backtop


Print 69 comment(s) - last by Master Kenobi.. on Aug 22 at 12:57 PM


  (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



Comments     Threshold


This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled

RE: but...
By Reclaimer77 on 8/21/2012 10:50:18 AM , Rating: 3
quote:
The only way your logic works is if people with abnormalities that cause a deficiency are not allowed to pass on their genetics to any offspring. Somehow I don't think that will be very popular with the masses.


Aren't you talking about the same thing? What will happen to the human race when things like very dark skin or very light skinned albinos, red hair and freckles (gingers), short people, fat people, etc etc are all weeded out before birth and made more "normal".

See its' one thing to discuss this in terms of real disadvantages like birth defects etc etc. That's all well and good. But this goes far beyond that doesn't it? We're talking the ability to make your child "perfect", or whatever the current societies idea of "perfect" is.

Do we want a diverse society that learns to embrace imperfections, or at least tolerate them? Or the opposite.

I suspect these questions and more will fuel this debate for decades to come. I'm not even sure what side of the fence to be on. But there seems to be something decidedly...inhuman about the concept.


"Game reviewers fought each other to write the most glowing coverage possible for the powerhouse Sony, MS systems. Reviewers flipped coins to see who would review the Nintendo Wii. The losers got stuck with the job." -- Andy Marken














botimage
Copyright 2014 DailyTech LLC. - RSS Feed | Advertise | About Us | Ethics | FAQ | Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information | Kristopher Kubicki