[LMB] Sociopaths and Psychopaths and why we might not engineer them out
M. Haller Yamada
thefabmadamem at yahoo.com
Sun Oct 13 14:10:15 BST 2019
So, we have touched only very lightly on the nurture part
of the nature (DNA manipulation) vs. nurture debate, but
there's a neuroscientist named James Fallon who writes
for The Atlantic, and in the course of his journalism, he
had a brain scan done that identified him as a psychopath.
Very interesting article. The Atlantic has recently changed
its access, but I think you get a few free articles, and
this one is definitely one to read.
He had no idea; IIRC, when he told his family the news,
they were kind of like, "Yeah, that makes sense." But he's
nonviolent, and he's a good writer as well as a neuroscientist.
All in all, an asset to the community (at least, in the article he
wrote, he comes off that way. Maybe he throws pens at the
His theory is that nurture helped him learn how to be a
productive member of society. And that it's the psychopaths
who sometimes push the envelopes of research -- of course,
sometimes in bad ways, but sometimes in good and interesting ways.
The gene screening that goes along with the gene modification would
mean that people who have those genes could be nurtured properly
so they don't go around "shooting people to watch 'em die" and all
the horrible stuff.
I'd also like to add that someone's figures about random genetic mutation
were quite interesting, and suggest that even with gene modifications
by parents, little quirks and sports could happen.
Gwynne said something about "heaven help the kid who didn't turn out
like the parents ordered" and that is worrisome. I tend to think that the
control freak parents who design their kids to the last optimum drop are
more likely to be disappointed when the nurture fails to mold the child
"properly". I hope the societies have a back-up plan. The Betans have
parenting classes that might weed some of that out, for example.
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