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Monthly Archives: February 2013

Xerek Files: Entry Number Thirteen – [Eugenics]

Evolution is a powerful force of nature that is always marching forward.  And as a whole, it will favor traits and characteristics that are found in a particular population that will help aid that population to survive in a given geological location which the population finds itself.  Throughout the long and complicated history that is evolution, the component that is most likely to select either for or against these traits and characteristics is the apparent randomness of natural selection.  And for the vast majority of time that evolution has been active, it’s been left to its own devices.  But since humanity started engaging in activities such as agriculture, animal domestication and husbandry, hygiene, and in some cases, hunting, they have become a factor other than natural selection to influence and determine the course of evolution.  In regards to agriculture and animal domestication and husbandry, humanity is actively engaging in the process of natural selection by selecting for traits and characteristics that they deemed valuable, important, or desirable with a particular end or objective in mind.  And without constant human intervention, certain species would not be able to survive on their own, such as with corn and domesticated cattle.

With the publication of On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection accompanied by individuals that possess extraordinary traits and abilities immerging as their own distinct group in the past several decades, there have been those who have become interested in engaging in such activities as just described in the previous paragraph in regards to those who possess extraordinary traits and abilities.  And since it involves human subjects, such activity is known as eugenics.  Through the use of eugenics, such individuals wish to either propagate or otherwise enhance extraordinary traits and abilities that are currently found within the known population.  They also seek to possibly create more powerful individuals in the process who possess extraordinary traits and abilities that are stronger than those found in the previous generation.  There is also the possibility of some of them wishing to give future generations of mutants more extraordinary traits and abilities than is currently found in the population and what would typically be found if natural selection would be allowed to simply run its course.  To achieve this, these individuals would use both positive and negative eugenics in order to achieve their objectives.

This can be achieved through the encouragement of those who possess extraordinary traits and abilities that are deemed favorable or beneficial to procreate while discouraging those with extraordinary traits and abilities that are deemed unfavorable or detrimental from procreating.  But if those with extraordinary traits and abilities that are deemed unfavorable or detrimental can’t or won’t be persuaded from not procreating, then those with extraordinary traits and abilities that are deemed favorable or beneficial will be encouraged to produce more progeny than those with extraordinary traits and abilities that are deemed unfavorable or detrimental as a means of eventually breeding out the unfavorable or detrimental traits and abilities.  But this can only be done through the most idealistic conditions and won’t be likely to succeed.  This is due to individual freewill and individual resistance to being told who they should or shouldn’t sleep with.  As a result, proactive steps would need to be taken by these individuals to remove extraordinary traits and abilities that are deemed unfavorable or detrimental from the gene pool and encourage extraordinary traits and abilities that are deemed favorable or beneficial.

They can do this through both overt and covert means, though some serious ethical questions arise due to the tactics that they plan on using.  More likely than not, they will engage in covert means to help achieve their ends.  This can include manipulating or otherwise controlling the individuals involved that they deem to possess extraordinary traits and abilities that are favorable or beneficial.  Such actions can include encouraging a romantic relationship between two individuals through less than honest means.  In situations that allow for it, they’re even willing to attempt arranged or forced marriages to achieve their objectives.  And these are found on the more modest end of the spectrum.  Progressing along the spectrum, one can find examples of physical assault that can be employed.  This can include switching sperm samples of those who are seeking fertility treatment.  From there, they can engage in acts of rape.  With the removal of individuals with extraordinary traits and abilities that are deemed unfavorable or detrimental, they would be willing to chemically or physically castrate individuals if deemed appropriate.  Finally, they would consider engaging in acts of murder against such individuals.

As stated earlier, all of this raises some serious ethical questions.  Do these individuals have the right to engage in such activities?  If individuals with extraordinary traits and abilities agree to a eugenics program, does it then become morally right?  What about freewill or self-determination?  What if the mutant community, or even humanity as a whole, was to benefit from such actions, would it then become justified?  What if it was a part of a clinical trial?  Or is the situation as a whole be morally and ethically wrong and thus, should be avoided and not to be trifled with?  Following in this same vein, what about those who don’t possess extraordinary traits and abilities that have traits or characteristics that can be seen as either beneficial or detrimental?  What then?  Would they be subject to the same standards and scrutiny as those with extraordinary traits and abilities?  And if such activities are performed on plants and what are seen as “lesser” animals for the betterment of humanity, could such activities translate over to members of the human species as well?  If it doesn’t, then should such activities that are performed on plants and other animals be stopped?  Or would such a topic constitute a separate ethical issue?  And how would civil liberties as a whole fit into the grand scheme of things?

But regardless of the reasons or motives, such individuals who support the idea of eugenics always manage to justify their position for whatever reason they deem as appropriate or acceptable.  It then becomes a question of how far these individuals are willing to go to achieve their goals or desired objectives.  And if such individuals do manage to go through with their plans, what would be the social and legal consequences of their actions?  But such a question can’t truly be answered until they attempt it.  This is the difference that exists between theory and practice.

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Posted by on February 24, 2013 in Xerek Files

 

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Xerek Files: Entry Number Twelve – [Pseudo-science]

There is a lot of speculation surrounding those with extraordinary traits and abilities.  Some speculation is mystical while others are mythical.  Claims have been made that extraordinary traits and abilities are manifestations of some divine force while others think that they are otherworldly creatures.  Others think that they are monstrosities let loose upon the world.  But among this speculation, there are those who are trying to understand them from an empirical perspective, approaching the situation from a purely naturalistic standpoint.  However, there are those who try and merge the empirical position with that of mysticism and the supernatural.  They try and use scientifically sounding terminology to explain unrealistic or otherwise outrageous claims and positions.  They also start from the position of trying to fit the evidence to their particular hypothesis instead of fitting the hypothesis and conclusion to the evidence.  This is known as pseudo-science.

There are a number of different reasons why someone would fall into such a position, but it all comes out to the same in the end; they hold an unfalsifiable position that is lacking in verifiable evidence.  And the application of scientific terminology and ideas to those with extraordinary traits and abilities is a relatively new thing.  First, the scientific revolution had to occur, which began in the Sixteenth Century, followed by the concept of individuals with extraordinary traits and abilities existing as physical entities which began sometime in the Twentieth Century.  Once these two concepts formed, it didn’t take long for individuals to begin to intertwine the two.

Once this occurred, people who were interested in the idea ran with it.  As a result, self-proclaimed experts on the matter began to spring up accompanied by affiliations, groups, and organizations surrounding the matter.  With some of these organizations, they produce periodicals and host conferences pertaining to their particular position regarding those with extraordinary traits and abilities.  However, they tend to fail to bring new ideas or evidence to the table and fail to elevate the conversation beyond where it currently stands.  And most of these individuals don’t possess any kind of formal education on the matter that would act as a foundation for their “authority” and to help guide their conversations and positions.  Their education is mostly through them being self-taught without any form of guidance or tutelage by another who is better educated or more experienced then they are.

But what got them heading down this path in the first place is interest in the matter.  And there’s nothing wrong with that.  If someone is interested in a particular subject, then they should pursue it.  In regards to extraordinary traits and abilities, it’s not that hard to understand its appeal.  This is because people who possess features, traits, and characteristics that are not typically found in the average human being can naturally draw the interest of others.  And it’s not that hard to make outrageous claims regarding extraordinary traits and abilities for those who possess extraordinary traits and abilities can be seen as inherently outrageous and beyond the normal perception of what is seen as normal.

The only problem that the people who make these claims is how they go about pursuing their interest and how they present it.  Its fine to make a hypothesis regarding a particular subject, but the hypothesis should change according to the information and evidence gathered regarding the subject, not to be adhered to blindly and unquestioningly.  The matter regarding extraordinary traits and abilities is a complicated one and a subject that can still be seen as being in its infancy of study and research.  It’s just important that such study and research be done in the proper manner instead of through mysticism and wishful thinking.

 
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Posted by on February 1, 2013 in Xerek Files

 

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