I'd definitely like some input from people more educated then I though, because I'm not completely sure if it would work like I imagine.

Eugenics is the practice of discouraging reproduction by persons having genetic defects or presumed to have inheritable undesirable traits or encouraging reproduction by persons presumed to have inheritable desirable traits, in order to improve the human gene pool. It's been deemed inhumane, probably rightly so.

My idea however would be much more simple, and humane. Imagine an age limit much higher than the current average were enforced at which two individuals could conceive a child. This would promote longer lives, because only those able to survive to this age would be able to pass their genes along. It would promote better genes, and wouldn't discriminate against any specific parties.

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Comment by Reggie on July 5, 2009 at 11:35pm
Well, there is higher probabilities of birth abnormalities with older parents. I've seen this idea (or something similar/along the same lines) before (maybe Dawkins?) and also posted in a blog here on TA regarding death being a product of evolution. If this was something that could work and work well, I wonder why no one has done this with other animals? Think if dairy cows could live twice as long? Or the beloved family pooch could spend 25 years with you instead of 12?
Comment by Atheist Ninja on July 6, 2009 at 12:07am
Perhaps it hasn't been tried before because in breeding one usually wants to make the generations short as possible so that they can get as much change in as little time as possible.
Comment by Misty: Baytheist Living! on July 6, 2009 at 3:35am
Chromes disease, Down Syndrome.. all defects of an aged mother. A father, on the other hand.....
Personally, I think women should get long term birth control (inserts, IUD's ) at the age of 13. By the time they reach 18 they can make the decision for themselves whether or not to have another one put in.
Comment by Dave G on July 6, 2009 at 12:09pm
Theoretically plausible, Ninja, but it would take a very long time to have an effect, and the toll it would take on those born and living during the process would be incalculable.

It's far more likely that once we gain a better understanding of our genome (honestly, even with as much as we have learned, we're just picking about the edges), we'll be able to correct the genetic errors which result in shorter lifespans directly, including a number of deadly genetic traits which have had little pressure from natural selection due to their effects only showing up after prime childbearing age.
Comment by CJoe on July 6, 2009 at 5:50pm
I think we shouldn't worry about lengthening lives until we figure out how to educate the ignorant masses. I really don't think it'd be great to overpopulate the world with fundamentalists.

But then again, since they're so against science... maybe we could make it an exclusive club of elite intellectual types! Of course, someone could complain it "wasn't fair", but seriously... they're the ones who think science is a tool of Satan. Why would they want anything to do with it? Besides! They should be welcoming death with excitement!


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