What scientific experiments would you like done if ethics was not a concern?

Go crazy; nothing is forbidden.

Personally, I think it’s Bio-Sphere time. Raising infants in captivity with no adult human contact. What kind of culture arises? What happens when they get old enough for us to introduce some potential predators? Or Prey? What happens when we introduce scarcity of resources? Etc.

Just how far have we really come? We’ll answer some of those nature vs. nurture questions once and for all, and give the political theorists a chance to revisit the whole “state of nature” debate. And we’ll pay for it all with broadcast fees and advertisement. This Attempt to Kill a Wolf With Pointed Sticks is Brought to You by BrainPort!: The USB port that fits inside you brain. And by … Star Trek 19: Solid Snake vs. Galactus.

Along the same lines: forced separation of identical twins.

And there’s all sorts of things you could do to suss out the root causes of drug addiction if you grab a few thousand people for their own drug-laden bio-spheres.

Create a Human-Chimp hybrid

Believe or not, the identical twins separated at birth studies already occur in real life. It used to be considered an equitable solution to family problems particularly in Scandinavia at one time. There is two of them just the same. Just split the difference right down the middle or so the logic went. The results have been in for a long time. Nurture loses over nature. They still end up remarkably the same way no matter what you do.

I would like to take people that claim that absolutely cannot lose weight or get fit and put them into a strict militaristic program where everything is controlled down to the last piece of food. This isn’t a short-term program. We are talking a near biosphere of former fatties. You have to live in a traditional hunter-gatherer society and we see if the claims still hold after 10 years and what the long-term effects are. The only saving grace of this program is that is backed up by modern medical doctors and support personnel that ensure that people don’t fight over food. Literally starving to death will be prevented as well but only in the most extreme circumstances.

I would hope a replication of the Stanford prison experiment with a supervisor that actually knew what they were doing so that it would be discredited once and for all.

The milgram experiment with real students and real shocks.

Discrediting Universal Grammar: put 100 babies on ten islands and wait for 20 years. According to UG, they should all develop the same language but different vocabulary. Screw you, Chomsky!

The money doesn’t buy happiness experiment: give me lots and lots of money so i can prove it doesn’t make people happy.

Unleash a virus that causes genetic reprogramming to make people less douchebaggy, and if not to see if a mass steriliazation virus would work.
See if a robot apocalypse is viable

Can Sarah Palin take a punch from a gorilla? How about two? Maybe three?

Now you’ve gone too far.
Why do you hate gorillas?

Find out how many woodchucks would *actually *chuck wood. :smiley:

It’s been said, but I’d go further: separate identical twins and raise one in abject poverty with abusive parents, the other with kind parents in a well-to-do home. Check on how happy and successful each was after they’re dead.

A friend of mine wanted to adopt a baby monkey when his wife gave birth, so he could do comparative experiments while they grew up.

Chomsky never said anything so fatuous. Never. What he did say was that underlying all the individual languages we speak are certain universal principles that all languages follow. Nothing like inflection although all languages express relationships, either by inflection or strict word order or both. All languages use embedded clauses. All languages use pronouns. And I think all languages use pre/postpositions. Although in some, they are often unnecessary because there are lots of cases.

Note that the languages that have been painfully taught to chimps lack all the above features.

See just how far selective breeding can take various human qualities, and what the side effects are. What happens if you breed for intelligence, and how smart can you breed such humans to be? How about longevity? Or strength or height (with tall and short breeds naturally).

What Rachellelogram said.

I believe that was done, too, with a chimp.

Yes it was. A pair of married psychologists decided it would be a swell idea to raise their own toddler son with a chimpanzee brother of about the same age. It didn’t work out well for anyone involved.

You have to up your game if you want to find something people haven’t already tried. People keep mentioning separating identical twins at birth but I already told you it has already been studied across hundreds of pairs that were raised that way intentionally. Those studies are found in any Psychology 101 textbook. Nature wins over nurture for the most part.

I would like to conjoin two previously separate people.

Create a Neanderthal.

Just how dissimilar where the circumstances in which the twins were raised? I submit that it was not enough, in most cases, for the “experiment” to be meaningful. Let one twin be raised, by, say Appalachian Hill-folk, and the other raised by Bill Gates. Let one be raised by Midwestern Baptists, and the other be raised by Maori tribesmen. Send one to live with vegan, anti-TV, holistic-medicine new-agers, and another to live with cut-throat Wall Street bankers. I suspect we’d start to see some profound differences between even twins, then…

Frederick II supposedly* did experiments like this. He wondered what the original language was, assuming Hebrew, Latin, Greek, etc. and so isolated babies, cared for by nonspeaking nurses. As you can imagine, they didn’t learn to speak, and wouldn’t develop the ability in adulthood even if they were tutored.

Sharks with frickin’ lasers. Five-assed monkeys. Chips in every human’s brain that would allow me to bend them to my will. Or just politicians.

*The main chronicler was not fond of him.

How’s that work? Food extruding machines? Medical devices? Butler robots? I’d think they’d be feral if they survive at all.

I’d like to see some experiments along the lines of “Trading Places”, except with children.

Shift the brains of people high in social status with those low in social status, see how that effects attitudes about psychology and sociology.

I wouldn’t want to conduct this experiment, but it would be interesting to find out what the effects of abuse are at different ages for children. For example, does a child abused at 1 month react the same way when an adult as a child abused at 2 years, or 5, or 9 years? How does that effect psychology and attachment into adulthood at different stages of growth.

I would also like to do a repeat of the domesticated silver fox study done on humans. One tried to create tame, happy peaceful animals through selective breeding and one tried to create violent, dangerous animals who reacted badly to people. Doing an experiment on selective breeding to create different races of humans (a race of loving, peaceful perpetually happy and joyous humans; a race of super geniuses; a race of dangerous psychopaths) and seeing how long each one takes. I wonder if it would take less than 100 generations of selective breeding to achieve these things. Obviously, because it is selective breeding you would accommodate for whatever issues come up (if you create geniuses and this increases the risk of various neurological problems, you provide medical treatment to the sick).
Also an experiment to see what happens if you bathe children in love, affection and acceptance during the first 6 years of life, does that drastically alter long term crime/mental illness/quality of life variables or do people tend to respond genetically instead of via nurturance to that.