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Deep Space Nine What We Left Behind, we will always have here.

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Old May 4 2012, 03:30 AM   #1
ElimGarak
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Putting restrictions on the genetically enhanced is very un-starfleet

eugenics wars don't seem sufficient justification given that there's evidence that at least some genetically enhanced persons, e.g. bashir, have no tendency towards violence/overthrowing the gov.

seems incongruous with starfleet's progressive/liberal nature
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Old May 4 2012, 03:50 AM   #2
Unicron
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Re: Putting restrictions on the genetically enhanced is very un-starfl

I think Earth has some understandable scars from the Eugenics Wars, but on the flip side I also partially agree with you. Basic eugenics, as an extension of genetic medicine, isn't inherently moral or immoral and there's no reason to assume one couldn't make significant strides in creating a more "perfect" human with it. Naturally taking it to the point of virtually playing god tends to have bad effects, but that's an extreme. The Eugenics Wars happened because "superior ambition" apparently either crept in or didn't get properly weeded out.

I haven't seen the relevant episode in a while, so it's logical that there may be Federation policies on the ban that we don't get a proper context for. I don't recall exactly.
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Old May 4 2012, 04:38 AM   #3
JustKate
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Re: Putting restrictions on the genetically enhanced is very un-starfl

I think it's Earth - not just Starfleet - that has issues with genetically enhanced people. Which isn't to say that Starfleet doesn't have issues as well, but I think in this case it is humans as a whole affecting Starfleet policy, not the other way around.
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Old May 4 2012, 09:30 AM   #4
DS9 Gal AZ
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Re: Putting restrictions on the genetically enhanced is very un-starfl

I imagine the Eugenics Wars made humanity have a knee-jerk negative reaction to genetic enhancements. In the episode where Bashir is revealed to be genetically enhanced, an admiral at the end discusses and defends the need for the law against genetic enhancements. He says something like for every Julian Bashir (a brilliant doctor who helps society) that comes a result of DNA re-sequencing, there's a Khan Noonien Song (brutal, meglomaniacal conqueror) waiting in the wings. The law against genetic enhancement is supposed to prevent another Khan from coming into being and plunging the feds/humanity into war again. How do we know Bashir couldn't have been another Khan?
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Old May 4 2012, 10:20 AM   #5
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Re: Putting restrictions on the genetically enhanced is very un-starfl

According to Bashir he was "lucky" not to be a basket case like the Jack Pack. The Federation's issue might be with unnecessary genetic manipulation (Bashir was a slow learner, which doesn't mean he wouldn't have a good life or contribute to society) because there's a high risk of negative side effects. Maybe once the process comes to a point where this negatives are mostly negated or rare the Federation might change their laws.
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Old May 4 2012, 07:40 PM   #6
Neutral Zone
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Re: Putting restrictions on the genetically enhanced is very un-starfl

I could not blame eatrth being worried genetic modifications on the human mind especially after the wars the 1990's and people like Khan coming to power. Can you imagine what a few Khan types would've been like at the time of DS9, the starships and their fire power - they could make lesser planets slave colonies no problem.

It may have been of benefit and worked for Bashir but could've have also made him a simpleton or a raving lunatic.
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Old May 4 2012, 10:57 PM   #7
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Re: Putting restrictions on the genetically enhanced is very un-starfl

I think they're deliberately took an extreme measure to prevent the possibility of creating more evil supermen. I think they know that that the majority of people who might undergo genetic enhancement may be totally harmless and could even contribute the betterment of society, but it only takes a few (if not just one) to send it everything to hell.
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Old May 5 2012, 01:19 PM   #8
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Re: Putting restrictions on the genetically enhanced is very un-starfl

I wonder if the Klingon augment virus is the reason why what we only know as an "Earth" issue became a Federation one. The initial members of the Federation would want to avoid the accidental creation of another virus, especially in the wake of conflict with the Romulans and that the Klingons would no doubt see it as a hostile move to create a superior military because that's what they did.
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Old May 5 2012, 01:59 PM   #9
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Re: Putting restrictions on the genetically enhanced is very un-starfl

The reasons to ban eugenics extend beyond creating Khan v2, I think.

Think about it: if eugenics were allowed, most parents would have their babies with Stephen Hawking's intellect, Brangelina's looks, etc and soon enough, earth is populated by clones; which is highly detrimental to the species' long-term survival.
We can't weed out (too many) genes from our genome, or we harm diversity.

Also, there'd always be one generation left behind: if all new babies grow up to be as efficient as Bashir, what role in society would the previous generation be left to fulfil?

Finally, there's always the "playing god" angle: are we justified in consciously interfering with the natural evolution of our species?
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Old May 5 2012, 08:48 PM   #10
Temis the Vorta
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Re: Putting restrictions on the genetically enhanced is very un-starfl

The Eugenics Wars must have been extremely traumatic, because yes, I've also noticed how un-Fed-like it is, to have a blanket prohibition on a whole class of people like that. They've left the details largely to our imagination, but with a little thought, it's easy to see how genetic engineering could get to a point where it would undermine democratic institutions.
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Old May 5 2012, 09:51 PM   #11
JustKate
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Re: Putting restrictions on the genetically enhanced is very un-starfl

^ & ^^ Very good points. Because surely diversity ought to mean accepting people as they're born - a society in which you have to be genetically enhanced to be accepted doesn't sound very nice nor Fed-like to me.
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Old May 6 2012, 12:36 AM   #12
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Re: Putting restrictions on the genetically enhanced is very un-starfl

Xhiandra wrote: View Post
if eugenics were allowed, most parents would have their babies with Stephen Hawking's intellect, Brangelina's looks, etc and soon enough, earth is populated by clones; which is highly detrimental to the species' long-term survival.
We can't weed out (too many) genes from our genome, or we harm diversity.

Also, there'd always be one generation left behind: if all new babies grow up to be as efficient as Bashir, what role in society would the previous generation be left to fulfil?
Quite true.

The *best* outcome of a eugenics-based society would be something like Gattaca, and even then, it is clear that 'non-enhanced' people suffer terrible discrimination. So it would be in 'real life'.

Worst case scenario would be something like TZ's "Number Twelve Looks Just Like You".
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Old May 6 2012, 02:07 AM   #13
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Re: Putting restrictions on the genetically enhanced is very un-starfl

Also it seemed to be done to children who didn't always get a choice was to what improvements were made which isn't really fair. The children may have wanted better artistic abilities rather than being able to play a sport for instance... but they'd have to pay again if it would be even possible to change later.
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Old May 7 2012, 06:11 PM   #14
MikeS
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Re: Putting restrictions on the genetically enhanced is very un-starfl

A real life example - Nazi use of Eugenic theory to back up their ideology of hatred meant that many people could not accept Darwins theory of evolution for a couple of decades. Thankfully people like Dawkins have rescued the theory from the extremists. I assume a similar situation in the Star Trek universe.
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Old May 9 2012, 09:19 PM   #15
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Re: Putting restrictions on the genetically enhanced is very un-starfl

JustKate wrote: View Post
I think it's Earth - not just Starfleet - that has issues with genetically enhanced people. Which isn't to say that Starfleet doesn't have issues as well, but I think in this case it is humans as a whole affecting Starfleet policy, not the other way around.
It is just for Earth and it includes research which could be used to cure critical illnesses. I'm not sure why they would restrict medical uses. I don't think the Federation would look on that restriction favorably.
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