Trope-a-Day: Genius Breeding Act

Genius Breeding Act: Averted, despite the tremendous respect for intelligence – as you might expect from the civilization that considers Arranged Marriages an unpleasant subclass of slavery.  (Which, as I said back then, doesn’t mean that friends and relatives aren’t happy to engage in generous quantities of Shipper on Deck…)

…actually, more inverted, in a sense. The Reproductive Statutes do do the opposite, since while fully recognizing the rights, etc., of those with hereditary disabilities, since ethics is time-directional, that does not extend to deliberately or negligently creating more of them, respecting the right of the potential sophont to be well-created. And for a sufficiently advanced society, “hereditary disabilities” includes “functional amentia” to a degree that goes a long way farther than anything anyone in our history would have classed as even mild intellectual disability or other related conditions.

So if your genes aren’t up to scratch in this area, no reproduction for you! That’d be felony dysgenesis.

Trope-a-Day: Uterine Replicator

Uterine Replicator: Or, as it’s known locally, the exowomb.

Ubiquitous. (Although neither mendacious nor polyglottal.) I mean, “In vivo? How quaint.”

For values of quaint, that is, equal to “Gods below, what is this, the primordial reign of chaos and darkness? With stone knives and bearskins?”

Because even leaving aside practical considerations, such as the gambling (if you went for conception in vivo rather than gene-printing like responsible parents) with felony dysgenesis, or the difficulties that arise when mother and child are not technically the same species, or the heteronormativity that assumes there is even a mother involved in any particular generative scenario, or the risks and stress levels (not to mention the inconvenience) involved to both mother and child in a vivo pregnancy and birth, complete with permanent after-effects, or how much more difficult and less effective it makes pre-natal education, and so on and so forth….

…well, let’s just say that the equivalent of the Betan – or possibly Cetagandan – cultural points of view in this particular area from Bujold’s Vorkosigan Saga universe all apply here, too, and have had many centuries to sink in.

No-one expects women to do the work of reproducing personally any more anywhere halfway civilized. The only reason the Citizen Eugenics Board even keeps the capability around at all is long-range disaster-planning.


Trope-a-Day: Gattaca Babies

Designer Babies (formerly known as Gattaca Babies): Well, yes, absolutely, as seen everywhere in the Empire and in many places beyond.  Both the people who start out as biosapiences, and the empty vessels cloned for the benefit of minds in need of bodies.  (And, also, technically, nanocyborgs, because simple genetic engineering doesn’t cut it any more, but let’s not dwell.)

Actually, averting this one is illegal, by Imperial standards: Unlawful Genesis, or possibly felony Dysgenesis if you succeed in the aversion but produce someone damaged in some way.  The notion being, essentially, that there’s a certain legal minimum standard of health and capabilities for a given species, and deliberately creating a new person who falls either (a) below that standard, or (b) below the equivalent of a natural-born child of those parents, is a crime against said child; a pre-birth “actual bodily harm” of sorts.  And since around these transsophontist parts, the legal minimum standard is well above the natural endowment of most of these species…