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His findings, his theories, his speculations, whatever you want to call them.

No, it does matter what you call them. You can make up an infinite number of self-consistent hypotheses, but you first need to confront them with reality to take them seriously. Your own estimation that the trend "very likely does" exist needs a basis, too.

less robust from a survivability standpoint -- however you choose to define or measure that

Again, it matters very much how you choose to define that. Especially if we consider what Darwinian fitness means: it's not some innate quality, as in the imagination of Social Darwinists, but a function of the environment (in the widest sense of the word; one could also use "niche"), which in our case has been and is being modified heavily by culture.

I carry not one but two genetic defects that, probably before the industrial revolution and almost certainly before the agricultural revolution, would have severely curtailed my expected life span.

But we are not before the industrial and agricultural revolutions, so you are speaking about an imaginary "survivability". You then build an ethical dilemma atop this imaginary fitness. If physical robustness is not a trait with a greater value of fitness now, then why do you want it? (In fact, already our pre-agricultural-revolution ancestors were less robust than Neanderthals.)

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Wed Nov 14th, 2012 at 01:12:54 PM EST
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