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Breed gunshot-resistant humans

Don't ban guns or bullets... make them useless.
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Natural selection ensures that individuals with traits that help them survive environmental pressures will pass those helpful traits on to their offspring, thereby strengthening that trait in the population. Therefore, we should be able to breed our species to be more resistant to being shot to death.

Simply take each child at some arbitrarily or scientifically determined age (before puberty would probably be most helpful to the success of this idea) and shoot him (or her). Some will die. Since these individuals are presumably more prone to death by gunshot wound, this is ok. Those that survive will pass their gunshot-resistant genes on to future generations. Eventually, the entire human race will be very resistant to dying from a gunshot wound, shooting a person will be a feckless exercise, and we can put all this horrid gun violence behind us.

PotatoStew, Jun 02 2001

Bio-engineered Spider Silk http://www.accessex...g/WN/SU/spider.html
"Dragline spider silk is actually stronger than Kevlar synthetic fiber - and Kevlar is several times stronger than steel." [Detly, Oct 05 2004, last modified Oct 17 2004]

[link]






       As for the idea, I only regret that I have only one fishbone to give.
globaltourniquet, Jun 02 2001
  

       [Mfd withdrawn. Thanks for the explanation.]   

       If it were to survive the first fifty years, which I doubt, this society could evolve into two segregated groups. One would be big, redundant, and fluffy (so that bullets just never hit anything important); the other, small and hard (so that bullets never make it through.)   

       Since the defense mechanism becomes next to useless after the Shooting, there's also potential for something disposable that is ceremoneously disabled and kept in jars on people's shelves to commemorate their survival. Figures of speech would evolve that refer to it. For example, in the hard, small society someone who we now say has a "chip on his shoulder" would be said to never have outgrown his kiddie carapace.
jutta, Jun 02 2001
  

       jutta, Soterios, and others: This was not posted as a rant or a troll. I don't have strong feelings one way or the other about gun control, so it would be one of the last things I would rant about. I suppose if it's at all a rant, it's a rant against shooting other people. The tone of it is given as a joke, but I was a bit serious in the sense that I was seriously wondering if something like this would work, even to a small degree (not that I would ever in any way want it to be tried in real-life, hence my immediate fishboning of my own idea). It was only after I posted it that I remembered some of the <sarcasm>wonderful, unifying</sarcasm> exchanges that we've had here on gun topics. Perhaps I should have gone with stabbing instead.   

       Specifically regarding jutta's comment about the obvious fallacy: I don't think this would be the same as trying to develop parapsychological powers or flight, etc. Some people are tougher than others right now. Some people can and do survive gunshot wounds. Maybe if this were to work at all, it would simply evolve a population with a thicker layer of muscle, or stronger bones or something. Maybe it's true that it wouldn't work at all, because survival is dependent only on luck and bullet placement (I'm not sure that's 100% true though). And I certainly agree with those of you that said that we'd just invent something more deadly than guns. That's beyond the scope of the idea. One step at a time here... today, guns; tomorrow, deathrays. :)   

       If you feel it must expire, so be it, but please do so realizing that I did not intend to incite riots or flamewars. In fact, I've deleted any annotations that did not deal directly with the idea as presented.
PotatoStew, Jun 02 2001
  

       The part about the head is true. Obviously we'd have to settle for gunshot-resistant rather than gunshot-proof. Maybe we could breed for thicker skulls to at least protect against shots from a .22 caliber weapon.   

       I disagree about those being the only predispositions though. Mesomorphs and endomorphs would probably have greater survival rates than ectomorphs due to their organs being not quite as close to the surface.
PotatoStew, Jun 02 2001
  

       During the Cold War I often wondered if it wouldn't make an interesting premise for a book or movie to suppose that the missing children on the milk boxes were being kidnapped by a government that was using them to develop a race of humans radiation-resistant humans, to ensure partial survival of a nuclear war.
beauxeault, Jun 04 2001
  

       In Larry Niven's "Known Space" books, one race of aliens conspired to breed another race of aliens to be more docile by arranging a war between them and a superior enemy - us. Arguably, this made them less likely to die from gunshots.   

       Incidentally, the same aliens successfully bred humans to be luckier, which might be a side effect of this little experiment.
centauri, Jun 04 2001
  

       Would this idea not just lead to the general population becoming fatter? I've seen evidence of this effect in the US.
-alx, Jun 04 2001
  

       The best way to improve you chances of survival of any injury including Gunshot, Stabbing, Auto-accident, Bomb-blast and nuclear Holocaust is simple and can be done every day. It's called Living healthily.   

       Eat properly. Excersise. Don't Smoke. Don't Drink to excess. Over half of americans are clinically obese, most live on junk food, many don't excersise, god knows how many smoke and many drink to excess regularly. (Although US definition of drinking to excess is nothing compared to what we drink in the UK...!)   

       The statistics say that you live longer and strong if you live better. Try it. Saves shooting 12 years olds. (Although I should add that is a good idea anyway - I hate children...!)
CasaLoco, Jun 04 2001
  

       Hey potato stew im PotatoShrew
PotatoShrew, Jun 14 2001
  

       Well... that's bound to cause some confusion. Hey, I wonder if we're related...
PotatoStew, Jun 14 2001
  

       Don't you dare kill me!
andrewm, Oct 19 2002
  

       If a form of defense is made against a form of attack, then a means to bypass the defense will be found. Medieval Armour and Weapons are a almost perfect example. As armour got harder to get through with small to medium size swords, we developed larger heavier swords and various other means to get through the armour. Once it was obvious that armour was ineffective (admittedly due to firearms and bows), people stopped using it and the size of swords dropped do small and medium again. If you want to reduce the number of firearm incidents I suggest putting an unfair tax on the manufacturers to make them far too expensive to buy. I can think of a number of ways already to get past the simpler effects, Flame-thrower, skin-absorbed poison pellet, better aim (go for the eyes or mouth), impact effect (solar plexus, groin, head, throat), high powered energy weapons.
CrumbsDM, Oct 19 2002
  

       I certainly hope this was a joke. The topic starter makes it obvious that he knows little of human phisiology or firearms technology. This is rediculous. But intersting.
zahc, Apr 10 2003
  

       I'm not too worried. Considering the fact that my family is educated about guns, none of us are criminals, and the reenacting units we support are safe gun users, we arent too worried about evolving bulletproof. Especially since natural selection keeps the strong alive, but does not improve a species.
bluebomber, Jul 12 2003
  

       Wouldn't it be better to just breed smarter humans? A child could be observed periodically from birth to breeding age then the collected data analyzed to see if that individual would be of any use to society. If not, they could be sterilized (so they could still provide labor) or killed, and if so their genes would be preserved and spread. Just a thought.
kerspamer, Oct 08 2003
  

       [UnaBubba] - see link. As to your shirt... maybe you were just too sharp in it.
Detly, Jan 28 2004
  

       Uh, would the children that would be shot to death have any vote in this matter? Oh, wait they aren't old enough to vote. Silly me.
eupoth, May 24 2005
  

       Perhaps the Giant Redwood are the descendants of some ancestral smartass species that tried this already.
Basepair, May 24 2005
  

       A friend introduced me to this page a few years ago. At the time I had no idea what the halfbakery was. I never connected the two until now. I'm getting all nostalgic now.   

       I particularly love how [CasaLoco] is incisive enough to notice the much overlooked link between exercising and not avoiding a nuclear holocaust.
hidden truths, Sep 20 2005
  

       Read "The Horrars of War". I forget the author. But, it describes genetically designed warriors who are actually highly resistant to gun fire....and anything else that might come their way.
Blisterbob, Sep 20 2005
  

       Would we not just create new weapons. [-]. And for the idea of shooting children for no real reason. Thats just horrible, you should have seen the opposition to this coming.
Germanicus, Sep 20 2005
  

       Yeah, what s/he said. I must have missed this the first time around - no thanks to whoever dug it back up.   

       And this is simply absurd. As humans, we already evolved the ability to invent Kevlar precisely to avoid this kind of survival problem.
DrCurry, Sep 20 2005
  

       Why cant we all just stab one another, enough of this gun nonsense.
Antegrity, Sep 20 2005
  

       Wow, this is one of the most weird discussions I ever read on HalfBakery... It's so crazy I just can't believe it took place. Even though the idea behind the whole thing is 'improving' our species, it is our species who created such efficient weapons as bows, .22 guns, and megaton H-nukes. So, it might be smarter to develop kerspamer's behavioral research strategy. That is, our species includes the famous 'fight or flight' response which keeps most living beings alive. If we analyse modern warfare, we may draw this conclusion: the human race puts the human species in jeopardy. By sterilization of aggressive individuals we could breed non-aggressive humans; only two drawbacks: -The major one, non-aggressive humans would not defend themselves if they faced any kind of hazard (so this would be the opposite to Darwin's survival of the fittest: it would be let dying of the meekest). -The minor drawback would be the possible sheep-like human we would breed out of ourselves. What if a wolf-like human survived and ruled sheepkind for the rest of their days?   

       On the other hand, the X-radiation from 12-year-old and up is, yeah, definitely the best choice we have to evolve cancer-resistant humans. No kidding. Only most people are still happy if they can expect a 75-year lifespan, because science grants every year after your 30th birthday is an 'extended game' year.   

       As for healthy lifestyle, it improves a single individual's survival odds. Nothing to do with the 'gene on environment'-driven species fitness.
mayihave, Aug 02 2007
  

       //t's so crazy I just can't believe it took place// I think that's a bit of a non sequitur in these parts.
MaxwellBuchanan, Aug 02 2007
  

       (marked-for-tagline)   

       descendants of some ancestral smartass species
normzone, Aug 02 2007
  

       I agree with whoever it was that said (approximately), "why dont we just go back to stabbing each other?" It's so much more personal that way, you really have to think about what you are doing, not just do it and forget it. By the way, what does "marked for tagline" mean?
Seoman, Aug 03 2007
  

       Haven't we been stabbing and shooting each other for the last 3,000 years anyway? It doesn't seem to work...
theleopard, Aug 03 2007
  

       Works very well if you have a knife or a gun - it's when you don't that it's not quite as good.
wagster, Aug 03 2007
  

       It seems to work quite well, we've been dying by each other's hands for thousands of years. I just think that the personal confrontation necessary for stabbing is far better at preventing deaths than is the impersonal firing of a gun.
Seoman, Aug 03 2007
  

       Why would you want the World to be less Universal Soldier?   

       I'm all ears...
<jingles necklace made of severed ears>
theleopard, Aug 03 2007
  

       Let's first try this with buffalo, or at least with something we can eat.
quantum_flux, Aug 03 2007
  

       But then the World would be overrun by indestructible buffalo! Think about it man!   

       <semi-appropriate Dolf Lundgren quote>   

       Shall we shoot her in the stomach? Naaa.
Shall we shoot her in the chest? Noooo.
Let's shoot her, in the head!
  

       <s-aDLq>
theleopard, Aug 03 2007
  
      
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