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Next by Michael Chriton
December 18, 2007
8:25 pm
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Hassan10
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I have been reading the book Next by Michael Chriton. In it he puts forth the idea of certain behaviors being dependent upon certain genes in the human genome.

Hypothetically, if this were true, what behavior would you have altered/removed in the human genome?

If it were possible I think I would like to eliminate rage. I think if we eliminate rage a lot of other problems would be eliminated.

December 19, 2007
1:29 am
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red blonde
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Hmmmm...tough question. Rage definitely would be one to eliminate- altered or removed. But isn't rage more of an emotion than a behavior?

Perhaps, if deception or being deceptive is a behavior, I would like that one altered,removed or eliminated.

How about being manipulative and controlling as well?

December 19, 2007
2:08 am
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Worried_Dad
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I pretty much read everything by MC, since I was in the seventh grade...that was about a hundred years ago.

I was so excited when one of his novels got made into a TV series called "the Six Million Dollar Man."

I haven't read "Next" yet though.

I read the inner jacket, and some reader reviews.

Thing about Michael, is, he is not a scientist--he is a consummate entertainer.

I am an amateur entertainer and a professional scientist. Michael and I would probably have a heck of a time over nachos and beers.

That being said...

You can't just engineer psychological traits into out of an animal (including people) by adding or subtracting genes.

It just doesn't work that way.

The "science-speculation" angle there is really interesting and worthwhile.

But to me, the really meaty bits here are about humanism and moral philosophy: If you could add or subtract bits of human psychology, what would be the effect? Would subtracting "competitiveness" result in a better person, or...something else?

December 19, 2007
2:30 am
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red blonde
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Well, thank goodness, Crichton just writes for entertainment. I do enjoy his books....but haven't read 'Next' as of yet. Will eventually get around to it.

Besides, if the genes could be removed, altered, and/or manipulated...Why not be able to do it for medical 'reasons' before anything else.

December 19, 2007
2:39 am
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alien
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I think rage is what allowed me to get the much bigger than me attacker off of me last year, and saved my scrawny ass. Dunno?

December 19, 2007
9:30 am
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Hassan10
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Worried_Dad,

Did I mention the discussion is purely hypothetical? I thought I had. I know it is not possible, but the idea intrigued me.

Robin Cook is one of my favorite medical writers. Also, I enjoyed reading James Patterson's The Lake House and Maximum Ride in which he explored creating transgenic humans that were a cross between human and canine as well as human and avian. Michael Crichton's Next introduces new theory.

Alien,

It's a matter opinion. Perhaps if there were no rage no attacks would happen. Rage covers a lot of area, but as Worried_Dad said it is an emotion rather than a behavior.

Peace to you.

December 19, 2007
9:42 am
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Worried_Dad
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Hi Hassan10,

"the really meaty bits here are about humanism and moral philosophy: If you could add or subtract bits of human psychology, what would be the effect? Would subtracting "competitiveness" result in a better person, or...something else?"

I think the idea of human engineering is fascinating--just turns out to be really, really hard is all.

For example, someone has come up with a strain of mouse called the "Dougie" mouse that seems to be about twice as smart as a normal mouse--all because of one extra (human) gene.

It's only a matter of time until someone tries it on their kid.

But it turns out that the Dougie mice are also perhaps more sensitive to pain and maybe emotional trauma than ordinary mice.

December 19, 2007
4:58 pm
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Tiger Trainer
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I think rage is something we need stick to. do we really want a lot of do nothign milk toasty people?

December 19, 2007
5:27 pm
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Hassan10
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mapping the human genome was difficult enough. do no know if we have it in us this millenia to do human engineering. theoretically possible, probability low. you can never tell when someone will think ethics are a jok and attempt it. not all scientists are ethical fortunately most are.

milq toast people? interesting. i think we have enoug bleeding hear liberals as it is. let's face it, without rage racism would go away. gotta keep that.

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