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

David Glass gacggc
Tue Apr 10 12:14:43 CDT 2007


a technical counterplan would avoid the policy issues (since those
would be the same for the plan and cp), and offer a highly technical
net benefit...    maybe I'm wrong, but I doubt people want to debate
whether it's good or bad to have a CMV vs an SV40 promoter on a
cloning vector...  good luck writing an aff that doesn't allow me to
write such cps...

On 4/10/07, Andy Ellis <andy.edebate at gmail.com> wrote:
> 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
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > > _______________________________________________
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> > >
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>
>



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