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  (Source: Columbia Pictures )

Professor Julian Savulescu  (Source: smh.com.au)
The process would be similar to checking embryos for conditions like Down's syndrome

Imagine being able to design a human the way we use computer software to design every day items like clothing or furniture. University of Oxford Professor Julian Savulescu recently said that parents should have the choice to do such a thing, allowing them to create the kind of child they desire rather than leaving it to chance. 

According to Savulescu, the manipulation of genetics has evolved over the years and has already proven to be beneficial to those who are expecting. For instance, parents can use tests, which focus on particular genes in embryos, to see if their child will have certain conditions like Down's syndrome. 

While this type of testing is not seen as an issue, Savulescu said the testing of an embryo's genes to see what kind of personality flaws it could have has raised concern amongst the public -- and he believes it shouldn't.

"Indeed, when it comes to screening out personality flaws, such as potential alcoholism, psychopathy and disposition to violence, you could argue that people have a moral obligation to to select ethically better children," said Savulescu. "They are, after all, less likely to harm themselves and others. If we have the power to intervene in the nature of our offspring -- rather than consigning them to the natural lottery -- then we should." 

Savulescu's ideas have been compared to those of the Nazis, who adopted the eugenics movements during World War II. However, Savulescu argues that this is different because parents can choose to participate or not. They don't have to genetically alter their children, but they should be able to choose to, he said. 

"Whether we like it or not, the future of humanity is in our hands now," said Savulescu. "Rather than fearing genetics, we should embrace it. We can do better than chance." 

Savulescu posed this argument in a recent article in Reader's Digest

What do you think? Could eliminating potential character flaws in embryos create a perfect human race, or could there be serious, unseen implications with having so much power over this thing called life?

Source: The Telegraph



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Gattaca
By flyingpants1 on 8/21/2012 8:59:44 AM , Rating: 2
Surprised nobody mentioned the movie Gattaca. Bourgeois science produces the wrong result again and again.

Genetically engineering humans to have specific 'personality traits' based on an arbitrary value system means it's pretty much over for human beings as a species. Most of the population will invariably be engineered as obedient worker bees, while the rich become genius supermen. I wish bourgeois scientists would STFU already.

We'll also be implanted with internet-connected chips at birth that will provide instant gratification (creating dependency) while tracking our movements and all our day-to-day activity and recording them in a massive database, just like cell phones and TV do today. Sounds funny to say right now, but give it 20-30 years and it will be commonplace.

There's not a single person to be blamed for this, it's sort of a natural process. Whatever the technology, however primitive or advanced, no matter what the initial intentions behind it, human beings will eventually figure out how it can be used to dominate and control others -- and why wouldn't they?




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