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Old 29th August 2019, 03:39 PM   #41
Thor 2
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Originally Posted by Dr. Keith View Post
One of the people in that story is a professor at a major university that has a set of conditions that would have classified her as "unfit" in an earlier time. Her story is very interesting as a personal story, but also sheds a bit of light on this. I found the whole series interesting even if it is not all relevant to this discussion.

Like deadrose, I see myself as a part of this picture. I suffered an "injury" as a young man that the doctors said was likely a congenital issue cropping up. Without modern medicine I would have either died or been an opioid addict. There was no third way for my condition a hundred years ago. But today I have kids who are productive, probably more productive than me. I am one of the "weak" ones saved by modern medicine. But I don't think the gene pool suffers from it. Other posters may differ on that.
Glad you had the third way to turn to.

Because your condition was due to a congenital issue, I don't expect that necessarily means, that issue will be passed on to your kids. Not being an expert I am just supposing.
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Old 29th August 2019, 04:02 PM   #42
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Originally Posted by Puppycow View Post
I suppose there's a down side to everything if you look hard enough


Good example.

By solving lots of other problems, humans have created a new problem.

Global warming would not be a problem if all humans were still living in pre-industrial/pre-modern-medicine/pre-modern-agriculture lifestyles. There would also be much fewer of us.

On balance of course, the up sides of all of these outweigh the down sides.
Abundant food and sedentary modern lifestyles lead to new lifestyle diseases.

Interesting to speculate on what the future may hold for homo sapiens. It may not necessarily be a glum outlook.

As the survival, (with the intervention of medical science and the application of modern morality), of many who would not otherwise make it, together with the birth of children to those who would not otherwise be able, (with the ..........), are we progressing toward a society where reliance on medical science becomes more and more common?

The availability of that resource is limited to those of us in the developed world of course as money is needed - lots of it.
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Old 29th August 2019, 08:30 PM   #43
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Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
I think we would all agree with the sentiment that modern medicine is wonderful. People are pulled back from the brink of death today with the help of medical procedures and medicines.* Infertile couples are helped to have children. Physically disabled walk again, and so on.
In another few years (assuming we manage to survive Global Warming) people will look back at posts like this and shake their heads. The truth is, our 'modern' medicine has barely scratched the surface of what can be done, and is mostly far from wonderful. Even in first World countries people are constantly suffering and dying from what should be easily preventable illnesses, and we haven't made any significant progress in combating the aging process.

But we are on the brink of developing technologies that will make 'modern' medicine look like the stone age. And when we do, all this concern about "medicine facilitates life, fertility, and mobility where nature has denied it" will be moot. Instead we will have other things to worry about - such as designer babies, genetic 'body modifications', and people not entering politics until age 200+. But even that will seem tame compared to the next step - androids that are human in mind only and 'live' for thousands of years.

Quote:
are we progressing toward a society where reliance on medical science becomes more and more common?

The availability of that resource is limited to those of us in the developed world of course as money is needed - lots of it.
The Greeks and Romans probably thought the same. But today, just as back then, no amount of money can stop you from dying. We may rely more on 'medical science' than in the past (just as we do on all other technology) but it is still very limited in what it can do for us.

A month ago I caught a 'cold' and spent 3 miserable weeks fighting it off. Did I make use of 'medical science' to hasten my recovery and prevent long-term damage? Of course not, because there is no cure for the 'common cold'. No point even visiting a doctor because I would just be told to go home and wait it out. And yet 'diseases of the respiratory system' is the second most common cause of death in old people. Then I get back to work and find out that 1/4 of the staff are off sick. So much for the wonders of modern medicine!
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Old 30th August 2019, 03:00 PM   #44
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Originally Posted by Roger Ramjets View Post
In another few years (assuming we manage to survive Global Warming) people will look back at posts like this and shake their heads. The truth is, our 'modern' medicine has barely scratched the surface of what can be done, and is mostly far from wonderful. Even in first World countries people are constantly suffering and dying from what should be easily preventable illnesses, and we haven't made any significant progress in combating the aging process.
I am certainly shaking my head as I view your post. With your chosen name I assume you would see yourself as peering down on the world with comprehension, but your post indicates a furtive peeping out from under a rock.

You claim modern medicines advances are far from wonderful because we have "barely scratched the surface" - really? You are not aware of the developments of vaccines and antibiotics then, and the much, much, higher life expectancy of folk today. Admittedly much of this is very much more to the advantage of us in the developed world than others outside, but that shortcoming is not that of modern medicine, but economic and political inequality.

Quote:
But we are on the brink of developing technologies that will make 'modern' medicine look like the stone age. And when we do, all this concern about "medicine facilitates life, fertility, and mobility where nature has denied it" will be moot. Instead we will have other things to worry about - such as designer babies, genetic 'body modifications', and people not entering politics until age 200+. But even that will seem tame compared to the next step - androids that are human in mind only and 'live' for thousands of years.
It is much more realistic to compare where we are today, with where we were in the past, than with some fantasy future in your own head.

Quote:
The Greeks and Romans probably thought the same. But today, just as back then, no amount of money can stop you from dying. We may rely more on 'medical science' than in the past (just as we do on all other technology) but it is still very limited in what it can do for us.
You jump from predicting people entering politics at 200+ years to this tosh.

Quote:
A month ago I caught a 'cold' and spent 3 miserable weeks fighting it off. Did I make use of 'medical science' to hasten my recovery and prevent long-term damage? Of course not, because there is no cure for the 'common cold'. No point even visiting a doctor because I would just be told to go home and wait it out. And yet 'diseases of the respiratory system' is the second most common cause of death in old people. Then I get back to work and find out that 1/4 of the staff are off sick. So much for the wonders of modern medicine!
Can't quite work out an angle in this. Anyone else?
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Old 30th August 2019, 05:50 PM   #45
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The large scale effects of “modern medicine” have been an increase in life expectancy at birth. After some decades, this (plus other causes) results in fewer babies than replacement. While the causes of many a chronic ill are well known (e.g. smoking and lung cancer), modern medicine has a long slog in treatment-at-cause.

To see the future, look at places where the population pyramid has almost vertical sides, until age ~65. AFAIK, there are no such places today.
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Old 31st August 2019, 03:09 AM   #46
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Originally Posted by Mojo View Post
Kumar had similar concerns a few years back:
Schrodinger expresses similar concerns in hist 1944 book What is Life?, though he argues that we need not be concerned.
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Old 31st August 2019, 08:34 AM   #47
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Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
Eugenics | juːˈdʒɛnɪks |
plural noun [treated as singular]
the science of improving a population by controlled breeding to increase the occurrence of desirable heritable characteristics.

I knew this would happen! Some just have to start implying I am in favour of controlled breeding, because I recognise a situation arising, that may have a troublesome outcome. I have specifically stated I don't see an answer and would not be able to make judgments myself.

Next I would expect a Sieg Heil from someone.
If you lookup eugenics movements throughout history, particularly the very widespread eugenics movements in the 1920s to 1940s, you will discover that "controlled breeding" typically emphasized culling the unfit at least as much as encouraging those with the "ideal" genes to procreate. What you are discussing is indeed eugenics; absolutely. I have been careful to not link your views to any historical political entity and just discuss them on their own. Taken on their own you are clearly proposing that some people do not deserve access to life saving medical procedures whereas others do, and this is based on their "value" to society as you see it.
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Old 31st August 2019, 03:25 PM   #48
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Originally Posted by Giordano View Post
If you lookup eugenics movements throughout history, particularly the very widespread eugenics movements in the 1920s to 1940s, you will discover that "controlled breeding" typically emphasized culling the unfit at least as much as encouraging those with the "ideal" genes to procreate. What you are discussing is indeed eugenics; absolutely. I have been careful to not link your views to any historical political entity and just discuss them on their own. Taken on their own you are clearly proposing that some people do not deserve access to life saving medical procedures whereas others do, and this is based on their "value" to society as you see it.

If you look carefully and pay attention you will see, what I am discussing is the complete absence of eugenic control, being possibly inevitable. This is a result of modern morality, (ie. Everyone has a right to live and enjoy as full a life as can be made available.), coupled with modern medical knowhow.
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Old 31st August 2019, 04:26 PM   #49
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Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
If you look carefully and pay attention you will see, what I am discussing is the complete absence of eugenic control, being possibly inevitable. This is a result of modern morality, (ie. Everyone has a right to live and enjoy as full a life as can be made available.), coupled with modern medical knowhow.
I have paid attention enough to know these are exactly your concerns and that you are suggesting policies that disagree with the idea that everyone has a right to live.

Ironically I suspect that advances in genetic engineering, at least among the wealthy, will in a few decades make most of us so inferior to newer generations that we in general might be viewed as inadequate to justify our drain on resources...

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Old 31st August 2019, 06:38 PM   #50
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Originally Posted by Giordano View Post
I have paid attention enough to know these are exactly your concerns and that you are suggesting policies that disagree with the idea that everyone has a right to live.
That these are my concerns is something you are reading between the lines and you have blurred vision.*

Quote:
Ironically I suspect that advances in genetic engineering, at least among the wealthy, will in a few decades make most of us so inferior to newer generations that we in general might be viewed as inadequate to justify our drain on resources...
I think that may take more than a few decades if it is a realistic prediction. But then I am not gifted with such penetrating insight.


* I find it a source of great frustration that one cannot engage in conversation on some subjects without some dude assuming you have an agenda. Usually a very ****** agenda is assumed.
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Old 1st September 2019, 03:46 PM   #51
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Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
If you look carefully and pay attention you will see, what I am discussing is the complete absence of eugenic control, being possibly inevitable. This is a result of modern morality, (ie. Everyone has a right to live and enjoy as full a life as can be made available.), coupled with modern medical knowhow.
So what is the issue if any, Thor 2?
My impression from what you have posted is that this is not Science, Mathematics, Medicine, or Technology. You have raised a political or moral or ethical question in the wrong section of the forum.

The science is that modern medicine has lead to a better standard of living, e.g. eradication of smallpox. Scientific progress means the future will have an even better standard of living as more diseases are cured or at least better managed.
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Old 1st September 2019, 03:58 PM   #52
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Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
Can't quite work out an angle in this. Anyone else?
Easily understood, Thor 2. That is a personal anecdote from Roger Ramjets about catching a cold and the fact that in a cold season many people catch colds. The medical treatment is mostly fluids and bed rest (cough medicines are mostly placebos). We do not have a vaccine or cure for the common cold. this is an example of how medicine is not totally wonderful - yet!
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Old 1st September 2019, 07:17 PM   #53
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Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
Succinctly put.

This is the downside I see and cannot see a solution to it. Darwin introduced us to the concept of survival of the fittest. The fittest not necessarily the strongest but the one that fits the world environment. Now medicine is facilitating the survival of more and more who would otherwise perish. The "fittest" is becoming universal.

Modern morality is demanding that all survive - this regardless of the viability of the survivor.
Oh Jesus H Christ. This sounds like some kind of Social Darwinist crap.

Let's discard glasses, and hearing aids, and anti-biotics since Mother Nature, in her infinite wisdom, would have culled those who needed them in a state of nature.

Then we can go back to the caves and live as Nature intended us to.
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Old 1st September 2019, 07:20 PM   #54
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Originally Posted by Venom View Post
You're right Thor 2.

Human overpopulation is serious. The more of us there are, the faster we degrade the environment and accelerate global warming, making it a threat to our survival.
Modern medicine and rising affluence is actually leading to a slowing of the overpopulation problem, as the more likely your offspring to be healthy are, the less likely people are to have many children.
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Old 2nd September 2019, 02:30 PM   #55
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Originally Posted by angrysoba View Post
Oh Jesus H Christ. This sounds like some kind of Social Darwinist crap.

Let's discard glasses, and hearing aids, and anti-biotics since Mother Nature, in her infinite wisdom, would have culled those who needed them in a state of nature.

Then we can go back to the caves and live as Nature intended us to.

Jesus H Christ on a bicycle even!

Why the anger for Christs sake and the nonsensical utterances. I am not proposing anything and do not have an agenda in this. I only think this to be something interesting to reflect on and invite comment about the road ahead. If you find the subject disquieting then leave it alone and do your scribbling elsewhere.
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Old 2nd September 2019, 06:18 PM   #56
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Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
Jesus H Christ on a bicycle even!

Why the anger for Christs sake and the nonsensical utterances. I am not proposing anything and do not have an agenda in this. I only think this to be something interesting to reflect on and invite comment about the road ahead. If you find the subject disquieting then leave it alone and do your scribbling elsewhere.
Why should I not post on a thread about views I find "disquieting"?

I'm actually trying to get a handle on what you are saying. Perhaps you need to be more explicit because your "I'm not sayin', I'm just sayin'" routine has clearly confused a lot of people if what you are sayin' is not actually eugenics.

It certainly sounds like it.

But anyway, my understanding is that modern medicine, by allowing more people to live, does NOT lead to bigger problems "down the road". In fact, quite the opposite.
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Old 3rd September 2019, 03:26 AM   #57
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Here's the thing, technology (including medicine) allows us to live with certain problems that would have killed us without that technology. Okay. So genes for those "problems" can begin to spread through the population when they would have been selected against in the past.

Here's the thing: those genes operate in such a way as to constrain the rest of the system that is a human body. Given thermodynamics they have to. So what's really happened is that technology has removed a constraint on our evolution: the necessity to include that particular constraint (in producing eyes they won't require glasses, or immune systems that can deal with certain bacterial infections). To the extent that we evolve to become less adapted to an environment without technology, our evolution has the opportunity to evolve into this new environment that does include technology: where we aren't subject to those particular constraints.

Similarly the development of cooking meant that we didn't need the same large teeth that we needed before we could tenderise our food with fire. But while it makes life difficult if you try to eat a completely raw diet, I would suggest that this has been a boon for humanity, rather than a problem.
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Old 3rd September 2019, 03:18 PM   #58
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Originally Posted by angrysoba View Post
Why should I not post on a thread about views I find "disquieting"?

I'm actually trying to get a handle on what you are saying. Perhaps you need to be more explicit because your "I'm not sayin', I'm just sayin'" routine has clearly confused a lot of people if what you are sayin' is not actually eugenics.

It certainly sounds like it.

But anyway, my understanding is that modern medicine, by allowing more people to live, does NOT lead to bigger problems "down the road". In fact, quite the opposite.

I suspect not.

It seems to me you are going out of your way to find confrontation. What I am observing is the exact opposite of eugenics taking place and I am not making any judgement about this. I am not saying we have problems down the road either, just asking what others feel about this.
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Old 3rd September 2019, 03:29 PM   #59
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Originally Posted by Roboramma View Post
Here's the thing, technology (including medicine) allows us to live with certain problems that would have killed us without that technology. Okay. So genes for those "problems" can begin to spread through the population when they would have been selected against in the past.

Here's the thing: those genes operate in such a way as to constrain the rest of the system that is a human body. Given thermodynamics they have to. So what's really happened is that technology has removed a constraint on our evolution: the necessity to include that particular constraint (in producing eyes they won't require glasses, or immune systems that can deal with certain bacterial infections). To the extent that we evolve to become less adapted to an environment without technology, our evolution has the opportunity to evolve into this new environment that does include technology: where we aren't subject to those particular constraints.

Similarly the development of cooking meant that we didn't need the same large teeth that we needed before we could tenderise our food with fire. But while it makes life difficult if you try to eat a completely raw diet, I would suggest that this has been a boon for humanity, rather than a problem.

Thanks Roboramma you seem to "have a handle" on this unlike angrysoba.

I find the subject interesting and wonder where we are going also. Perhaps inevitably we are progressing toward a greater and greater reliance on medicine and other complimentary technology in order to survive.
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Old 3rd September 2019, 03:54 PM   #60
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Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
I suspect not.

It seems to me you are going out of your way to find confrontation. What I am observing is the exact opposite of eugenics taking place and I am not making any judgement about this.
By inviting discussion of the future effects of "the exact opposite of eugenics", and asking what the down side of "the exact opposite of eugenics" is, you're asking for the basis of a pro-eugenics argument.

Which is fair enough and not inherently evil, but, like, own that.

You really are doing a "not sayin', just sayin'" thing here.
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Old 3rd September 2019, 06:55 PM   #61
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Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
Thanks Roboramma you seem to "have a handle" on this unlike angrysoba.

I find the subject interesting and wonder where we are going also. Perhaps inevitably we are progressing toward a greater and greater reliance on medicine and other complimentary technology in order to survive.
Maybe. Maybe technology will allow us to have to rely much less in it though. For instance, here's a sort of crazy idea: "mirror humans". The idea is to basically take a human cell and reverse it's chirality. It would then be immune to all forms of infection, viral, bacterial, whatever, because they operate on the opposite chirality.

Of course, a mirror human would have to eat mirror food, as normal food would be indigestible, but we could make that too, so no worries.

This is a pretty speculative idea, but the point is really that the potential of technology to not only solve medical problems, but also to do it in ways that require very little future input (so you can basically do a single intervention and the problem is solved thereafter) is high. Whether we go one direction or another is a different question.

I also have to say I don't think it's going to be much longer before we pretty much take control of our evolution. What genes persist in future generations will be based more on human preferences than on natural selection.

Of course in some sense it will simply be that human preferences become the overwhelming influence of the environment on selection, but it's a very different sort of environment than the one that has existed up until now.
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Old 3rd September 2019, 11:28 PM   #62
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Originally Posted by Roboramma View Post
So what's really happened is that technology has removed a constraint on our evolution:
Exactly. And this is why I say that we have barely scratched the surface of medical technology. We are the first animal on this planet to break out of the limitations of genetic inheritance and pass down information through another path. The result has been staggering.

Instead of taking thousands of years to evolve new traits, we can adapt in less than one generation. In another 100 years we may have true genetic engineering (not just sticking frog genes into plant DNA), nanotech, quantum computers etc. and things we haven't even thought of yet that will make our current stuff look like the stone age.

The only problem is that the detrimental affects of technology have also accelerated. Our challenge will be to overcome them before it kills us (or at least before it halts or even reverses technological advancement).

Rather thinking of technology as being something separate from biological evolution that we are 'relying on', we should consider it a compliment. And once we get to the point of being to modify our own DNA at will there will be no difference.
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Old 4th September 2019, 02:56 PM   #63
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Originally Posted by Roboramma View Post
Maybe. Maybe technology will allow us to have to rely much less in it though. For instance, here's a sort of crazy idea: "mirror humans". The idea is to basically take a human cell and reverse it's chirality. It would then be immune to all forms of infection, viral, bacterial, whatever, because they operate on the opposite chirality.

Of course, a mirror human would have to eat mirror food, as normal food would be indigestible, but we could make that too, so no worries.

This is a pretty speculative idea, but the point is really that the potential of technology to not only solve medical problems, but also to do it in ways that require very little future input (so you can basically do a single intervention and the problem is solved thereafter) is high. Whether we go one direction or another is a different question.

I also have to say I don't think it's going to be much longer before we pretty much take control of our evolution. What genes persist in future generations will be based more on human preferences than on natural selection.

Of course in some sense it will simply be that human preferences become the overwhelming influence of the environment on selection, but it's a very different sort of environment than the one that has existed up until now.

Mirror humans, an interesting and as you say maybe a crazy idea. Does opposite chirality exist elsewhere, say in other species?

I wonder about the human preference selection prevailing. Would modern morality somehow intervene here. Someone has to make selections and others approve those selections.
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Old 4th September 2019, 03:01 PM   #64
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Originally Posted by kellyb View Post
By inviting discussion of the future effects of "the exact opposite of eugenics", and asking what the down side of "the exact opposite of eugenics" is, you're asking for the basis of a pro-eugenics argument.

Which is fair enough and not inherently evil, but, like, own that.

You really are doing a "not sayin', just sayin'" thing here.

You have to look at what I have posted in the context of angrysoba's silly rant on post #53.
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Old 4th September 2019, 06:44 PM   #65
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Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
Mirror humans, an interesting and as you say maybe a crazy idea. Does opposite chirality exist elsewhere, say in other species?
It's a minor plot point in the Mass Effect series of science fiction computer games.
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Old 4th September 2019, 06:55 PM   #66
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Originally Posted by Thor 2 View Post
Mirror humans, an interesting and as you say maybe a crazy idea.
Well, I don't really think it's crazy. We know that parity violations only happens with the weak force, which isn't involved in the operation of human biology, so a mirror human would function identically to a normal human internally. As I said there would be the problem that they would also need to eat mirror food.

You couldn't change a living person into a mirror human, but it could be done for an egg cell, say. One problem with that is that we'd need an artificial womb as the egg would be incompatible with the mother.

Quote:
Does opposite chirality exist elsewhere, say in other species?
No. That's sort of the point of doing it. All life on earth shares the same chirality.

Quote:
I wonder about the human preference selection prevailing. Would modern morality somehow intervene here. Someone has to make selections and others approve those selections.
Sure, that's entirely possible. There would be valid concerns. People also have a lot of strange quasi-mystical ideas about biology that could prevent various solutions from being implemented.
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Old 4th September 2019, 06:58 PM   #67
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Originally Posted by arthwollipot View Post
It's a minor plot point in the Mass Effect series of science fiction computer games.
Really? Cool.
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Old 4th September 2019, 11:20 PM   #68
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There's also an SF short story about a guy who is accidentally reversed during a scientific experiment and starts to starve as he cannot assimilate normal food. Can't remember the title or author.
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Old 4th September 2019, 11:47 PM   #69
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Originally Posted by Pixel42 View Post
There's also an SF short story about a guy who is accidentally reversed during a scientific experiment and starts to starve as he cannot assimilate normal food. Can't remember the title or author.
If I recall correctly the earliest is an Arthur C Clarke tale in the golden age period, but it's been used a lot since then.
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