Human Genetic Engineering

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Jose Vera
As we look forward to every new day ahead of us, we recognize the world is moving faster than ever before. We tend to remember simpler times where we didn’t rely on the technologies that we so critically depend on now. With our changing times we must embrace the possibilities of a bold new future. Our lives and those of our children will drastically change and a possible revolution in genetic engineering promises a new day for all of us. A world in which we would be able to choose our children’s physical appearance, cognitive abilities, and aptitudes would not be a thing of the past anymore. These twisting complexities of our human life will not just be an easy switch. It is not something that will just come about with no major repercussions or serious consequences. Genetic engineering will have a tremendous impact on our lives affecting the social and psychological aspects as well as the arguments that would surface economically, politically, and religiously. Crossing this threshold would irrevocably change the nature of human life and human society. It would change human nature as we know it and unleash unprecedented forces that would feed back upon themselves with impacts way beyond our ability to foresee, much less control. With human genetic engineering, as with other things in life, there are two sides to every argument and story. To some people, this is a chance for a better and healthier life. To others it is being seen as a way to “play God” and a way to try and “program” a human being. Both views create valid arguments to discuss and valid sides to take. Genetic engineering could be used to enhance people’s lives from a positive view, but it could also turn into something detrimental to society and can create something that leads to the extinction of human life as we know it. Creating a genetically engineered “species” or human would completely change the whole ball game. The changes that can be brought to existence through this would make the lives that we live now and our society unpredictable. It could potentially create an imbalance and discrepancy in society and its members just as it would happen if an exotic animal would be introduced into a certain area causing an imbalance in the ecology of the area (McPhersson, 2008). An accident or unknown result of genetic engineering could present itself with several problems we will not be ready to address. A good example for this to help us relate would be the accidental creation of a stronger virus or bacteria through genetic engineering. Instead of creating a cure or trying to understand it, something was created that could start a severe epidemic if it were to get released (McPhersson, 2008). When we start creating the “perfect” human, the possibility of problems arising is inevitable. Genetically engineered humans could create problems that range from minor medical all the way to death. Unknown side effects and outcomes simply could not be ignored. Genetic engineering will ultimately arise many concerns. We don’t know enough about the process and the effects that it can have to be able to use it effectively. We lack the knowledge necessary to benefit from this. What happens when one unwanted gene gets put in on accident? This process cannot be reversed and we cannot just take it out. Now we have created an individual that we did not mean to create. So do we kill them because they didn’t come out perfect or the way they were intended to be? Despite all of the concerns we have, the potential and curiosity of genetic engineering is alive and well. We need to educate ourselves about the capabilities of changing human characteristics through genetic engineering and how unpredictable all of it can be. If genetic engineering starts being used, we will not be able to simply put it back or turn it off. Once it becomes a reality it will always be with us, and frankly I don’t think we are ready for all the responsibility that it brings. The impact that...
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