New PDF release: Designer Babies

By John Bliss

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The three quotes above Dr Jeffrey Steinberg, director of the Fertility Institutes serve as a starting point for forming your own opinions about the genetic selection and manipulation that leads to designer babies. As we’ve discussed, there are no right or wrong answers to these issues. How you think and feel about the issues comes from your own experience and your own point of view. How would you describe the opinions of Jeremy Rifkin, James Hughes, and Jeffrey Steinberg? Which comes closest to your own views?

They worry that developments in genetics will allow wealthy parents to buy genes that will give their children better abilities, such as making them cleverer or stronger. The rich will have access to technologies that the poor can’t afford, and this will give them an even greater advantage. In his book Remaking Eden, Lee Silver, a molecular biologist at Princeton University, imagines a world in which society splits into two camps: the “GenRich” and the “GenPoor”. People with enough money will create GenRich children, while the rest of the world remains GenPoor.

In the end, many of these issues come down to matters of personal choice. The short story “*BD* 11 1 86,” by US author Joyce Carol Oates, is about a young man who has a series of odd experiences on the day of his high school graduation. Through the course of the story, he discovers that he was conceived as a body donor. At the end of the story, he is “harvested”, and another man’s brain is implanted in his skull. Though the story is fiction, the scenario is one that some see as the ultimate result of creating designer babies.

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Designer Babies by John Bliss


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Categories: Genetics