Gene therapy could enable a world filled with youth and genius

George Church talks about how success with adult cures for diseases would also enable cognitive enhancement, antiaging and transhumanism.

There are many diseases where there are cognitive decline diseases. If we can inject the body with gene therapies that affect all the cells of the brain then a cure for cognitive decline in one person could have the off-label impact of cognitive enhancement in a “normal” person.

There are diseases of accelerated aging. Genetic modifications could be injected that reverse those aging effects. Those same injections could reverse aging in what is currently considered to be a normal person.

The power of genetic engineering is such that overshooting beyond average could become easy.

Four gene modifications can boost radiation resistance by 100,000 times.

There are people with rare but highly beneficial genes. Adult whole-body gene therapy could make what is currently good and rare into something that is common or universal.

201 thoughts on “Gene therapy could enable a world filled with youth and genius”

  1. As I understand, they’re proposing adult gene therapy. But still, much better understanding of the implications and tradeoffs is indeed desirable, and we will get there eventually.

    Reply
  2. If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail. Cancer and alzheimer may have non-gentic cures in a few decades. Maybe diabetes too (for now we’re just getting better treatments). Genetic resistance to HIV and norovirus isn’t needed if we have vaccines and antivirals. Proper hygiene solves most odor problems, except in extreme cases. And so on. Even strength and intelligence enhancements may have non-genetic technological solutions (e.g. exoskeletons will get cheaper with time). Eventually, some people may choose to forgo their biological bodies entirely. Gene therapy will likely have a role to play, but as part of a much wider set of solutions.

    Reply
  3. I think it is unlikely that you can radically increase IQ in adults with genetic modification. So much of the brain is already organized making you, you. IQ is not something you can just track down genes for easily, because IQ is the result of a lot of things. The biggest, I think, is prenatal nutrition and not just getting the suggested stuff. We know choline, iodine, and fresh fruit can give, a large boost in IQ. Probably over one standard deviation. And we don’t know how much we can improve on that. 930mg of choline was better than the recommended 450mg. But the optimal could be 3,000 mg, for all we know. They did not even look at Inositol, Trimethylglycine, Phosphatidylcholine, Phosphatidylserine, L-Carnatine, or Phosphatidylethanolamine, or other possibly cognitively beneficial food substances. Fresh fruit was massive. 6-7 fruits a day gets you another 6 or 7 IQ points. But they did not look at which fruits. Further study could better indicate which fruits have the largest improvement. I suspect you want a wide variety, but optimal amount. And maybe 10 or more is 10 IQ points, who knows? But they do know it is too late after they are born. Double or triple the recommended iodine probably gets you another 3-5 IQ points. They put DHA in a lot of pregnancy stuff…probably helps…but too little to get statistical significance. Maybe good for a point or two. I am not saying those points are irrelevant, just hard to measure. I think there is a lot to gain from avoiding things: toxins especially lead (you loose IQ points and other important mental abilities), and the polybrominated diphenyl ethers’ (PBDE) fire retardants can cause an IQ loss of 3.7 points or more. And everyone knows tobacco, alcohol, and recreational drugs are dreadful. Yet there are still pregnant women smoking, drinking, and doing drugs. I consider our current 100 IQ average to be a disaster. It represents the results of delirious vertically transmitted infections, toxins (a

    Reply
  4. Neither Darwinian nor neo-Darwinian (the modern synthesis) evolution includes top down causation. Random mutations in the DNA are all that natural selection has to work with. Of course, the more we know about molecular biology the less plausible this hypothesis becomes. Increasingly, it has become evident that the organism, even down to the cellular level, uses DNA for its own purposes, rather than vice-versa.

    Reply
  5. From what I know of transhumanism it seems to be narrow minded and therefore detrimental to human beings. If evolution includes “top down causation” it might be that the reason biologists call most of our DNA junk is because they don’t appreciate the potential in life for further evolution. I will read the books written by Ray Kurzweil.

    Reply
  6. Here’s the problem: Most complex traits, such as height and IQ, are the result of a whole complex of genes. Aside from single point errors that can be corrected, that means that significant “improvement” may not be easy. Indeed, the genetic code is so complex & interdependent that side effects are inevitable and likely often unpredictable. If, for example, it turns out that reducing the odds of type 2 diabetes (which I have) means that potential IQ, or height, is reduced, what then? Do we have a right to make such tradeoffs for our children?

    Reply
  7. Geneticists better work fast and look for sanctuary, because the (Western) world is quickly turning Luddite on genetics. And if you thought the hysterical rejection of harmless GMOs was bad, wait for the first certifiable trans-human treatments, making people and their descendants measurably smarter, healthier, longer lived. The race will be between the morally stuck up old 1st world and the techno-liberal nouveau riches (e.g. China), with a much more liberal stance. If the morally stuck up old rich aren’t careful, the liberal new ones will have a definite head start on the race of better statistical parameters in their populations.

    Reply
  8. As I understand they’re proposing adult gene therapy. But still much better understanding of the implications and tradeoffs is indeed desirable and we will get there eventually.

    Reply
  9. If all you have is a hammer everything looks like a nail. Cancer and alzheimer may have non-gentic cures in a few decades. Maybe diabetes too (for now we’re just getting better treatments). Genetic resistance to HIV and norovirus isn’t needed if we have vaccines and antivirals. Proper hygiene solves most odor problems except in extreme cases. And so on. Even strength and intelligence enhancements may have non-genetic technological solutions (e.g. exoskeletons will get cheaper with time). Eventually some people may choose to forgo their biological bodies entirely. Gene therapy will likely have a role to play but as part of a much wider set of solutions.

    Reply
  10. I think it is unlikely that you can radically increase IQ in adults with genetic modification. So much of the brain is already organized making you you.IQ is not something you can just track down genes for easily because IQ is the result of a lot of things. The biggest I think is prenatal nutrition and not just getting the suggested stuff. We know choline iodine and fresh fruit can give a large boost in IQ. Probably over one standard deviation. And we don’t know how much we can improve on that. 930mg of choline was better than the recommended 450mg. But the optimal could be 3000 mg for all we know. They did not even look at Inositol Trimethylglycine Phosphatidylcholine Phosphatidylserine L-Carnatine or Phosphatidylethanolamine or other possibly cognitively beneficial food substances. Fresh fruit was massive. 6-7 fruits a day gets you another 6 or 7 IQ points. But they did not look at which fruits. Further study could better indicate which fruits have the largest improvement. I suspect you want a wide variety but optimal amount. And maybe 10 or more is 10 IQ points who knows? But they do know it is too late after they are born. Double or triple the recommended iodine probably gets you another 3-5 IQ points. They put DHA in a lot of pregnancy stuff…probably helps…but too little to get statistical significance. Maybe good for a point or two. I am not saying those points are irrelevant just hard to measure.I think there is a lot to gain from avoiding things: toxins especially lead (you loose IQ points and other important mental abilities) and the polybrominated diphenyl ethers’ (PBDE) fire retardants can cause an IQ loss of 3.7 points or more. And everyone knows tobacco alcohol and recreational drugs are dreadful. Yet there are still pregnant women smoking drinking and doing drugs.I consider our current 100 IQ average to be a disaster. It represents the results of delirious vertically transmitted infections toxins (air water soil fo

    Reply
  11. Neither Darwinian nor neo-Darwinian (the modern synthesis) evolution includes top down causation. Random mutations in the DNA are all that natural selection has to work with.Of course the more we know about molecular biology the less plausible this hypothesis becomes. Increasingly it has become evident that the organism even down to the cellular level uses DNA for its own purposes rather than vice-versa.

    Reply
  12. From what I know of transhumanism it seems to be narrow minded and therefore detrimental to human beings. If evolution includes top down causation”” it might be that the reason biologists call most of our DNA junk is because they don’t appreciate the potential in life for further evolution. I will read the books written by Ray Kurzweil.”””

    Reply
  13. Here’s the problem: Most complex traits such as height and IQ are the result of a whole complex of genes. Aside from single point errors that can be corrected that means that significant improvement”” may not be easy. Indeed”” the genetic code is so complex & interdependent that side effects are inevitable and likely often unpredictable.If for example it turns out that reducing the odds of type 2 diabetes (which I have) means that potential IQ or height is reduced”” what then? Do we have a right to make such tradeoffs for our children?”””

    Reply
  14. Geneticists better work fast and look for sanctuary because the (Western) world is quickly turning Luddite on genetics.And if you thought the hysterical rejection of harmless GMOs was bad wait for the first certifiable trans-human treatments making people and their descendants measurably smarter healthier longer lived.The race will be between the morally stuck up old 1st world and the techno-liberal nouveau riches (e.g. China) with a much more liberal stance.If the morally stuck up old rich aren’t careful the liberal new ones will have a definite head start on the race of better statistical parameters in their populations.

    Reply
  15. Hammers who works now is is way better today than future tools who might work better in the future if you want to hammer down an board in the bottom of your ship. The perfect is an major enemy to the good enough. Recommend throwing people who think otherwise out an plane so they can invent anti gravity on the way down.

    Reply
  16. Even complex traits like height can have single genes/proteins which have such overwhelming impact as to be useful in 8 different FDA approved treatments (see wikipedia Growth_hormone_therapy). Similarly a single gene (and it’s encoded protein insulin) has played an enormous role in type 1 diabetes treatment. In the framing of this page, Brian said “adult cures for diseases”. Nevertheless, it is good to ask about children as well. Yes. Many decisions are made by parent on behalf of their children and grandchildren. Some involve significant tradeoffs (like staying or moving from a war-torn homeland), while others are nearly ideal strategies (like smallpox extinction world-wide).

    Reply
  17. Yes. We don’t want only hammers … and no need to exclude hammers when useful (fully, partially, temporarily, or in combinations). Part of getting a “much wider set of solutions” is adding a few to the list and assessing how to reduce costs, increase benefits and the timing of each (and hybrid hammer + non-hammer methods).

    Reply
  18. Even complex traits like height can have single genes/proteins which have such overwhelming impact as to be useful 8 different FDA approved treatments (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Growth_hormone_therapy). Similarly a single gene (and it’s encoded protein insulin) has played an enormous role in type 1 diabetes treatment. In the framing of this page, Brian said “adult cures for diseases”. Nevertheless, it is good to ask about children as well. Yes. Many decisions are made by parent on behalf of their children and grandchildren. Some involve significant tradeoffs (like staying or moving from a war-torn homeland), while others are nearly ideal strategies (like smallpox extinction world-wide).

    Reply
  19. The challenge in finding the genetics is that it’s complex genetics. It doesn’t add linearly, a gene which might be beneficial in the presence of another gene could be harmful if it’s absent. It’s like trying to analyze software by looking at word frequency! I don’t think we’ll understand the full genetics of intelligence until we understand intelligence itself, so that we can optimize the genes for what they’re doing in the brain, not just on a statistical basis.

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  20. I didn’t see any “must” there, just a profession of ignorance. We don’t know. It’s a good point: We are a long, long way from optimizing prenatal nutrition and environment. And doing so might take a couple generations to have full effect, given epigentic inheritance.

    Reply
  21. 930mg of choline was better than the recommended 450mg. But the optimal could be 3,000 mg, for all we know.” Don’t fall into the ‘more must be better’ idea. Finding out where whatever you are trying becomes harmful rather than beneficial is going to involve someone suffering from the bad effects of too much.

    Reply
  22. Hammers who works now is is way better today than future tools who might work better in the future if you want to hammer down an board in the bottom of your ship. The perfect is an major enemy to the good enough. Recommend throwing people who think otherwise out an plane so they can invent anti gravity on the way down.

    Reply
  23. Even complex traits like height can have single genes/proteins which have such overwhelming impact as to be useful in 8 different FDA approved treatments (see wikipedia Growth_hormone_therapy). Similarly a single gene (and it’s encoded protein insulin) has played an enormous role in type 1 diabetes treatment. In the framing of this page Brian said adult cures for diseases””. Nevertheless”” it is good to ask about children as well. Yes. Many decisions are made by parent on behalf of their children and grandchildren. Some involve significant tradeoffs (like staying or moving from a war-torn homeland)”” while others are nearly ideal strategies (like smallpox extinction world-wide).”””

    Reply
  24. Can you blame them for turning Luddite on genetics””? Our first-half-of-the-Twentieth-Century experience with eugenics was such a godawful mess that one marvels that some people still defend it! Please read “”””On Eugenics and Other Evils”””””” by Chesterton”” before considering the way to the brave new world you advocate:https://www.gutenberg.org/files/25308/25308-h/25308-h.htm“””

    Reply
  25. Yes. We don’t want only hammers … and no need to exclude hammers when useful (fully partially temporarily or in combinations). Part of getting a much wider set of solutions”” is adding a few to the list and assessing how to reduce costs”””” increase benefits and the timing of each (and hybrid hammer + non-hammer methods).”””

    Reply
  26. Even complex traits like height can have single genes/proteins which have such overwhelming impact as to be useful 8 different FDA approved treatments (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Growth_hormone_therapy). Similarly a single gene (and it’s encoded protein insulin) has played an enormous role in type 1 diabetes treatment. In the framing of this page Brian said adult cures for diseases””. Nevertheless”” it is good to ask about children as well. Yes. Many decisions are made by parent on behalf of their children and grandchildren. Some involve significant tradeoffs (like staying or moving from a war-torn homeland)”” while others are nearly ideal strategies (like smallpox extinction world-wide).”””

    Reply
  27. The challenge in finding the genetics is that it’s complex genetics. It doesn’t add linearly a gene which might be beneficial in the presence of another gene could be harmful if it’s absent. It’s like trying to analyze software by looking at word frequency!I don’t think we’ll understand the full genetics of intelligence until we understand intelligence itself so that we can optimize the genes for what they’re doing in the brain not just on a statistical basis.

    Reply
  28. I didn’t see any must”” there”” just a profession of ignorance. We don’t know.It’s a good point: We are a long long way from optimizing prenatal nutrition and environment. And doing so might take a couple generations to have full effect”” given epigentic inheritance.”””

    Reply
  29. 930mg of choline was better than the recommended 450mg. But the optimal could be 3000 mg” for all we know.””Don’t fall into the ‘more must be better’ idea. Finding out where whatever you are trying becomes harmful rather than beneficial is going to involve someone suffering from the bad effects of too much.”””

    Reply
  30. So your objection is that badly done genetics would have bad results? This objection applies to everything. Stupidly done civil engineering, foolishly done environmentalism, counter-productive laws, stupid farming practices…. It doesn’t mean that you don’t do those things. It means that you have review processes and think about the results of your actions.

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  31. Get a grip. I’ve got a 150 IQ and I mow my own lawn. Not everyone with a high IQ becomes a scientist or engineer. There are genius garbage collectors and janitors, too. (Spoiler: They’re really good at being garbage collectors and janitors.)

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  32. Gene therapy would remove diversity and doom us. A world full of Eisensteins wouldn’t work. Who would cut the lawns and pick the fruits? Who would bury the dead and kill the living? I for instant have genetic defects that can be a pain but they protect me for the full effects of malaria borne diseases. There is a need to remember that blond hair and blue eyes are recessive traits. Should they be eliminated?

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  33. So your objection is that badly done genetics would have bad results?This objection applies to everything.Stupidly done civil engineering foolishly done environmentalism counter-productive laws stupid farming practices….It doesn’t mean that you don’t do those things. It means that you have review processes and think about the results of your actions.

    Reply
  34. Get a grip. I’ve got a 150 IQ and I mow my own lawn. Not everyone with a high IQ becomes a scientist or engineer. There are genius garbage collectors and janitors too. (Spoiler: They’re really good at being garbage collectors and janitors.)

    Reply
  35. Gene therapy would remove diversity and doom us. A world full of Eisensteins wouldn’t work. Who would cut the lawns and pick the fruits? Who would bury the dead and kill the living? I for instant have genetic defects that can be a pain but they protect me for the full effects of malaria borne diseases. There is a need to remember that blond hair and blue eyes are recessive traits. Should they be eliminated?

    Reply
  36. Great info on brain and protective allele chart. how long will this take for the older generation. My husband can focus, he must have grin2b and the last ones well as he doesn’t have anxiety. amazing how do we tell what he has and I can get at this late stage. I heard there are Brian stem ell medicine. my mother must have had anti aging and low pain threshold, and she lived to 102 until 2 years ago, my father had cholesterol and smart but died of cholesterol at 47 in 1963 .

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  37. You have a 150IQ? And you wanted to propose a full blockade on China two years ago Come on, Brett! Who is going to believe you! Luca Mazza

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  38. People have very diverse preferences and priorities, and these guide decisions, including on gene therapy. So while gene theraphy and other enhancement and modding tech may produce some consolidation in some traits, I don’t think it’s likely to eliminate diversity. Today we mod our computers and cars, decorate our apartments, choose different clothes, makeup, and accessories, and occasionally add tattoos and piercings or do mild plastic surgery. In the future we’ll have many more tools and options to modify our bodies inside and out. People may get so creative that diversity will boom.

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  39. I admire your plan for restricting pregnancy to those women who meet certain minimum standards and would like more information of your plan for achieving the level of dictatorial control required to enforce such a regime.

    Reply
  40. Great info on brain and protective allele chart. how long will this take for the older generation. My husband can focus he must have grin2b and the last ones well as he doesn’t have anxiety. amazing how do we tell what he has and I can get at this late stage. I heard there are Brian stem ell medicine. my mother must have had anti aging and low pain threshold and she lived to 102 until 2 years ago my father had cholesterol and smart but died of cholesterol at 47 in 1963.

    Reply
  41. You have a 150IQ? And you wanted to propose a full blockade on China two years ago Come on Brett! Who is going to believe you! Luca Mazza

    Reply
  42. People have very diverse preferences and priorities and these guide decisions including on gene therapy. So while gene theraphy and other enhancement and modding tech may produce some consolidation in some traits I don’t think it’s likely to eliminate diversity. Today we mod our computers and cars decorate our apartments choose different clothes makeup and accessories and occasionally add tattoos and piercings or do mild plastic surgery. In the future we’ll have many more tools and options to modify our bodies inside and out. People may get so creative that diversity will boom.

    Reply
  43. I admire your plan for restricting pregnancy to those women who meet certain minimum standards and would like more information of your plan for achieving the level of dictatorial control required to enforce such a regime.

    Reply
  44. And I have two graduate degrees and documented thoroughly average IQ combined with *curiosity.* I would not mind some additional intelligence, but yeah… the notion that IQ determines behavior isn’t even scientism.

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  45. That’s not the way nutrition works, your body needs things like calcium to actually build the bones in the body. But eating excess calcium is not going to make your bones bigger or denser. Your body builds itself based on the blueprints aka your genes. Yao Ming is tall not because he ate a lot of calcium as a child, but because his blueprints command his cells to build bigger and denser bones. If the body does not have enough raw material aka mal nutrition the body adjusts the blueprints to a smaller size. All the studies show that getting more of insert X nutrient has no effect on the general public thus suggesting that most people in developed countries have more than enough nutrients.

    Reply
  46. We have done this stuff, Your aforementioned studies only apply to people in 3rd world shitholes Nutrition raises IQ in 3rd world shitholes, but has no effect in developed countries. Even the poorest of the poor in the US get so many excess vitamins and nutrients that doctors do not recommend vitamins, and every study done shows no difference between people who take vitamins and people who don’t in developed countries. While it does have a massive effect for people in 3rd world shitholes. Likewise nutrition increases height, but this simply doesn’t exist in developed countries. Because everybody is well fed. Thus extremely short people tend in the US tend to be extremely short because of genetics or health related issues (getting sick and disease can lead to stunting because the body needs to expend resources to fight off the disease instead of devoting resources to growing the body) there are a small minority that are stunted because of some combination of epigenetics or ignorant parents. While extremely short people in 3rd world shitholes are extremely short because of stunting.

    Reply
  47. You realize the average IQ of Japan is 105, average IQ of numerous 3rd world shitholes is sub 80 yet there is no shortage of people willing to pick fruit.

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  48. I admit it is fun to think that the higher levels might be the optimum as that would suggest that we have a lot more to gain…so some caution makes sense. Human nature can provoke poor choices when information is not available. I said “optimal”. We just do not know what optimal is. I did not say 3,000mg is better. There are recommendations that 3500mg should not be exceeded. But that still leaves a fairly wide range to investigate. I suspect the optimum probably varies based on the week of gestation. What is clear is that humans need more lecithin/choline than other animals relative to body mass because we have large brains. Low iodine leads to poor moral ability (and likely higher crime), as well as low IQ. If goiters are not popping up everywhere, too many people assume the levels of iodine are just fine. The latest data I could find on the US was National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 2005–2006 and 2007–2008. It finds “All pregnant women (sample size 184) surveyed during 2005-2008 had a median UI concentration of 125 mg/L (95% CI 86-198), and 56.9% ± 7.9% of this group had a UI concentration of

    Reply
  49. Except we identify genetic markers for intelligence through massive gene banks and massive samples that we feed into basically supercomputers that run neural networks and big data algos.The computer is able to spot and identify genes linked to intelligence thru this method. Its not looking at one genome but the genomes of hundreds of thousands of people and finding patterns between different genes ans genes combinations linked to IQ increases. And then is able to predict the IQ of future people accurately. This is thus strong evidence that it works. If the computer is able to determine a individuals IQ score simply by looking at the DNA and then the individual later takes the IQ test and gets a similar score. This means it works. We don’t need to know the exact mechanism just like scientists don’t know the reasoning behind Alphago’s moves they only know that Alphago can beat the best of the best thus that is evidence that Alphago works. So we already have evidence that it works we may not understand why gene number #423792 combined with gene #5834905 increased IQ by .2 points but we don’t understand why alphago makes the moves it makes either. But no one is denying that alphago will probably beat the crap out of anybody who challenges it despite not understanding the thought process or mechanisms behind each move. The bottomline is we have identified numerous genes and genetic patterns linked to intelligence and have tested it and found that we were able to accurately predict IQ from looking at genes

    Reply
  50. And I have two graduate degrees and documented thoroughly average IQ combined with *curiosity.* I would not mind some additional intelligence but yeah… the notion that IQ determines behavior isn’t even scientism.

    Reply
  51. That’s not the way nutrition works your body needs things like calcium to actually build the bones in the body. But eating excess calcium is not going to make your bones bigger or denser. Your body builds itself based on the blueprints aka your genes. Yao Ming is tall not because he ate a lot of calcium as a child but because his blueprints command his cells to build bigger and denser bones. If the body does not have enough raw material aka mal nutrition the body adjusts the blueprints to a smaller size.All the studies show that getting more of insert X nutrient has no effect on the general public thus suggesting that most people in developed countries have more than enough nutrients.

    Reply
  52. We have done this stuff Your aforementioned studies only apply to people in 3rd world shitholesNutrition raises IQ in 3rd world shitholes but has no effect in developed countries. Even the poorest of the poor in the US get so many excess vitamins and nutrients that doctors do not recommend vitamins and every study done shows no difference between people who take vitamins and people who don’t in developed countries. While it does have a massive effect for people in 3rd world shitholes.Likewise nutrition increases height but this simply doesn’t exist in developed countries. Because everybody is well fed. Thus extremely short people tend in the US tend to be extremely short because of genetics or health related issues (getting sick and disease can lead to stunting because the body needs to expend resources to fight off the disease instead of devoting resources to growing the body) there are a small minority that are stunted because of some combination of epigenetics or ignorant parents. While extremely short people in 3rd world shitholes are extremely short because of stunting.

    Reply
  53. You realize the average IQ of Japan is 105 average IQ of numerous 3rd world shitholes is sub 80 yet there is no shortage of people willing to pick fruit.

    Reply
  54. I admit it is fun to think that the higher levels might be the optimum as that would suggest that we have a lot more to gain…so some caution makes sense. Human nature can provoke poor choices when information is not available. I said optimal””. We just do not know what optimal is. I did not say 3″”000mg is better. There are recommendations that 3500mg should not be exceeded. But that still leaves a fairly wide range to investigate. I suspect the optimum probably varies based on the week of gestation. What is clear is that humans need more lecithin/choline than other animals relative to body mass because we have large brains.Low iodine leads to poor moral ability (and likely higher crime) as well as low IQ. If goiters are not popping up everywhere too many people assume the levels of iodine are just fine. The latest data I could find on the US was National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey”” 2005–2006 and 2007–2008. It finds “”””All pregnant women (sample size 184) surveyed during 2005-2008 had a median UI concentration of 125 mg/L (95{22800fc54956079738b58e74e4dcd846757aa319aad70fcf90c97a58f3119a12} CI 86-198)”””” and 56.9{22800fc54956079738b58e74e4dcd846757aa319aad70fcf90c97a58f3119a12} ± 7.9{22800fc54956079738b58e74e4dcd846757aa319aad70fcf90c97a58f3119a12} of this group had a UI concentration of”

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  55. Nonsense. That is just what happens to computer programs when many of the genuinely important factors are unavailable or ignored, and the number of samples is just too small (even though it sounds big). You get lots of hits just by chance each saying it makes a small difference. A single gene or just a handful of genes can make large differences. They did one of those massive studies on height. They completely missed one far larger than any they found, that other scientists found by chance looking at Inuit nutrition. If they missed that, there are probably several other large ones they missed and most of the small ones are probably crap. They need to take blood samples and look at all the antibodies to get a history of all the infections people have ever had and ideally some estimate of when. They need diet surveys, nutrient levels, toxin levels, surveys of what sports they have played, what injuries they have had, how much sleep they get, what climate they live in, what emotional trauma they have endured… And even with all that, I have my doubts it would be enough. You have to ask yourself, “What would the computer output look like if it really could not find anything?” It would look just like what you got. A bunch of statistically dubious small associations. Just because it can’t find anything, does not mean it is not there.

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  56. I have very high hopes for artificial wombs. We can control everything to make the most ideal conditions. Perfect nutrition, no infections, full term, no sleep disturbances, perfect oxygen levels, no toxins, minimally traumatic birth, and you can even have stimulating sounds and such. And then there is the possibility of correcting all the genetic defects. Just a fantastic scenario.

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  57. Choline is in lecithin. Lecithin also has most of these other substances I mentioned: Inositol, Trimethylglycine, Phosphatidylcholine, Phosphatidylserine, or Phosphatidylethanolamine. Everything but the l-Carnitine. Once we find out what the optimum balance is of all these substances than we can use genetic modification of soy to produce Lecithin with this balance. We can then mandate that it be added in the needed levels to foods which already have emulsifiers put in them. Lecithin is put in chocolate, candy, cough drops, ice cream, bread…just a ton of stuff. Chicken feed can be adjusted and possibly chickens modified to produce eggs with this more ideal lecithin and more of it. There are already eggs with DHA. We should make all egg farms produce them with DHA. We need to test the soil at every farm and every crop for lead, as well as any imported food. There should be no lead in any of this food. We also need to make major infrastructural changes to reduce brain damage by heat. IQ appears to be effected by climate. The hotter the region the more people are affected. Air conditioning also needs to be more affordable, efficient and effective. A recent study showed that students in air conditioned dorms performed much better than those who were in non air conditioned dorms on the same campus. I think epigentic stuff as well as just stifling heat makes brains slow down. I think we should move pregnant women to cooler areas rather than having to endure the heat. Buildings need to be removed that have lead. It should be illegal for people to rent apartments with lead paint to anyone under 50, and no children. With the knowledge in hand about optimal nutrition we can educate doctors and insist that they give pregnant women booklets and such with the information. I think women are eager to do the best job they can in general. If they had the information, they could. The government could also endorse products which have important nutrients f

    Reply
  58. Most people want to do a good job during pregnancy. The FDA has given bad advise: no fish, no eggs (really they say make sure they are cooked well, but women over react and just quit eggs or eat the stuff with no yolk when the yolk is the most important part for brain development), they say stay out of the sun and use sunscreen, but D vitamin is critical for cell differentiation in the body and particularly in the brain, sunlight may also do something with sulfur important for health, and they have been telling everyone not to put table salt on anything, though Americans have been getting their iodine from iodized salt for generations. I never said anything about restricting pregnancy. What is more fundamentally human than being able to have a family? I suspect you are referring to my complaint that some women are still smoking, drinking, and doing drugs while pregnant. And, yes, I would not permit that unborn child abuse. I am not saying prison, but some facility that will not permit those substances, and will give them as ideal as we can, best nutrition, and vitamin injections or whatever is necessary to get levels up to what they should be. Yes, that is heavy handed, but you have to consider the child. They have a whole life in front of them. In the 1970’s median iodine level was literally more than double what it is today. Nobody had even heard of Himalayan salt, or were concerned with putting table salt on their food. That pink Himalayan salt is a complete fraud. They have been scolded by the FDA repeatedly for false claims. It is not even from the Himalayas. It is from Pakistan, has no iodine and is tainted with lead. No foods with lead should be sold in the U.S. There was never any legislation about iodized salt. It was just done by a forward looking salt company…something to differentiate their product. Single-handedly they raised IQs almost a full standard deviation in the Midwest. We need to mandate that iodine be put in all salt us

    Reply
  59. Yep. Careful wording can prevent a lot of problems. If you make the elderly stronger and healthier, and if that makes them live some years more, well, that’s a fortunate side effect.

    Reply
  60. I liked it when he said, “That’s another reason to do aging reversal rather than longevity. It’s hard to get FDA approval, even for a veterinary drug, because if you say it’s going to extend the dog’s life by 10 years, that’s a 10-year clinical trial. Whereas if you say, “In five weeks, it’s going to make them stronger and more resistant to injury,” then that’s a five-week experiment.

    Reply
  61. We don’t need to know the exact mechanism, just like scientists don’t know the reasoning behind Alphago’s moves, they only know that Alphago can beat the best of the best thus that is evidence that Alphago works. So we already have evidence that it works, we may not understand why gene number #423792 combined with gene #5834905 increased IQ by .2 points, but we don’t understand why alphago makes the moves it makes either. But no one is denying that alphago will probably beat the crap out of anybody who challenges it despite not understanding the thought process or mechanisms behind each move. The bottomline is we have identified numerous genes and genetic patterns linked to intelligence, and have tested it and found that we were able to accurately predict IQ from looking at genes We can start boosting IQ now, we don’t need to understand the nature of intelligence or understanding how each gene interacts with each other genes. Likewise if a bunch of aliens challenge us to a game of go, we are probably better off sending alphago rather than the best human player.

    Reply
  62. Except we identify genetic markers for intelligence through massive gene banks and massive samples that we feed into basically supercomputers that run neural networks and big data algos. The computer is able to spot and identify genes linked to intelligence thru this method. Its not looking at one genome, but the genomes of hundreds of thousands of people and finding patterns between different genes ans genes combinations linked to IQ increases. And then is able to predict the IQ of future people accurately. This is thus strong evidence that it works. If the computer is able to determine a individuals IQ score simply by looking at the DNA, and then the individual later takes the IQ test and gets a similar score. This means it works. We don’t need to know the exact mechanism, just like scientists don’t know the reasoning behind Alphago’s moves, they only know that Alphago can beat the best of the best thus that is evidence that Alphago works. So we already have evidence that it works, we may not understand why gene number #423792 combined with gene #5834905 increased IQ by .2 points, but we don’t understand why alphago makes the moves it makes either. But no one is denying that alphago will probably beat the crap out of anybody who challenges it despite not understanding the thought process or mechanisms behind each move. The bottomline is we have identified numerous genes and genetic patterns linked to intelligence, and have tested it and found that we were able to accurately predict IQ from looking at genes

    Reply
  63. Nonsense. That is just what happens to computer programs when many of the genuinely important factors are unavailable or ignored and the number of samples is just too small (even though it sounds big). You get lots of hits just by chance each saying it makes a small difference.A single gene or just a handful of genes can make large differences.They did one of those massive studies on height. They completely missed one far larger than any they found that other scientists found by chance looking at Inuit nutrition. If they missed that there are probably several other large ones they missed and most of the small ones are probably crap. They need to take blood samples and look at all the antibodies to get a history of all the infections people have ever had and ideally some estimate of when. They need diet surveys nutrient levels toxin levels surveys of what sports they have played what injuries they have had how much sleep they get what climate they live in what emotional trauma they have endured… And even with all that I have my doubts it would be enough.You have to ask yourself What would the computer output look like if it really could not find anything?”” It would look just like what you got. A bunch of statistically dubious small associations.Just because it can’t find anything”””” does not mean it is not there.”””

    Reply
  64. I have very high hopes for artificial wombs. We can control everything to make the most ideal conditions. Perfect nutrition no infections full term no sleep disturbances perfect oxygen levels no toxins minimally traumatic birth and you can even have stimulating sounds and such. And then there is the possibility of correcting all the genetic defects. Just a fantastic scenario.

    Reply
  65. Choline is in lecithin. Lecithin also has most of these other substances I mentioned: Inositol Trimethylglycine Phosphatidylcholine Phosphatidylserine or Phosphatidylethanolamine. Everything but the l-Carnitine. Once we find out what the optimum balance is of all these substances than we can use genetic modification of soy to produce Lecithin with this balance.We can then mandate that it be added in the needed levels to foods which already have emulsifiers put in them. Lecithin is put in chocolate candy cough drops ice cream bread…just a ton of stuff. Chicken feed can be adjusted and possibly chickens modified to produce eggs with this more ideal lecithin and more of it. There are already eggs with DHA. We should make all egg farms produce them with DHA.We need to test the soil at every farm and every crop for lead as well as any imported food. There should be no lead in any of this food. We also need to make major infrastructural changes to reduce brain damage by heat. IQ appears to be effected by climate. The hotter the region the more people are affected. Air conditioning also needs to be more affordable efficient and effective. A recent study showed that students in air conditioned dorms performed much better than those who were in non air conditioned dorms on the same campus. I think epigentic stuff as well as just stifling heat makes brains slow down. I think we should move pregnant women to cooler areas rather than having to endure the heat. Buildings need to be removed that have lead. It should be illegal for people to rent apartments with lead paint to anyone under 50 and no children.With the knowledge in hand about optimal nutrition we can educate doctors and insist that they give pregnant women booklets and such with the information. I think women are eager to do the best job they can in general. If they had the information they could.The government could also endorse products which have important nutrient

    Reply
  66. Most people want to do a good job during pregnancy. The FDA has given bad advise: no fish no eggs (really they say make sure they are cooked well but women over react and just quit eggs or eat the stuff with no yolk when the yolk is the most important part for brain development) they say stay out of the sun and use sunscreen but D vitamin is critical for cell differentiation in the body and particularly in the brain sunlight may also do something with sulfur important for health and they have been telling everyone not to put table salt on anything though Americans have been getting their iodine from iodized salt for generations.I never said anything about restricting pregnancy. What is more fundamentally human than being able to have a family? I suspect you are referring to my complaint that some women are still smoking drinking and doing drugs while pregnant. And yes I would not permit that unborn child abuse. I am not saying prison but some facility that will not permit those substances and will give them as ideal as we can best nutrition and vitamin injections or whatever is necessary to get levels up to what they should be. Yes that is heavy handed but you have to consider the child. They have a whole life in front of them. In the 1970’s median iodine level was literally more than double what it is today. Nobody had even heard of Himalayan salt or were concerned with putting table salt on their food. That pink Himalayan salt is a complete fraud. They have been scolded by the FDA repeatedly for false claims. It is not even from the Himalayas. It is from Pakistan has no iodine and is tainted with lead. No foods with lead should be sold in the U.S. There was never any legislation about iodized salt. It was just done by a forward looking salt company…something to differentiate their product. Single-handedly they raised IQs almost a full standard deviation in the Midwest. We need to mandate that iodine be put in all salt used in the man

    Reply
  67. Yep. Careful wording can prevent a lot of problems.If you make the elderly stronger and healthier and if that makes them live some years more well that’s a fortunate side effect.

    Reply
  68. I liked it when he said That’s another reason to do aging reversal rather than longevity. It’s hard to get FDA approval” even for a veterinary drug because if you say it’s going to extend the dog’s life by 10 years that’s a 10-year clinical trial. Whereas if you say” “”In five weeks”” it’s going to make them stronger and more resistant to injury”””””” then that’s a five-week experiment.”””””””

    Reply
  69. We don’t need to know the exact mechanism just like scientists don’t know the reasoning behind Alphago’s moves they only know that Alphago can beat the best of the best thus that is evidence that Alphago works. So we already have evidence that it works we may not understand why gene number #423792 combined with gene #5834905 increased IQ by .2 points but we don’t understand why alphago makes the moves it makes either. But no one is denying that alphago will probably beat the crap out of anybody who challenges it despite not understanding the thought process or mechanisms behind each move. The bottomline is we have identified numerous genes and genetic patterns linked to intelligence and have tested it and found that we were able to accurately predict IQ from looking at genes We can start boosting IQ now we don’t need to understand the nature of intelligence or understanding how each gene interacts with each other genes.Likewise if a bunch of aliens challenge us to a game of go we are probably better off sending alphago rather than the best human player.

    Reply
  70. We don’t need to know the exact mechanism, just like scientists don’t know the reasoning behind Alphago’s moves, they only know that Alphago can beat the best of the best thus that is evidence that Alphago works. ” I beg to differ. If we don’t really understand what’s going on, it will be very easy for us to make modifications that result in, say, higher IQ, but increase the odds of OCD, or cancer, or heart disease, or sterility, etc, etc. And this will be done first on unborn children, who cannot give consent nor, in many cases, undo the effects later in life.

    Reply
  71. Artificial selection involves intelligent guidance, natural selection does not. There’s a world of difference. And note that even artificial selection runs in to limits: With a lot of intelligent effort, we can breed all kinds of dogs from wolf stock. But we cannot change a wolf into any kind of feline. By the way, since geneticists now realize that deleterious mutations, most of them subtle, are vastly more common than beneficial ones, Because most of them are not immediately selected against, they accumulate over time and reduce overall fitness, not increase it. Fisher was mistaken in his fundamental theory of evolution, precisely because he assumed good and bad mutations were a 50/50 deal. They aren’t remotely.

    Reply
  72. Politicians often uses science as an excuse to justify doing what they want to do. Anyone can tell you that a crippled person is not likely to have a crippled child, yet they killed the cripples. The Eugenics that was applied was just bigotry, there was no real science. There was no genuine attempt to track down an inability or poor ability to the real cause in each case, they just inhumanly killed people. Also eugenics dooms an entire organism for one bad gene. True, nature does too sometimes, but now we can go after the suspect gene without harming the organism. We can heal the patient rather than throwing them under the bus. In California when they sterilized the insane, they only sterilized the women. They could have just as easily sterilized the men, easier actually. But it was men ordering the procedures, so there you go. Even now, most people assume mental illness is genetic. If you do some research there are some strong correlations with various infections. These human brains are often loaded with viruses and other pathogens. And it is not just mental illnesses. There are associations with many chronic diseases…some very compelling. There is much less money in cures than in treatments that make money until the patient dies 20+ years later. There are very few researchers looking into this stuff. Can you loose IQ points from an infection? Absolutely. Just about any “vertically transmitted infection” can do damage to a developing brain. Having a high temperature due to an infection can cause brain damage quite easily. Encephalitis and meningitis can be caused by several different viruses and cause any amount of damage. And there are may other ways viruses can cause damage in the brain. Google PMC2782954 Confusing Eugenics for genetic surgery is confusing a weather balloon for a rocket. And while genetic surgery has great prospects, don’t expect it to cure everything. Those pathogens, poisons and other toxins, inadequate nutrition,

    Reply
  73. I agree there are interactions, though I don’t think it is as complicated as you seem to think. If it was really that complicated natural selection would be hopeless. But we know it is not because artificial selection has been successful for millennia when applied to animals and plants. I think IQ tests are the wrong place to go to try to look for intelligence. What you need are detailed MRIs and reaction time/processing time of various stimuli with fMRI. As well as the blood sugar level at that time, a few more relevant nutrient levels, caffeine, nicotine, other stimulants, time of day, and recent sleep patterns. We need to connect the genes to differences in the physical anatomy. I think that is our best bet given that so many other things go into intelligence that can’t be quantified. We need to identify extreme outliers for hundreds of little abilities, and make lots of good scans. They scanned some of those people who remember every day of their lives and they expected to find nothing. But there were clear differences. “All had variations in nine structures of their brains compared to those of control subjects, including more robust white matter linking the middle and front parts. Most of the differences were in areas known to be linked to autobiographical memory” And those people that memorize pi to 10,000 places and such have an entirely different kind of memory advantage. Identify the genes for each crazy ability individually. And there are other distinct types of memory. Chimps even soundly beat humans on one. There may not be enough people with a particular crazy ability but if you find the parts of the brain that are different then you can find a few thousand people with near identical brain topography and correlate that with the genes. Other people may not have the full package but you can deduce what genes are responsible. Those superior autobiographical memory folks had 9 parts of the brain that were different. Track down genes t

    Reply
  74. We don’t need to know the exact mechanism just like scientists don’t know the reasoning behind Alphago’s moves” they only know that Alphago can beat the best of the best thus that is evidence that Alphago works. “”I beg to differ. If we don’t really understand what’s going on”” it will be very easy for us to make modifications that result in say higher IQ but increase the odds of OCD or cancer or heart disease or sterility etc etc. And this will be done first on unborn children who cannot give consent nor in many cases”” undo the effects later in life.”””

    Reply
  75. Artificial selection involves intelligent guidance natural selection does not. There’s a world of difference.And note that even artificial selection runs in to limits: With a lot of intelligent effort we can breed all kinds of dogs from wolf stock. But we cannot change a wolf into any kind of feline.By the way since geneticists now realize that deleterious mutations most of them subtle are vastly more common than beneficial ones Because most of them are not immediately selected against they accumulate over time and reduce overall fitness not increase it.Fisher was mistaken in his fundamental theory of evolution precisely because he assumed good and bad mutations were a 50/50 deal. They aren’t remotely.

    Reply
  76. Politicians often uses science as an excuse to justify doing what they want to do. Anyone can tell you that a crippled person is not likely to have a crippled child yet they killed the cripples. The Eugenics that was applied was just bigotry there was no real science. There was no genuine attempt to track down an inability or poor ability to the real cause in each case they just inhumanly killed people.Also eugenics dooms an entire organism for one bad gene. True nature does too sometimes but now we can go after the suspect gene without harming the organism. We can heal the patient rather than throwing them under the bus.In California when they sterilized the insane they only sterilized the women. They could have just as easily sterilized the men easier actually. But it was men ordering the procedures so there you go. Even now most people assume mental illness is genetic. If you do some research there are some strong correlations with various infections.These human brains are often loaded with viruses and other pathogens. And it is not just mental illnesses. There are associations with many chronic diseases…some very compelling. There is much less money in cures than in treatments that make money until the patient dies 20+ years later. There are very few researchers looking into this stuff. Can you loose IQ points from an infection? Absolutely. Just about any vertically transmitted infection”” can do damage to a developing brain. Having a high temperature due to an infection can cause brain damage quite easily. Encephalitis and meningitis can be caused by several different viruses and cause any amount of damage. And there are may other ways viruses can cause damage in the brain. Google PMC2782954 Confusing Eugenics for genetic surgery is confusing a weather balloon for a rocket.And while genetic surgery has great prospects”” don’t expect it to cure everything. Those pathogens poisons and other toxins inadequate nutrit”

    Reply
  77. I agree there are interactions though I don’t think it is as complicated as you seem to think. If it was really that complicated natural selection would be hopeless. But we know it is not because artificial selection has been successful for millennia when applied to animals and plants. I think IQ tests are the wrong place to go to try to look for intelligence. What you need are detailed MRIs and reaction time/processing time of various stimuli with fMRI. As well as the blood sugar level at that time a few more relevant nutrient levels caffeine nicotine other stimulants time of day and recent sleep patterns. We need to connect the genes to differences in the physical anatomy. I think that is our best bet given that so many other things go into intelligence that can’t be quantified.We need to identify extreme outliers for hundreds of little abilities and make lots of good scans. They scanned some of those people who remember every day of their lives and they expected to find nothing. But there were clear differences. All had variations in nine structures of their brains compared to those of control subjects”” including more robust white matter linking the middle and front parts. Most of the differences were in areas known to be linked to autobiographical memory”” And those people that memorize pi to 10″”””000 places and such have an entirely different kind of memory advantage. Identify the genes for each crazy ability individually.And there are other distinct types of memory. Chimps even soundly beat humans on one.There may not be enough people with a particular crazy ability but if you find the parts of the brain that are different then you can find a few thousand people with near identical brain topography and correlate that with the genes. Other people may not have the full package but you can deduce what genes are responsible. Those superior autobiographical memory folks had 9 parts of the brain that were different. Track do”

    Reply
  78. You do know that average does not mean that everyone has the same IQ. And have you ever been to some of those shitholes countries. Some of them are Fing beautiful.

    Reply
  79. Today we have 7 billion different genotype. What I see is a very small list of perfect genotype advertizing on TV. Every parent will want their child to be perfect. And that will be the end of diversity. By the way there less than a few hundred different types of cars and computer. That’s not enough diversity for us.

    Reply
  80. Transhumanism narrow minded? That is like saying Leonardo da Vinci was a moron. You will have to make your case. Transhumanism is about being able to be a sort of chameleon or shape shifter, if you want: changing gender, appearance, whatever, having abilities of all sorts, often bionic, being able to travel anywhere, freedom from work, living indefinitely… I have some issues with it. It does not value families, commitments, struggling. We are often at our best struggling trying 10,000 ideas to resolve a problem, and such. You never know what you can do unless you are motivated and push yourself. It also has no nurturing element. It is a quitter, seeking the latest thing often some drug induced buzz. It is selfish, hedonistic and lazy. On the other hand, it is not irrationally nostalgic, conformist, hateful, or condemning (mostly); and would seek to minimize suffering. And it is clearly imaginative, liberating, and most of all optimistic about the future. That is what is really missing in so much of what we see depicting the future. I contend optimism is the objective rational position. People do not fully recognize the suffering of the past. They twist it into something romantic…but the reality was crap. We are better off in a thousand ways today. A lot of the noncoding DNA is junk. 45% is currently indisputably junk, because it is recognized as endogenous retrovirus sequences, DNA transposons and retrotransposons. Much of it is from viruses. They insert their sequence into the DNA to replicate. When it is active and gets in the germ line the progeny will be less fit and that genetic material will not persist in the gene pool. But if it was broken when inserted or became broken before eliminated from the gene pool, then it will remain. 8% is this type. About half of the time a virus will insert its code backward. That is automatically nonfunctional. About 40% of our DNA is that backward virus inserted crud. It confers no unfitness as it

    Reply
  81. Not badly done. Well done genetics will have bad results. Everybody is blonde, blue eyed, 6’5″, smart as hell, handsome, and athletic. There will be a limited number of those perfect genotype. Everybody will want to look like that. Then a bad flu happens and we sadly discover that none of our perfect genotype has any immunity to it. And we are extinct. Ta-da.

    Reply
  82. Von Neumann was a mathematician who played a major part in developing early computers. Unless you are thinking of the millions who had their lives destroyed by Twitter and Facebook. Alternative explanation you think that fighting against fascism in WWII is “murdering innocent people”, but that is even more ridiculous.

    Reply
  83. You do know that average does not mean that everyone has the same IQ. And have you ever been to some of those shitholes countries. Some of them are Fing beautiful.

    Reply
  84. Today we have 7 billion different genotype. What I see is a very small list of perfect genotype advertizing on TV. Every parent will want their child to be perfect. And that will be the end of diversity. By the way there less than a few hundred different types of cars and computer. That’s not enough diversity for us.

    Reply
  85. Transhumanism narrow minded? That is like saying Leonardo da Vinci was a moron. You will have to make your case. Transhumanism is about being able to be a sort of chameleon or shape shifter if you want: changing gender appearance whatever having abilities of all sorts often bionic being able to travel anywhere freedom from work living indefinitely… I have some issues with it. It does not value families commitments struggling. We are often at our best struggling trying 10000 ideas to resolve a problem and such. You never know what you can do unless you are motivated and push yourself. It also has no nurturing element. It is a quitter seeking the latest thing often some drug induced buzz. It is selfish hedonistic and lazy. On the other hand it is not irrationally nostalgic conformist hateful or condemning (mostly); and would seek to minimize suffering. And it is clearly imaginative liberating and most of all optimistic about the future. That is what is really missing in so much of what we see depicting the future. I contend optimism is the objective rational position. People do not fully recognize the suffering of the past. They twist it into something romantic…but the reality was crap. We are better off in a thousand ways today.A lot of the noncoding DNA is junk. 45{22800fc54956079738b58e74e4dcd846757aa319aad70fcf90c97a58f3119a12} is currently indisputably junk because it is recognized as endogenous retrovirus sequences DNA transposons and retrotransposons. Much of it is from viruses. They insert their sequence into the DNA to replicate. When it is active and gets in the germ line the progeny will be less fit and that genetic material will not persist in the gene pool. But if it was broken when inserted or became broken before eliminated from the gene pool then it will remain. 8{22800fc54956079738b58e74e4dcd846757aa319aad70fcf90c97a58f3119a12} is this type. About half of the time a virus will insert its code backward. That is autom

    Reply
  86. Not badly done. Well done genetics will have bad results. Everybody is blonde blue eyed 6’5″ smart as hell handsome”” and athletic. There will be a limited number of those perfect genotype. Everybody will want to look like that. Then a bad flu happens and we sadly discover that none of our perfect genotype has any immunity to it. And we are extinct. Ta-da.”””

    Reply
  87. Von Neumann was a mathematician who played a major part in developing early computers. Unless you are thinking of the millions who had their lives destroyed by Twitter and Facebook.Alternative explanation you think that fighting against fascism in WWII is murdering innocent people”””” but that is even more ridiculous.”””

    Reply
  88. Only for a mass murderer is ridiculous not to consider the lives of the hndreds of thousands who perished in Hiroshima and Ngasaki, it would be less bad to enjoy the Twin Towers collapse as there the human cost has been much lower

    Reply
  89. You really have no clue dude. He mastered the atom bomb that murdered hundreds of thousands of innocents in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. he even took time to make the bomb even more deadly (was it really needed?) to kill thousands more May he and all the people supporting this monster fry in Hell for a long time

    Reply
  90. But we cannot change a wolf into any kind of feline.” You could. It would just take a very, very long time. You can only do artificial selection as fast as the mutations crop up, once you’ve exhausted the potential of existing genetic diversity. Given enough time, possibly hundreds of millions of years, you could accomplish it. But the point is sound: Genetic engineering isn’t so limited. It can accomplish in a generation things that would take billions of years via selection from spontaneous mutations. I’ve compared it to the difference between relying on continental drift to get someplace, vs getting in your car and driving there. But it does kind or rely on understanding what you’re doing, rather than just being able to recognize when you’ve made a little bit of progress. That’s why I think engineering significantly greater intelligence is going to require understanding intelligence. You could make a great deal of progress without understanding intelligence, by just spreading around the genes of particularly intelligent people, “Repository for Germinal Choice” style, but the speed with which you can do this is limited by the fact that *people want to perpetuate their own genes*. And this approach requires replacing half the genes at one go, including the ones responsible for appearance. Genetic engineering has the potential to replace just genes responsible for desired traits, while leaving the offspring looking like the parents. Much more socially acceptable, and preserves more genetic diversity on unrelated traits.

    Reply
  91. As a transhumanist, it seems to me that neither of you really understands what transhumanism is about. But then again, there are probably as many interpretations of transhumanism as there are transhumanists. In my own understanding, it’s fundamentally about transcending the limits of humanity, both natural and artificial ones. We (or perhaps I should say *I*) fundamentally reject those limits and refuse to be bound by them. That includes, at least for me, also the rejection of certain cultural limits: frames and boundaries of thought like what it means to be “normal” or even “human”. I personally view “being human” as merely a starting point to improve and expand upon, rather than some “pinnacle of creation” or some ideal to aspire to. Transhumanism is about expanding our horizons, our options, our thinking, our capabilities – sometimes as individuals, sometimes collectively (as a species, as a movement, as a community, etc), sometimes both. How is that narrow-minded or lazy, is beyond me. On the contrary, it is our limits that constrain us, both in our actions and in our thought. Transhumanists seek to break through those limits. Changing appearance etc is just one manifestation. It is far broader than that. As for valuing (or not) families and communities – that has nothing to do with it at all. There are transhumanists that value families and communities, and those who don’t. There are also non-transhumanists that value families and communities, and those who don’t. Struggling, pushing oneself? I’d say transhumanism is exactly about that – to keep improving ourselves, pushing our limits, expanding them; and when those limits are expanded, keep pushing further. We (I?) do not seek comfort; we seek new possibilities. As for evolution, the problem with it is that its natural variant is agonizingly slow, and vexingly random. We (I?) want to take the reigns of our own evolution, accelerate it, shape it, and then go beyond it. We want to define our own future.

    Reply
  92. Keep in mind that external appearance, intelligence, and disease resistance are largely orthogonal on a genetic level (though some of the genes may indeed be interrelated). Increasing one doesn’t usually lower the other (one major exception is intelligence and mental illness). Also, higher intelligence often (usually?) leads to more informed behavior, more forethought, and better practices. Those in turn reduce the risk of infections and injuries.

    Reply
  93. Those are good points, but nevertheless every person decorates their bodies (clothes, haircut, etc) and apartments differently. There are some trends and similarities in certain groups, but even then there’s variation on the individual level. It’s rare to see two apartments that look exactly the same, or two people styled exactly the same (same clothes, same haircut, same accessories, and so on). The perception of “perfect” also varies a little between different cultures, and not everyone subscribes to ideals that the media advertises. Most functioning adults are capable of criticizing media and thinking for themselves (though not everyone bothers). Honestly, cars and computers weren’t good examples, because for most people they serve a purely functional purpose. They’re also much more susceptible to the uniformity of mass manufacturing. (Btw, what’s being advertised are *pheno*types, which are not the same as genotypes. There are fewer phenotypes than genotypes in the population. That’s why there are doppelgangers.)

    Reply
  94. People will sell what people will buy. Very few people think about the future and the full consequences of their actions. Wait a second while I take a puff from my cigarette. Some smart people like me will warn people, but we will be ignored in the rush for that perfect body and that perfect smile. I mean who wants to be ugly when you can be beautiful.

    Reply
  95. So the future will consist of brilliant people who can tailor human genes, but can’t foresee obvious risks that are clear to us primitives after a few minutes thought?

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  96. Only for a mass murderer is ridiculous not to consider the lives of the hndreds of thousands who perished in Hiroshima and Ngasaki it would be less bad to enjoy the Twin Towers collapse as there the human cost has been much lower

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  97. You really have no clue dude. He mastered the atom bomb that murdered hundreds of thousands of innocents in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. he even took time to make the bomb even more deadly (was it really needed?) to kill thousands more May he and all the people supporting this monster fry in Hell for a long time

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  98. But we cannot change a wolf into any kind of feline.””You could. It would just take a very”” very long time. You can only do artificial selection as fast as the mutations crop up once you’ve exhausted the potential of existing genetic diversity. Given enough time possibly hundreds of millions of years you could accomplish it. But the point is sound: Genetic engineering isn’t so limited. It can accomplish in a generation things that would take billions of years via selection from spontaneous mutations. I’ve compared it to the difference between relying on continental drift to get someplace vs getting in your car and driving there.But it does kind or rely on understanding what you’re doing rather than just being able to recognize when you’ve made a little bit of progress. That’s why I think engineering significantly greater intelligence is going to require understanding intelligence.You could make a great deal of progress without understanding intelligence by just spreading around the genes of particularly intelligent people”” “”””Repository for Germinal Choice”””” style”” but the speed with which you can do this is limited by the fact that *people want to perpetuate their own genes*. And this approach requires replacing half the genes at one go including the ones responsible for appearance.Genetic engineering has the potential to replace just genes responsible for desired traits while leaving the offspring looking like the parents. Much more socially acceptable”” and preserves more genetic diversity on unrelated traits.”””

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  99. As a transhumanist it seems to me that neither of you really understands what transhumanism is about. But then again there are probably as many interpretations of transhumanism as there are transhumanists.In my own understanding it’s fundamentally about transcending the limits of humanity both natural and artificial ones. We (or perhaps I should say *I*) fundamentally reject those limits and refuse to be bound by them. That includes at least for me also the rejection of certain cultural limits: frames and boundaries of thought like what it means to be ormal”” or even “”””human””””. I personally view “”””being human”””” as merely a starting point to improve and expand upon”””” rather than some “”””pinnacle of creation”””” or some ideal to aspire to.Transhumanism is about expanding our horizons”” our options our thinking our capabilities – sometimes as individuals sometimes collectively (as a species as a movement as a community etc) sometimes both. How is that narrow-minded or lazy is beyond me. On the contrary it is our limits that constrain us both in our actions and in our thought. Transhumanists seek to break through those limits.Changing appearance etc is just one manifestation. It is far broader than that. As for valuing (or not) families and communities – that has nothing to do with it at all. There are transhumanists that value families and communities and those who don’t. There are also non-transhumanists that value families and communities and those who don’t.Struggling pushing oneself? I’d say transhumanism is exactly about that – to keep improving ourselves pushing our limits expanding them; and when those limits are expanded keep pushing further. We (I?) do not seek comfort; we seek new possibilities.As for evolution the problem with it is that its natural variant is agonizingly slow and vexingly random. We (I?) want to take the reigns of our own evolution accelerate it shape it”” and then go beyond it. We want to define our own future.”

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  100. Keep in mind that external appearance intelligence and disease resistance are largely orthogonal on a genetic level (though some of the genes may indeed be interrelated). Increasing one doesn’t usually lower the other (one major exception is intelligence and mental illness). Also higher intelligence often (usually?) leads to more informed behavior more forethought and better practices. Those in turn reduce the risk of infections and injuries.

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  101. Those are good points but nevertheless every person decorates their bodies (clothes haircut etc) and apartments differently. There are some trends and similarities in certain groups but even then there’s variation on the individual level. It’s rare to see two apartments that look exactly the same or two people styled exactly the same (same clothes same haircut same accessories and so on).The perception of perfect”” also varies a little between different cultures”” and not everyone subscribes to ideals that the media advertises. Most functioning adults are capable of criticizing media and thinking for themselves (though not everyone bothers).Honestly cars and computers weren’t good examples because for most people they serve a purely functional purpose. They’re also much more susceptible to the uniformity of mass manufacturing.(Btw what’s being advertised are *pheno*types”” which are not the same as genotypes. There are fewer phenotypes than genotypes in the population. That’s why there are doppelgangers.)”””

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  102. People will sell what people will buy. Very few people think about the future and the full consequences of their actions. Wait a second while I take a puff from my cigarette. Some smart people like me will warn people but we will be ignored in the rush for that perfect body and that perfect smile. I mean who wants to be ugly when you can be beautiful.

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  103. So the future will consist of brilliant people who can tailor human genes but can’t foresee obvious risks that are clear to us primitives after a few minutes thought?

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  104. Don’t really know of too many diseases that target people based on hair color, eye color, skin color, height, intelligence, or athletic ability. Given the amount of hair dye sold on this planet, I full expect that some day at least half of the gene modified of nearly every race and ethnicity will have blonde hair (you just don’t find many brunettes with blonde roots). I doubt that this, by itself, will make them all vulnerable to some terrible plague. As for intelligence, that seems to have more to do with aptitudes (areas of performance where a person is talented AND motivated). There are at least 17 of these and possibly many more. Many people designated as “smart” tend to have a lot of these. Trouble is it spreads them all over the place and they don’t get that much achieved in any one of them (although they might do great on Jeopardy). When I was briefly forced to join MENSA, I saw a lot of these folks, good people, interesting conversationalists, but they tended to be rather average (or even on the low side) so far as personal income from their jobs went. This is one of the major reasons college recruiters are now looking for what they call “angular” candidates, rather than well-rounded ones. Successful people tend to have only a few aptitudes, but go extremely deep into a small number of them, possibly even just one. Hence we get stereotypes, like the socially inept computer nerd, or the absent-minded professor. While it helps to be smart (if you don’t split yourself too many ways) it isn’t necessary to be too terribly smart if you are sufficiently focused on one (or a very few) aptitudes. That, by the way, is at least one answer to: “If you are so smart, what aren’t you rich?” This also makes it possible to be a freaking genius in one area, and an idiot in another. If this is you, and you draw the right lesson from it, it should teach a little humility, but that’s often in short supply regardless of an individual’s actual capabilities. I know damn well I

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  105. The point was that the average fruit picker in Japan is 105 IQ while the average fruit picker in a 3rd world shithole is sub 80, 25 IQ points difference yet Japan has no issue with fruit picking Smart people do everything better and many will be willing to pick fruit

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  106. Don’t really know of too many diseases that target people based on hair color eye color skin color height intelligence or athletic ability.Given the amount of hair dye sold on this planet I full expect that some day at least half of the gene modified of nearly every race and ethnicity will have blonde hair (you just don’t find many brunettes with blonde roots). I doubt that this by itself will make them all vulnerable to some terrible plague.As for intelligence that seems to have more to do with aptitudes (areas of performance where a person is talented AND motivated). There are at least 17 of these and possibly many more. Many people designated as smart”” tend to have a lot of these. Trouble is it spreads them all over the place and they don’t get that much achieved in any one of them (although they might do great on Jeopardy). When I was briefly forced to join MENSA”” I saw a lot of these folks good people interesting conversationalists”” but they tended to be rather average (or even on the low side) so far as personal income from their jobs went. This is one of the major reasons college recruiters are now looking for what they call “”””angular”””” candidates”” rather than well-rounded ones.Successful people tend to have only a few aptitudes but go extremely deep into a small number of them possibly even just one. Hence we get stereotypes like the socially inept computer nerd or the absent-minded professor. While it helps to be smart (if you don’t split yourself too many ways) it isn’t necessary to be too terribly smart if you are sufficiently focused on one (or a very few) aptitudes. That by the way”” is at least one answer to: “”””If you are so smart”””” what aren’t you rich?””””This also makes it possible to be a freaking genius in one area”” and an idiot in another. If this is you and you draw the right lesson from it it should teach a little humility but that’s often in short supply regardless of an individual’s actual capabilities.I know”

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  107. The point was that the average fruit picker in Japan is 105 IQ while the average fruit picker in a 3rd world shithole is sub 80 25 IQ points difference yet Japan has no issue with fruit pickingSmart people do everything better and many will be willing to pick fruit

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  108. Artificial selection involves intelligent guidance, natural selection does not. There’s a world of difference. ” The difference is not relevant to my point. And artificial selection is closer to what we are likely to be doing in the near future. If it was the case that most genes that produce a particular effect also interfere with the rest that also contribute to the same effect, selection could go nowhere. It is certainly no new thought that the vast vast majority of mutations are harmful. I think it is even understated. Nature can easily break genes. Making better functional versions is exceedingly improbable. Most of the time it does, it is just adding an additional copy to produce more or is tweaking some regulator. Producing an improvement in the gene itself is rare. The most likely achievement of a better gene is via another species often through an intermediary like bacteria or a virus. The bacteria or virus could also be the organism that improves the gene before it passes it on to a complex organism.

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  109. They are not against family? I have read books. They are. They are not against the existence of children, but they are against marriage and any sort of permanent relationship. And they are against any AUTHORITY position such as what a parent is in current human culture. I never said they were against community. I said “commitments”. I am sorry, but it is not “struggling” to just get drugs, surgery, nanobotic adjustment, or being uploaded. Wanting very hard, and making an appointment to have something altered is not “struggling”. There is no work involved. And it is a quest for being, not doing. A quest to “be” is selfish and hollow. A quest to “do”…to achieve…that is something. The quest for ability, with no ambition to do anything with it, other than achieve more ability or titillate yourself is irrational. And seeing needs as limitations and removing them also removes the joy and appreciation of others in meeting those needs. Trying to become a god in your own eyes? Just nonsense. Whatever level you achieve, you will only see your own limitations, whatever they are. It is often the limits as much as the possibilities that make excellence achievable. What would chess be without rules? Wood. It is the same with any form of art or sport. Interacting with the limits of the materials and tools, struggling within those bounds is where excellence is found…not in a mirror. Though I am emphasizing the differences here between my position and Transhumanism, I embrace many of the same technologies, and the optimism regarding the future and its possibilities. And what is accepted is far more than is rejected. If all Transhumanists ever did is meet reality with new abilities and struggle in pursuit of the development of space, I would be happy with it, but you have to look where the philosophy actually leads. Uploaded into a digital reality where every whim is realized in a noanosecond. What time is there for reality? Space travel is hard, as

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  110. Artificial selection involves intelligent guidance” natural selection does not. There’s a world of difference. “” The difference is not relevant to my point. And artificial selection is closer to what we are likely to be doing in the near future. If it was the case that most genes that produce a particular effect also interfere with the rest that also contribute to the same effect”” selection could go nowhere. It is certainly no new thought that the vast vast majority of mutations are harmful. I think it is even understated. Nature can easily break genes. Making better functional versions is exceedingly improbable. Most of the time it does”” it is just adding an additional copy to produce more or is tweaking some regulator. Producing an improvement in the gene itself is rare. The most likely achievement of a better gene is via another species often through an intermediary like bacteria or a virus. The bacteria or virus could also be the organism that improves the gene before it passes it on to a complex organism.”””

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  111. They are not against family? I have read books. They are. They are not against the existence of children but they are against marriage and any sort of permanent relationship. And they are against any AUTHORITY position such as what a parent is in current human culture. I never said they were against community. I said commitments””.I am sorry”””” but it is not “”””struggling”””” to just get drugs”” surgery nanobotic adjustment or being uploaded. Wanting very hard”” and making an appointment to have something altered is not “”””struggling””””. There is no work involved. And it is a quest for being”””” not doing. A quest to “”””be”””” is selfish and hollow. A quest to “”””do””””…to achieve…that is something. The quest for ability”” with no ambition to do anything with it other than achieve more ability or titillate yourself is irrational. And seeing needs as limitations and removing them also removes the joy and appreciation of others in meeting those needs.Trying to become a god in your own eyes? Just nonsense. Whatever level you achieve you will only see your own limitations whatever they are.It is often the limits as much as the possibilities that make excellence achievable. What would chess be without rules? Wood. It is the same with any form of art or sport. Interacting with the limits of the materials and tools struggling within those bounds is where excellence is found…not in a mirror.Though I am emphasizing the differences here between my position and Transhumanism I embrace many of the same technologies and the optimism regarding the future and its possibilities. And what is accepted is far more than is rejected.If all Transhumanists ever did is meet reality with new abilities and struggle in pursuit of the development of space I would be happy with it but you have to look where the philosophy actually leads. Uploaded into a digital reality where every whim is realized in a noanosecond. What time is there for reality? Space”

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  112. “Artificial selection involves intelligent guidance, natural selection does not. There’s a world of difference. ” The difference is not relevant to my point. And artificial selection is closer to what we are likely to be doing in the near future. If it was the case that most genes that produce a particular effect also interfere with the rest that also contribute to the same effect, selection could go nowhere. It is certainly no new thought that the vast vast majority of mutations are harmful. I think it is even understated. Nature can easily break genes. Making better functional versions is exceedingly improbable. Most of the time it does, it is just adding an additional copy to produce more or is tweaking some regulator. Producing an improvement in the gene itself is rare. The most likely achievement of a better gene is via another species often through an intermediary like bacteria or a virus. The bacteria or virus could also be the organism that improves the gene before it passes it on to a complex organism.

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  113. They are not against family? I have read books. They are. They are not against the existence of children, but they are against marriage and any sort of permanent relationship. And they are against any AUTHORITY position such as what a parent is in current human culture. I never said they were against community. I said “commitments”.

    I am sorry, but it is not “struggling” to just get drugs, surgery, nanobotic adjustment, or being uploaded. Wanting very hard, and making an appointment to have something altered is not “struggling”. There is no work involved. And it is a quest for being, not doing. A quest to “be” is selfish and hollow. A quest to “do”…to achieve…that is something. The quest for ability, with no ambition to do anything with it, other than achieve more ability or titillate yourself is irrational. And seeing needs as limitations and removing them also removes the joy and appreciation of others in meeting those needs.

    Trying to become a god in your own eyes? Just nonsense. Whatever level you achieve, you will only see your own limitations, whatever they are.

    It is often the limits as much as the possibilities that make excellence achievable. What would chess be without rules? Wood. It is the same with any form of art or sport. Interacting with the limits of the materials and tools, struggling within those bounds is where excellence is found…not in a mirror.

    Though I am emphasizing the differences here between my position and Transhumanism, I embrace many of the same technologies, and the optimism regarding the future and its possibilities. And what is accepted is far more than is rejected.

    If all Transhumanists ever did is meet reality with new abilities and struggle in pursuit of the development of space, I would be happy with it, but you have to look where the philosophy actually leads. Uploaded into a digital reality where every whim is realized in a noanosecond. What time is there for reality? Space travel is hard, as is achieving nearly everything in the real world.

    Is digitized really what we should be going for? Or should we colonize the Galaxy and possibly others? See what reality is…what is out there? I believe we should submit ourselves to be bound by reality, and embrace truth, rather than being deluded in fantasy.

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  114. Don’t really know of too many diseases that target people based on hair color, eye color, skin color, height, intelligence, or athletic ability.

    Given the amount of hair dye sold on this planet, I full expect that some day at least half of the gene modified of nearly every race and ethnicity will have blonde hair (you just don’t find many brunettes with blonde roots). I doubt that this, by itself, will make them all vulnerable to some terrible plague.

    As for intelligence, that seems to have more to do with aptitudes (areas of performance where a person is talented AND motivated). There are at least 17 of these and possibly many more. Many people designated as “smart” tend to have a lot of these. Trouble is it spreads them all over the place and they don’t get that much achieved in any one of them (although they might do great on Jeopardy). When I was briefly forced to join MENSA, I saw a lot of these folks, good people, interesting conversationalists, but they tended to be rather average (or even on the low side) so far as personal income from their jobs went. This is one of the major reasons college recruiters are now looking for what they call “angular” candidates, rather than well-rounded ones.

    Successful people tend to have only a few aptitudes, but go extremely deep into a small number of them, possibly even just one. Hence we get stereotypes, like the socially inept computer nerd, or the absent-minded professor. While it helps to be smart (if you don’t split yourself too many ways) it isn’t necessary to be too terribly smart if you are sufficiently focused on one (or a very few) aptitudes. That, by the way, is at least one answer to: “If you are so smart, what aren’t you rich?”

    This also makes it possible to be a freaking genius in one area, and an idiot in another. If this is you, and you draw the right lesson from it, it should teach a little humility, but that’s often in short supply regardless of an individual’s actual capabilities.

    I know damn well I’m into way too many things. I console myself that I am at least able to focus enough to ensure I have a nice life. I suspect this is important to me primarily because it lets me afford to be into a lot of things. Had a devil of a time teaching this to my kids.

    As a side note, there are some groups considerably more exclusive than MENSA. I joined one for a year and the members there all seemed to be doing okay as well, although there weren’t any you would think of as household names. I would guess that those who would qualify and are also household names, as well as many others, have other things to do than join these kind of groups. One of the more amusing things I discovered was that some think tank type organizations would actually extend blanket invitations to the membership to come participate on their forums for pay, if you can believe that. Not to worry. It wasn’t nearly enough to pay for groceries.

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  115. The point was that the average fruit picker in Japan is 105 IQ while the average fruit picker in a 3rd world shithole is sub 80, 25 IQ points difference yet Japan has no issue with fruit picking

    Smart people do everything better and many will be willing to pick fruit

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  116. Only for a mass murderer is ridiculous not to consider the lives of the hndreds of thousands who perished in Hiroshima and Ngasaki, it would be less bad to enjoy the Twin Towers collapse as there the human cost has been much lower

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  117. You really have no clue dude.
    He mastered the atom bomb that murdered hundreds of thousands of innocents in Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
    he even took time to make the bomb even more deadly (was it really needed?) to kill thousands more
    May he and all the people supporting this monster fry in Hell for a long time

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  118. “But we cannot change a wolf into any kind of feline.”

    You could. It would just take a very, very long time. You can only do artificial selection as fast as the mutations crop up, once you’ve exhausted the potential of existing genetic diversity. Given enough time, possibly hundreds of millions of years, you could accomplish it.

    But the point is sound: Genetic engineering isn’t so limited. It can accomplish in a generation things that would take billions of years via selection from spontaneous mutations. I’ve compared it to the difference between relying on continental drift to get someplace, vs getting in your car and driving there.

    But it does kind or rely on understanding what you’re doing, rather than just being able to recognize when you’ve made a little bit of progress. That’s why I think engineering significantly greater intelligence is going to require understanding intelligence.

    You could make a great deal of progress without understanding intelligence, by just spreading around the genes of particularly intelligent people, “Repository for Germinal Choice” style, but the speed with which you can do this is limited by the fact that *people want to perpetuate their own genes*. And this approach requires replacing half the genes at one go, including the ones responsible for appearance.

    Genetic engineering has the potential to replace just genes responsible for desired traits, while leaving the offspring looking like the parents. Much more socially acceptable, and preserves more genetic diversity on unrelated traits.

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  119. As a transhumanist, it seems to me that neither of you really understands what transhumanism is about. But then again, there are probably as many interpretations of transhumanism as there are transhumanists.

    In my own understanding, it’s fundamentally about transcending the limits of humanity, both natural and artificial ones. We (or perhaps I should say *I*) fundamentally reject those limits and refuse to be bound by them. That includes, at least for me, also the rejection of certain cultural limits: frames and boundaries of thought like what it means to be “normal” or even “human”. I personally view “being human” as merely a starting point to improve and expand upon, rather than some “pinnacle of creation” or some ideal to aspire to.

    Transhumanism is about expanding our horizons, our options, our thinking, our capabilities – sometimes as individuals, sometimes collectively (as a species, as a movement, as a community, etc), sometimes both. How is that narrow-minded or lazy, is beyond me. On the contrary, it is our limits that constrain us, both in our actions and in our thought. Transhumanists seek to break through those limits.

    Changing appearance etc is just one manifestation. It is far broader than that. As for valuing (or not) families and communities – that has nothing to do with it at all. There are transhumanists that value families and communities, and those who don’t. There are also non-transhumanists that value families and communities, and those who don’t.

    Struggling, pushing oneself? I’d say transhumanism is exactly about that – to keep improving ourselves, pushing our limits, expanding them; and when those limits are expanded, keep pushing further. We (I?) do not seek comfort; we seek new possibilities.

    As for evolution, the problem with it is that its natural variant is agonizingly slow, and vexingly random. We (I?) want to take the reigns of our own evolution, accelerate it, shape it, and then go beyond it. We want to define our own future.

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  120. Keep in mind that external appearance, intelligence, and disease resistance are largely orthogonal on a genetic level (though some of the genes may indeed be interrelated). Increasing one doesn’t usually lower the other (one major exception is intelligence and mental illness). Also, higher intelligence often (usually?) leads to more informed behavior, more forethought, and better practices. Those in turn reduce the risk of infections and injuries.

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  121. Those are good points, but nevertheless every person decorates their bodies (clothes, haircut, etc) and apartments differently. There are some trends and similarities in certain groups, but even then there’s variation on the individual level. It’s rare to see two apartments that look exactly the same, or two people styled exactly the same (same clothes, same haircut, same accessories, and so on).

    The perception of “perfect” also varies a little between different cultures, and not everyone subscribes to ideals that the media advertises. Most functioning adults are capable of criticizing media and thinking for themselves (though not everyone bothers).

    Honestly, cars and computers weren’t good examples, because for most people they serve a purely functional purpose. They’re also much more susceptible to the uniformity of mass manufacturing.

    (Btw, what’s being advertised are *pheno*types, which are not the same as genotypes. There are fewer phenotypes than genotypes in the population. That’s why there are doppelgangers.)

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  122. People will sell what people will buy. Very few people think about the future and the full consequences of their actions. Wait a second while I take a puff from my cigarette.

    Some smart people like me will warn people, but we will be ignored in the rush for that perfect body and that perfect smile. I mean who wants to be ugly when you can be beautiful.

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  123. So the future will consist of brilliant people who can tailor human genes, but can’t foresee obvious risks that are clear to us primitives after a few minutes thought?

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  124. Today we have 7 billion different genotype. What I see is a very small list of perfect genotype advertizing on TV. Every parent will want their child to be perfect. And that will be the end of diversity. By the way there less than a few hundred different types of cars and computer. That’s not enough diversity for us.

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  125. Transhumanism narrow minded? That is like saying Leonardo da Vinci was a moron. You will have to make your case.

    Transhumanism is about being able to be a sort of chameleon or shape shifter, if you want: changing gender, appearance, whatever, having abilities of all sorts, often bionic, being able to travel anywhere, freedom from work, living indefinitely…

    I have some issues with it. It does not value families, commitments, struggling. We are often at our best struggling trying 10,000 ideas to resolve a problem, and such. You never know what you can do unless you are motivated and push yourself. It also has no nurturing element. It is a quitter, seeking the latest thing often some drug induced buzz. It is selfish, hedonistic and lazy. On the other hand, it is not irrationally nostalgic, conformist, hateful, or condemning (mostly); and would seek to minimize suffering. And it is clearly imaginative, liberating, and most of all optimistic about the future. That is what is really missing in so much of what we see depicting the future. I contend optimism is the objective rational position. People do not fully recognize the suffering of the past. They twist it into something romantic…but the reality was crap. We are better off in a thousand ways today.

    A lot of the noncoding DNA is junk. 45% is currently indisputably junk, because it is recognized as endogenous retrovirus sequences, DNA transposons and retrotransposons. Much of it is from viruses. They insert their sequence into the DNA to replicate. When it is active and gets in the germ line the progeny will be less fit and that genetic material will not persist in the gene pool. But if it was broken when inserted or became broken before eliminated from the gene pool, then it will remain. 8% is this type. About half of the time a virus will insert its code backward. That is automatically nonfunctional. About 40% of our DNA is that backward virus inserted crud. It confers no unfitness as it does not do anything. If we removed all of that stuff, we probably would be more fit, but each little accumulation makes no dent. And much of what we can’t identify is probably more of this stuff, but is unrecognizable because it has had too many point mutations because it has been there so long, or because the virus that is broken no longer exists in nature.
    Sure there is some very useful noncoding stuff, but add it all up plus the coding stuff, and it is almost certainly less than 10% of the DNA.

    Experiments have been done. Google “Mice do fine without ‘junk DNA'” And there are species which have mechanisms to rid themselves of junk DNA. Utricularia gibba has only 3% nonfunctional DNA because it has these mechanisms, and as a consequence, a very small genome. Just 80 million base pairs for Utricularia gibba, while we have 2.9 billion base pairs. And, yes, many plants have more than us. Some have much more. Paris japonica, another flower, has 150 billion base pairs.

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  126. Not badly done. Well done genetics will have bad results. Everybody is blonde, blue eyed, 6’5″, smart as hell, handsome, and athletic. There will be a limited number of those perfect genotype. Everybody will want to look like that. Then a bad flu happens and we sadly discover that none of our perfect genotype has any immunity to it. And we are extinct. Ta-da.

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  127. Von Neumann was a mathematician who played a major part in developing early computers.

    Unless you are thinking of the millions who had their lives destroyed by Twitter and Facebook.

    Alternative explanation you think that fighting against fascism in WWII is “murdering innocent people”, but that is even more ridiculous.

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  128. “We don’t need to know the exact mechanism, just like scientists don’t know the reasoning behind Alphago’s moves, they only know that Alphago can beat the best of the best thus that is evidence that Alphago works. ”

    I beg to differ. If we don’t really understand what’s going on, it will be very easy for us to make modifications that result in, say, higher IQ, but increase the odds of OCD, or cancer, or heart disease, or sterility, etc, etc. And this will be done first on unborn children, who cannot give consent nor, in many cases, undo the effects later in life.

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  129. Artificial selection involves intelligent guidance, natural selection does not. There’s a world of difference.

    And note that even artificial selection runs in to limits: With a lot of intelligent effort, we can breed all kinds of dogs from wolf stock. But we cannot change a wolf into any kind of feline.

    By the way, since geneticists now realize that deleterious mutations, most of them subtle, are vastly more common than beneficial ones, Because most of them are not immediately selected against, they accumulate over time and reduce overall fitness, not increase it.

    Fisher was mistaken in his fundamental theory of evolution, precisely because he assumed good and bad mutations were a 50/50 deal. They aren’t remotely.

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  130. Politicians often uses science as an excuse to justify doing what they want to do. Anyone can tell you that a crippled person is not likely to have a crippled child, yet they killed the cripples. The Eugenics that was applied was just bigotry, there was no real science. There was no genuine attempt to track down an inability or poor ability to the real cause in each case, they just inhumanly killed people.

    Also eugenics dooms an entire organism for one bad gene. True, nature does too sometimes, but now we can go after the suspect gene without harming the organism. We can heal the patient rather than throwing them under the bus.

    In California when they sterilized the insane, they only sterilized the women. They could have just as easily sterilized the men, easier actually. But it was men ordering the procedures, so there you go. Even now, most people assume mental illness is genetic. If you do some research there are some strong correlations with various infections.

    These human brains are often loaded with viruses and other pathogens.

    And it is not just mental illnesses. There are associations with many chronic diseases…some very compelling. There is much less money in cures than in treatments that make money until the patient dies 20+ years later. There are very few researchers looking into this stuff. Can you loose IQ points from an infection? Absolutely. Just about any “vertically transmitted infection” can do damage to a developing brain. Having a high temperature due to an infection can cause brain damage quite easily. Encephalitis and meningitis can be caused by several different viruses and cause any amount of damage. And there are may other ways viruses can cause damage in the brain. Google PMC2782954

    Confusing Eugenics for genetic surgery is confusing a weather balloon for a rocket.

    And while genetic surgery has great prospects, don’t expect it to cure everything. Those pathogens, poisons and other toxins, inadequate nutrition, head impacts, hypoxia, abuse, neglect, bad instruction, no instruction, stimulus deprivation, traumatic episodes, sleep deprivation, radiation, dehydration, heat exhaustion, and more, can cause damage and poor performance.

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  131. I agree there are interactions, though I don’t think it is as complicated as you seem to think. If it was really that complicated natural selection would be hopeless. But we know it is not because artificial selection has been successful for millennia when applied to animals and plants.
    I think IQ tests are the wrong place to go to try to look for intelligence. What you need are detailed MRIs and reaction time/processing time of various stimuli with fMRI. As well as the blood sugar level at that time, a few more relevant nutrient levels, caffeine, nicotine, other stimulants, time of day, and recent sleep patterns. We need to connect the genes to differences in the physical anatomy.

    I think that is our best bet given that so many other things go into intelligence that can’t be quantified.

    We need to identify extreme outliers for hundreds of little abilities, and make lots of good scans. They scanned some of those people who remember every day of their lives and they expected to find nothing. But there were clear differences. “All had variations in nine structures of their brains compared to those of control subjects, including more robust white matter linking the middle and front parts. Most of the differences were in areas known to be linked to autobiographical memory”

    And those people that memorize pi to 10,000 places and such have an entirely different kind of memory advantage. Identify the genes for each crazy ability individually.

    And there are other distinct types of memory. Chimps even soundly beat humans on one.

    There may not be enough people with a particular crazy ability but if you find the parts of the brain that are different then you can find a few thousand people with near identical brain topography and correlate that with the genes. Other people may not have the full package but you can deduce what genes are responsible. Those superior autobiographical memory folks had 9 parts of the brain that were different. Track down genes that make these changes individually or in any combination. I think this would be a much more powerful approach than just using an IQ score or some kind of memory score.

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  132. Nonsense. That is just what happens to computer programs when many of the genuinely important factors are unavailable or ignored, and the number of samples is just too small (even though it sounds big). You get lots of hits just by chance each saying it makes a small difference.

    A single gene or just a handful of genes can make large differences.

    They did one of those massive studies on height. They completely missed one far larger than any they found, that other scientists found by chance looking at Inuit nutrition. If they missed that, there are probably several other large ones they missed and most of the small ones are probably crap.

    They need to take blood samples and look at all the antibodies to get a history of all the infections people have ever had and ideally some estimate of when. They need diet surveys, nutrient levels, toxin levels, surveys of what sports they have played, what injuries they have had, how much sleep they get, what climate they live in, what emotional trauma they have endured… And even with all that, I have my doubts it would be enough.

    You have to ask yourself, “What would the computer output look like if it really could not find anything?” It would look just like what you got. A bunch of statistically dubious small associations.

    Just because it can’t find anything, does not mean it is not there.

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  133. I have very high hopes for artificial wombs. We can control everything to make the most ideal conditions. Perfect nutrition, no infections, full term, no sleep disturbances, perfect oxygen levels, no toxins, minimally traumatic birth, and you can even have stimulating sounds and such. And then there is the possibility of correcting all the genetic defects. Just a fantastic scenario.

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  134. Choline is in lecithin. Lecithin also has most of these other substances I mentioned: Inositol, Trimethylglycine, Phosphatidylcholine, Phosphatidylserine, or Phosphatidylethanolamine. Everything but the l-Carnitine. Once we find out what the optimum balance is of all these substances than we can use genetic modification of soy to produce Lecithin with this balance.

    We can then mandate that it be added in the needed levels to foods which already have emulsifiers put in them. Lecithin is put in chocolate, candy, cough drops, ice cream, bread…just a ton of stuff.

    Chicken feed can be adjusted and possibly chickens modified to produce eggs with this more ideal lecithin and more of it. There are already eggs with DHA. We should make all egg farms produce them with DHA.

    We need to test the soil at every farm and every crop for lead, as well as any imported food. There should be no lead in any of this food.

    We also need to make major infrastructural changes to reduce brain damage by heat. IQ appears to be effected by climate. The hotter the region the more people are affected. Air conditioning also needs to be more affordable, efficient and effective. A recent study showed that students in air conditioned dorms performed much better than those who were in non air conditioned dorms on the same campus. I think epigentic stuff as well as just stifling heat makes brains slow down. I think we should move pregnant women to cooler areas rather than having to endure the heat.

    Buildings need to be removed that have lead. It should be illegal for people to rent apartments with lead paint to anyone under 50, and no children.

    With the knowledge in hand about optimal nutrition we can educate doctors and insist that they give pregnant women booklets and such with the information. I think women are eager to do the best job they can in general. If they had the information, they could.

    The government could also endorse products which have important nutrients for pregnancy. They would have some sort of stamp of recommendation on them.

    We need to cure vertically transmitted infections and eradicate them. Some are harder than others. Toxoplasmosis infects cats and rats/mice as well as humans. Curing all those cats would be a big challenge. And there is no quick cure either, at present. There are a couple dozen viruses that need wiped out. We also need very quick screening technology to detect infections. A quick blood test on all international flights should be done to prevent the spread of viruses from other continents especially. The CDC and the FDA do a pathetic job stopping contagious diseases. All food courts should have a person cleaning tables the whole time they are open. And the same rags use to clean the table top should not be used to also clean the seats at any restaurant. Public transport railings and such with a lot of passenger contact need to be cleaned several times a day.

    Dang limit again.

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  135. Most people want to do a good job during pregnancy. The FDA has given bad advise: no fish, no eggs (really they say make sure they are cooked well, but women over react and just quit eggs or eat the stuff with no yolk when the yolk is the most important part for brain development), they say stay out of the sun and use sunscreen, but D vitamin is critical for cell differentiation in the body and particularly in the brain, sunlight may also do something with sulfur important for health, and they have been telling everyone not to put table salt on anything, though Americans have been getting their iodine from iodized salt for generations.

    I never said anything about restricting pregnancy. What is more fundamentally human than being able to have a family? I suspect you are referring to my complaint that some women are still smoking, drinking, and doing drugs while pregnant. And, yes, I would not permit that unborn child abuse. I am not saying prison, but some facility that will not permit those substances, and will give them as ideal as we can, best nutrition, and vitamin injections or whatever is necessary to get levels up to what they should be. Yes, that is heavy handed, but you have to consider the child. They have a whole life in front of them.

    In the 1970’s median iodine level was literally more than double what it is today. Nobody had even heard of Himalayan salt, or were concerned with putting table salt on their food. That pink Himalayan salt is a complete fraud. They have been scolded by the FDA repeatedly for false claims. It is not even from the Himalayas. It is from Pakistan, has no iodine and is tainted with lead. No foods with lead should be sold in the U.S. There was never any legislation about iodized salt. It was just done by a forward looking salt company…something to differentiate their product. Single-handedly they raised IQs almost a full standard deviation in the Midwest. We need to mandate that iodine be put in all salt used in the manufacture of food. At a lower level, because salt should not be the only thing that provides iodine. The second measure would be to mandate that kelp is used in all cow feed. Composing just 2% of the feed it reduces methane production 99%, makes healthier cows and more iodine would be in milk. Similarly, iodine would be put in every milk-like beverage, soy milk, almond milk, etc. And calcium levels and iodine levels need to be monitored in milk-like beverages. They already monitor calcium levels in cow milk.
    With these changes, it should be possible to elevate iodine levels to about 300-500µg/L, and ideally with multiple sources, a large majority of the population should be in that range.

    Prenatal vitamins also need government monitoring and standards. They should have iodine…some amount that makes sense and is adjusted from results from continual monitoring of public iodine levels.

    To be continued… Approaching the stupid 3,000 character cutoff.

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  136. Yep. Careful wording can prevent a lot of problems.

    If you make the elderly stronger and healthier, and if that makes them live some years more, well, that’s a fortunate side effect.

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  137. I liked it when he said, “That’s another reason to do aging reversal rather than longevity. It’s hard to get FDA approval, even for a veterinary drug, because if you say it’s going to extend the dog’s life by 10 years, that’s a 10-year clinical trial. Whereas if you say, “In five weeks, it’s going to make them stronger and more resistant to injury,” then that’s a five-week experiment.”

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  138. We don’t need to know the exact mechanism, just like scientists don’t know the reasoning behind Alphago’s moves, they only know that Alphago can beat the best of the best thus that is evidence that Alphago works.

    So we already have evidence that it works, we may not understand why gene number #423792 combined with gene #5834905 increased IQ by .2 points, but we don’t understand why alphago makes the moves it makes either.

    But no one is denying that alphago will probably beat the crap out of anybody who challenges it despite not understanding the thought process or mechanisms behind each move.

    The bottomline is we have identified numerous genes and genetic patterns linked to intelligence, and have tested it and found that we were able to accurately predict IQ from looking at genes

    We can start boosting IQ now, we don’t need to understand the nature of intelligence or understanding how each gene interacts with each other genes.

    Likewise if a bunch of aliens challenge us to a game of go, we are probably better off sending alphago rather than the best human player.

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  139. Except we identify genetic markers for intelligence through massive gene banks and massive samples that we feed into basically supercomputers that run neural networks and big data algos.

    The computer is able to spot and identify genes linked to intelligence thru this method. Its not looking at one genome, but the genomes of hundreds of thousands of people and finding patterns between different genes ans genes combinations linked to IQ increases.

    And then is able to predict the IQ of future people accurately.

    This is thus strong evidence that it works. If the computer is able to determine a individuals IQ score simply by looking at the DNA, and then the individual later takes the IQ test and gets a similar score. This means it works.

    We don’t need to know the exact mechanism, just like scientists don’t know the reasoning behind Alphago’s moves, they only know that Alphago can beat the best of the best thus that is evidence that Alphago works.

    So we already have evidence that it works, we may not understand why gene number #423792 combined with gene #5834905 increased IQ by .2 points, but we don’t understand why alphago makes the moves it makes either.

    But no one is denying that alphago will probably beat the crap out of anybody who challenges it despite not understanding the thought process or mechanisms behind each move.

    The bottomline is we have identified numerous genes and genetic patterns linked to intelligence, and have tested it and found that we were able to accurately predict IQ from looking at genes

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  140. And I have two graduate degrees and documented thoroughly average IQ combined with *curiosity.* I would not mind some additional intelligence, but yeah… the notion that IQ determines behavior isn’t even scientism.

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  141. That’s not the way nutrition works, your body needs things like calcium to actually build the bones in the body.

    But eating excess calcium is not going to make your bones bigger or denser.

    Your body builds itself based on the blueprints aka your genes.

    Yao Ming is tall not because he ate a lot of calcium as a child, but because his blueprints command his cells to build bigger and denser bones.

    If the body does not have enough raw material aka mal nutrition the body adjusts the blueprints to a smaller size.

    All the studies show that getting more of insert X nutrient has no effect on the general public thus suggesting that most people in developed countries have more than enough nutrients.

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  142. We have done this stuff, Your aforementioned studies only apply to people in 3rd world shitholes

    Nutrition raises IQ in 3rd world shitholes, but has no effect in developed countries.

    Even the poorest of the poor in the US get so many excess vitamins and nutrients that doctors do not recommend vitamins, and every study done shows no difference between people who take vitamins and people who don’t in developed countries.

    While it does have a massive effect for people in 3rd world shitholes.

    Likewise nutrition increases height, but this simply doesn’t exist in developed countries. Because everybody is well fed. Thus extremely short people tend in the US tend to be extremely short because of genetics or health related issues (getting sick and disease can lead to stunting because the body needs to expend resources to fight off the disease instead of devoting resources to growing the body) there are a small minority that are stunted because of some combination of epigenetics or ignorant parents. While extremely short people in 3rd world shitholes are extremely short because of stunting.

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  143. I admit it is fun to think that the higher levels might be the optimum as that would suggest that we have a lot more to gain…so some caution makes sense. Human nature can provoke poor choices when information is not available.

    I said “optimal”. We just do not know what optimal is. I did not say 3,000mg is better. There are recommendations that 3500mg should not be exceeded. But that still leaves a fairly wide range to investigate. I suspect the optimum probably varies based on the week of gestation. What is clear is that humans need more lecithin/choline than other animals relative to body mass because we have large brains.

    Low iodine leads to poor moral ability (and likely higher crime), as well as low IQ. If goiters are not popping up everywhere, too many people assume the levels of iodine are just fine. The latest data I could find on the US was National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 2005–2006 and 2007–2008. It finds “All pregnant women (sample size 184) surveyed during 2005-2008 had a median UI concentration of 125 mg/L (95% CI 86-198), and 56.9% ± 7.9% of this group had a UI concentration of < 150 mg/L" (that is probably supposed to be µg/L rather than mg/L) So, 56.9%, more than half, had less than the recommended level. Actually, there is newer 2015-16 but it is just raw data. Median was 128.7 µg/L. The median UI concentrations for the general U.S. population in 2005-2006 and 2007-2008 were 164 µg/L. Yes, the pregnant women were lower. And clearly the concentration is taking a nosedive. Why is no one talking about this? In eight years going from 164µg/L to 129µg/L? That is huge. And we know this will drop IQ scores. In the 1970s it was 325µg/L. In South Korea: Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey VI (2013 to 2015) "UIC of 100 µg/L corresponds roughly to a daily iodine intake of approximately 150 µg under steady-state conditions " "the median UIC in the Korean population was 294 µg/L" About 19% of Americans get that much. And most of those are probably heavy iodized salt users. And too much salt is not so good. The Koreans are getting iodine from kelp. The upper limit for iodine in pregnancy is 1.1 mg (1,100µg). So this too is a wide range to look for an optimum (220µg-1,100µg). Current RDA for pregnancy is 220µg. Would you believe half of prenatal vitamins in the US don't even have iodine? For many nutrients, the body just disposes of the excess or just reduces the uptake from the gut. Others it generally stores in the liver for when it is needed. It often takes high doses over months or years to exceed the storage capacity of the liver. Too much vitamin A can be dangerous especially during pregnancy. Carotenoids are fine though, as the body will only turn it into vitamin A as needed.

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  144. Great info on brain and protective allele chart. how long will this take for the older generation. My husband can focus, he must have grin2b and the last ones well as he doesn’t have anxiety. amazing how do we tell what he has and I can get at this late stage. I heard there are Brian stem ell medicine. my mother must have had anti aging and low pain threshold, and she lived to 102 until 2 years ago, my father had cholesterol and smart but died of cholesterol at 47 in 1963
    .

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  145. People have very diverse preferences and priorities, and these guide decisions, including on gene therapy. So while gene theraphy and other enhancement and modding tech may produce some consolidation in some traits, I don’t think it’s likely to eliminate diversity. Today we mod our computers and cars, decorate our apartments, choose different clothes, makeup, and accessories, and occasionally add tattoos and piercings or do mild plastic surgery. In the future we’ll have many more tools and options to modify our bodies inside and out. People may get so creative that diversity will boom.

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  146. I admire your plan for restricting pregnancy to those women who meet certain minimum standards and would like more information of your plan for achieving the level of dictatorial control required to enforce such a regime.

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  147. So your objection is that badly done genetics would have bad results?
    This objection applies to everything.
    Stupidly done civil engineering, foolishly done environmentalism, counter-productive laws, stupid farming practices….

    It doesn’t mean that you don’t do those things. It means that you have review processes and think about the results of your actions.

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  148. Get a grip. I’ve got a 150 IQ and I mow my own lawn.

    Not everyone with a high IQ becomes a scientist or engineer. There are genius garbage collectors and janitors, too. (Spoiler: They’re really good at being garbage collectors and janitors.)

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  149. Gene therapy would remove diversity and doom us. A world full of Eisensteins wouldn’t work. Who would cut the lawns and pick the fruits? Who would bury the dead and kill the living? I for instant have genetic defects that can be a pain but they protect me for the full effects of malaria borne diseases.

    There is a need to remember that blond hair and blue eyes are recessive traits. Should they be eliminated?

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  150. Hammers who works now is is way better today than future tools who might work better in the future if you want to hammer down an board in the bottom of your ship.

    The perfect is an major enemy to the good enough. Recommend throwing people who think otherwise out an plane so they can invent anti gravity on the way down.

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  151. Even complex traits like height can have single genes/proteins which have such overwhelming impact as to be useful in 8 different FDA approved treatments (see wikipedia Growth_hormone_therapy). Similarly a single gene (and it’s encoded protein insulin) has played an enormous role in type 1 diabetes treatment. In the framing of this page, Brian said “adult cures for diseases”. Nevertheless, it is good to ask about children as well. Yes. Many decisions are made by parent on behalf of their children and grandchildren. Some involve significant tradeoffs (like staying or moving from a war-torn homeland), while others are nearly ideal strategies (like smallpox extinction world-wide).

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  152. Yes. We don’t want only hammers … and no need to exclude hammers when useful (fully, partially, temporarily, or in combinations). Part of getting a “much wider set of solutions” is adding a few to the list and assessing how to reduce costs, increase benefits and the timing of each (and hybrid hammer + non-hammer methods).

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  153. Even complex traits like height can have single genes/proteins which have such overwhelming impact as to be useful 8 different FDA approved treatments (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Growth_hormone_therapy). Similarly a single gene (and it’s encoded protein insulin) has played an enormous role in type 1 diabetes treatment. In the framing of this page, Brian said “adult cures for diseases”. Nevertheless, it is good to ask about children as well. Yes. Many decisions are made by parent on behalf of their children and grandchildren. Some involve significant tradeoffs (like staying or moving from a war-torn homeland), while others are nearly ideal strategies (like smallpox extinction world-wide).

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  154. The challenge in finding the genetics is that it’s complex genetics. It doesn’t add linearly, a gene which might be beneficial in the presence of another gene could be harmful if it’s absent. It’s like trying to analyze software by looking at word frequency!

    I don’t think we’ll understand the full genetics of intelligence until we understand intelligence itself, so that we can optimize the genes for what they’re doing in the brain, not just on a statistical basis.

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  155. I didn’t see any “must” there, just a profession of ignorance. We don’t know.

    It’s a good point: We are a long, long way from optimizing prenatal nutrition and environment. And doing so might take a couple generations to have full effect, given epigentic inheritance.

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  156. “930mg of choline was better than the recommended 450mg. But the optimal could be 3,000 mg, for all we know.”
    Don’t fall into the ‘more must be better’ idea. Finding out where whatever you are trying becomes harmful rather than beneficial is going to involve someone suffering from the bad effects of too much.

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  157. As I understand, they’re proposing adult gene therapy. But still, much better understanding of the implications and tradeoffs is indeed desirable, and we will get there eventually.

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  158. If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail. Cancer and alzheimer may have non-gentic cures in a few decades. Maybe diabetes too (for now we’re just getting better treatments). Genetic resistance to HIV and norovirus isn’t needed if we have vaccines and antivirals. Proper hygiene solves most odor problems, except in extreme cases. And so on. Even strength and intelligence enhancements may have non-genetic technological solutions (e.g. exoskeletons will get cheaper with time). Eventually, some people may choose to forgo their biological bodies entirely. Gene therapy will likely have a role to play, but as part of a much wider set of solutions.

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  159. I think it is unlikely that you can radically increase IQ in adults with genetic modification. So much of the brain is already organized making you, you.

    IQ is not something you can just track down genes for easily, because IQ is the result of a lot of things. The biggest, I think, is prenatal nutrition and not just getting the suggested stuff. We know choline, iodine, and fresh fruit can give, a large boost in IQ. Probably over one standard deviation. And we don’t know how much we can improve on that. 930mg of choline was better than the recommended 450mg. But the optimal could be 3,000 mg, for all we know. They did not even look at Inositol, Trimethylglycine, Phosphatidylcholine, Phosphatidylserine, L-Carnatine, or Phosphatidylethanolamine, or other possibly cognitively beneficial food substances. Fresh fruit was massive. 6-7 fruits a day gets you another 6 or 7 IQ points. But they did not look at which fruits. Further study could better indicate which fruits have the largest improvement. I suspect you want a wide variety, but optimal amount. And maybe 10 or more is 10 IQ points, who knows? But they do know it is too late after they are born. Double or triple the recommended iodine probably gets you another 3-5 IQ points. They put DHA in a lot of pregnancy stuff…probably helps…but too little to get statistical significance. Maybe good for a point or two. I am not saying those points are irrelevant, just hard to measure.

    I think there is a lot to gain from avoiding things: toxins especially lead (you loose IQ points and other important mental abilities), and the polybrominated diphenyl ethers’ (PBDE) fire retardants can cause an IQ loss of 3.7 points or more. And everyone knows tobacco, alcohol, and recreational drugs are dreadful. Yet there are still pregnant women smoking, drinking, and doing drugs.

    I consider our current 100 IQ average to be a disaster. It represents the results of delirious vertically transmitted infections, toxins (air, water, soil, food, products like cleaners, herbicides, insecticides, fungicides,), chromosomal anomalies, poor dietary advise during pregnancy, overheating, undiagnosed/untreated sleep apnea oxygen deprivation damage, poor sleep, stress…and likely many other things we don’t yet recognize.

    Anyone trying to conceive should be tested for heavy metals, PBDE, and pathogens. And they need to build up their bodies and nutrients. Get the lead out, and the other crap.

    I suspect if we figured out what optimal prenatal nutrition is and insured women got it, we protected them from toxins, hot weather, poor sleep, and pathogens, the average of their children would be closer to 120 IQ. And I think there would be very few people below 95 IQ.

    You can’t stop every infection, though there are treatments that can reduce damage.

    So why are we not doing this stuff? It is certainly less expensive. No reason we can’t do both…but we are doing neither. We need nutrition studies badly.

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  160. Neither Darwinian nor neo-Darwinian (the modern synthesis) evolution includes top down causation. Random mutations in the DNA are all that natural selection has to work with.

    Of course, the more we know about molecular biology the less plausible this hypothesis becomes. Increasingly, it has become evident that the organism, even down to the cellular level, uses DNA for its own purposes, rather than vice-versa.

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  161. From what I know of transhumanism it seems to be narrow minded and therefore detrimental to human beings. If evolution includes “top down causation” it might be that the reason biologists call most of our DNA junk is because they don’t appreciate the potential in life for further evolution. I will read the books written by Ray Kurzweil.

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  162. Here’s the problem: Most complex traits, such as height and IQ, are the result of a whole complex of genes. Aside from single point errors that can be corrected, that means that significant “improvement” may not be easy. Indeed, the genetic code is so complex & interdependent that side effects are inevitable and likely often unpredictable.

    If, for example, it turns out that reducing the odds of type 2 diabetes (which I have) means that potential IQ, or height, is reduced, what then? Do we have a right to make such tradeoffs for our children?

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  163. Geneticists better work fast and look for sanctuary, because the (Western) world is quickly turning Luddite on genetics.

    And if you thought the hysterical rejection of harmless GMOs was bad, wait for the first certifiable trans-human treatments, making people and their descendants measurably smarter, healthier, longer lived.

    The race will be between the morally stuck up old 1st world and the techno-liberal nouveau riches (e.g. China), with a much more liberal stance.

    If the morally stuck up old rich aren’t careful, the liberal new ones will have a definite head start on the race of better statistical parameters in their populations.

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