weirdo (specialedkidd89) wrote in baneofexistence,
weirdo
specialedkidd89
baneofexistence

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screwing up evolution?

ok i just joined this community so im not sure if im even posting the kind of stuff this community is looking for but anyway sorry if im off topic.

medicine and health care in general has advanced so much in the past few decades. today people are living longer and babies who are born with birth defects, that would have died twenty years ago, are living to adulthood and having kids of their own. but sometimes i wonder if thats really a good thing because naturally the weak ones would die long before they were able to reproduce, but now the weak and diseased are living to adulthood and having children who they are potentially passing that defect onto. we're screwing with evolution and survival of the fittest. i wonder if we're ensuring our own demise.
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that's simplistic
...yeah
It's pretty presumptuous to assume that we can "screw with evolution". Especially since most birth defects happen at random, there is no way to "weed out" the "weak". Even the notion that you can judge value of human life like that is pretty naive.

To be frank, your ideas smack of Eugenics.

Harsh reality of social Darwinism, my friends.

And what the OP says does have a ring of truth to it, however unpleasant that truth may be. Humans tend to judge the value of human life --rightly or wrongly-- depending on the life in question, whether they want to or not.

Eugenics, on the whole, is a vile and despicable practice, but up until recently, Nature has been its blind administrator.
No one is questioning that people judge, and no one is questioning that people die. The problem is that the entire premise of the OP is flawed and simplistic. First of all, you'd have to address which defects are worth the children's Then you'd have to find a way to convince the parents that they should let their perfectly save-able children die. Some of which it would be impossible to determine they have defects until they are older. And of course, it'd be nice if one could prove that this would do something to improve or at least stave off this dreaded demise of humanity. But as long as DNA mutates, we will never be free of defects. We all contain at least one lethal allele just waiting to find a match.

And some defects are useful in some situations, such as sickle cell anemia. About a third of the world's population has a gene mutation that continues lactase production into adulthood. This has opened up a world of nutritional value derived from dairy for that population (which is descended from agricultural societies). Do we cull the lactase deficient? Where is this line drawn?

And of course, humans-rights issues with forced sterilization.

This is why it's simplistic.

And no, human evolution hasn't stopped or nature perverted or whatever. Humans are just as part of the process as anything else.