21 Comments
Feb 28, 2023Liked by Ives Parr

If reproductive choice is better than reproductive chance, one way to show the affinity with the "pro-Choice vs pro-Life" debate is to speak to a woman currently doing PGT-P, and follow their odyssey to find a clinic allowing (or denying) her choice.

If you had access to a woman doing this, Parrhesia, would you be willing to do a video interview of her over Skype or video conference, and then release the interview as a video?

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Yes, I’m interested. That’s a good idea too.

Maybe just for audio but I’ve been strongly considering interviews lately.

I worry a bit about video because I don’t want to lose my job.

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I'm going to be interviewing Simone Collins for Ideas Sleep Furiously in the next couple of months- she has a polygenically screened daughter called Titan. Titan threw up on me.

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Feb 28, 2023·edited Feb 28, 2023Author

I like the Collins and I’m sympathetic to their worldview. However, I wonder if their extraordinarily unusual worldview might be distracting or offputting if the focus is PGT-P. Not to say that’s your intent, just choices intent with the recommended interview.

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Mar 3, 2023·edited Mar 3, 2023Liked by Ives Parr

Awesome to hear that Dissentient will be interviewing Simone!

I think that Simone comes across well, her quirkiness isn't bad. It's just that Julia Black predictably cast her in a villainous light. Diana won't do that, because she doesn't hate PGT-P.

But I ask that Dissentient immodestly propose to Simone to make this a bi-directional interview! Diana is super interesting too, and Simone likewise will not cast Diana in a villainous light, because she also doesn't hate PGT-P.

Imagine that, being interviewed by people who don't have a hateful agenda against you, and even like you!

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That's a good idea. Both would have interesting things to say.

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China imprisoned someone that did it, but they also just made IVF free.

In the USA there is no pushback of any kind against pgt-p or IVF of any kind in any state or political party.

Some people are worried that in theory the left might want to ban it on egalitarian grounds or the right might want to ban it on religious grounds, but nobody has actually banned anything or moved towards doing so in any way.

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Mar 3, 2023·edited Mar 3, 2023

Exactly. And nobody ever did for PGT-M, either.

Or for IVF.

Embryos have been tested for eye color for over a decade. You can still do it today. Not even a single attempt at a ban.

The PGT-P toothpaste is never, ever going back into the tube. You people who fear this are fantasists who don't understand things. The problem now is that nobody knows about it.

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Banning sibling marriage (going back at least to Roman times) is probably not a good example of eugenics. It’s more likely based on what Jonathan Haidt would call the purity moral foundation, the ick factor, not any specific identifiable harm.

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Being 'inbred' and having poor health/intellect has been an association dating back thousands of years in europe. The specific harm is fairly identifiable, even to peoples without a knowledge of modern genetics.

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Fair point, so maybe some of both.

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“I don’t want to get into the semantics about whether something counts as eugenics.”

Most observers would see that as saying “I’m actually in favor of evil but want to call it somewhere else.” I would just grant them the term “eugenics” to just mean “whatever Hitler did” and say you oppose that of course like all decent people, but you believe in reproductive choice and people living happy, healthy lives. Why become hung up on a word?

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Coming to this late. But if we take “eugenics” to mean social action or engineering to influence genetic outcomes at a *population* level, then the private choice to use or not to use PGT-P or IVF doesn’t rise to the level of eugenics and can be discussed separately.

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People apply eugenics to a zillion different things that Hitler did not do. It would be great if we could move on from the word eugenics- but, as I said in my piece, it has strong rhetorical power precisely because people who call embryo selection eugenics are, in fact, using the term accurately.

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“Using the term accurately.” I disagree. “Eugenic” just means “evil thing.” Like “racist.” Words don’t have objective definitions, they are based on how they are used. If people started using “table” to refer to all furniture, that would become the new definition of table. People use “eugenics” now to argue against removing Covid restrictions, etc.

Since embryo selection is good and eugenics means bad, it can’t be eugenics.

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Mar 1, 2023·edited Mar 1, 2023

Edwards, the father of IVF and disease screening, argued that it is:

"disease control, not eugenics"

Dissentient is literally correct, but Richard is strategically correct. As was Nobelist Edwards before him.

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/14530617_Preimplantation_diagnosis_is_disease_control_not_eugenics

Owning and rehabilitating "eugenics" is rigorous, satisfying, based, accurate, truthful. But it is also autistic, missing the point, and a strategic mistake.

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The fact it has strong rhetorical power is precisely WHY we need to avoid it at any cost. It's one of countless words used in a non-central-fallacious way by the left and conceding in any way that embryo selection is "technically" eugenics can do nothing but hurt the cause.

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Who actually wants to ban this? Has any jurisdiction done so?

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Mar 18, 2023Liked by Ives Parr

It's not widespread enough to warrant a ban, but if/when it becomes a commonplace option to select more intelligent embryos, say, it will get a LOT of attention.

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No.

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But, in many places, the default state of things is "forbidden until approved".

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