RE: virus: Re: Hermit and evolution

The (
Fri, 4 Jun 1999 19:19:47 -0500

-----Original Message-----
From: []On Behalf Of Robert Odom
Sent: Friday, June 04, 1999 2:54
Subject: virus: Re: Hermit and evolution

The program you're describing sounds like facism to me.

ThReE wOrDs: ChUrCh Of ViRuS
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I think that this demonstrates a lack of knowledge on your part, rather than any failing in the suggested plan. Either a lack of knowledge about genetics and the horrors of genetic disease, or about fascism or most probably about both. While the program Joe Dees mentioned would be much smarter, and I would love to see it implemented, it offers less of a choice to people and unless a voluntary and non-contagious vector were available, it would probably meet far stiffer resistance than a purely voluntary campaign.

The program that I suggested would have the key elements of choice and reward. No threat whatever - although of course, the economic cost and possible damages that the state (if forced to provide care to offspring), offspring (if competent) or court (if offspring are incompetent) could claim from people who are so uncaring as to continue to spread defective genes and condemn their children to uneccessary suffering and shortened lives might act as an additional persuasion to people to join the program. You do realise that the suggested plan would potentially reduce health costs by over 70% if 80% of the population participated in such a program. That is far less fascist, than "forcing" children to be innoculated against smallpox? Yet the "forcing" of the smallpox vaccine improved the quality of life for 100's of millions of people. Do you believe that was wrong?

The benefit to people whose parents adopted such a plan would be enormous. It would probably add an average of 20 years of healthy productive life to people in countries that adopted it, while practically guaranteeing a decline in births. Which would put any country that did not adopt such a plan at an immense disadvantage.

Medicine and other fruits of scientific and technological development have caused average lifespans to double in the last four centuries... unfortunately, this has a cost associated with it. The same advances have removed much of the cost penalty of genetically flawed material and made it possible for defective genes to be propagated at far higher levels than ever before. Hopefully the fruits of the Human Genome Project will allow us to correct this tragic state of affairs.


>From WWWebster

Fascism, n: 1 often capitalized : a political philosophy, movement, or regime (as that of the Fascisti) that exalts nation and often race above the individual and that stands for a centralized autocratic government headed by a dictatorial leader, severe economic and social regimentation, and forcible suppression of opposition 2 : a tendency toward or actual exercise of strong autocratic or dictatorial control <early instances of army fascism and brutality -- J. W. Aldridge>

PS Please explain how you see the plan as fascist? Or were you just not thinking? Or are you a Christian and believe, as your book of myths claims that your gods do, that illness, pain and suffering are things that should be encouraged and thus should not be cured?

P.P.S. I have tried to demonstrate how serious the problem is below. Sorry for the lousy format, but it is the best I can do with ASCII...

In the following, assume that X is a healthy gamete and F is a faulty one. Assume that F is recessive, i.e. it is not so faulty as to cause death when a single F is received, but is fatal with an F from both parents. Assume that each couple has all the permutations possible with a normal distribution. This is not necessary, it doesn't change the percentages, but this exhaustion by enumeration of the possibilities will show that there is nothing up my sleeve :-)

Assume a couple with one healthy partner and one partner with the faulty gene

Parent generation		| XX x XF | 
filial generation		| xx xf fx xx |

So each child has a 2/4 chance of receiving F (i.e. 50% chance of being a carrier of the faulty gene, 50% chance of being healthy). Prior to modern medicine, the chances of this offspring surviving to breed were low and problems were self correcting. Today these children are likely to survive and may well breed with others having the same faulty gametes.

If we assume that the faulty gamete is widely present in the population based on the above distribution i.e. each child has the chance of meeting a partner with the same distribution of the faulty gamete, lets see what happens.

| 1 XX x XX |2 XX x XF |3 XX x FX |4 XX x XX |5 XF x XX |6 XF x XF |7 XF x FX |8 XF x XX |9 FX x XX |10 FX x XF |11 FX x FX |12 FX x XX |13 XX x XX |14 XX x XF |15 XX x FX |16 XX x XX |

|1 xx xx xx xx |2 xx xf xx fx |3 xf xx fx xx |4 xx xx xx xx |5 xx fx xx xf |6 xx ff xf fx |7 xf fx ff xx |8 xx fx xf xx |9 fx xx xf xx |10 fx xf xx ff |11 ff xx fx xf |12 fx xx xx xf |13 xx xx xx xx |14 xx xf xx fx |15 xf xx fx xx |16 xx xx xx xx |

So now the offspring have a 4/64 chance of dying. A 24/64 chance of being a carrier and a 36/64 chance of being born normally. Today this situation is quite likely. And you can see how faulty material can distribute extremely rapidly. And it is exactly this very rapid distribution of faulty material through societies that implies that we need to start working on the problem quite urgently as the initial distribution phase of faulty material is fast, and remains fast so long as the faulty gamete is present in only a small percentage of the population.

It is only when we realize that for example, lung, cervical and breast cancers, which are relatively modern diseases, are passed on in this way that we realize exactly how disastrous this distribution really is in terms of health care. And while lung cancer distribution is affected by other factors, e.g. Radon and other environmental factors, it maps extremely well to population genetic distributions. Breast and cervical cancers are influenced by sexual and child bearing patterns but the correlation with genetic groupings are inescapable. As are cardiac and vascular diseases to say nothing of the "obvious" genetically determined diseases such as sicle cell anemia. Or why your life insurance policy will be weighted if you have family members who have died of cancer or cardiovascular events...