Re: virus: We got a Malthusian crisis here
Thu, 26 Oct 1995 07:46:40 -0400

In a message dated 95-10-25 20:06:27 EDT, you write:

>We are at
>a point in history where a new kind of thinking is going to be required to
>ensure our survival on this planet and beyond. Perhaps THAT is a motivation
>for bringing Virus to the masses

Another more specific motivation might be to lay the foundation for a
rational use of genetic engineering before you know who does.

If geneticists improve in their application of genetic engineering it looks
to me as if Virus could be used to develop rational and ethical memes (?)
for dealing with the issues of trying to improve the human condition from the
genetic level.
Can you imagine asking a devout Christian about designing your child before
you have it?*
I read in Time or Newsweek that most attempts at using genetic therapy to
cure certain childhood diseases have been unsuccessful and in fact there is
little to report that does actually work in this field. If this is true I
think it can only be temporary.
The Darwinian revolution will surely result in the art of "altering" life
being brought to countless church congregations and I doubt in a big way they
can supply us with guidance in this area.
I picture Virus exploring,defining and creating memes that give us a view of
what the rational use of altering life with genetic material is. As an
observation, there are not only great minds in this group but some
professional writers as well. Perhaps the discourse of today will culminate
in a book that spreads rationality before the religions of the world dream up
something incredibly dumb and possibly dangerous to rational people.

* If anyone can brief me on potential future applications of genetic
engineering I would be very interested in reading your thoughts.