November 30, 2022 Wayne Northey

Beware of Those Who Believe They Were Sent By God

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    Malcolm, 36, and his wife, Simone, 35, are “pronatalists,” part of a quiet but growing movement taking hold in wealthy tech and venture-capitalist circles. People like the Collinses fear that falling birth rates in certain developed countries like the United States and most of Europe will lead to the extinction of cultures, the breakdown of economies, and, ultimately, the collapse of civilization. It’s a theory that Elon Musk has championed on his Twitter feed, that Ross Douthat has defended in The New York Times‘ opinion pages, and that Joe Rogan and the billionaire venture capitalist Marc Andreessen bantered about on “The Joe Rogan Experience.” It’s also, alarmingly, been used by some to justify white supremacy around the world, from the tiki-torch-carrying marchers in Charlottesville, Virginia, chanting “You will not replace us” to the mosque shooter in Christchurch, New Zealand, who opened his 2019 manifesto: “It’s the birthrates. It’s the birthrates. It’s the birthrates.”

    Genomic Prediction is one of the first companies to offer PGT-P, a controversial new type of genetic testing that allows parents who are undergoing in vitro fertilization to select the “best” available embryos based on a variety of polygenic risk factors.

    The Collinses became the public face of the technology after being featured in a May Bloomberg article, “The Pandora’s Box of Embryo Testing Is Officially Open.” After the piece went live, Malcolm said, they began hearing from wealthy pronatalists around the country.

    “We are the Underground Railroad of ‘Gattaca‘ babies and people who want to do genetic stuff with their kids,” Malcolm told me.[]

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