In Defense of Imperfection

Since the beginning of our existence as a species, man has been continuously trying to warp and change the world for the benefit of itself. Other species attempt to do this as well but none have come close to the level that we have accomplished. Progress undoubtedly has been made since the time man invented the wheel, and progress can not be stopped. Man has also created many practices and ways to attempt to understand the world that we reside in; ways such as mathematics, physics, biology and so on. If examined one can see that there is a reoccurring theme, equilibrium. This is seen across the board. Mother Nature wants to be in balance, it is always striving to reach that state of equilibrium and so are most things in life. This leads me to my thinking on how we should respond to the technologies that we acquire. I believe we should continue to attempt to make our lives better and the world around us better, but it’s getting to the point where we have to recognize the other part of the equation for us to be successful. It can’t be all about us anymore, we need to start thinking unselfishly and think just as much about caring and protecting the world we live in so we won’t have to worry about Mother Nature finding a way to balance the scales as she always does. Therefore I disagree with the thinking that because we can we should. More care and less profit oriented thinking must be established if these new technologies are to work.

The mapping of the human genome was a landmark moment in science. For better or for worse the land of DNA is now very obtainable and almost in a way scary. I personally will never want my DNA sequenced, for many reasons. Privacy, security, and its just kind of creepy for starters. Who knows? I might have to have it sequenced as we progress. Customized genetic medicine is just one of the uses that knowing our DNA can be used for that could be greatly beneficial. There are a great many untapped resources that we could use with our knowledge of the human genome. That brings me to a question: When do we stop? How far do we take this new knowledge? The answer is unclear. However, if we look at human nature I think everyone has some similar thoughts to where this is going if we take it and run with it without ever looking back Gattica might not be as far off as we think.

Genetic engineering, just reading those two words can scare people. It scares me, mainly for the reason that it is mainly being used to make a profit. Surprise! When have we used technology like this to just help and make the world better? Not as often as we would have liked. This I think was put into use far too quickly. There is a reason corn ended up to the way it is now, and its probably a very good reason mother nature has and I am predicting that we really don’t know what we got ourselves into with tampering with the genetic code. If I had a choice, I would prefer to eat organic, it worked for all those other years humans lived so why not now? Starvation was a problem that has been occurring and is a very common way of death in this world. People have this idea that genetically engineering food is the only way to stop this epidemic. I’m sure Mr. Sax would have a few strong words for those people who think genetic engineering is the only way to stop starvation. If it can be stopped by using genetic engineering then I think it should be done. I think there will be consequences that we haven’t yet realized for our tampering and I believe that it should be done much more sparingly that how it is used now.

As for tampering with the human genetic code I have a HUGE problem with that. Everyone has problems and is different in many ways and that is what makes us unique. I wish I could throw a fastball like Randy Johnson, but I can’t. I wish that I could shoot like Kobe Bryant, but I can’t. I wish I could have a golf swing like tiger woods, but I can’t. I wish I could not have weak knees that can and do limit my potential, but I deal with them. And I wouldn’t have it any other way. At some point in our future or even our lifetime many “ideal” genes will be discovered and the technology will be there to put them into embryos and manufacture our own codes. Sure it would be nice to solve the problems such as epilepsy and other problems with the body. But I don’t think anything like that should be done. Call me whatever you would like but I believe that never under any circumstances any tampering whatsoever should take place.

Cloning is another one of those topics that everyone envisions in sci fi movies but the truth is that it might not be as far away as you think. This is already being done with animals and personally I am okay with that. The line is drawn for me at humans. There should be no genetic altering of any human genes non sexual reproduction of them. As for GMOs, as I have said before they should be used less as a profit and more as a problem solvers, and yes they should be labeled because the consumer has a right to know what exactly they are buying. I think it’s obvious why not to clone humans. Why even consider it? I think that if you clone someone, that you are actually using power that is not yours to use. The gift of life is precious and I don’t think that it is even remotely a good idea to clone a human. There are too many problems that could occur for the clone and us and it’s really not very moral at all.
I think stem cell research is a very good thing. The problem I have with people who say an embryo is a human being and should not be used for such a thing have never needed a transplant or known someone who is paralyzed or has some other problem that could have been prevented with our potential knowledge of stem cells. Should we put embryos before actual fully developed humans? I think that stem cells can be used to our advantage and it really is just for medicinal purposes. It’s not for a profit and there is no patent so I don’t see the problem why we cannot just dive right into it. Embryos cannot think or feel emotions, and don’t even come close as the qualities a regular human can. I feel they should be used and not put before an actual living human being.

Overall there has to be a little more thought put into these technologies for me to feel comfortable with their widespread use. Caution and patience is qualities that very few people have and I believe they need to be more infused with the technologies such as Genetic Engineering and Cloning. There also needs to be clear known boundaries to contain what people that have the power can do. And we need to consider what our repercussions might be if the scales of life are tipped to far in our direction. I hope I will never have to find out.