Some allegedly ‘leading’ biologists have requested a world-wide DNA Editing Ban on a new DNA editing technique insofar as human DNA is concerned. Next we will read of a leading bear requesting a ban on honey.
The magic new tool allows scientists to cut and paste DNA like a computer document; it is Nobel Prize material. And it has evidently frightened those who will use it. Well it should; it is modern reality’s version of the “knowledge of good and evil” of Biblical times if one applies it to human biology. Those who know the most, our biologists, are right to be scared stiff.
With this tool, a biologist can tailor a human genome to his or her order. In our reality, only sci-fi authors have done that; Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein” coming at once to mind. They are all cautionary tales. That is as it should be, how many of us are certain of knowledge of what will make a long term, successful human race? We cannot seem to manage the current one!
We tend to see ourselves as imperfect, conflicted, sinful … but if we were much different, would our species survive time? We know not; neither do the biologists. They at least, have the wit to try to head off arrogant experiment before it cam damage our species. They remind us of a young mother who, observing her toddlers clustering around a beehive, tells them to please be careful! This plea from the eggheads amounts to an attempt at self-absolution for any evil the discovery may foist upon us.It is hypocrisy at almost a politician’s level. But we must sympathize too; are we to refuse scientific progress for fear?
In the end, it is not the discoverers who bear the brunt of their discoveries’ results; it is we who use it. And of us, some will be careful and responsible; others will be careless and/or greedy. It has ever been so, and we have somehow survived and progressed. We have done that with the original design; now we will be messing with that. Hubris, perhaps? An anciently identified ingredient in human makeup.
We should expect wealthy folk ordering from biologists infants with beauty, with intelligence or athletic skills, infants that will follow orders or create masterpieces. And those will in turn create the providers who will undertake the task for a fee. It has ever been so; check out meth labs.
However, it will take nine months to gestate one of these special orders, followed by one or more decades of some sort of parenting to find out what .. well, not God, hath wrought. Allowing room for our Creator’s sense of humor, most evident already in our species, it may require longer even than that. The joke, if indeed such it is, will be played upon our progeny. If displeased, about all that they may do, is piss on our graves. If such a primitive disposal of excess water is still in use by then …