Custom Tailored Babies

With this CRISPR technology, the ability to solve many genetic defects in the world is within our grasp. The question is no longer if we can or how, but a question of if we should. The benefits of human genetic modification are fairly obvious, eliminating genetic defects in human babies. 7.8 million babies born with genetic defects every year would no longer have those defects. (Harris and Darnovsky, 2) The side effects of genetic engineering are not well known, and we could simply make the situation worse. Before we try modifying embryos that will be allowed to mature, we need to answer questions of morality and danger with more than counter arguments. The potential benefits of human genetic engineering are difficult to deny. The ethics of influencing or altering our genetic code are in question, and it is not difficult to see why.

We don’t want something straight out of science fiction, where genetically engineered superhumans conquer the planet and exterminate all unengineered humans. The only method I see of reducing this is to globally outlaw any human genetic engineering that amplifies abilities such as strength and intelligence beyond normal. Genetic engineering should be restricted to solving birth defects, and improving the lives of everyone. The issue is what our definition of normal means. Coming back to the articles, the Harris and Darnovsky article was the easiest to understand. Gould’s article was the most difficult to understand, as he talked about the flaws inherit to Darwinism, and how he changed his mind on several issues. I did not like Gould’s approach, as it seemed a bit too eccentric.