Genetic Engineering Intelligence

  • Thread starter dsadsa
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  • #26
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well in this case, stating my source is crossing a line. i will refrain from posting statements and stick to questions on this forum.
 
  • #27
baywax
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well in this case, stating my source is crossing a line. i will refrain from posting statements and stick to questions on this forum.
Asking questions has really worked well for me here.
 
  • #28
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dsadsa, the government has been working on genetic intelligence for years. they have to be 10 steps ahead of the public, so that a natural genius doesnt come up with something that they are unprepared to contain. this isn't speculation by the way. within the next 10 years all of this will be forced to surface otherwise chaos will ensue and the powers that be wont have their power anymore.
When claiming something that's not purely speculation, one would usually produces some form of evidence or at least a better line of reasoning than what was given.

I'm still convinced that it might be the case that we have all the technology necessary, or close to it and the only reason this hasn't been pursued is that those who happen to be in favor of it are either too lazy/unmotivated, too fearful of prosecution, or too selfish to risk compromising personal standing in general.
 
  • #29
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To what extent can something similar to this be done to humans so as to make our own species more intelligent, given today's technology?
It depends on what exactly you have in mind with the term "done". It is quite easy to change the genetics of a developing life form than one that has already developed. With our current level of technology we would well be able to change the genetics of a blastocyst and thus create a (likely) more intelligent human. The equivalent procedure for an adult would be much more difficult. Genetic therapy is a frontier science right now.

However, it is important to recognize that our technology isn't holding us back. Our knowledge is restraining such advances. We simply don't know enough about how genes affect intelligence, what genes are responsible and what those particular genes are doing. In fact, there is hardly a consensus about what exactly intelligence is, and how it can be defined. One of the reasons for this is that the brain is capable of feats of intuition and understanding in seemingly unrelated realms (i.e. naturalistic intelligence vs interpersonal intelligence). Cognition is a very complex operation; an integration of many different functions. Once neuroscience unveils the mechanisms that produce these functions, we can begin to look for the genes that produce those mechanisms.
 
  • #30
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It depends on what exactly you have in mind with the term "done". It is quite easy to change the genetics of a developing life form than one that has already developed. With our current level of technology we would well be able to change the genetics of a blastocyst and thus create a (likely) more intelligent human. The equivalent procedure for an adult would be much more difficult. Genetic therapy is a frontier science right now.

However, it is important to recognize that our technology isn't holding us back. Our knowledge is restraining such advances. We simply don't know enough about how genes affect intelligence, what genes are responsible and what those particular genes are doing. In fact, there is hardly a consensus about what exactly intelligence is, and how it can be defined. One of the reasons for this is that the brain is capable of feats of intuition and understanding in seemingly unrelated realms (i.e. naturalistic intelligence vs interpersonal intelligence). Cognition is a very complex operation; an integration of many different functions. Once neuroscience unveils the mechanisms that produce these functions, we can begin to look for the genes that produce those mechanisms.
For our purposes, lets define define intelligence to be proficiency in academic research or the ability to score high on an IQ test. I'm suggesting that we not concern ourselves with the function of genes that are correlated with high intelligence and simply produce a human possessing all of them. We already know everything required for this procedure and since you say we have technology, there's nothing 'holding us back'.

Can you please refer me to a reliable source as to how this works? (the technology used to change the genetics of a blastocyst, I'm not interested in this procedure for an adult given its difficulty)
 
  • #31
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For our purposes, lets define define intelligence to be proficiency in academic research or the ability to score high on an IQ test.
Government enforced sterilization of people with exceptionally low IQs or an exceptionally poor proficiency in academic research. Couple that policy with forcing people that have exceptionally high IQs or great proficiency in academic research to have high numbers of offspring. This method could be used to enhance/restrict any genetically influenced trait within a population, and probably within a relatively short amount of time. Basically treat people like cattle. Contemporary views on morality and ethics would prevent this from being a popular policy. This would not necessarily produce a better human. It would produce a human that is better at standardized tests or academic research. And that likes Star Trek - a lot.
 
  • #32
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Government enforced sterilization of people with exceptionally low IQs or an exceptionally poor proficiency in academic research. Couple that policy with forcing people that have exceptionally high IQs or great proficiency in academic research to have high numbers of offspring. This method could be used to enhance/restrict any genetically influenced trait within a population, and probably within a relatively short amount of time. Basically treat people like cattle. Contemporary views on morality and ethics would prevent this from being a popular policy. This would not necessarily produce a better human. It would produce a human that is better at standardized tests or academic research. And that likes Star Trek - a lot.
I've suggested nothing of the sort. I'm not interested in taking any freedom's away from people. Selective breeding isn't that effective anyway.

The definition was not meant to be a perfect one, it was only meant to demonstrate that we could come up with one. If you think some trait (like scoring high on an IQ test) is associated with being intelligent, then you can easily check to see what genes are correlated with that trait.
 
  • #33
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For our purposes, lets define define intelligence to be proficiency in academic research or the ability to score high on an IQ test. I'm suggesting that we not concern ourselves with the function of genes that are correlated with high intelligence and simply produce a human possessing all of them. We already know everything required for this procedure and since you say we have technology, there's nothing 'holding us back'.

Can you please refer me to a reliable source as to how this works? (the technology used to change the genetics of a blastocyst, I'm not interested in this procedure for an adult given its difficulty)
The thing is, we don't know what genes are actually contributing to the cognitive processes that manifest themselves as observable intelligence. There are just tons and tons of genes that impart function in the brain. What scientists have been trying to do is look for genes common to people with high intelligence. This hasn't yet yielded much success, most likely because high intelligence is a combination between certain neurotransmitter levels, physical brain structure (spatial relationships of neurons, physical formation of neural bodies), and experience as well. These relationships are so complex that it is unlikely a few genes given to any person will make them highly intelligent.

So far there is a small number of genes identified that correlate to high intelligence. If you implant these genes into another person, would they become more intelligent? Or would they just get tumors because their other brain genes are not compatible? I don't know. The reason I believe understanding the actual neurofunctionality of intelligence is so important is because it will tell us exactly what genes to modify.

This is how genetic therapy works:

http://www.ornl.gov/sci/techresources/Human_Genome/medicine/genetherapy.shtml
 
  • #35
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It appears you're right - it seems that the majority of genes that affect intelligence work in combination making the choice of which genes to select less than trivial. Still, the problem is reduced to collecting data and statistical analysis.
 

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