The world of science has evolved immensely in the past decades and will continue to as long as we allow it. The complex science spectrum of knowledge has provided innumerable cures and discoveries that have saved lives and contributed to the world in a positive manner for the most part. But when should science be limited? How far is too far? When are we considered to be going down the so called “slippery slope”? Is it when we find cures to deadly diseases? When we clone human beings successfully? Or when we choose what character traits and aptitudes our children will have? Science has lead to wonderful findings, but it has endless possibilities that many people, including me, are unaware of. I am all for the advancements in the science world, but sometimes it makes me uneasy thinking about what could happen if we go too far; however while I am in support of science and all of the benefits it brings to our society and world, I believe that at some point there needs to be limits for the better of humankind.

“Why not seize the power”, asks Lee Silver, a professor of molecular biology and geneticist at Princeton University, when he spoke of genetics. In my opinion, the answer is simple: Just because we have the technology and knowledge, it does not mean that we should use it. While science has done some amazing things, there needs to be a point where the power of science is limited. If we continue down this slippery slope, we will lead ourselves into an unknown world that no one can predict. So when Lee Silver asks, “Why not seize the power?”, I answer: because we do not know what we as humans are capable of in the science world. We will eventually clone human beings like it is nothing, like it is a daily occurrence, and design our babies so they can be the next child prodigy in trumpeting. Truthfully, I believe that it is wrong and that the world should never be led to that point. I do not want to live to see our beautiful and cultural world become a robotic and dull one.

When it comes to genetic engineering, I completely disagree that it is alright to alter an embryos genes. I am not a very religious person, but I believe that it is morally and ethically wrong to change a child’s genetics merely because they do not fit into the perfect society. Nobody gave us the right to play God in this situation, and we should not be able to. In my eyes, the imperfections of people are beautiful and nothing should be done to change them; it creates diversity and uniqueness around the world. Besides, who wants another 1984-esque or Gattaca-esque world with a bunch of robotic people who are all the same? I know it may seem cruel to say that if a child is going to be born with Down’s syndrome that nothing should be done to change it, but it is unquestionable that a family is going to love their child regardless of a disability or genetic disorder. Also, not even applying to the moral part of the dilemma, the diversity of the world will cease to exist if we allow this to happen. Soon, the deaf, blind, gay, and many other cultures that accept those who are different will no longer exist. Equality is also another issue with genetic engineering. As this will be mentioned later, there is a huge cost to have an embryo’s genes changed. This will cause the upper class to pull even farther away from the other classes. There is no need to alter an embryo’s genes. We are playing God if we do, and it will only cause problems.

Everyone has their fair share of suffering in their lifetimes, but some, unfortunately, must suffer more than others due to diseases or disorders. While I do believe that genes should not be changed to avoid disorders in embryos, I also believe that if there is cure for a person’s genetic disorder, there is no need to suffer. If a fetus’ genes showed that they had a likely chance of leukemia, I do not believe it is right to change its fate; however if the child does grow up and has leukemia, and there was a cure, I believe that they should take full advantage of it. This may seem contradicting, but if a person has cancer, or any other disease, it should not be a death sentence. If cures are available to living people, not fetuses, then everyone should have a right to be cured. In this way, science is a beautiful thing because it relieves the suffering of almost the whole world at some point.

If, in the future, it was possible to cure diseases by changing genes of embryos, and we took advantage of it, there could be some serious, ominous problems. For example, it would obviously be very expensive to alter your child’s genes; therefore only the wealthy people would be able to afford it which would leave a huge gap between the upper class and lower class. Also, it would eliminate the range and mixture of the human race. I do not know what it is like to deal with a genetic disorder, and I have the utmost sympathy for someone who does. But, with that said, it is sometimes necessary to have that diversity in the world. Lastly, if the altering of genes were to happen, it would undoubtedly lead us toward the slippery slope of scientific discoveries and the question of “how far is too far?”. It is extremely controversial, and while it can be beneficial to our world, it can also hinder it even if scientists are using reason and knowledge to help our species. While we have been making scientific discoveries for centuries, it has never in the past been this advanced or threatening. While in the 1800’s it may have been unknown what the science world was going to bring, it was obvious that changes were going to occur for decades to come due to the lack of science in the prior years. I do believe that the intent of science to help the human race is sincere, but I also believe that science is not only for the benefit of our species and that there are other aspects to it.

In the United States, and around the world, privacy has always been an issue whether it includes health insurance, cell phones, or social security numbers. It is now possible to sequence your DNA to check whether you are more or less likely to be prone to heart disease or other disorders. This is amazing new technology that is wonderful and will allow the human race to be knowledgeable on what they must do to avoid medical life threatening circumstances. While this is great new technology, it could also have its consequences. Could the new identity theft involve a person’s DNA? The possibilities are unknown, and it is scary to know that it is feasible to have your DNA stolen, in a sense. This is the only reason as to why I would not want my DNA to be public if I were to have it sequenced; if it is between me and my doctor it is perfectly fine, but once it exceeds that I feel unsafe and open to the world. When it comes to DNA sequencing I believe that it is a remarkable discovery that can greatly help the human race; but when it comes to the privacy issues that can come from DNA sequencing, it is a risky and scary thought of what can happen.

Everyone in the world has their right to live, but I think that there are some controversial issues that come into play when there are very advanced ways to save lives. Customized genetic medicine, for example, has many positive and negative aspects to it. It can undoubtedly save lives, but it can also cause many problems in society. As said previously, all of these scientific advancements will cost a considerably large amount of money; therefore only the wealthy will be able to afford it. This could make a huge gap between fiscal classes of people. However on the other side of the argument, everyone deserves the right to live and fight for their life. It would be extremely unconstitutional to say that customized genetic medicine was illegal just because of the cost or controversial aspect. With that said, I believe that while customized genetic medicine is unfair due to the advantage of wealthier people, each person should have the right to do whatever deems necessary to save their lives. If a person can afford to have medicines customized for them to help them prolong their life, by all means they should be able to pay for it and live.

Gene cloning: the process of isolating a fragment of DNA and making many copies of it. Personally, I do not see anything wrong with this as long as it does not lead to the cloning of humans or other species like reproductive cloning. This helps greatly in crop biotechnology in the sense that it could produce a bigger selection of crops which could potentially be a cure for hunger in the third world. That may be a little to advanced to think of now, but in the future it is definitely possible. With transgenic crops and GMO’s, it is a process that many disagree with because it involves putting genes of pigs, insects, and other animals into food to help it grow and be protected from insects. In a perfect world, I would love to have fresh strawberries and tomatoes that lack the genes of the previously mentioned; however in reality that is not possible. There will always be problems in growing crops whether it is weather, pesticides, or other factors. The only solution we have is transgenic crops, which has helped tremendously in solving world hunger. The main reason many people do not like transgenic crops and GMO’s is because they fear it is unsafe to have the genes of other species in their food. This is a plausible argument, but it has been proven that it is safe, and there are many tests that are ran to ensure this. While it is safe, I believe that everyone should have the right to know what is in their food; therefore GMO’s should be labeled to make the public more aware. The last conflict there is with gene cloning, transgenic crops, and GMO’s is a business problem. The question is: should a corporation be able to patent a gene? My answer is no, they should not be allowed to. Gene’s are not property, and in the world of gene cloning everyone should have the same opportunity as others to use a certain gene. While it is a competitive business, there is no right of a person to patent a gene as their own.

Dolly the cloned sheep was “born” on July 5, 1996 and was the first successful mammal product of reproductive cloning. While this is an amazing advancement for science, I am completely, one hundred percent against it. I do not see it fit in any circumstance to clone an animal, not to mention a human being. With reproductive cloning it brings a wild sci-fi affect to the world that many people, including me, are not comfortable with. In my opinion, each person, and animal, are born with their own characteristics, talents, and flaws, and those should all be unique to that individual. I do not want to see another Alexis Kopp running around in the world because there is no need for it. Sure, it is progression for science, but it is progression that will lead us in the wrong direction just as altering genes would. I have tremendous respect for the scientists who participated in the cloning of Dolly and I do not resent them at all for doing what they did, but I do not think that reproductive cloning should progress any further because it is a controversial issue and it will bring chaos to the world.

Contrary to my beliefs of reproductive cloning, I think that therapeutic cloning and the use of stem cells is a great idea. It can lead to the development of new organs for people in need of a heart or kidney or help some one who is paralyzed to be able to feel or move. Personally, I do not see anything wrong with therapeutic cloning until it reaches a level of contributing to the process of reproductive cloning. Many people find therapeutic cloning controversial and contentious because it involves the use of embryonic cells; therefore many consider it to be murder when an embryo is used merely for science while it could be developing into a person. In reality though, while everyone is entitled to their own opinion, there is no reason to be against this. The cells that are used for research were simply going to be killed and thrown away because they are excess cells that were not used for invitro or other processes. So I ask: Why not use them for science? Therapeutic cloning is a great way to help the human race live healthy, and there should not be any reason that science does not take advantage of the available cells.

Many people worry about what is going to happen in the future due to science progression, and, truthfully, they have every reason to be. Nobody can predict what is going to happen and we are all on the ride down the slippery slope; there is no stopping now. With DNA sequencing, customized genetic medicine, genetic engineering, and all types of cloning, there are millions of possibilities. Some of these discoveries have helped people vastly, and that is great, but in the future it is questionable as to whether science will be to help the human race or to merely just find a new innovation or advancement. In my opinion, we have already started our swift journey down the slippery slope of science; all we can do is sit tight and hold on for the ride.