By 2050, will genetic engineering techniques be available which can raise IQ by 10 points?

Metaculus
★★★☆☆
55%
About Even
Yes

Question description

Embryo screening is the process of examining the genome of an embryo to determine if certain genes or sets of genes are present (the technical term is preimplantation genetic testing (PGD)). Examining embryos for genetic defects can allow prospective parents to select embryos without genetic defects to implant and carry to term. Currently this process is most prevalently used during in vitro fertilization (IVF), where eggs are fertilized by sperm in a lab to create the embryo before being implanted into the uterus. IVF in its current form is generally intended to help parents who have trouble conceiving or may be at elevated risk of birth defects.

Embyro screening to predict/raise IQ has been attempted since at least 2019, though it remains controversial and its effectiveness remains unknown. Other plausible means of raising IQ with genetic engineering include gametogenesis (a method of regressing cells into stem cells, then turning into sperm/egg cells, in an interative process), and CRISPR (editing specific sections of DNA of live organisms with high precision).

The potential power and downsides of widespread genetic engineering have been a topic of science fiction for decades, including Gattaca or the Deus Ex series, which imagine societies that are stratified into groups of those who have genetic enhancements and those who don't. Neuroscientist and fiction author Erik Hoel offered the following predictions for the year 2050 in a blog post published August 25, 2021

Sex and reproduction will become even more separated, and screening multiple embryos for their health before implantation will be common, although not universal. Superficial genetic upgrades for babies (heterochromatic eyes, for instance) will be a trend among the super rich or pop stars. However, there will be no genetic engineering that improves the fundamentals of human traits like intelligence or athleticism or even anything like attractiveness above and beyond all-natural humans—the available technology will still be focused solely on avoiding downsides, like genetic diseases or disabilities. This will ultimately cure a lot of potential suffering, but not lead to some sci-fi split between the “geners” and the “normals,” or anything ridiculous like that.

Indicators

IndicatorValue
Stars
★★★☆☆
PlatformMetaculus
Number of forecasts531

Capture

Resizable preview:
55%
About Even

Embryo screening is the process of examining the genome of an embryo to determine if certain genes or sets of genes are present (the technical term is preimplantation genetic testing (PGD)). Examining embryos for genetic defects can allow prospective...

Last updated: 2024-04-18
★★★☆☆
Metaculus
Forecasts: 531

Embed

<iframe src="https://https://metaforecast.org/questions/embed/metaculus-8515" height="600" width="600" frameborder="0" />