TEXT OF ESSAY

Humanity has constantly been defined by flaw, in essences to be flawed is to be human. Perfection has never been a possibility, not because perfection is unattainable, yet perfection is different from person to person. Even so; why not strive for perfection, why does society insist on walking when we have the ability to run? We have come to an age of new technologies, technologies that not only can better society they can evolve it. Through genetic engineering, cloning, stem cell research, and genetically modified organisms, we have gained the ability to run yet the religious few hold us back, fear continues to keep us from taking that next step on the evolutionary chain. Humanity has found itself dependent on nature, and as we continue to destroy it, it destroys us as well; we are at the brink of transcending nature where humans are no longer a hindrance to nature and can bring nature with us to a higher level. However this fear holds us back, yet there should be no reason for this fear if we regulate these sciences correctly; there needs to be ethical and logical boundaries put on each of these sciences if we are to truly evolve rather than come to a halt.

Genetic engineering holds the greatest promise for today’s society. Science has come to a point where we can discover the cause for diseases on a genetic level, and in years we may be able to eradicate these diseases before birth. Science is on the brink of, in theory, the creation of designer babies where it is a possible to get rid of undesirable traits before birth, where parents would be able to rid myopia, have their children grow taller, be stronger, and make living in this world easier. Yet what keeps society away from an ideal such as this? Critics call genetic engineering the removal of human dignity, that to enhance humans would be to erase the drive that humans possess to do better. I myself do not see the negatives to the relief of suffering. Is human dignity to forget your loved ones due to Alzheimer’s disease, is suffering really human dignity? A perfect world is a world where disease is eradicated, where terminal diseases are nonexistent, and genetic engineering has the prospects of getting us to this world. Yet ethical boundaries must be placed on genetic engineering, the changing of traits for the beneficence of society is o.k., yet what happens if we have the ability to change mentalities? What if scientists find a gene that is the genetic code for homosexuality? To have a parent remove this gene because they believe it is wrong. Mentalities mustn’t be changed if genetic engineering is to become a reality.


Science has the ability to clone; and this newfound ability has brought much debate on the ethics of cloning. The first sheep was cloned in 2003 and science has the ability to go further. Cows have been cloned for their milk and bulls for their meat. Picture the ability to have the best tasting steak from a cow every single time without hurting the cow population; exact to the last SNP of DNA. However; most debate stems from that of human cloning not the ability to clone full humans but the ability to use ones DNA to create genetically identical copies of organ cells in the body, through stem cell research we have the potential to lengthen the life span of humans astronomically. When a heart is close to death we could have the ability to create new heart cells; if one breaks their spinal cord we could have the ability to create new cells and allow people to walk again. Yet, what limits us from doing this: religious zealots. The same people that looked at IVF and called it blasphemous; I am tired of science staying at a standstill because hardcore Catholics like George Bush decide to withdraw all funding from what could be the miracle cure for: cancer, diabetes, heart disease, Alzheimer’s, etc. Stem cell research is looked at as the destruction of life, but in reality is the destruction of potential life and in most of the embryos being used where not intended to be life ever. To say that a blastocyst a collection of 120 cells is worth more than the life of any currently living human is in itself blasphemy. I am not disagreeing that a fetus is not human; for we all were once fetuses before we left our mother's wombs; yet I am saying that a blastocyst is not a conscious being, and to put a being that cannot think before the lives of people that are fully aware of their suffering should be looked at as evil as destroying a fetus is. Society needs to stop looking at thousands of year old scriptures and start making decisions based on logic and the ability to save lives.

In my eyes one of the most promising lifesavers and scientific breakthrough is the creation of genetically modified organisms (GMO's). With the production of GMO's scientists have made it possible to have corn create its own pesticides against foreign insects, to have the papaya fight against a disease that decimated the population, and have given rice to a starving nation that would become blind from the crops they ate. However; the most promising aspects of GMO's haven't been discovered yet, in the near future vitamins could be crossed into bananas, food could be more nutritious, and genes could be spliced into food to in theory grow to be larger. Yet, GMO's have not been properly tested and are at the moment not being labeled in our country, the FDA says that GMO's are safe and there hasn't been any reported illness from them; but this is because we at the moment have no way of tracking them to make sure that they are, in fact, safe. GMO's need to be tested on humans if so a volunteer group, where they are closely monitored and fed nothing but GMO's if there are no problems GMO's should make it to the public more, but only after proper labeling.

Clearly, science and technology in the past few years have developed at an astronomical rate, and if we are to truly benefit from these advances we need to set boundaries on this new technology. Proper testing needs to take place and the government needs create new legislation on these new sciences so people are not found to be genetically unequal as well. GMO's need further testing, religion needs to separate from politics because in my eyes we don't have a true democracy without separation of church and state, and cloning and stem cell research need to be funded far more. I want to live in a society where the handicap are able to walk again, where we do not fear children being born with birth defects, where no one goes starving or gets sick because our food is not only nutritionally rich but antibiotic rich. This is a do or die situation and it is our duty to take a leap forward for humanity on the evolutionary scale.