzer Prize-winning “The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer,” already had spent much of the evening — a Zócalo Public Square event in front of a full house at the Skirball Cultural Center — trying to answer that question.

‘Choice seems like an illusion defined by genes.’

One answer, said Mukherjee, is “a majestic formula” akin to e=mc102: “Genes plus environment plus genetic interactions plus chance” equals the human form.

But what it means to be human is also changing, he said, both biologically and culturally. Our increasing knowledge and ability to manipulate our genes — the fundamental units of heredity and the basic units of biological information — are altering our notion of who we are. And as a result, humans are faced with figuring out new language, new regulations and new answers to all sorts of new, very fundamental questions.

Chief among them: What does choice mean in an era when humans can manage their own genomes? “Choice seems like an illusion defined by genes,” suggested Mukherjee. Other questions we’re grappling with include: What is randomness? What is normal? “And who gets to define the borderlands and boundaries of what we define as normal? I’m not sure we’ll ever have the answer to that question,” said Mukherjee.

“The real question,” he added, “is how do we want to categorize? What are the axes upon which we want to divide ourselves? That’s not a laboratory question” but one we must tackle as a society, although ironically, “it’s possible that that question, too, is devised by our genes.”

Mukherjee and Crow engaged in a rapid back-and-forth that crossed centuries and academic disciplines and covered Mukherjee’s family history of mental illness, the eugenics movement, the Nazis, the genetic engineering of wheat, science education, the maker movement as applied to genetics, the human fantasy of perfection and the personal histories of Gregor Mendel and Charles Darwin.

“Darwin ran away from medicine, thank God,” quipped Mukherjee. “Every time you push your children to medicine, remember it’s Darwin you’re blocking.”

Crow pressed Mukherjee repeatedly on how humans can avoid “going down dark roads” and misusing genetics. The doctor-writer advised that “the antidote to the future is history.” We need to consider how wrong we’ve been in the past. “If I read you the list of people who attended the first conference on eugenics,” which included Alexander Graham Bell and Winston Churchill, “it would shock you,” he said.

‘We might be splitting in class between those who can afford to manage our children eugenically and those who cannot.’

Why, asked Crow, do humans want to understand genes and improve themselves?

“One of the purposes is emancipation” from disease, replied Mukherjee, before rattling off the “transformative” impact of the language of genes on our health, from vaccine development to the treatment of breast cancer.

During a lively question-and-answer session with the audience, Mukherjee was asked whether eugenics would be revived in this country. Mukherjee said he didn’t think the U.S. ever would have state-sanctioned eugenics. But he also warned, “we are entering a future in which we’re going to manage ourselves in eugenic ways. We might be splitting in class between those who can afford to manage our children eugenically and those who cannot…”

Another audience member asked Mukherjee whether, given his family history of mental illness, he had taken advantage of technologies that allow him to have his own genome sequenced, or that of his children.

‘The antidote to the future is history.’

After thinking long and hard about it, he decided not to. “We don’t know what the determinants are for schizophrenia,” which has plagued his family, he said, so it would not be that useful. But he also was stopped by the “moral conundrum” of having two children. If, say, only one of them had the schizophrenia gene sequence, “would it change how I thought about my two children?”

“These are choices we will face … this is part of our future, it’s coming our way,” he said. “We better have — number one — the vocabulary to deal with it. And number two, the humanistic constructs to answer the questions being asked by our genomes.”

*****

Readers: It’s Friday. You know what to do.

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31 Responses to “Flap Your Lips Friday”

  1. Irene Says:

    Wouldn’t it be nice if we could engineer some of the men on this planet to be real human beings?

  2. Helena 1 Says:

    Irene, considering how whites have been trying to kill off the rest of us in one way or another, I would be more worried about the new eugenic move that will be coming soon.

  3. Flo Says:

    Less people think you are crazy Helena1, I would like to point out that there are racist whites that use technology to track and harass jews.

    I married into a family of haters who look to fault jews for ever slight that occurs in the world. We as a race control America and most of the world.

    I would be very concerned about this development if I were minorities.

  4. Jimenez Says:

    I wouldn’t worry so much Flo. With a little gene manipulation they can get the physical superiority of the blacks and be hung like them too.

    Who knows, if they get big dicks maybe they won’t be so jealous of blacks.

    I work in Dallas on occasion for my company. It is appalling the hatred whites there have for jews and blacks.

  5. Chuck Says:

    When Trump gets in white trashing blogs like this will be history. Trump is the Best choice hands down. Hillary is a liar, with only her own personal interest ahead of this country. Bill as the 1st Gent is is joke.

  6. Harris Says:

    Chuck@5, this white guy has a deep appreciation for this blog. It is one that gives everyone even bigots like you an opportunity to speak their minds without censorship.

  7. Gtace Says:

    Chuck#5, here is what Mark Cuban said about Trump, “He’s just getting started, Seriously there’s so much more to come. They’re not playing for real yet. There is nothing real at stake. This is all just chit chat. He’s just warming up the audience. He’s like that guy who walks into the bar, and will say whatever it’ll take to get laid. Only in this case he’s not trying to fuck some girl. He’s trying to fuck the country.”

  8. Margie Says:

    Chuck#5, trump will mostly likely lose the general elections by a land slide too …. with Krispy Kreme Christie’s head still firmly wedged up his a$$.

  9. Claire Says:

    The white women in my family support trump because the believe the bullshit from their men or the shit they read on line.

    I told them to check out this blog because many people take internet sites at face value without vetting information themselves. Hence, the reason why we have Donald Trump supporters who aren’t white males in the first place.

    There is just no logical reason a woman of any race should support trump. That includes his family and relatives.

  10. Michael Says:

    Why does everyone think that ALL white males are for Trump? I’m not and I have many friends who are not. Trumps speaks for those white males who have hatred for others who do not support their political and ideological positions.

  11. Don Says:

    Trump has done amazing things; he has become a billionaire by working hard within private enterprise. Hillary’s list of accomplishments (that have had a positive affect on America) in 40 years as a politician would be a blank page.

  12. William Says:

    I agree with you Michael@10, even some diehard Republicans are supporting Hillary because they’re terrified of what Trump would be like as President.

  13. Rodney Says:

    The Dep. of Justice will indict Hillary on RICO charges soon.. Why ANYONE would vote for such a lying scumbag is BEYOND comprehension… Did you watch Hillary laughing about getting that 41 year old POS rapist, raped a 12 year old girl, off on the charges? Lucky for her that poor girl wasn’t one of my 3 daughters!!!

  14. Ollie Says:

    Trump the Terrible is not presidential material. He should stick to the Gordon Gecko business world, where he apparently can get away with anything.

  15. Megan Says:

    The republican party is full of hypocrites. Take their hit man Ken Starr who they hired to take down Clinton when he was POTUS. The creep was forced to resign at Baylor University because he ignored accusations about athletes there who were raping their fellow students.

    Check out his pathetic responses when he was confronted by an email he got from a student complaining about being raped. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/ken-starr-interview_us_5751cb47e4b0eb20fa0dd053
    ===============================

    These are the type of creeps and hypocrites that the republican party puts before us as honest men.

  16. Theo Says:

    Megan#15, the people at Baylor University in Dallas are for the most part bigots. They are hypocritical whites who use religion to freely practice their racism and misogyny.

    I was an athlete there. We were treated as gods. Women were there for our pleasure. Niggers and jews were tolerated as long as they contributed significantly to the athletic or academic programs.

    The men in that part of the country do not acknowledge women as human beings. One of the jokes that floated around our locker rooms about women was the definition of a woman is a life support system for tits and pussy. That an example of the typical souther baptist university.

  17. Jenny Says:

    I liked this one. “here is the main problem,if a woman is beat up by a man,they do not bring up her sexual history in court.rape IS assault.if a man gets robbed wearing a rolex do they blame the man for wearing a rolex?if a woman walks down the streen ,naked does NOT mean she wants sex.which is the whole defense,she ‘asked’ for it.if she had asked for it,you would not have to force her.”

  18. Yves Says:

    Trump just lies in the face of those who are calling him out for his lies. He frequently says things that are not true and when he’s presented with the facts, ignores them.

  19. Irvin Says:

    The trump people are using some goole help to track and harass jews that call trump on his lies. BuzzFeed’s Andrew Kaczynski has documented that, prior to the start of the Iraq War, Donald Trump said he supported it. Howard Stern asked him “Are you for invading Iraq?” “Yeah, I guess so,” Trump replied. There is no evidence of Trump opposing the Iraq war prior to it beginning.

    For this he has been tracked and harassed by nazi wannabes and disgruntled trump supporters.

  20. Irvin Says:

    This is another example of google helping the racists track and harass jews.

    ((Jonathan Weisman))

    @jonathanweisman

    Generations of American Jews did not believe this still existed til now. https://twitter.com/either_orwell/status/733343106003652610

    Follow
    Andrew Auernheimer @rabite

    @jonathanweisman get used to it you fucking kike. You people will be made to pay for the violence and fraud you’ve committed against us.
    10:58 AM – 19 May 2016

  21. Perry Says:

    As usual the greedy jews are their own worst enemy. There is a Republican Jewish Coalition(RJC) which includes trump backer Sheldon Adelson. Jeez, these guys are like the jews for Hitler. They thought they wouldn’t be touched and were among the first the Nazis sent to the ovens after they confiscated their wealth.

  22. Irin Says:

    One more:
    (((SPLC)))

    @splcenter

    NYTimes reporter @jonathanweisman is retweeting antisemitic tweets from Trump supporters and trolls. It’s ugly. We’ve seen it for a while.
    11:10 AM – 19 May 2016

  23. Barry Says:

    Yes, many jewish reporters are being harassed for writing anything negative about trump. A ThinkProgress reporter — who is Presbyterian — also received anti-Semitic tweets simply for putting out a call for help with his story.

    One commenter appeared to deny the Holocaust and mock the Hebrew language, and another awarded the author with a “gold star” — meaning the yellow Star of David used by the Nazis to identify Jews.

  24. Zen Lill Says:

    14 Ollie, agreed, go be Gordon gecko and stay out of politics, they’re not the same, period.

    13 Rodney get your facts straight, she didn’t want the case and some things were taken out of context including the meme laughing about it, cmon now, yes the outcome is same, he did go free, but stop quoting inaccuracies and at least check snopes and politico and other sources Fr the closest to truth story.

    While I’m here I’ll say it I actually prefer the outspoken Eluzabeth Warren but she’s best as an advocate.

    Hilary is the better option here bc his tactics would likely piss off relations around the globe big time and we’d be laughing stock Fr letting an orange make up faced Gordon gecko run our country. (Already are Fr letting it get this far, the world knows the GOP is like the emporers got new clothes with this candidate sorely lacking anyone viable a sad state of affairs Fr all the white haired power peeps in party)

    Hilary will always have 200 lbs of weight to explain and many don’t want the 2-fer Clinton deal again though they’ll get over it if she ups her game and puts trump in his place and she’d be wise to cater to Latinos and otws more …

    She’s letting their dislike Fr trump carry her, and that could work … But git on it Hil!

    It’s women who think well trump IS a businessman and Hilary is this n that (and oh name it, the list gets old) bc they’re all lame ruses that obviously have deep backstory, as I’m sure some of insider readers here could attest to as compared to …

    Trump just being a plain old ‘low energy’ blowhard Gordon Gecko, that’s really who you want at the wheel? …surely you jest.

    *drop my mic* walk off soapbox

    Luv yaz, Zen Lill

  25. Ollie Says:

    Wow, I never expected to be addressed by a GirlZ.

  26. Beverly Says:

    Zen Llll your analysis is not just good it is accurate.

  27. Susan Says:

    Zen Lill your last point about white women who claim they support Trump because he is a business man is well taken.

    For this white woman the fact that under his administration I would be a second class citizen negates any benefit he might bring to the table as a “business man.”

    Actually that is the problem, business men have been running this country from back rooms since the onset of this country. Look where that has gotten us.

    I don’t see how a business man running this country out in the open could be any different since the country would still be run my a business man.

  28. Bill Says:

    Sorry, Zen Lill#24, Donald Trump is hitting the nail on the head.

  29. Ron Says:

    It truly scares me to death that Trump could win. The reality is that his followers don’t know that they are wrong about most everything, and don’t care.

  30. Michelle Moquin's "A day in the life of…" » Blog Archive Says:

    […] appears some of (((us))) have the same same things on our […]

  31. Zen Lill Says:

    Bill please point out what head exactly and what nail are you referring to?

    Politics is not just “business as usual” esp his style of usual business and if you think so it seems you’ve missed a lesson or two at school, but please enlighten me about him hitting any nails on heads.

    Ollie, it pleases me that you’re flattered by a GirlZ addressing you, and there I did it again : )

    ~ ZL