You Say You Want a Revolution

“But gene editing, which would result in sterile mosquitoes, could help save the birds without destroying their surroundings. “Using genetics to save these species is just an incredibly targeted way to address a variety of environmental ills,” Newman says. “Avian malaria is destroying the wildlife of Hawaii, and there is a way to stop it. Are we really willing to just sit there and watch?” (Specter 4-5)

It seems like a win-win, eliminate those pesky mosquitos AND save the beautiful birds  Hmmm, pretty sure this was the same argument made as the white man spread westward across North America. The same argument with a different technology (guns) and higher stakes being used to differentiate winners and losers.  But hey, I mean the winners were smarter and they deserved the land more than…..well you see where I am going (and for those who don’t, a general disclaimer…I don’t really think the winners were smarter!). Winners and losers, the hand of god, socio-trophic cascade, but we never foresaw, careful what you wish for….. (anyone thinking Pet Cemetery?)

No disease, no defects, no variants, just a perfect human, a master race…or is that too far? Bosnia, Germany, South Africa, Rwanda come to mind and that is without even walking the razor’s edge of today’s politics.  The morality of technology is determined by the hand that wields it. If you want to think about a technology’s impact on you, on your neighbors, on your world, look beyond the technology to those who will make the decision how far is too far, then you should have a pretty clear answer about how wrong things can go.  Technology can change the world, the problem is the people behind those changes may have a blurry notion of right and wrong when picking the winners and losers.  But no mosquitos…Maybe I can behind that one!

(sorry for the choppy nature of this post, but that’s how I am feeling about this topic)

2 thoughts on “You Say You Want a Revolution”

  1. I really appreciate your thoughts here. I too think that things can get messy when humans begin deciding what traits should carry on and which should be demolished. I think in certain circumstances genetic engineering seems like a great end all solution, but is that really what we need? It is though to say coming from a place that is not heavily affected by a virus such as Zika, because geography and circumstance create such a distinct divide between those who have fortune and those who have misfortune as it is. Good food for thought…

  2. While I do agree with you on the fact that we, as humans, might take gene editing to far. I would not put it past humans to try and create a perfect human and then have everything go down hill from there. However, I feel like this might be taken a little to far. While I am very skeptical of the use of gene editing, I believe if done properly it cannot create a lot of advantages for us.

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