L’amore del futuro

Come si ameranno (e come si riprodurranno) gli esseri umani?

David Friedman è consapevole che molto dipende dalle tecnologie a loro disposizione, e su questo fatto fonda l’excursus contenuto nel saggio “Human Reproduction”…

La monogamia stabile sembra essere ad oggi la modalità di unione preferita da uomini e uccelli …

… Human mating patterns have varied a good deal across time and space, but long-term monogamy is far and away the most common…

Ma perché?…

… possibly because their offspring, like ours, require extended parental care.’…

C’è poi il correttivo dell’adulterio

… As with humans, the norm is monogamy tempered by adultery…

Ecco allora il modello di base: monogamia temperata da tradimento occasionale.

Una quota significativa dei figli accuditi dalla coppia non è della coppia…

… significant percentage – estimates range from about I in 100 to 1 in 3 – of the children of married women cohabiting with their husbands are fathered by someone else.’…

La logica della situazione venutasi a creare è abbastanza semplice. Consideriamo, da un punto di vista evoluzionistico, la strategia ottima maschile

… Males play two different roles in human (and avian) reproduction. They contribute genes to help produce children and resources to help rear them. The latter contribution is costly… So it is not surprising that males, whether men or ganders, invest substantial effort both in attempting to impregnate females they are not mated to and in attempting to keep the females they are mated to from being impregnated by other males…

In parole povere: scegliersi una donna, fecondarla assicurandosi che non vada con altri, nel frattempo tentare qualche scappatella riproducendosi a spese di qualche cornuto.

Consideriamo ora la strategia femminile

… A faithful female gets both genes and support from her mate, trading her contribution to producing offspring for his. But an unfaithful female can do even better. She pairs up with the best provider who will have her and then, given the opportunity, becomes pregnant by the highest quality male available, where “quality” is defined by whatever observable characteristics signal heritable characteristics that can be expected to result in reproductive success for her offspring – tail length in swallows, income and status in humans…

Garantirsi la protezione di un uomo cercando di avere figli da lui, ma anche, di nascosto, da chi sembra avere più successo sociale del nostro “lui”.

Henry Kissinger lo dice in modo chiaro…

… “Power is the ultimate aphrodisiac.”…

Le strategie sono state calibrate nel tempo fondandosi su un fatto ben preciso

… the inability of males to reliably identify their offspring….

La tecnologia del test di paternità cambia le carte in tavola.

Quali conseguenze? Innanzitutto, molti matrimoni andranno a rotoli

…The obvious consequence is that some men would discover that their wives had been unfaithful and some marriages would break up as a result…

L’attenzione sulla contraccezione aumenterà…

… married women conducting affairs would take more care with contraception…

Infine, si diffonderà una cura differenziata dei figli…

… The still less obvious consequence – except to economists and evolutionary biologists – is that men would take better care of their children…

Per quanto oggi questa pratica suoni strana e crudele, la cura differenziata è sempre esistita nella storia, basta sfogliare un romanzo ottocentesco per rendersene conto…

… Readers who question the assumption that parents are biased in favor of their own children might want to look at the literary evidence…

Ma anche dare un’occhiata alla cronaca nera. Le statistiche sulle violenze in famiglia dimostrano l’esistenza della cura differenziata: abusi e violenze sono molto più comuni quando subentra un nuovo padre…

… Across a variety of cultures there is evidence from statistics on child abuse and child murder that the literature is right – judging by one study, stepparents are about forty times as likely to kill children as real parents.’…

In passato, per stabilire la paternità si ricorreva a regole “spannometriche” come la “regola di Lord Mansfield”…

… a common-law doctrine going back to the eighteenth century, a married man cohabiting with his spouse was legally forbidden from challenging the legitimacy of her offspring…

Oggi non avrebbe più senso appoggiarsi a queste finzioni

… In California, for example… presumption may be rebutted by scientific evidence…

Il matrimonio tradizionale, dunque, aveva la funzione di garantire la paternità più o meno certa…

… One function of the marriage institutions of most human societies we know of, past and present, is to give males a reasonable confidence of paternity…

Oggi quella funzione è destituita di fondamento. Che accadrà?

Una maggiore promiscuità sembra probabile…

… This raises some interesting possibilities. We could, at one extreme, have a society of casual promiscuity…

Ma il matrimonio ha anche altre funzioni: in due, per esempio, si cresce meglio un bambino che non da soli…

… It is easier for two parents to raise a child jointly if they are living together, and the fact that two people enjoy sex together is very weak evidence that they will enjoy living together…

Quindi, più probabile della promiscuità pura e semplice, è il matrimonio di gruppo…

… An alternative that is both more attractive and more interesting is some form of group marriage…

Un ostacolo al matrimonio di gruppo è la gelosia.

Ma la gelosia è uno strumento obsoleto per garantire la paternità – che quindi possiamo ora dismettere -, oppure appartiene al nostro essere profondo e non è quindi nella nostra disponibilità?

… That in turn comes down to a simple question to which I do not know the answer: Is male sexual jealousy hardwired?”…

Un indizio a favore della prima ipotesi…

… Weak evidence for the latter explanation is provided by an anthropologist’s observation that men spent less time monitoring their wives when the wives were pregnant, and hence could not conceive.) …

Quando la nostra compagna è incinta siamo meno gelosi. Evidentemente possiamo non essere gelosi se solo lo vogliamo.

Anche se la gelosia esistesse, per l’uomo c’è sempre la possibilità  di ricorrere alla“mamma professionista”. Niente amore, niente gelosia…

… Suppose that male sexual jealousy is hardwired. There still remains an interesting possibility: the professional mother. Consider a woman who likes children, is good at bearing and rearing them, and herself has characteristics that men would like in the mother of their child – healthy, intelligent, good looking…The man fathers the child, whether by artificial insemination or more traditional means. The woman bears and rears the child…

L’amore sarebbe solo tra genitori e figli.

Ma c’è un problema con la mamma surrogata: se il soggetto designato fosse davvero la mamma ideale tutti la vorrebbero e difficilmente farebbe la mamma surrogata di mestiere…

… One problem with this is that the ideal mother for your children is beautiful, brilliant, and healthy – and a woman like that may be able to find a more attractive career than being a surrogate mother…

Un problema che si puo’ superare: gli ovuli possono essere comprati da soggetti terzi…

… There is already a thriving market in human eggs… professional mother could be only a host mother, bearing the better baby constructed by combining your sperm with the best egg money can buy…

La mamma professionista a questo punto sarebbe solo una tata permanente.

Facciamo il caso contrario: una donna che vuole un figlio da sola, che fa?

Semplice, cerca il seme ideale, e lo trova a costi molto più bassi

… Eggs are relatively scarce,… Sperm is, for most practical purposes, a free good…

Ci sono alcune tendenze che rendono l’ipotesi del genitore single sempre più probabile: i redditi aumentano e il problema economico è il problema maggiore del genitore single…

… rising real incomes; it is easier for a single parent to raise a child the richer he or she is….

Ma la tecnologia riproduttiva genererà parecchi problemi legali. Esempio: chi è obbligato al mantenimento del neonato in certe peculiari situazioni?…

… State welfare agencies and unmarried or no-longer-married mothers would like to find a man who can be made responsible for supporting the mothers’ children. If their genetic father can be identified, he is the obvious candidate. But what if he cannot? …

L’eventuale “cornuto” puo’ astenersi dal mantenere il frutto del peccato? Da un lato…

… a man who has been cuckolded by his wife is already a victim of her betrayal; to make him responsible for supporting someone else’s child only adds injury to insult….

… dall’altro…

… The counterargument is that even if the mother is at fault her child is not…

Rintracciare un padre sarà un gioco da ragazzi, specie se verranno istituiti dei database efficienti…

… One possibility a little farther down the road is a genetic database that could be used to identify the genetic father and make him liable, bringing us back to the idea of paternity testing at birth…

E la sorte delle banche del seme? La vedo grigia qualora i donatori possano essere coinvolti in obblighi legali. Finora era difficile rintracciarli causa assenza di qualsiasi registro affidabile, ma domani si potrà facilmente e con certezza risalire a loro…

… Paternity testing could also create problems for men who, under current law, are not responsible for supporting children who, genetically speaking, really are theirs. In many states, if a woman conceives by artificial insemination using sperm from a sperm bank, she has no claims for support from the donor. Prior to paternity testing, that legal rule could be enforced by simply not keeping the relevant records… making it easier for adopted children to locate birth parents, including ones who do not want to be located, some men may be in for a surprise…

Oggi un bambino puo’ avere tre mamme

… “mother” has at least three different meanings. One is intentional mother: the woman who intended to play the social role of mother when the arrangements for producing the child were made. One is womb mother: the mother in whose womb the fetus grew. A third is egg mother: the mother who provided the egg…

… e due papi

… Fathers still come in only two varieties. The intentional father is the man who intended to play the social role of father; the biological father…

“Genitore” è diventata allora una parola ambigua.

Esempio di una sentenza in presenza di cinque potenziali genitori…

… I described the (real, California) case of the child with five parents. All five were different people – and the intentional parents, John and Luanne, separated a month before the baby was born. The court decided that the intentional parents were the ones that counted…

In questo caso il giudice ha deciso che  i genitori (responsabili del figlio) sono coloro che l’hanno voluto (criterio del “genitore intenzionale”).

Puo’ esistere anche un genitore biologico unico: la tecnica della clonazione lo consente…

… The same legal approach could be used to resolve the issues of parenthood raised by cloning. The human clone gets all of his or her nuclear DNA from one donor. Genetically speaking, one might describe that donor as both parents…

In teoria basta trafugare alcune cellule da Tizio per avere un figlio con lui a sua insaputa…

… since cells can be obtained from a donor without his consent, we have the possibility that a woman could bear the clone of a rich and prominent man and then sue him for child support on a scale appropriate to his income…

Il criterio della “genitorialità per intenzione” sembra poter risolvere molti casi spinosi.

Ma consente che anche che una SRL possa diventare “genitore”…

… intentional reproduction could involve one male and one female, two males, two females, a partnership of four of each, or a corporation – say Microsoft, looking to breed a successor for Bill Gates…

Già oggi, in molti casi, trattiamo le corporation come soggetti autonomi.

Ma qui subentrano altri problemi legati alla proprietà intellettuale: se la Monsanto crea una nuova pianta, poi la brevetta e ne diventa “proprietaria”. E se domani creasse un nuovo bambino, magari molto dotato e invidiato da terzi?

… Monsanto… creates a transgenic soybean… What if Monsanto applies its new technologies not to soybeans but to people…

Altro problema legato al primo:

… If I am the child, do I require Monsanto’s permission to reproduce?…

Se sono “figlio” della Monsanto, posso riprodurmi senza prima chiedere a lei il permesso? Ricordo che il mio genoma è sotto diritto d’autore.

Soluzione possibile…

… Considering the attitude our legal system takes to private ownership of human beings by anyone other than themselves, I doubt that Monsanto could get very far enforcing its intellectual property rights…

Probabilmente la tradizione giudaico-cristiana del nostro sistema legale garantirà il principio libertario secondo cui: il mio corpo è mio.

Passiamo ad un altro problema: nei nostri geni sono scritte molte cose, alcune forse sarebbe meglio non saperle.

Facciamo l’esempio delle malattie: anemia, Alzheimer, infarti, tumori… sono tutte malattia con una componente genetica. La mappatura del genoma consentirà di scoprirle per tempo e fare prevenzione

… Of the ills that human flesh is heir to, some are entirely due to having the wrong genes… It is already possible to do a complete gene map of an individual for less than $1,000,000 and the cost is predicted to get below $1,000 in the not very distant future….someone who knew he was, for genetic reasons, particularly vulnerable to alcoholism might choose to avoid the problem by never taking the first drink.

Altre volte è meglio non sapere

… knowledge is not inevitably desirable. If I carry a death sentence in my genes, I might prefer not to know about it…

Particolarmente spinoso è il caso delle assicurazioni: molti individui diverranno “inassicurabili”, ad ogni modo i prezzi saranno differenziati…

… Consider an insurance company offering insurance against a disease… the risk of the disease becomes uninsurable… If insurance companies are permitted to insist on testing clients before selling them insurance, both those with and without bad genes will be able to buy insurance but at different prices…

Si potrebbe vietare all’assicurazione di fare i test genetici o visionare i test già fatti. Ma qui cadiamo dalla padella nella brace, il problema della selezione avversa è dietro l’angolo…

… The solution some have recommended is to make it illegal for insurance companies to require testing… This effect is known in the insurance literature as adverse selection… A standard example is the used car market. The ignorant buyers pay the same price for good cars (cream puffs) and bad cars (lemons), making the sale of your car a good deal if you have a lemon and a poor deal if you have a cream puff. Lemons sell and cream puffs, for the most part, do not. Buyers, anticipating that, make their offer on the assumption that if the offer is accepted the car is probably a lemon – and at lemon prices, few cream puffs are offered for sale… the result is even worse than it would be with testing by the insurance companies….

Si potrebbe allora impedire a tutti il test, ma qui sarebbe facile barare…

… One solution would be to somehow make it possible to prove that you have never been tested….Unfortunately, such a system provides a large incentive to cheat…

Altra soluzione: assicurarsi prima del concepimento

… An alternative solution would be for parents to buy insurance for their children before the children are conceived. The price might still depend on the parents’ genes,…

Non vado oltre perché sono fuori tema, ma riprendere il discorso sull’amore tra gli uomini è facile: un test potrebbe essere richiesto prima di fidanzarsi. In fondo, persino la tendenza a tradire ha una componente genetica. Sembra una pratica volgare ma con una tecnologia affidabile e pratica costerebbe molto rinunciarvi. D’altronde, anche acquistare anelli dal valore materiale elevato sembrerebbe volgare, ed invece noi oggi valutiamo questa pratica come compatibile con un amore romantico…

… Insurance companies are not, of course, the only people who might be interested in your genes. There is now some evidence that a tendency toward sexual fidelity – or infidelity – is in part genetic. Requesting genetic testing of your intended just before the marriage seems a bit crass but perhaps, in a future where the relevant technologies are well developed and fully exploited, the questions will be asked – of the online matchmaker – prior to the first date. …

Ora affrontiamo un tema d’attualità: il sesso incerto dei protagonisti di una storia  d’amore.

In realtà i sessi non sono poi così incerti. Ci sono i maschietti e le femminucce

… Almost all men have an X and a Y chromosome and a male body; almost all women have two X chromosomes and a female body….

Anche se nemmeno qui mancano i casi problematici

… Some humans are XY but have female bodies: genetically male but morphologically female. Some are the reverse – XX with male bodies. And some humans are genetically XYY, with male bodies and a mild tendency toward aggressive personalities, or XXY, or…..

Ma le cose si complicano parecchio quando alla genetica e alla morfologia si aggiunge la psicologia…

… So far we are dealing with genetics and morphology, both fairly unambiguous even if the combinations are wilder than we thought. The situation gets more confused if you add in psychology. Some people who are genetically and morphologically male claim to be psychologically female…

Il cervello fa brutti scherzi e a volte sembra dissociarsi dal resto in materia di sessualità…

… in a way not yet clearly understood, such people have brains designed for the wrong gender…

Ebbene, che succede se una coppia si sposa e poi si scopre che erano due “lui”. Il matrimonio è valido? Chi eredita?…

… If Deirdre marries a wealthy man and he later dies intestate, can his heirs successfully challenge her claim to part of his estate on the grounds that she was a he, hence could not contract a legal marriage with a man? That particular case – with a different transsexual – was recently litigated in Kansas. The wife lost. …

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Le innovazioni che toccano la sessualità umana sono sempre gravide di conseguenze. Prendiamo il caso della contraccezione diffusa…

… a steep decline in traditional marriage, a corresponding increase in nonmarital sex, and, perhaps surprisingly, extraordinarily high rates of childbirth outside of marriage

Forse il caso più spinoso è quello delle nuove potenzialità eugenetiche.

Oggi l’eugenetica ha una cattiva fama, non è sempre stato così…

…the idea of improving the human species by selective breeding, was supported by quite a lot of people in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.’…

Il Nazismo ha spostato i giudizi…

… Currently it ranks, in the rhetoric of controversy, only a little above Nazism…

Spesso ci si dimentica che di eugenetiche ne esistono almeno due. Nella prima gli uomini sono come i cani o i cavalli da corsa…

… two quite different ways of achieving similar objectives. One is to treat human beings like show dogs or racehorses… Such a policy involves forcing people who want to have children not to do so and perhaps forcing people who do not want to have children to do so…

Poi, c’è un’eugenetica libertaria

… The earliest description I know of is in a science fiction novel, Beyond This Horizon, by Robert Heinlein, arguably one of the ablest and most innovative science fiction writers of the twentieth century… With the assistance of expert advice, they select among the eggs produced by the wife and the sperm produced by the husband the particular combination of egg and sperm that will produce the child they most want to have…

Qui la diversità resta garantita…

… decision is made by each set of parents for their own children, not by someone for everyone, it should maintain a high degree of genetic diversity…

Le tecniche eugenetiche oggi disponibili: amniocentesi e aborto

… The current, more primitive, method is for a woman to conceive, obtain fetal cells by extracting amniotic fluid (“amniocentesis”), have the cells checked to see if they carry any serious genetic defect – in particular, the extra copy of chromosome 21 that produces Down syndrome – and abort the fetus if they do…

Le tecniche del futuro: selezione di ovuli e/o sperma…

… Obtain eggs from the intended mother, sperm from the intended father. Fertilize in vitro – outside the mother’s body… Extract one cell… Select from the fertilized eggs one that does not carry whatever serious genetic defect they are trying to avoid. Implant that egg back in the mother….

Ma probabilmente si andrà oltre con il “baby design”…

… We will then be in a world where at least some people are able to deliberately produce “the best and the brightest” of the children those people could have had…

Un’altra via battuta sarà quella della clonazione

… The one that has gotten most of the attention is cloning, producing an individual who is genetically identical to another.’…

La clonazione è un processo già presente in natura

… cloning is natural and fairly common; identical twins…

La nuova clonazione creerà gemelli di età diverse, padri e figli, per esempio.

A volte i motivi di preoccupazione sono bizzarri..

… Much of the initial hostility to the technology seemed to be rooted in the bizarre belief that cloning replicates an adult…

Tra un figlio clonato e suo padre ci saranno comunque molte differenze poiché cresceranno in ambienti molto diversi visto il time lag.

L’ingegneria genetica aprirà di certo molte strade…

… Another technology, a little further into the future, is genetic engineering. If we knew enough about how genes work and how to manipulate them, it might be possible to take genetic material from sperms, eggs, or adult cells contributed by two or more individuals and combine it…

Probabilmente ci saranno anche geni artificiali

… Another possibility is to create artificial genes, perhaps an entire additional chromosome.’… prevent aging, say, or fight AIDS…

La tecnologia di base per tutte queste innovazioni…

… Current and near-future technologies to control what sort of children we have depend on IVF, a technology originally developed to make it possible for otherwise infertile women to have children… It has also already made it possible for surrogate mothers to bear children produced from other women’s fertilized eggs…

Se una coppia lesbica vuole avere un figlio oggi che fa?…

… At present a pair ofwomen who wish to rear a child can, in at least some states, adopt one…

Ma domani potranno avere un figlio loro in senso stretto (ovvero col medesimo patrimonio genetico) grazie allo sperma artificiale…

… But they cannot do what most other couples desiring children do: produce a child who is the genetic offspring of both of them. The closest that can be managed with traditional technology is to use sperm donated by a father or brother of one to inseminate the other, producing a child who is, genetically speaking, half one of them and a quarter the other… That situation is changing. Techniques have been developed for producing artificial sperm containing genetic material from an adult cell. They may make it possible in the fairly near future for two women to produce a child who is, in the full sense, theirs…

Alcune “riparazioni genetiche” sono operative già oggi…

… This form of genetic engineering has already been used to combat severe combined immune deficiency – SCID – the genetic disease that makes children’s bodies unable to defend themselves against infection…

Ma anche il cancro è una malattia genetica che potrebbe essere curata con l’ingegneria. Vediamo meglio il processo da cui scaturisce il cancro…

… My development from a fertilized ovum to an adult was made possible by cell division, starting with a single cell… Once I reach my full size, most of those cells must stop dividing, since otherwise I will keep growing. Cells are provided with mechanisms to make them divide – oncogenes – which get turned off when division is no longer necessary. They are provided with additional mechanisms to stop them dividing, in case the oncogene gets somehow stuck on “divide.” And, just to play safe, they have a third mechanism to make the cell self-destruct if the first two fail…

E vediamo ora la possibile cura

… Which suggests a possible tactic for curing cancer. Genetically modify the cancer cells in a way that fixes at least one of the three things that is wrong with them. If you fix one of the first two, the cancer cells stop dividing. If you fix the third, they die…

Un possibile sviluppo: “curare i criminali” alla nascita. Nei comportamenti anti-sociali c’è una componente genetica…

… Suppose we conclude that some of the causes of criminal behavior are genetic; perhaps that there is a gene, more likely a group of genes, for psychopathy. Instead of sentencing a criminal to be imprisoned we sentence him to have his genes revised…reforming criminals instead of deterring them…

Dilemma: la persona che esce da una simile “riparazione” è la stessa persona di prima? E se è la stessa persona, possiamo dire che ha subito un abuso? Lasciamo la risposta in sospeso.

Ma oltre a cambiare i geni potremmo agire sull’ambiente primario in cui si sviluppa il feto…

… Another possibility is by changing their environment – their very early environment. There is now good evidence that subtle features of the prenatal environment, the mother’s womb, have significant and interesting effects on how the occupant turns out…

Potremmo incidere sulle capacità cognitive del soggetto. A titolo di esempio, vediamo una differenza che distingue i maschi dalle femmine

… It has long been observed that, on average, males seem to do relatively better at mathematical learning, females on verbal. Apparently the difference is at least in part due to their different uterine environments. Not only does a womb with a male fetus have, on average, a higher level of testosterone than a womb with a female fetus, but among males or among females the level of testosterone correlates with relative mathematical and verbal abilities…

Pericolo: uno stato potrebbe “costruire” le persone a seconda delle sue esigenze…

… In Brave New World, Aldous Huxley described a future dystopia in which the state produced different sorts of people for different purposes…

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Perché questi sviluppi potrebbero essere comunque auspicabili?

Primo: la gente che oggi non puo’ avere figli, potrà averli. Secondo: potrà averli come li desidera

… As the technology gets better, it opens the possibility of eliminating less serious defects – the risk of a bad heart, say, which seems to be in part genetic, or alcoholism, which may well be – and selecting in favor of desirable characteristics. Parents want their children to be happy, healthy, smart, strong, beautiful…

Ma ci sono anche dei contro, e li abbiamo già sfiorati: immaginiamo queste tecniche nella disponibilità di un dittatore

… A dictatorial government might try to engineer the entire population, to breed some inconvenient characteristic, say aggressiveness or resistance to authority, out of it…. multiple copies of the perfect soldier…

Ma il time lag gioca a sfavore dei progetti maligni del dittatore…

… It takes about twenty years to produce an adult human; few real-world governments can afford to plan that far ahead. And while a clone will be genetically identical to the donor, its environment will not be identical…

C’è poi la rassicurazione storica: in fondo poteva già succedere e non è mai accaduto…

… One further argument against the idea is that if it is an attractive strategy for a dictatorial state, it ought already to have happened. Selective breeding of animals is a very old technology. Yet I know of no past society that made any serious large-scale attempt at selective breeding…

Un problema più serio è quello della generazione di uomini “pezzi di ricambio”…

… an adult produces a clone of himself in order to disassemble it for body parts…

Ma la pratica potrebbe essere resa illegale

… One obvious problem with that scenario is that even if the cloning were legal, the disassembly would not be…

Anche qui, poi, ci sarebbe un problema di time lag

… But one can imagine a future society in which it was. On the other hand, the process again involves a substantial time lag, and becomes increasingly less useful as improved medical technology reduces the problems of transplant rejection…

L’idea dei “pezzi di ricambio” non è poi malvagia a prescindere. Ecco la toccante storia di Anyssa Ayala, il cui fratellino nacque per l’esigenza di pezzi di ricambio…

… Looking at it suggests that producing a human being at least partly to provide tissue for transplant may not be such an ugly idea after all…. In 1988, Anissa Ayala, then a high school sophomore, was diagnosed with a slow progressing but ultimately fatal form of leukemia. Her only hope was a treatment that would kill off all her existing blood stem cells and replace them by a transplant from a compatible donor. The odds that a random donor would be compatible were about 1 in 20,000… A second child would have only a 25% chance of compatibility… Their second daughter Marissa was born – and compatible. Fourteen months later she donated the bone marrow…

Altro problema: prendete il caso di quei genitori che perdono un figlio e possono ottenerne una copia esatta recuperando anche sola cellula…

… consider parents whose small child has just been killed in an auto accident. Parents have a very large emotional investment in their children, not children in the abstract but this particular small person whom they love…

Ma perché la gente si oppone a queste forme di progresso? Spesso per un senso di ripugnanza

… The first is the “yecch” factor. New technologies involving things as intimate as reproduction feel weird, unnatural, and for many people, frightening and ugly… That reaction may slow the introduction of new reproductive technologies but is unlikely to prevent it…

Inoltre, le nuove tecnologie saranno inizialmente imperfette scatenando l’ira di chi già le vede con un senso di ostilità…

… A second reason is that new technologies usually do not work very well at first…

Poi c’è l’opposizione più seria: tecniche del genere potrebbero avere conseguenze impreviste

… The final reason is the most interesting of all. It is the possibility that individual reproductive decisions might have unintended consequences – perhaps seriously negative ones…

Potrebbero per esempio sbilanciare il rapporto tra i sessi

… selective infanticide – has been in use for thousands of years. A less costly alternative – selective abortion – is already being used extensively in some parts of the world.” And we now have ways to substantially alter the odds of producing male or female offspring by less drastic methods.’…

Basta vedere la Cina del figlio unico. ma anche l’India: dove sono andate a finire tutte le bambine?

Fortunatamente, distorsioni del genere tendono ad autocorreggersi

… The problem maybe self-correcting – with a time lag. In a society with a high male-to-female ratio women are in a strong bargaining position, able to take their pick of mates and demand favorable terms in marriage.”…

Meno femmine ci sono, più potere contrattuale acquisiscono. La poliandria, anche nella sua forma seriale, potrebbe essere un fattore riequilibrante…

… A high ratio of men to women might also result in a shift in mating patterns in the direction of polyandry:… without changes in marriage laws there is still the possibility of serial polyandry…

Altra conseguenza spiacevole: la creazione di una super-élite.

Le tecniche saranno costose e gli sbalorditivi miglioramenti nella prole saranno a disposizione di pochi…

… worries that the long-term result might be a society divided into two classes: generich, the genetically superior descendants of people who could afford to use new technologies to produce superior offspring, and genepoor….

Tuttavia, i prezzi sarebbero destinati a scendere presto e la tecnologia ad essere messa a disposizione di tutti…

… human generations are long and technological change is fast… like many old technologies, will probably become inexpensive… television was a new technology restricted to well-off people…

Poi ci sarebbe sempre il matrimonio alla Cenerentola ad ibridare ricchezze e talenti…

… The second reason is that human mating is not strictly intraclass…

Lo sperma è comunque una risorsa talmente abbondante che l’accessibilità a quello pregiato sarebbe garantita a tutti o a quasi tutti…

… sperm is a free good, hence provides a low-cost way of obtaining high-quality genes for one’s offspring…

Un problema di oggi: siamo pronti fisicamente a fare figli quando non lo siamo ancora emotivamente….

… The essential problem is that we are physically ready to reproduce before we are emotionally or economically ready…

Soluzione possibile…

… With the continuing progress of medical science, we may soon be able to reverse that change… Suppose a drug company announces a new medication – one that will safely delay puberty for a year, or two years, or three years…

Una medicina del genere costituisce un abuso su minori?…

… Are parents who artificially delay the physical development of their daughters guilty of child abuse?…

E se le scuole intervenissero artificialmente per calmare i “bollenti spiriti”?…

… May schools pressure parents to give the medication to boys about to reach puberty, as many now do for other forms of medication designed to make children behave more as schoolteachers wish them to?…

Qualcosa del genere già esiste: il Ritalin.

Hayley_Austin-3

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