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Engineered Life Vs. God Given Life

1317 words - 5 pages

When considering the social context of our society today, it is not surprising that the concepts of morality and ethics are introduced in the debate over genetic engineering. Is it ethically correct as a society for scientists to alter human nature by editing genetics? Is it moral for an engineer to “play God” in the eyes of some and determine which genes will be passed on to the next generation? Bioethics, a critical part of any medical field, is likewise crucial in genetic engineering. Without regulations and limits, genetic engineering in humans could have a significant impact on genetic diversity, undermining the health of the human species.
One of the most common fears about the genetic engineering is that it will create a monoculture (the cultivation of a single crop in a given area) in humans rather than crops. Many scientists have noticed that human engineering can create a biological diversity among humans by manipulating the human genes and altering them to make a perfect human. According to Powell, everyone in a society could look like either Ken or Barbie, yet their underlying genetic diversity could rival that of any two randomly selected people on earth (211). As defined by the Association of Reproductive Health Professionals, human genetic engineering is altering the genes within a cell of a living human. "The term is further defined as being divided into two categories: somatic and germ-line. Somatic genetic engineering targets the genes in specific organs and tissues of the body without affecting genes in their eggs or sperm. On the contrary, germ-line genetic engineering targets the genes in the eggs, sperm, or early embryos. Genetic variation allows the human race to adapt and survive when catastrophe arises" (Pitt). Our widespread gene pool allows each person contains various differences in his/her genes that allow the human race to survive through Darwin’s “survival of the fittest” model of evolution. If genetic engineering were to become prominent in our society, it’s believed that it is ethical and moral to limit genetic engineering in order to save the genetic variation in our current gene pool. With genetic engineering, humans will become a “monoculture.” According to Powell, the gene pool will be altered with genetic variation, unless it was a situation where every person cloned himself, which is quite unlikely. However, he argues that, since most of our DNA is not expressed openly, genetic engineering would hardly impact our phenotypes passed down in the gene pool (212). It's possible to disagree with Powell because engineering done to our DNA would be to the genes expressed outwardly, especially if we are to consider those who want to alter the genetics of their child to give him/her an upper hand athletically, intellectually, etc. So where should the stopping point be? Ethically, it is not a scientist’s position to alter the gene pool, unless it would be to eliminate a disease or genetic disorder that would cause...

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