Hollywood has been showing it to us for years. Frankenstein, The SixMillion Dollar Man, Jurassic Park, etc. ; the list goes on.
All these movies showman’s instinct to create. This fiction of playing God in recent years isbecoming a reality. In 1952, deoxyribonucleic acid was discovered(Dewitt, 1994). The spiralstaircase molecule, DNA. DNA is the building block of life.
This block holdsthe code for every aspect of any life on the planet Earth. DNA decides whetherone life will be a plant or rhinoceros. DNA also carries the information thattells how smart, creative, bossy, shy, athletic, or any other description youcan think of. The secret code of DNA would prove to be invaluable. This isthe reason the Human Genome Project has been started. Scientist around the worldare using super computers to crack the code.Order now
This 15 year project is predictedto end by the year 2005(Dewitt, 1994). That is only 10 years from now. What doesthat mean to the average Joe?Well, today we already live with genetically engineered items. The FDAhas approved bioengineered tomatoes that ripen without rotting(Dewitt, 1994). Entire herds of cattle are now being injected with a growth hormone(BST) so thatthey will produce more milk than ordinary cattle(Dewitt, 1994).
Also droughtresistance grass that needs no moving. Scientists will soon be able to collect DNA from endangered species. This DNA could be used to clone more condors, bald eagle, mountain gorillas, andmany other animals. Totally extinct animals may be recreated as well, i. e.
Jurassic Park. Imagine having your own dodo bird or pet triceratops. Many types of diseases will be cured. Just take out the gene that givingyou the problem.
Pure panacea. As soon as a baby is born his or hers parentswill know everything about him or her. If they will be artistic. Will she getbreast cancer? Will he be tall or short? Is he a genius.
Ten years from 2005,these questions won’t even have to be asked. Made to order babies. Made to order babies?!? Is this where we are headed? It’s only a matterof time before a president’s hair clippings are swept up at a barbershop andthen used to detect what diseases he has or is susceptible to. The rich may oneday be able to obtain immortality by cloning themselves. I couldn’t picturethree Donald Trumps all thinking the same. There is even a darker side to this.
Governments may decide to createsuper soldiers. Killing machines with top physical and mental prowess. This wasthe dream of Adolf Hitler himself. These genetic alterations may also only beaccessible to the rich. Darwin’s rule of evolution, survival of the fittest; ifthis holds true, anyone with more than 25% melanin in their skin(Afrikansmainly)will be left out. The perfect man and woman will be a reality withgenetic engineering.
What is the perfect man or woman? That is a question no oneknows, but probably someone will soon define. Mankind may get so intelligentthat we forget all of our animal instincts. As with all things, there can be a good side and a bad side. Geneticengineering will have a major effect on our future society. There will be manysocial changes.
It is hard enough today to know whether someone has breastimplants or if there hair is real. We might have to guess if a person was bornor manufactured at Genes R’ Us(Dewitt, 1994). A greater sense of deception andmistrust will invade the psyche of the masses. Our behavior itself may itself bea manufactured product of some person in a white lab coat. Many believe thatthe Internet and online services will lead to the elimination of personalprivacy. Genetic and bioengineering just maybe the end to human nature.
Article CitationsElmer-Dewitt, Philip (1994, January). The Genetic Revolution. TIMEMagazine, Vol. 143 No.
2Category: Philosophy .