“Most people say they want their kids to be their own genetic offspring—but such a desire is in conflict with other evolving values around parenting and family.”

That’s the subhead of a new Wired magazine story attempting to shame a generation for acting on an essential biological instinct, and producing the kind of families statistically proven to result in the best outcomes for kids. (“Preferring Biological Children Is Immoral,” 31 Aug 2023.)

The article isn’t merely rooted in the odd “moralism” that in a world of unadopted children, conceiving instead of adopting the children of others is a selfish and immoral act.

More insidiously, it uses the brave new world of evolving genetic and fertility services to argue that it’s becoming increasingly harder to be sure of the genetic provenance of children anyway.

So, better to consign the whole object of desiring to procreate one’s own children (yes, there’s even a pejorative term for it: “biologism”) to the ash heap of benighted history.

Yes, if it isn’t already, expect simply wanting to procreate with the opposite sex and have and raise children, to be castigated as a racist act of privilege.

The Wired article should be seen for what it is: an ideological bromide against the naturally human, instead attempting to sell a radical science-fueled transhuman vision in its place.   

Real science has long shown and explained why humans (and many other creatures of our natural world) are predisposed to prefer and indeed compete to have and see their own children perpetuated.

To acknowledge the science and biological reality, isn’t to endorse it as “ideal” on a hypothetical, philosophic or moral level.

But it should serve as a caution against attempting to “throw out” those realities, or even worse, to engage in a hubris of scientism which supposes we can inculcate and remake humans to be, act and embody our utopian ideals and visions for what “transhuman” versions of ourselves can and should be.

Political philosophers like Thomas Sowell have written books astutely pointing out that acknowledging the way human nature works, as opposed to the way we wish it would work, is part of the key to understanding markedly different political visions (See, for example, his work Conflict of Visions.)

The Slippery Slope of Genetic Choosing

In one section, the article sets forth a straw man to argue that natural families are actually prone to eugenics:

“We [those who favor some forms of genetic birth screening and/or gene editing] have converged on the idea that if biology is to be a factor at all, it should only be considered insofar as it prevents harm and suffering. As Laura Hercher puts it in the MIT Technology Review, ‘public opinion on the use of assisted reproductive technology consistently draws a distinction between preventing disease and picking traits.’ Studies, like one conducted by the Johns Hopkins Genetics and Public Policy Center, seem to indicate that this intuition is broadly shared. Anything more than this minimal scope and we begin to veer into the gnarled territory of gene fetishes and optimization logics well trodden by eugenicists.”

Some would argue that it’s naive to suppose that the metric of “prevents harm and suffering” won’t sooner or later be expanded to encompass screening for and modifying any trait technocratic authorities deem dangerous or unwanted.

How about a genetic marker for a tendency to be “antisocial” or “anti-authoritarian”?

Right now, a growing movement in academia is calling for an eradication of “whiteness.”

Inasmuch as whiteness has a genetic component, who’s to say that some future idealist might see the surest way to obliterate the scourge of whiteness is to genetically legislate its sunsetting?

Of course, as the article underplays its own thorny “limited” embrace of eugenics, it produces absolutely zero evidence for its assertion that  people who want to have and raise their own biological children, are more inclined to support the new eugenics.

Destruction Of Families, Allegiance to State 

Families, in addition to being the fundamental social structure of every time and every age, have proven a target for increasingly authoritarian modern states.

China, of course, went full anti-family a generation ago (from 1980 to 2016) with “one child” dictates.

That radical policy has proved not only socially disastrous, but has left China in a demographic bind, to put it mildly. A culture which historically values sons somehow found a way for a disproportionate amount of those “one children” to be male.

Now China, which also happens to be one of the most zealous cultures for intermarrying among its own racial kind (which some would call xenophobic), has far too few Chinese females for its men.

It has notably fudged its population growth numbers in recent years. And with a general worldwide urbanization and trend toward fewer children in practically every area of the world, China is in an especially bad position, as Peter Zehain and others have pointed out.

In the U.S., authorities have proven increasingly aggressive in trying to counter program children against the beliefs and preferences of parents.

School curriculum battles, FBI investigations of parents protesting at school board meetings, and insidious school and medical support for transgenderism, are all manifestations of the tensions between families and the State.

As the Wired article signals, the future lines of attack against the family are likely to increasingly be mounted on a level of dismantling the notion of family itself, rather than trying to win battles in the classroom or on the fields of popular cultures.

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