Wednesday, July 16, 2008

shall we drive men to extinction?

Richard C has a post on a quote from a bioethisist
"I don't think we're seriously looking at a world of only girl children just yet, but I do think that when philosophers start talking about using medical technology to achieve things that aren't about health, so increasing people's IQ or life expectancy for example, you have to ask why we shouldn't all be girls," he said.

which he describes as odd saying
So it's not at all clear to me that being a particular sex is an advantage in the way that increased IQ, life expectancy, etc., are.

Now first I'll note I think I understand the bioethisist here. If you are a technophile and you want to promote genetic engineering you can run into danger with people complaining about vested interests you might have or sexism etc. One tempting way out is to make a statement that is absolutely terrible for your own gender and vested interests. Here he proposes almost the extinction of his gender. I expect while he probably has a strong opinion on genetic engineering his position on wiping out men is probably a very weak one. to me this is a familiar strategy so I don't take him completely seriously.

Still we should deal with his position and not his personal mental state. Obviously the argument is that being females IS related to IQ and life expectancy so to choose a male child (in its simple form) is to choose an expected life span of 3 years lower and a lower expected academic ability. Sure there are costs but the statement isn't odd in as far as those are debateable while the benifits of living longer is pretty much beyond dispute.

as to the social milieu, its often stated but probably true, that a world with only women would probably have a lot less wars - more equality less crime and a whole lot of other good concequences.

OK, it's not a slam dunk, but I don't find it an odd position, it seems pretty defendable.


Blogger kldickson said...

When I point-blank called Richard Chappell a whiny bastard who thinks science doesn't apply in every situation, he accused me of being a troll.

Which reinforces my opinion that he is a whiny bastard.

9:00 AM  
Blogger Genius said...

You have a good point.

10:33 PM  

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