What´S Genetic Engineering? Essay

1626 words - 7 pages

You are unique. Born into a family, you are the culmination of months’ worth of waiting and patience from your parents. The moment you are born may very well be the best day of their lives. Though you may not be very respectful at times, they still love you just as much as they did before. If they could change you though…if they could have put you together before you were born…would they? In the society of today, technology and human intellect are increasing at an astonishing rate. While the two may be equal at this moment, there will come a time where technology will overtake human intellect and may very well change the way we look at society today more than it ever has before. Genetic engineering is one of the first steps towards this change. Though it started out on animals and plants, genetic engineering is beginning to move towards the more aggressive altering of human genes. In a few years, the line separating “god” from “mortal” may become nothing more than an afterthought. In doing so, this paper shall also elaborate on genetic engineering’s history and current advances along with its potential misuses and limitations.
What is genetic engineering? Any medical dictionary will loosely defines it as “the group of applied techniques of genetics and biotechnology used to cut up and join together genetic material and especially DNA from one or more species of organism and to introduce the result into an organism in order to change one or more of its characteristics” (“genetic engineering”). While most genetic research is for the purpose of medical advancement and the treatment of incurable genetic defects like Down’s syndrome, eugenics was once pursued under the guise of genetic engineering for the greater good. As defined another dictionary, eugenics is (or more so “was”) “a science that deals with the improvement as by control of human mating of hereditary qualities of a race or breed.” (“eugenics”) While eugenics is now considered a pseudoscience - and after the Nazis, one with murderous consequences - it was once a respectable branch of the social sciences (Shah). Nazi ideology was obsessed with creating a “master race” of people to rule in the “Third Reich”. The problem was that technology had yet to reach a stalemate with human intellect. As it is, technology can only advance at the speed of which innovations come from innovators. Because of Hitler, the idea of eugenics became evil. While eugenics is still a taboo concept in most legitimate scientific circles, this has not stopped Hollywood from toying with the idea. J. J. Abrams integrated the entire eugenics concept into a larger and even darker category of classification known as fringe science. Some movies along with books and popular conspiracy theories explain that our government or a secret organization wants to create a species of super-soldiers. As advanced as the ideas are, the technology is only in its first few stages. Realistically, science is far from anything of that...

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