Poll

Do we have a right deliberately to cause the extinction of Anopheles gambiae?

Yes
27 (81.8%)
No
2 (6.1%)
Maybe?
4 (12.1%)

Total Members Voted: 33

Author Topic: Do we have a right deliberately to cause the extinction of Anopheles gambiae?  (Read 4571 times)

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Offline CarbShark

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There are two questions.

Do we have the “right” to cause a species extinction?

Is it in our best interests, wise, reasonable, intelligent, etc. to cause cause a species extinction?

The answer to the second question is easily debated with science and data. And that’s most of what’s discussed here.

But the first question is tricky. What are rights? Where do they come from? What things do we have the right to do and not do?

How do we as individuals; as cultures and societies; as a species know what our rights are?


I was going to post something similar. We do not not have the right because as far as I am concerned there are no innate laws in the universe. A right is quite different than a should or should not.


If a mosquito lands on you and starts sucking your blood to you have the "right" to kill it?
and Donald Trump is President of the United States.

I'm not a doctor, I'm just someone who has done a ton of research into diet and nutrition.

Offline Billzbub

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It's also true that some other species transmit malaria; A. gambiae is just (apparently by far) the most efficient vector.  Even if one eliminated A. gambiae, one would have to engage in a pretty hefty eradication campaign.

To totally eliminate it, yes.  But it seems that getting rid of this one species will greatly reduce the number of cases pretty quickly, and once that is done, it will be hard for it to get a significant foothold again even if it is not eliminated.
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Offline Noisy Rhysling

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To not eliminate the species but still eradicate the disease
Why not eliminate the species?
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Offline haudace

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They are pollinators. IIRC the analysis I heard on TWiS was that they are not specialized pollinators though, so loss of the hundreds of AG variants would not cause significant disruptions.

I don't know about that. Specialized pollinators appear to be extremely vulnerable to environmental factors - case in point bee colonies collapse. As we all know, loss of bees does not bode well for anyone in the food chain. I hate to say it but mosquitoes could be engineered to become viable replacements and continue the work of bees. Should be kept around as a backup plan?

But we're not talking about killing all mosquito species, just A. gambiae.  If I remember what I've read correctly, A. gambiae does not fill any particular ecological niche that other mosquito species do not, and it is likely that other species would quickly fill its place in the food and pollination realms.  The only real ecological niche it fills is that of malaria vector.

A. Gambiae is not the only specie to carry genetic code that expresses their much disliked traits though. Targeting them for extermination may cause collateral damage to closely related species that could even affect insects beyond the genus.

I am assuming here the means of extermination would probably be genetic.

Offline The Latinist

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They are pollinators. IIRC the analysis I heard on TWiS was that they are not specialized pollinators though, so loss of the hundreds of AG variants would not cause significant disruptions.

I don't know about that. Specialized pollinators appear to be extremely vulnerable to environmental factors - case in point bee colonies collapse. As we all know, loss of bees does not bode well for anyone in the food chain. I hate to say it but mosquitoes could be engineered to become viable replacements and continue the work of bees. Should be kept around as a backup plan?

But we're not talking about killing all mosquito species, just A. gambiae.  If I remember what I've read correctly, A. gambiae does not fill any particular ecological niche that other mosquito species do not, and it is likely that other species would quickly fill its place in the food and pollination realms.  The only real ecological niche it fills is that of malaria vector.

A. Gambiae is not the only specie to carry genetic code that expresses their much disliked traits though. Targeting them for extermination may cause collateral damage to closely related species that could even affect insects beyond the genus.

I am assuming here the means of extermination would probably be genetic.

Huh?
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Online arthwollipot

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I think that asking whether we have a "right" to exterminate a species is so much the wrong question that it actively gets in the way of determining what we should or should not do.

There are two questions: Can we do it? and should we do it?

The answer to the first question is yes, we absolutely can, if this gene drive thing works as well in the wild as it did in the lab.

The second question is harder, and it comes down to a risk-benefit analysis. What are the risks of exterminating the Anopheles genus? Well, it might have knock-on ecosystemic effects. It's hard to know, but it appears that pretty much all of the species that eat Anopheles also eat other kinds of insect, and plant species can rely on other pollinators, so it's fairly likely that the environmental impact would be minor.

What are the benefits? Eliminating malaria, which kills of thousands of people.

To me, the answer is fairly clear. With the information that we have now, yes, we absolutely should do it. However, as usual, I reserve the right to change that conclusion if new evidence emerges showing a much greater risk.
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Offline DevoutCatalyst

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What are the benefits? Eliminating malaria, which kills of thousands of people.
Hundreds of thousands per year.

Offline haudace

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They are pollinators. IIRC the analysis I heard on TWiS was that they are not specialized pollinators though, so loss of the hundreds of AG variants would not cause significant disruptions.

I don't know about that. Specialized pollinators appear to be extremely vulnerable to environmental factors - case in point bee colonies collapse. As we all know, loss of bees does not bode well for anyone in the food chain. I hate to say it but mosquitoes could be engineered to become viable replacements and continue the work of bees. Should be kept around as a backup plan?

But we're not talking about killing all mosquito species, just A. gambiae.  If I remember what I've read correctly, A. gambiae does not fill any particular ecological niche that other mosquito species do not, and it is likely that other species would quickly fill its place in the food and pollination realms.  The only real ecological niche it fills is that of malaria vector.

A. Gambiae is not the only specie to carry genetic code that expresses their much disliked traits though. Targeting them for extermination may cause collateral damage to closely related species that could even affect insects beyond the genus.

I am assuming here the means of extermination would probably be genetic.

Huh?

First time I am engaging in conversation discussing the extermination of a specie - so I may stumble a few times (english is also not my first language). The most efficient means of extermination would probably require hijacking of some kind of a biological component unique to the specie. DNA is about the only thing that is unique enough. The genetic component to be exploited cannot be too unique though. This hijacking has to take into account natural biodiversity within the specie itself. An effective eradicating agent has to achieve a rate of extermination over 99% to ensure extinction (disclaimer: this is a manufactured statistic). Now, there may be closely related species to A. Gambiae. We are talking about the possibility of the targeting agent propagating and eradicating other mosquito like organisms. There is risk of cross-species transmission causing collateral damage. Heck, who knows, even zoonosis can occur.

Online arthwollipot

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What are the benefits? Eliminating malaria, which kills of thousands of people.
Hundreds of thousands per year.
Thank you.
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Online arthwollipot

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specie

Pet peeve. The singular of "species" is not "specie". It is "species". One species, ten species. It's both singular and plural, like sheep and fish.
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Offline haudace

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specie

Pet peeve. The singular of "species" is not "specie". It is "species". One species, ten species. It's both singular and plural, like sheep and fish.

I don't doubt you are correct but goddamn that looks so wrong on so many levels.

Offline Noisy Rhysling

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spe·cie
noun
money in the form of coins rather than notes.
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Sheepses is the sheep Jesus. Trying to teach them to not be herded.

Offline The Latinist

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specie

Pet peeve. The singular of "species" is not "specie". It is "species". One species, ten species. It's both singular and plural, like sheep and fish.

I don't doubt you are correct but goddamn that looks so wrong on so many levels.

It's a Latin fifth declension noun.  The singular and plural both end in -es:

s.
pl.
Nominativespeciēsspeciēs
Genitivespeciēīspeciērum
Dativespeciēīspeciēbus
Accusativespeciemspeciēs
Ablativespeciēspeciēbus

spe·cie
noun
money in the form of coins rather than notes.

That's from the ablative, meaning, here, approximately, 'in kind.'
« Last Edit: October 03, 2018, 12:14:28 PM by The Latinist »
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Offline Billzbub

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specie

Pet peeve. The singular of "species" is not "specie". It is "species". One species, ten species. It's both singular and plural, like sheep and fish.

I don't doubt you are correct but goddamn that looks so wrong on so many levels.

It's a Latin fifth declension noun.  The singular and plural both end in -es:

s.
pl.
Nominativespeciēsspeciēs
Genitivespeciēīspeciērum
Dativespeciēīspeciēbus
Accusativespeciemspeciēs
Ablativespeciēspeciēbus

spe·cie
noun
money in the form of coins rather than notes.

That's from the ablative, meaning, here, approximately, 'in kind.'

Pfff.  What do you know about Latin?   >:D
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