Arguments Against Genetic Engineering

  • Category: Science
  • Words: 1178
  • Grade: 96
Scientists for years have been experimenting on almost everything possible. Studies have been done to answer the question "why". The watchful eyes of scientists have scrutinized everything from gravity to light. Although there are libraries full of what we know, relatively, we know nothing about life outside the planet earth. In fact, there is much that we don't know about life on earth. Today, the brightest minds in the world are working extremely hard to try and determine what makes us who we are; they are decoding our genetic make-up. Within the text of this paper I hope to show you what I think about genetic research and hopefully leave you with a little insight to make your own decision.
Someday we will be able to go to the corner grocery store and pick up a little something called a gene therapy medication. Rogaine may not be the choice of men in the future; instead, they will pick up the magic potion that will make their hair grow back just like it was when they were young. Are there any people out there who wish they were a little thinner? If your genes cause you to gain weight, there will be a therapy available for men and women alike. Tired of dying your hair to hide the gray? Yep, there will be a solution to that too. Your genes determine everything from your hair color to your weight, and someday you will actually be able to change that.
Some think that hair color and weight are trivial things to even think about messing with. After all, it costs millions to find the single strand of DNA that causes these ailments. What about your height, eye color, facial features, and sexual preference? Wouldn't it be nice to change everything about yourself that you don't like? How much would you pay for this kind of miracle drug? Would you still feel like an individual?
Today we already have methods of "looking into the future". To determine an unborn child's characteristics we can do something called amniocentesis. This isn't really a valid example of genetic engineering, as this only tells us about the child, not how to fix it. The only thing to do in the case of possible down syndrome or Tay-sachs victim is have an abortion. That doesn't necessarily work for everyone. On the other hand, how can we justify genetically engineering a child? In a few years, it will be possible. For example, a couple would really like to have a son. They would go to the doctor and he would separate all the x and y chromosomes in the man's sperm. He plants the y sperm into the egg and you have a custom tailored boy.
I'm sure that there's not a person on the planet that likes everything about themselves, whether it be physical or emotional. With gene therapy, all these things could be changed and there wouldn't be an unhappy person anywhere in this world. The only problem is, we would all be so similar that the individuality of our race would cease to exist. Do you really want to be like everyone else? Here's a nice little scenario. Let's say that for some odd reason gray hair is responsible for preventing a terrible disaster. Who among us would survive? It wouldn't be the perfect people, because they wouldn't have the gray hair mutation to guard them from whatever it is that is killing them off. The good old-fashioned humans would be the only ones who would live.
Then there's the issue of cost. How much would you pay to make your children perfect little humans? Probably not the middle class, and for sure not the poor folks. Only the upper crust would have the resources to make the perfect child.
If you think about it, this new narrow gene pool is almost perfect, almost. Think years into the future (about 100 or so). Perfect humans are now inhabiting the earth, and no disease has struck since the genome project was finished and its research put to use. A rogue disease begins to climb the ladder, and the only possible way to fight it off is to find a genetic mutation that will defeat the disease. Since all the people living have been custom built, there will be a vastly shallow gene pool. Since everyone is so similar in genetic design, there would be no way of find a cure for the fatal disease and human life would be extinct altogether. Isn't that a pretty picture? We would completely destroy our race and not even realize how much wrong was really done.
With all that we know about genetics we could theoretically bring back the dinosaurs through cloning. Hey, we did it with sheep. For those of you who have seen Jurassic park, you know that catastrophe isn't far behind that. Cloning is another aspect of genetic engineering we have to consider. It is now possible to clone a human, although it has never been done. I personally don't believe that it is right to duplicate another human being's genes. In most cases, we would end up creating a "parts car" for anyone out there. If they would ever need an organ transplant, you automatically have one. He won't mind, he's just a clone. Sure, this clone is just flesh and bone, but he would still possess a soul, not matter how different from the original. Is that morally right? It would be like killing one twin to save the other. In my opinion, that is wrong altogether. If someone is meant to die, they will die. It's called natural selection.
Death is inevitable, but still we try to keep it away as long as possible. I know I don't want to die young, but if it was meant to be, I can't really do anything about it. The earth is already overpopulated, and just think what would happen if people started living past 100 consistently. It might get a little crowded around here, not to mention the increase in pollution levels.
Simply putting it, genetic engineering can get to be a really big mistake if we take it too far. The earth wasn't designed to hold that many people and would most definitely cause mass destruction. We are having too much trouble with pollution and food shortages as it is, so why do we want to add to the problem? The average life expectancy for any given person is a pretty decent 72 years. I think that is plenty of time for living on this crowded, dirty planet. Be careful what you do with your science, it may lead to your own self-destruction.
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