Thoughts about the Video
The video’s presentation is done masterfully, with the speaker, Harvey Fineberg, laying a good foundation about the traditional evolution before moving to the concept of neo-evolution. The things talked about in the video are the reality of the near future. The possibility of changing human genes to achieve desired qualities, such as longevity and resistance to diseases, is intriguing. Evolution is about survival and passing selected genes from one generation to another.
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All living organisms have an inherent desire to pass their genetic materials to the next generation and ensure posterity. I believe this desire will increasingly compel human beings to continue exploring the concept of neo-evolution. Ultimately, changing the cells of the offspring by altering sperms and ova will become a possibility. At this point, humanity will have reshaped and redefined evolution as we know it today.
The Relationship between the Video and Biopsychology
In the video, Fineberg (2011) talks about how evolution is being influenced and changed while biopsychology is concerned with how biological processes, such as the brain and neurotransmitters, influence people’s behaviors. Therefore, the video is related to biopsychology through the aspect of interfering with human genes to influence different aspects of life, such as longevity and disease resistance.
Evolution involves selecting the fittest genes for survival and passing them from one generation to the other. In the video, this process is being engineered, and thus the natural order of evolution is being changed. The possibility that people can reshape their genetic makeup (a biological process) is influencing people’s emotions and thoughts concerning their existence, future, and immortality through neo-evolution. This cycle of events falls within the domain of biopsychology, hence the relationship between this field of science and the video.
Example of Adaptive Behavior
In the ecology and evolution process, adaptive behaviors play an important role in ensuring the reproductive success of an organism, and thus they are subjected to the laws of natural selection. One such behavior is the ability to withstand warm temperatures especially during this era of global warming. However, this trait could become non-adaptive or maladaptive if the environment changed drastically to become cold.
As such, the involved organisms may die due to the inability to cope with environmental changes. Initially, the organisms became adapted to warm temperatures through the selection of genes that would withstand such conditions. The genes were then passed on to other generations, which became adapted to the new environment. Therefore, the current generation of organisms does not have the necessary fit genes to survive coldness. Therefore, this adaptive behavior becomes non-adaptive or maladaptive.
Modern Advances in Genetic Processes and Ethical Issues
Modern advances have improved our understanding of genetic processes due to the availability of sophisticated technology, which could explore genes unprecedentedly. We can now make human insulin from bacteria through genetic engineering and manipulation. Gene sequencing has become cheap and fast. However, these advancements come with ethical challenges. One such problem is safety, especially in human gene editing. The solution to this issue is carrying out rigorous research to address all the available loopholes. The question of informed consent arises when talking of germ-line therapy (Araki & Ishii, 2014).
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Unborn children cannot decide whether to have their genes edited. However, the counterargument is that parents make important decisions concerning their unborn children, and thus they should be allowed to decide on this issue. Finally, justice concerns and equity of gene editing are arising. This technology may only be available to the rich, which means the poor may ultimately be phased out because they are unfit for neo-evolution, as their genes have not been engineered for survival. This problem could be addressed through stringent regulation to ensure justice and equity.
Araki, M., & Ishii, T. (2014). International regulatory landscape and integration of corrective genome editing into in vitro fertilization. Reproductive Biology and Endocrinology, 12(108), 2-12. Web.
Fineberg, H. (2011). Are we ready for neo-evolution? . Web.