The one example that frightens me the most is in Michael Specter’s article How The DNA Revolution is Changing Us. In it he acknowledges that there may be unforeseen effects of using CRSIPR technology to alter the germlines of animal species or the human germline. While he does not necessarily give specific examples of what form those negative effects may look like he does acknowledge that in changing a strand of DNA to make a species resistant to a certain virus or disease it may leave it vulnerable to others which cannot be predicted. The fact that it is unknown what the possible negative effects are is something to worry about in itself. Perhaps the next plague which is long overdue, will be brought on by ourselves in an attempt to prevent it. At the end of the day I am no scientist and much more educated men and women are pioneering this technology. However as I have stated in the past technological fixes are not always the right way to go about solving an issue and more often than not the techno fixes cause unforeseen problems which may be harder to solve than the original problem. I believe that altering the human germline should be left to God and natural selection.
I do not believe gene editing should be done on humans. Not so much for the unforeseen negative effects that may arise, but for the sake of ethics. God and natural selection should decide what a human’s DNA looks like and not a third party. While it is indeed tragic and regretful that many humans are born with diseases I believe that it is simply natural selection running its course. The question of who this technology will be available to is also a matter of concern. I am a born and bred capitalist, but the idea that genetic enhancement, or even perfection, will only be available to the richest populations of the earth is of great concern. I believe that all men are born with equal capacity for success, but when genetic enhancement is available to only a small percent of the population it will tip the balance and men would no longer be born equal. Some would be born with the added advantage of having almost perfect health and having significantly decreased health expenses leaving the already hard pressed working class at a disadvantage. Playing with CRISPR technology in humans is playing with fire and once Pandora’s Box is opened we can never replace the contents. Human genes are best left to nature’s hand.