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The Eugenics Wars are Coming...

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In a lengthy post on March 20, 2009 from The Daily Galaxy, Rebecca Sato discusses the pros and cons of human genetic engineering.

To quote on the con side:
Much of the debate stems from the fact that the effects of genetically altering an embryo would be generational and permanent. In other words, if we create a mutant baby and it grows up to have children of it’s own—they’ll all be mutant gene carriers too. Genes injected into embryos and reproductive cells, such as sperm, affect every cells in the body and would be passed on to future generations. Critics say current humans don’t have the right to tamper with the gene pool of future generations.
And on the pro side,  John Harris, the Sir David Alliance Professor of Bioethics at Manchester University believes that:
as parents, citizens, and scientists, we are morally obliged to do whatever we can genetically to make life better and longer for our children and ourselves. Society currently devotes so much energy and resources towards saving lives, which, in reality, is simply postponing death, he notes. If it is right to save life, Harris reasons, then it should also be right to postpone death by stemming the flow of diseases that carry us to the grave.
Rebecca ends her post with:
Many say we shouldn’t change human genetics, UNLESS it’s the RIGHT thing to do. Who gets to decide where the line is between righteous endeavor and the corruption of nature?  
Great questions... what do YOU think about human genetic engineering?

2 Comments


I know this is a month old but I'm just now reading it.

Who gets to decide where the line is? Choosing to not decide is a decision too so we can't dodge the problem that way.

I don't know. Both sides have some good arguments. We manage to find ways to live with new technologies and the ethical problems that come with them. Never to everyone's satisfaction but eventually it becomes just another part of life.


I agree... but to just begin all this engineering with living tissue (as opposed to computer simulations) without having decided cautiously and thoroughly where the line is strikes me as irresponsible.

We don't really know the end results of our tinkering with the genetic code.

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