This blog ("weblog") which goes back to Nov. 2005 is more an online scrapbook of essays and quotes from others. Known historically as a "commonplace book", it serves as a repository for whatever I consider useful information along a common theme which I call "cultureplaces". The various excerpts that contain research findings and journalistic commentary also inform the interaction of values and our genetic heritage discussed occasionally among a small group of humanists in the Bay Area.
"As Gov. Schwarzenegger implied, the more outgoing West African personality contribution in Puerto Ricans makes them more extroverted on average that Mexicans, whose Native American contribution inclines them toward solidity and introversion. (Spaniards tend to be fairly extroverted, so mestizos come in a wide range of introversion to extroversion, while mulattos are more consistently extroverted. That may have something to do with why the smaller Caribbean population has made a bigger impact on American popular culture then the very large Mexican-American population -- e.g.., Jennifer Lopez, and American-born Puerto Rica won the role of Selena, the American-born Tex-Mex singer."
"A recent working paper by the President’s Council on Bioethics noted that “as genomic knowledge increases and more genes are identified that correlate with diseases, the applications for preimplantation genetic diagnosis will likely increase greatly,” including for medical conditions such as cancer, mental illness, or asthma, and non-medical traits such as temperament or height. “While currently a small practice,” the Council working paper declares, “PGD is a momentous development. It represents the first fusion of genomics and assisted reproduction—effectively opening the door to the genetic shaping of offspring.”
In one sense, of course, PGD poses no new eugenic dangers. Genetic screening using amniocentesis has allowed parents to test the fitness of potential offspring for years. But PGD is poised to increase this power significantly: It will allow parents to choose the child they want, not simply re…