Gene editing

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Gene editing

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As scary as AI is, I think the most frightening technology of all would have to be gene editing. It truly seems like a pathway for humanity to itself become a product of the human mind.

I think things like Fischerian runaway selection are kept in check to a degree because of the fact that when women choose a man they must take the man as a complete package. If one man is better in trait A and another is better in trait B, the woman will have to decide whether she prefers trait A or B more. (I think this is probably the reason why traits women desire in men such as height have not skyrocketed) But gene editing would seem like it would allow for a woman to pick the man with trait A, and then edit the embryo's genes so that it would have trait B as well. Now she no longer has to choose.

Height is a trait with no real advantage on its own (at least in the modern world), but it can be socially advantageous to be taller relative to others. So imagine if some short people start editing their children's genes to be tall, and this drives up the average height. So the formerly average people are now short, so they will now have to edit their children's genes so that they do not have to suffer the social consequences of being short. And you will end up with something resembling Fischerian runaway selection.

I really hope this does not end up happening. The hopeful news is that technologies have been invented in the past which seemed like they would completely alter the way reproduction works, but these technologies ended up getting largely ignored by the people. Sperm donation for example, in theory makes it possible for all women to get impregnated by the hunkiest man, and I would be devastated if I was around when the news first came out that sperm donation was invented. But sperm donation despite its availability has been largely ignored by the mainstream. Hopefully gene editing will also be something that people ignore.

Edit: The masses seem to be onboard with this: