NeoEugenics: Curiosity or Game‐changer?

A more interesting question is: a more or less egalitarian (not-so-distant) future? (Once the genetic architecture of egalitarianism itself is cracked, this question will take on an even more delicious dimension.)

Shulman, C., & Bostrom, N. (2014).
Embryo Selection for Cognitive Enhancement: Curiosity or Game‐changer?. Global Policy, 5(1), 85-92.

Abstract: Human capital is an important determinant of individual and aggregate economic outcomes, and a major input to scientific progress. It has been suggested that advances in genomics may open up new avenues to enhance human intellectual abilities genetically, complementing environmental interventions such as education and nutrition. One way to do this would be via embryo selection in the context of in vitro fertilization (IVF). In this article, we analyze the feasibility, timescale, and possible societal impacts of embryo selection for cognitive enhancement. We find that embryo selection, on its own, may have significant (but likely not drastic) impacts over the next 50 years, though large effects could accumulate over multiple generations. However, there is a complementary technology – stem cell-derived gametes – which has been making rapid progress and which could amplify the impact of embryo selection, enabling very large changes if successfully applied to humans.


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11 Responses to NeoEugenics: Curiosity or Game‐changer?

  1. Did you just admit to paleo-eugenics? That’s my only interest in this verbal masteurbation.

  2. nikcrit says:

    My initial five-cents-worth on ‘neo-eugenics': If it somehow prevails and does take hold of the socio-cultural zeitgeist, then i’d predict the distinction between born or ‘natural’ cognitive advantage-vs.-‘post-op’ genetic-intellectual enhancement would be the new and crucial distinction delineating ‘us’ from ‘them.’

    The hierarchy of designation will go on, adapting any and all changes and updates as needed, I’m pretty sure you’d agree, yes?

    • Chuck says:

      “the new and crucial distinction delineating ‘us’ from ‘them.”

      It would be “a” new and crucial distinction. I just don’t think that e.g., race was ever “the” crucial one. There was always class, and religion, and politics, and whether-you-had -the newest-coolest-sneakers-at-school, etc. But ya, it’ll make things interesting — it will surely be a perspective changer for the race/anti-race obsessed.

  3. nikcrit says:

    Nikcrit on your blog in 2011:

    I sincerely believe there’s a better chance —– a much better chance, actually —– of putting energy, capital and resources into a scientific solution to ‘closing the gap.’ That, and perhaps a mix of policies that would directly or indirectly lead toward black self-correcting eugenic-breeding behaviors…..
    I mean, if each race has its special talents, contributions and abilities, then I say the northern Europeans should get down to their labs and start cooking up a game-changer that will make all these stale debates and polemics of the last 50 years suddently irrelevant.
    For it will only be some such unanticipated development that will put this issue to rest and make the reams of established contemporary ‘moral-theology’ irrelevant.

    So perhaps the ‘neo-eugenics’ you reference now are the first real evident truth of what I semi-seriously conceived and wished for way, way back at the start of this aging decade, eh? lol!

    Idk; it seems the older i get, the clearer it becomes that these social divides and tidal-sway bearing ‘isms’ are things society sustains and even lobbies for, rather than representations of some biologically predicated reality that must be dealt with. just biz as usual, in a way.

  4. alabastrine excellence says:

    So, the new, genetically-altered, genius Ubermensch will be rulers of the Brave New World. I’m sure that the cyborgs will help them in eliminating all of us naturally-developed sub-geniuses from their presence. Only the wealthy ‘elite’ will be able to afford these new ‘designer babies’. Maybe they’ll keep some of us ‘natural’ humans around as pets. It reminds me of that old horror movie, “Children Of The Damned”. Genocide and extinction of ‘humanness’ for all! Hey, it’s not nice to fool with Mother Nature! That’s what got us into the trouble we’re in now with the great, dusky-hued ‘minorities’ of the world. We keep meddling in their affairs, feeding them, and trying to get them to adapt to White society, White morality, and White law and order. They’re outbreeding and overpopulating us with more and more mouths to feed, more ‘diversity’ divisiveness, and more anti-White hate and homicide. We should quit while we’re behind.

  5. bob sykes says:

    In as much as the cost per embryo are on the order of tens of thousands of dollars, such procedures will be so rare as to be irrelevant.

    • Chuck says:

      “In as much as the cost per embryo are on the order of tens of thousands of dollars, such procedures will be so rare as to be irrelevant.”

      Moore’s Law applies to genomics too.

  6. John says:

    Where have you been? Piffer’s turning out papers and you’re not blogging? According to his findings (factor scores) thus far, there’s about a two standard deviation difference in intelligence-enhancing alleles between British people and people of sub-Saharan African descent, including African-Americans. Assume for the moment an average British IQ of 100 and an African-American average of 85. Assume also that the African-American result does NOT reflect malnutrition or other deprivations and that the Flynn effect has stopped. Then a one standard deviation change in intelligence-enhancing alleles is worth 7.5 IQ points for genotypic IQ; African-Americans have a two standard deviation deficit in intelligence-enhancing alleles and thus a 15 point IQ deficit. However, Piffer’s results ALSO indicate no deficit for Southeast Asians; to the contrary, Vietnamese are found to be innately more intelligent than British people, and Cambodians are innately more intelligent than the French.

    Get in the game!

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