Week 7 Assignment
15 October 2011
Is There a Perfect Future?
“Most people regard genetic engineering as something that will happen tomorrow. They are wrong. Biotechnology is here today” (Mann, 1999, p. 113). Some people may laugh at the idea that genetic engineer like the type seen in Gattaca is possible, but already “genetically engineered crops cover an estimated one-quarter of all cropland in this country” (Maafo, 2001, p. 84). While genetic engineering is only being applied at crops at the moment, one has to wonder how long it will be before humans are genetically engineered and what will be the implication of such actions.
An analysis of science fiction films, where genetic engineering is applied could provide a view into the implications of genetic engineer of humans on society. The popular science fiction film Gattaca is a perfect film to show the possible affects human genetic engineer could have on society. In Gattaca the technology to engineer people to near perfection has been made possible and the fate of everyone is known at the very moment of birth. The number of genetically enhanced humans is far greater than the number of natural born people, which has lead to a new form of social segregation. The film follows the life of one of the few of the natural born humans, named Vincent. Being a natural born, Vincent does not have many options and even worse he is diagnosed with a severe heart condition. From the start, it would seem that society (even Vincent’s own farther) would not consider him worthy of their attention. The only person that actually seemed to care about Vincent was his mother, who actually seemed to disapprove of the genetic engineer being done. One has to feel bad for Vincent and others like him, because nobody seemed to want anything to do with him. The schools would not accept him, because of his heart condition and his own farther did not consider Vincent worthy to care his name....
References: Anderson, C. E. (2000). Genetic Engineering: Dangers and Opportunities. The Futurist, 34(2), 20-20-22+. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/196562249?accountid=44759
Fenton, E. (2008). Genetic Enhancement – A Threat To Human Rights?. Bioethics, 22(1), 1-7. doi:10.1111/j.1467-8519.2007.00564.x
Maafo, E. V. (2001). Research note: Genetic engineering and Genetic Screening. Competiveness Review, 11(1), 83-83-84. Retrieved from
Mann, C. C. (1999). Genetic engineering: Dream or nightmare? The Brave New World of Science and Business. Foreign Policy, (113), 113-113-116. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/224039583?accountid=44758
Please join StudyMode to read the full document