Genetic engineering in general
With the discovery of DNA and unravelling the genetic code it contains, molecular biologists have finally come close to understanding what determines the form and function of organisms and can use this to design organisms at will. This is illustrated by the experiments on the transgenic fruit fly which has eyes on its antennae (Walter Gehring, Basel Biocentre, Switzerland. see the year 1994 in http://www.ifgene.org/history.htm ). This new technology will have more benefits for human existence than all the past technologies put together. |Scientists are no closer to understanding what determines the form and function of a living organism than they were a century ago before the term gene was coined. As Craig Venter, a leader in the Human Genome Project put it: "We know shit about biology". Scientists have tended to concentrate on physical causality -- genes determine form and function -- but they are looking in the wrong place. Genes and their proper expression as structural, regulatory or enzymic proteins are merely one of the necessary conditions for the idea underlying an organism to manifest. The essence of the organism is its entelechy or telos. Other necessary conditions for an organism to manifest include nutrient, water, warmth, light and many other factors to do with the earth as a planet in a cosmos. The optimistic predictions of the molecular biologists and genetic engineers is reminiscent of those offered by the early proponents of nuclear power. In the 1950s, electricity was forecast to become too cheap to make it worth metering, but the reality is that society is left with a legacy of nuclear waste the cost of dealing with which will place an immeasurable burden on future generations.| Ever since agriculture and the domestication of animals and plants began, man has been modifying their genetic make-up by selective breeding (e.g. broccoli, Brussels sprouts and cabbage came from a single species of mustard)....
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