Genetics To Invade Social Networks, really?

Online Social Networks : How to cross the bottom line ? GENETICS.

Forget about Facebook and Meetic, 23andme.com, a website specialised in individual DNA analysis (which in an acceptable and innovative service), prepares a transformation into a dating/networking website based on people’s genetic code.

Facebook has that application called “The Most Likely” which invites your friends to tell what you’re the most likely to do or to be…Well you’re going to be able to figure out if they were right or not, based on your genetic code.

Oh, and I hope they will host contests like on Facebook, to figure out who has the best genes. Maybe this way I can finally join the secret services if I have a super genetic code…who knows…
Besides, the male specimen I am, let’s call me A, can look for a female specimen, let’s call it B, that has the best genome and that would make a perfect mix with mine.

But more seriously, doesn’t that strangely sound uncomfortable to hear and somewhat odd ? Doesn’t it remind you of lab experiments on rats, and on Hitler’s will for the artificial making of a “pure race” ?

And guess what, it’s sponsored by Google ! No kiding, well of course when you get to be Google’s co-founder’s wife, it’s quite easy to get some peanut funding (only $3,9 million, that’s nothing…for Google!) from your man.

From a more philosophical point of view, the search for a partner with the best genes is sort of un underlying process in any species, at least when it comes to purely physical traits. In humans, due to intelligence, this natural selection process has hard time operating as efficiently as in wild animals in that other factors play a role in this choice. For example, if you love to read you are more likely to date someone who loves too read too. I don’t think there’s a gene that represents your ability to read, in other words your choices because you are intelligent are not likely to be based upon genetic criterias. But then making a website to keep the genetic process running is interesting in terms of psychology. It brings the natural selection process from an underlying process of nature, to a completely rational process.

Of course, psychology folks will tell me that evolutionary psychology deals both with the genes and with intelligence and that based on this the selection of a partner is also ruled by intelligence. Indeed, but this website considers the whole genetic code, including the purely physical abilities which is the purpose of this post. Therefore, it introduces something completely new, the ability to make a rational search and choice about non-psychological traits of a potential partner. That’s my point.

Do you think it is ethically acceptable ?

Being myself French, and very aware of the French response to whatever boils down to genetics, I think a country like France is very likely to massively boycott Google whenever the social network version of 23andme.com starts its publicity ascension.

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2 thoughts on “Genetics To Invade Social Networks, really?

  1. Eh bien, voilà qui est innovant ! Mais j’ai du mal à voir s’il y a vraiment beaucoup d’éléments intéressants à tirer de notre génotype, en vue de les comparer à d’autres personnes. L’avenir nous le dira. En tous cas moi ça ne me “gène” pas plus que ça ;-).

  2. Mouais, enfin 1000 dollars le kit quand même hein… On est loin de profiler tout Facebook.

    YB : C’est plus sur le principe même que ce projet me dérange, mais j’avoue que 1000 dollars c’est cher, il faut voir ce qu’n peut en tirer. Un chercheur populaire dans le domaine avoue avoir regrette d’analyser son propre ADN car il ne raconte pas que des choses qui font plaisir a lire et que si c’était à refaire il ne le referait pas.

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