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Randall Parker has a list of consequences when the cost of individual gene sequencing comes down (as it inevitably will). I found this one interesting:

Discovery of genetic variations that contribute to appearances such as genes for eye and hair color, complexion, hair texture, facial shape, and other attributes that contribute to visual desirability.

Physical desirability is a two-way street. We are bred to appear desirable, but we're also bred to view desirable people as desirable. I wonder if some people might not figure out how to rearrange their genes to change what is desirable to them? That's probably a much tougher problem, though.

Posted by Rand Simberg at June 18, 2007 10:17 AM
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If I'm going to change my genetics, I'm going to start with my myopia, my Type 2 diabetes, my hypertension, and my upping my metabolism. Those are my priorities first and foremost. The second priority will be making other changes to make me healthier and live longer. And then maybe I'll think about changing my hair color via genetics, instead of via bottle.

My myopia only gives me a one inch thickness that I can actually see clearly without corrective lenses, so that's not really a vanity issue. Lasik would probably be cheaper - and yes, I've been thinking about that for years.

Posted by Bryan Price at June 18, 2007 02:41 PM

Can't say where I read it, so it's probably wrong, but I seem to recall that the consensus is that genes that promote attribute 'x' are typically linked to genes that promote attraction to members of the opposite sex that exhibit attribute 'x'.

That means that the daughters of men with (for example) long beards will tend (TEND!) to be attracted to men with long beards, even though they do not themselves have beards.

Darwin called this 'sexual selection' but didn't have a mechanism to drive it.

Posted by Glenn (NotReynolds) at June 18, 2007 06:08 PM

Well it seems to me that rarity is often times an attraction. If everyone started to look handsome and act intellegent then those few ugly/stupid permutations would perhaps be highly coveted.

Posted by Josh Reiter at June 18, 2007 09:17 PM

I wouldn't mind it if I could prevent my children from inheriting my bipolar disorder. Will the gene police at least let me do that?

Posted by at June 22, 2007 03:54 AM

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