[eDebate] Genetic Engineering--Clearing up one piece of rhetorical manipulation

Andy Ellis andy.edebate
Tue Apr 10 12:07:47 CDT 2007


why would we avoid these problems? We have debaters on our college team who
would school people on the engineering details but typically get lost on the
policy specific debates....why is it any different to elevate a different
catagory of academic expertise....i would love to see or example some
biology or sceince focused person school some policy makers on the applied
theory as opposed to the abstract theory...why is this bad....

On 4/10/07, David Glass <gacggc at gmail.com> wrote:
>
> As perhaps one of the few genetic engineers on the listserv, I just
> wanted to put my 2 cents in on this paper.
>
> While one can undoubtedly find particular examples of genetic
> manipulation that should arguably be banned (such as recloning the
> 1918 flu virus, which has been done -  or  a host of potential
> bioweapon approches) someone who is knowledgeable in the field could
> offer highly technical and defensible counterplans (and disads) which
> would be difficult for someone who is not schooled in the field to
> answer...
>
> ... I had a similar concern about a high school topic paper geared at
> discussing regulations of the internet; a perusal of the field quickly
> revealed the potential for getting bogged down in engineering details
> - and it was not obvious how an aff (or a resolution) could be written
> to avoid such a problem.
>
> for example: say you want to ban cloning of the 1818 flu virus; I
> could counterplan to clone it without certain pieces of the virulence
> factor... say you catch up to that counterplan, I could counterplan to
> just clone the envelope of the virus, and not the rest of it... so
> that antibodies could be made vs possible bioweapons....     say you
> want to ban genetic manipulation in general - for that there are
> literally millions of exclusion counter-plans, since such manipulation
> is used in most phases of modern pharmaceutical development, in the
> US, Europe, India, Brazil, etc, and in almost all basic biological
> research programs...    say you wanted to restrict research on a
> particular organism, because you have cards that say this is being
> used for bioweapons; the counterplan is to just work on defensive
> projects, in case others are working on that organism...  say that you
> write an aff to just work on defensive projects, but ban all other
> study of that organism...  the counterplan would be to allow research
> on genes X or Y that might help people to understand a particular
> enzyme (protein that has some catalytic function in the organism), but
> don't contribute to weaponization potential...
>
> then there are even more technical issues; such as what cloning
> vectors might be allowed, or what promoters to express particular
> genes, so as to minimize problems such as weaponization
>
> then there are even more technical approaches, such as banning a
> particular sequence, since that sequence is part of a particularly
> dangeous gene... to which one could counterplan to avoid only a
> sub-sequence of the suggested ban, etc etc...
>
>
> a rez that restricts the "research, development or use" of genetic
> engineering does not obviously avoid these technical issues
>
> the same issues are probably true of nanotech, since that is also a
> widely used technology; though that isn't my field.
>
> i'm sorry to add a negative voice against this topic; surely a lot of
> work was put into the paper...  and obviously I'd be pleased to coach
> this topic, since I know a lot about it... but it's not clear to me
> that it can be made debatable for most programs...
>
> just my opinion
>
> David J. Glass  (M.D)
> Edgemont, Harvard Debate
> if you want my technical quals, you can look me up on www.pubmed.gov
> (type in "Glass DJ[au]".... just the bit between the quotes)
>
> On 4/9/07, scottelliott at grandecom.net <scottelliott at grandecom.net> wrote:
> > I just want to clear up what I have found to be a misrepresentation of
> my topic
> > paper.
> >
> > I have NEVER advocated for a topic that merely "regulates" genetic
> engineering
> > and nanotechnology.
> >
> > The topic porposal I submitted clearly explains why a resolution should
> allow
> > the affirmative to restrict the "research, development or use" of
> genetic
> > engineering or nanotechnology through "legislation, regulation, or
> formal
> > international agreement."
> >
> > I beleive some people have gotten the impression via different postings
> that I
> > advocated the mere regulation of these areas of technology in my paper.
> This
> > is, at best, a misreading of my paper. I clearly explain why mere
> regulation
> > would not work.
> >
> > Why?
> >
> > Well, regualtions are the EXECUTIVE branch's means of enforcing a
> legislative
> > directives. Given that there are few, if any, actual laws restricting
> genetic
> > engineering or nanotechnology ( in fact the only legislation regarding
> NANO
> > actually mandates an INCREASE in its development)regulations cannot be
> enacted
> > in many cases. Also, mere regulation creates the problem of
> international
> > solvency. Only by allowing affirmatives to choose one or more solvency
> > options--legislation, regulation, or treaties, can they actually
> accomplish the
> > scope of what solvency authors really advocate. (Wouldn't consistency
> with one's
> > solvency advocate be great?)
> >
> > If the topic area were merely "regulation", I too would not choose to
> vote for
> > it.
> >
> > If the topic area is chosen, but the topic committee mutates the
> resolutions to
> > say, "regulation" only, I would not vote for that resolution.
> >
> > Genetics and nanotechnology is an amazing area of research and the
> debates among
> > experts of how to limit, restrict, or regulate are extremely timely and
> on
> > point. I find it sad to think that students are going to spend another
> year
> > debating the middle-east morass ( Jeez, hasn't been solved in 10,000
> years) and
> > prolif rather than researching cutting edge issues--many of which are so
> cutting
> > edge, their coaches don't even realize they are cutting edge.
> >
> > Scott
> >
> >
> >
> > _______________________________________________
> > eDebate mailing list
> > eDebate at www.ndtceda.com
> > http://www.ndtceda.com/mailman/listinfo/edebate
> >
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