Genethics

I took my daughter to the zoo today. Which in of itself is problematic for me, because I not sure how I feel about animals in captivity. Also, nothing builds up your misanthropy more than listening to the proletariat outside the gorilla enclosure. In any event…. this is not about hating on humanity (well… it might be… lets see how it goes).

We sat for a bit outside the wolf enclosure… two wolves came right up to us and stared at us from behind the glass. Mostly… they are just doggies. And I could sense my daughter didn’t get it. Why would they put dogs in an enclosure?

We have a German Shepherd. These wolves… there was similarity in their gait, their pointy ears… ancestrally speaking this made sense to me.

But we also have a Basset hound. Same… lineage. I mean… if you go back far enough.

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From this…

We made this…

 

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I find that completely mind-bending.

I mean it took us (humanity) a really long time to get there… but still.. thats fairly impressive work.

We’ve been genetically modifying stuff since forever. (okay, not quite, but almost for as long as we’ve been walking upright). Of course these days… we can play god on much… much… MUCH shorter time frames. Thousands of years of evolution can be condensed into a single generation with a little help….

I’m not sure where I stand on genetic modification. I’m probably a little fatalistic towards the whole endeavour in so far as I don’t think it can be stopped. We might be one of the last generations of Homo Sapiens (theres a thought) with our new ‘enhanced’ kin regarding us very much like we regard Homo Erectus. (I could have chosen any of the dead branches… but really I just wanted to write Erectus)

I’m much more interested in the distribution of the technology and the ethics thereof. To quote William Gibson… ‘The future is already here, its just not evenly distributed yet’.

Could we have two different species of humans on the planet again soon? The rich who can afford to genetically modify their kids… and the wretchedly poor Homo Sapiens that can’t? Ethically this starts to get interesting real quick.

When you’re breeding cats or dogs (or anything really) you pick the strongest, best paragons of that species to mate. Those guidelines don’t apply to human beings… we tend to choose… very arbitrary, illogical characteristics and fail to factor in a whole range of  psychological variables when decide who we will and will not fuck.

Which may obviously lead to procreation and life… which is then doomed to repeat this shotgun approach to furthering ourselves.

Its not very efficient. From an engineering point of view.

Not that I mind this set up… without which I doubt I would have ever gotten laid. Or indeed have ever been born at all.

I just wonder where we are going…

One thought on “Genethics

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