Genetic Engineering, the process of editing the genetic structure of a living organism, is most likely the most power science in existence. With this technology one can literally create life, change life, and formulate life to service the creator. Genetic Engineering is the most useful, powerful, and interesting science in existence today. With it, we can bring upon an evolution of our species which we decide, eliminate genetic defects, cure disease and solve problems with extinct species. When it comes to using this Technology to advance ourselves, there are some arguments and reservations certain people and groups have.
First, and most important some believe it is unethical to modify life. Changing life to service us is not morally wrong. It is not inhuman either. Of course, if you believe using animals for scientific research is morally wrong that’s your belief, I am stating that genetically enhancing them to be better research specimens is not unethical. My reason behind this is that we don’t just do research in order to infect and kill off the mice, we do it so one day we will have a cure for cancer and can save hundreds of thousands of human lives.
Of course if you value the life of a mouse over a human then you would see differently. Some fear that this science is too powerful, granted we shouldn’t let just anyone be able to modify bacteria, or the human genome, but we shouldn’t let our fears blind us to the possible benefits of wide-scale genetic engineering. Medical uses for this technology are virtually endless. With genetics we can filter out any genetic defect, no more down-syndrome, mal-deformed limbs, hereditary cancer, or any other hereditary diseases.
With Genetics we can also re-engineer virus to kill other virus and bacteria. Imagine curing a disease with another, that was tweaked by geneticists. Also mental diseases which are often hereditary will also be eliminated. We could also use genetics to enhance our immune system making us less susceptible to other disease strains, but this will be better discussed further on. This powerful new science will allow doctors to cure so much of the worlds sick, to not allow this science to be applied to medicine could be viewed as genocide. In Agriculture genetics can also become extremely useful.
We can enhance plants to make them resistant to disease which wipe out so many crops annually. We could also engineer virus that can be implanted into the plants that would kill off bugs or other creatures that attack the plants. This would eliminate the need for pesticides and other harmful chemical forms of getting rid of pests. Genetics can also be used to enhance crop yield which would allow for farmers to bring in double what they are getting now. This effect would drop plant-based food prices allowing for more hungry children to be able to eat daily.
We can also engineer plants to be more versatile allowing for growth of certain types of plants in areas where they normally wouldn’t be able to grow. This would also allow for more food globally. Another benefit of using genetics on plants is we can have them produce natural enzymes that fight or cure disease. This is a cheap, inexpensive way to produce effective medicine on a wide scale. Making powerful medicines available to the public at a low price. There is no reason why we shouldn’t allow ourselves the benefit on the usage of this technology on agriculture it would help our society in so many ways.
Other use of genetics is that in animals. With genetics and gene therapy we are able to make animal, namely the pig, organs similar enough to human organs as to be transplantable. Again you could counter this with the same argument used in using mice as cancer subjects, but like I mentioned before unless you value animal life more then human life you basically have no argument. We can also use genetics to breed healthier, meatier animals allowing for more healthier meat-based food on the international market. We can also clone these animals allowing for more healthier food on the international market.
This would drop the price of food, again helping eliminate the staving people in today’s society. One truly amazing use for genetics is using it to restore what past society’s have destroyed. We can clone species which humans had with all our pollution or deforestation, destroyed. This would fix the whole problem with extinct species and endangered species, the problem would simply not exist over time. We can also use genetics to breed trees that grow faster then normal which would allow for the repopulating of the rain forests which are being destroyed daily by paper and farming industries.
If we were to deny the usage of this technology to restoration of extinct species, we would be no better then the societies that destroyed them. Cloning is another genetic related topic, it was discussed in some of the most famous science fiction novels of this century. But ever since Dolly the sheep was successfully cloned the question on everyone’s mind is “What’s Next? ” Cloning animals is useful, and highly so, as discussed prior, we can do so in order to restore extinct species or produce animals which we consume in order to provide more food for the people of the world. The big question now is about cloning humans.
Cloning a human for the purpose of cloning a human is wasteful, ignorant, and pointless. Lets think a moment. What do we get from cloning a human An exact copy of the human we cloned. Now if everyone on the world had a clone we would have a slight overpopulation problem on our hands. You simply don’t benefit from cloning other then getting a duplicate of the person you copied. Its a waste of resources which could be better allocated to the already over-populated world and shouldn’t be condoned. Last, and provably the most controversial issue in genetics is using its great power to enhance or better the human genome.
This technology is most feared because of this reason, What happens when we toy with nature’s best creation, humans. Well I will explain each of the possible uses for this technology in relation to the human being, they being; enhance intellect, life span, metabolism, eliminate the condition of being overweight, retardation, hereditary defects or disease, birth marks, being ugly or unattractive, emotional disorders, and depression. First enhancement of our species. Just think of a world were everyone thought before they acted. Think of how much less crime would occur.
No more rash decisions based on pure emotion, significantly less street and bar fights, less need for gangs, less people on drugs. When you enhance the intellect of a person you give them clarity of thought. With this clarity comes so much more for the society he or she lives in. We could also use this to enhance the life span of certain individuals, say we want to set up a colony on a distant planet and it would require a long trip. We could genetically enhance the life span of the members of the crew allowing them to complete their mission.
Now I would not recommend the usage of this on the general population because you would have the overpopulation problem, not so much as with cloning but the population would still grow rapidly. Enhancing our metabolism is another advancement that we can make. With this comes the elimination of being overweight, we could literally eat 3,000 calories a day and not gain a pound because our bodies would burn it off so fast. The only side effect of this is that we would have to consume a lot in order to perform activities which involve a high amount of activity.
But this would only effect those who perform seriously strenuous jobs on a daily basis. We could also enhance our immune system making ourselves more resistant to disease and bacteria. Genetically enhance our strength making us physically stronger then we are now (in general). We can also fix the problem people have with their appearances, being too fat, too skinny or ugly. All gone with genetics. The problem people have with this is that it induces conformity and eliminates individuality. This is not so. Take a beauty pageant for example. All the women there are different, and yet all considered to be attractive.
Lastly we can control the evolution of our species. We can determine how we wish our species to evolve. Using genetics we can give ourselves enhancements that would allow us to live longer, better lives. We can fix problems with society and cease the injustices that occur on a daily basis to millions of people in the world. It would be a crime against ourselves, our species, and all that past society’s have worked for to not use this technology to better ourselves. In conclusion, genetic engineering has so many benefits, namely in medicine, agriculture, farming, species restoration, and human betterment.
To tell society that because certain groups have reservations and so we aren’t using this technology would be a crime against that society itself. To hide behind religion and say “God didn’t mean it to be this way. ” Would be a sad uninformed decision based on emotion and faith rather then science and fact. It is illogical to say it is unethical in that with genetics we can benefit so many suffering from disease, starvation, poverty, crime, and other down falls of society. It is true, by using Genetics we will be in effect “Playing God” however, let us compare the role of God to a throne.
With this technology we are being offered this throne. To deny ourselves that which we have always searched for, yearned for and want, to better ourselves, would be the most horrendous, conceded, selfish arrogant and cowardly act in the history of our existence. How can we say no? Genetic Engineering, the process of editing the genes, or the basic make-up of a living organism is an extremely powerful technology. We are on the verge of using this technology to better ourselves, it is our distinct duty as members of the human race to better that of which we belong, with Genetic Engineering, we can.