25 People On The Horrifying Scientific Theory That Triggered An Existential Crisis

22. Generic engineering could cause a silent plague

“Genetic engineering now is getting good. Like, really good. CRISPR is a new technique that is a great way to edit the DNA of microorganisms. Scientists can breed bacteria to produce certain useful substances, like antibodies or insulin. They can also theoretically produce viruses that could edit the DNA of human cells. Imagine an out of control infectious agent that changes our DNA in unpredictable ways. Basically super cancer. There are dozens of other ethical problems, from designer babies to socio-economics.

Also, rememeber Mendel and his pea plants and squares? Well, genetics don’t quite work that way. There are ways to favor a certain trait over another when reproducing, and scientists are figuring out how to do it. There’s already discussion about introducing a gene into African mosquitoes that will eventually render the whole population sterile and, inevitably, extinct. Some bioengineers figure that they can irradiate mosquitoes within five years of initial introduction.

That’s great, right? No more malaria or west Nile.

But what if someone did the same to us?

Program a gene into a virus, infect some poor unsuspecting fellow changing his DNA, and allow it to spread like a silent plague. It won’t take that many generations for most of humanity to be infected. Nigh unstoppable genocide.” — bunks_things

23. There is a philosophy called Determinism

“This is more a philosophical theory than scientific, but well… Determinism.

What if every single decision you and everyone else ever made was exclusively the result of the chemical reactions inside your head/around you.

Personality? Choice? Free will? Illusions, my friend, everything is decided by the atoms, and we have no control at all. If determinism is true, the future is set in stone, and our conscience is but an unintentional side effect of the atoms that compose us doing their tasks.” — SephyJR

24. There are reversible forms of psychosis

“Some people in psych hospitals may have a reversible form of psychosis ( like from autoimmune encephalitis).

Should clarify. Autoimmune encephalitis like your body’s immune system attacking your brain and some cases cause just psychosis. So patients are taken to psychiatric hospitals and put on antipsychotic medications. But actually need different types of medication to return basically back to normal functioning (non psychotic) person.” — lolcatloljk

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