Musings on Eugenics

Fantastic Four

When I think about “ Eugenics” the very first word which pops up in my mind – helplessly so is Hitler and his megalomaniac pathetic outlook on promoting the “Aryan race”. But, fortunately, his medical experiments of unthinkable horror and cruelty conducted at Auschwitz’s concentration camps died out with him.
Let’s fast forward to happier times of Tinseltown and it’s denizens.
Angelina Jolie going for double mastectomy made the headline for being “bold and beautiful “ few years back when she found she was BRCA1 positive. Of course even if it was possible to detect it on her mother’s prenatal check ups , it would have “been a non-event” and would have not affected “the embryonic life of Angelina in any adverse way. But what if ,John Nash’s mother found out he has 22q11 deletion during her prenatal screening and decided she didn’t want to bring forth a schizophrenic child ? Would that not be considered a “crime against humanity” by depriving the world of “a beautiful mind”?
What if we find a gene for sociopathy ?
What if we find that mild sociopathy helps with a successful career in politics? Hope not!

What about diseases like Sickle cell trait -what if we can find “genetic cure” for sickle cell disease and later find that the same genetic abnormality allows“ yet to discover” “ advantageous trait” – not unlike one bestowed on “the fantastic four” superheroes – but then that belongs to fiction-!(as a matter of fact sickle cell trait does offer advantage to people living in the malaria belt, because malarial parasite causes the blood cells of “sickle cell trait” person to sickle and attacked by body’s immune system)
How about Asperger’s, which, I think at least some of you would concede that ,if not desirable, is at the very least acceptable in the Post Elon Musk era than it ever was?
How about Depression? As some of you might know that,Abraham Lincoln suffered from serious depression but it also allowed him immense patience and deep empathy for the downtrodden- is that a good trait or liability in the current socio-political environment? Is it possible to have more Abraham Lincoln’s or would they be utter failure as politicians in the current environment? What if we swap Lincoln with Trump ? Would we have United States of America as we know it now ?

What I am inviting you to ponder with me is, that with “genetic manipulation” to either find a cure for so called “genetic illnesses” or “find hardy crops – better known as GMO’s” we are swapping known “suffering” with yet to discover “scourge”?

1 Comment

  1. D Bose says:

    Wonderfully expressed. Wanted to add Down’s syndrome to your list. If we all stopped having Down babies, world would certainly he a poorer place.

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