[Baseline] Raising chickens the high-tech way

Karl Anderson kra@monkey.org
24 Jul 2002 11:51:48 -0700


ThosStew@aol.com writes:

> In a message dated 7/23/2002 6:02:27 PM, dl@silcom.com writes:
> 
> >If we're willing to count artificial
> >selection as genetic engineering, 
> 
> Of course was genetic engineering. It used the fundamental mechanism of 
> genetics (inheritance of traits), and not randomly, but 
> intentionally--breeding for long fur, fat hams, whatever. The degree to which 
> the engineers--farmers, breeders--understood exactly how the mehcanism works 
> is only marginally relevant to the question of whether it was engineering. 

Naw, I still disagree, again because if I'm going to be so loose
with the definitions, then I'd have to say that I myself am a
genetically engineered organism.  But I'm natural, baby.  My parents
were attracted to each other's phenotypes, mixed some genes in the
hopes that those genotypes would get in there, and grew me around
them.  Sure, they engineered the process when they selected each
other.  But they didn't engineer the genetics.  If genetic enginering
wasn't such an important topic today, it wouldn't be such an important
distinction.

I guess that the reason that I disagree is that some groups arguing
against any checks on genetic engineering use that same argument -
"we've been doing it since prehistory, so we don't need to apply any
caution today".

-- 
Karl Anderson      kra@monkey.org           http://www.monkey.org/~kra/