The Question of Humanness.

Essay by LindaBanhHigh School, 11th gradeA+, February 2006

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Willard Gaylin stated, "I not only think we will tamper with Mother Nature. I think Mother wants us to." Many believe that new technological advancements in genetic engineering will have an extraordinary medical and progressive effect on human societies. Numerous people have declared that this new technology in genetic and medical research (e.g. organ transplants which has saved many lives) has already become a key component in developed nations. Over the past 50 years scientific technology has become common practice in hospitals.1 Furthermore, countless individuals think that new genetic technologies will continue to make ground breaking therapeutic discoveries in the future.2 It is predicted that these technologies will revolutionize the lives of the next generations to a far higher standard of living.3

The most common criticism against this notion (that human genetic engineering will improve the human race) is that genetic engineering should not be performed for practical and ethical reasons.

Many critics (such as David King who wrote The Threat of Human Genetic Engineering) argue that scientists do not know the risks of human genetic engineering. 4 They are skeptical of the technology and hypothesize that it could possibly lead to a man-made mass epidemic (along with other pessimistic prospects that this technology will harm future generations).5 Although some may argue that we do not know the risks of this new technology, no one has provided a strong argument demonstrating that it is morally and practically problematic since they have little evidence.6 Nonetheless, genetic engineering is a widely accepted procedure among Western societies and is already put into practice; somatic cell gene therapy (which is a form of genetic engineering where defective genes are repaired within somatic cells) has become a standard method for treating genetic and non-genetic kinds of diseases in individuals. 7 Genetic engineering could...