Group of tech billionaires father more children to create ‘master race’

Parents of two children, a 3-year-old boy and a newborn girl, wealthy American couple Simone, 35, and Malcolm Collins, 36, want to have five more. But the desire is not because they like or dislike children.

With birth rates falling in several countries, they want each of their descendants to have eight children in the next 11 generations so that the Collins bloodline will outnumber the human population.

The wealthy couple from Dallas are not alone in this mission. The so-called “pro-natalist movement” has attracted the attention of a secret group made up of billionaires, such as South African Elon Musk, who has ten children. It has also spurred the emergence of bioengineering startups so that parents can choose the best possible genetics for the embryo. The idea is that the family lineage becomes increasingly superior.

An embryo with more “green columns”

One of the most famous technology companies in the field is Genomic Prediction, from the United States. It was through her that the Collinses chose the embryo for in vitro fertilization of their third child. Simone and Malcolm opted for a girl after undergoing the “LifeView” test, which provides risk scores for 11 possible polygenic disorders, including schizophrenia and five types of cancer.

Armed with a spreadsheet in which each line represented an embryo and each column a possible genetic risk factor, the Collinses decided to prioritize the one with the best performance in the category “traits adjacent to mental performance”. In it, stress, chances of suffering from depression, mood swings, anxiety and ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) were evaluated.

Thus, the embryo from line number 3 was selected because it had more green columns.

Despite this, the test is not a guarantee that the future Collins daughter will no longer have a mental problem, as it only takes into account genetics, without considering the social world in which the child will have contact in the future, which may affect the character and her behavior.

Malcolm and Simone Collins and their first two children - Press Release - Press Release

Malcolm and Simone Collins and their first two children

Image: Disclosure

The couple denies that this is a kind of choice about who will or will not be born.

“I’m not eliminating people. I mean, I’m eliminating them from my own genetic pool”, contradicts Simone in an interview with the Business Insider website. Malcolm, on the other hand, believes that if they are successful in the plan outlined for the next 11 generations, the Collinses can “define the future of our species”.

Combo of privileges: money, social class and now DNA

Stephen Hsu, co-founder of Genomic Prediction, admits that the choice of the best embryo by wealthy families, something made possible by technology, will further accentuate inequality in the future, as in addition to being born into financially successful homes, babies will have better genetic predispositions and should be healthier than the poorest, who cannot afford it.

At Genomic Prediction, for example, the polygenic test costs US$ 1 thousand (more than R$ 5.3 thousand) US$ 400 (R$ 2.1 thousand) for each embryo analyzed, according to the Bloomberg news agency. That is, the more analyses, the higher the costs.

In some ways, it is the most brutal form of inequality. This guy is going to be able to have 20 kids, and actually 20 very, very healthy ones, as good as modern technology can make them; while other people cannot avail themselves of it. Stephen Hsu to Business Insider.

Pronatalist movement attracts Musk

The pro-natalist movement has gained a following around the world, particularly among tech tycoons. They believe that, with the birth rate in developed countries falling each year, economies will collapse, and their wealth could collapse.

Another justification is that the world not only needs more people, but also people capable of withstanding climate change and new diseases in order to remain economically productive for their times.

The theory would be endorsed by Elon Musk, father of ten officially known children with three different women.

Discreet about his personal life, it is not known if Musk has adopted any technology of genetically choosing embryos in any of his children, but a source who worked directly with the billionaire informed the website Business Insider that this interest in having many children and genetically more ” advanced” was mentioned by the businessman since 2005.

“He takes very seriously the idea that your wealth is directly linked to your IQ,” he said. According to this source, Musk would have asked other wealthy men to have as many children as possible.

A future of stupid people?

Publicly, Musk fears that the plot of the 2006 cult film “Idiocracy” will come true.

The comedy suggests that, after the unrestricted reproduction of families with low educational background and the hesitation of “intelligent” people in not having many children in order not to hinder their careers, the world becomes dominated by stupid people.

It takes place in 2505, when the president-elect is a wrestling star and the population suffers from starvation because the crops are now irrigated with Gatorade.

“When I ask my friends why they aren’t having kids yet (very few are), it looks exactly like the movie. Could be a documentary as it’s coming true,” Musk posted on June 18, 2022 on Twitter , accompanied by a comedy scene.

“The world’s population is accelerating towards collapse, but few seem to notice or care,” Musk said, in another post, five years earlier, in 2017.

Sam Altman, co-founder of startup OpenIA (once owned by Elon Musk), is also a pro-natalist enthusiast. He was an early investor in Genomic Prediction. He also put money into the startup Conception, which researches how to grow viable human eggs from stem cells and allow two biological males to reproduce.

“I think having lots of kids is great,” Altman said at the recent “Greylock’s Smart Future” event.

In its report, Business Insider revealed that tech billionaires have been secretly getting together to talk about populating the world in the future. The movement is “huge here in Austin,” Linda Avey, co-founder of genetic analysis company 23andMe, told Insider.

Startup Dialog director Raffi Grinberg also confirmed that population decline is a common theme among CEOs who have attended the group’s unofficial retreats.

Another supporter is Luke Nosek, co-founder of PayPal. In February, he even held a meeting at his home with billionaires to discuss the “end of Western civilization”, the report revealed. Another enthusiast is the co-founder of Skype, the Estonian Jaan Tallinn, father of five, who also invested in Conception.

Technology trades the ‘bits’ for biology

The trend may even be affecting investments in Silicon Valley, reducing interest in traditional ‘big techs’ in favor of ‘biotechs🇧🇷

Data from the PitchBook consultancy show that the biggest investment round of 2022 happened with BillionToOne, in July, when the company raised US$ 125 million at once. The startup works with molecular diagnostics for screening common and serious genetic conditions in unborn babies.

Forms of IVF are the new trend in Silicon Valley - iStock - iStock

Forms of IVF are the new trend in Silicon Valley

Image: iStock

Another outstanding round of investment is from Gameto, which seeks solutions to extend women’s fertility window, raising US$ 40 million. One of the investors is XPrize co-founder Peter Diamandis and 23andMe co-founder Anne Wojcicki.

In all, according to PitchBook, Silicon Valley has 138 businesses focused on human reproduction. That’s more than double what it was in 2016, when there were 57.

“The 20th century was about atoms and bits. The 21st century is about biology and babies,” an anonymous investor in Genomic Prediction told Insider.

*With information from Business Insider, Bloomberg and PitchBook.

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