Saturday, March 28, 2015

Playing God? What Kind of Deity are We?

About a week ago The New York Times ran a very interesting article about new gene editing techniques that some are concerned would be used to enhance intelligence or beauty, creating genetically improved individuals:

Wade, Nicholas (2014, March 19) Scientists Seek Ban on Method of Editing the Human Genome. The New York Times,
A group of leading biologists on Thursday called for a worldwide moratorium on use of a new genome-editing technique that would alter human DNA in a way that can be inherited. The biologists fear that the new technique is so effective and easy to use that some physicians may push ahead before its safety can be assessed. They also want the public to understand the ethical issues surrounding the technique, which could be used to cure genetic diseases, but also to enhance qualities like beauty or intelligence. The latter is a path that many ethicists believe should never be taken. “You could exert control over human heredity with this technique, and that is why we are raising the issue,” said David Baltimore, a former president of the California Institute of Technology and a member of the group whose paper on the topic was published in the journal Science.