[LMB] No lefties in the Nexus

Pat Mathews mathews55 at msn.com
Fri Oct 4 15:43:21 BST 2019

A lot of this was discussed in Heinlein's novel Beyond This Horizon. It takes place when the Eugenics War is still in living memory but starting to fade, and one of the genetic counselors is explaining the contemporary policy to the leading character. No pressure on anybody to have gene-cleaning or not; in fact, they like to keep a strong "Control Natural" population for many and varied reasons.

No genetically engineered modifications are allowed - that way lay some horrors in the past. Just a careful selection of the best the parental genome had to offer. Certain marriages encouraged, to spread desirable traits like resistance to dental caries.

They also - Lois would strongly disagree, but remember, this is a post - holocaust culture - refuse to use "etogenesis" (Uterine replicators) and do encourage breast-feeding. Because when the garden fertilizer hit the fan back then, replicator babies and formula-fed babies died from massive, prolonged power failures.

Considering some of the conditions in war zones from my infancy up (born in 1939) I can't say as I disagree too strongly.
From: lois-bujold-bounces at lists.herald.co.uk <lois-bujold-bounces at lists.herald.co.uk> on behalf of Howard Brazee <howard at brazee.net>
Sent: Friday, October 4, 2019 7:03 AM
To: Discussion of the works of Lois McMaster Bujold. <lois-bujold at lists.herald.co.uk>
Subject: Re: [LMB] No lefties in the Nexus

> On Oct 4, 2019, at 2:20 AM, Gwynne Powell <gwynnepowell at hotmail.com> wrote:
> A possible answer to the 'How much do we twitch the chromsomes'
> question: deal with any problems or anomalies, removing any
> life-limiting conditions and defects. Take away the heart defects,
> Alzheimers, the myriad of tragic syndromes that make life so difficult.
> Cleanse away whatever you feel will impact badly on your child's life.
> But don't add anything. Don't build in musical ability, don't change
> intelligence, don't add specific talents. Take away the impediments
> so that the real, natural spirit and strengths can shine. I think that would
> be the line for me.

I’ve never understood that point-of-view.    Sometimes the measurement of “normal” is hard to define.   How about having genes that make me as athletic as an Olympic gold medalist?    Is that OK?    Or maybe as athletic as a high-school star?    (Or replace genes with money to get training).   Gordon Cooper had better than 20-20 vision.    Can we modify my genes so that my children have better than 20-20 vision too?   Or is it only OK if we modify them so that they have 20-20 vision, no better?     How *tall* is acceptable for my genes to make my children?   How smart?
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