Up@dawn 2.0

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Designer Babies and infinite possbilities

The concept of commercial genetic engineering of babies, from simple modifications to building from scratch, poses a vast multitude of questions and nigh endless possibilities.
The first problem we tackled was the problem of safety and the possibility of unknown long term effects.  We determined that in order to make a decision on this we needed to know how reliable the process was and how likely to result in malfunctioning babies, like not being able to reproduce naturally if wanted.
We also discussed at length the social ramifications of allowing genetic building of babies. could this possibly cause "class" disputes through either the people who can/cant afford them or naturally born children and designer children.  Could it be used by governments to either mandate certain physical traits or certain more internal and health related changes, how would one combat a hitler-esk leader mandating a physical trait.
Finaly we went over the possibilities and implications that might come of us as a species.  If we engineered out all health problems, how would we combat overpopulation?  Could we reduce our eco-footprint enough to allow growth until we can leave the planet?  How would one combat exploitation of this technology for monetary gain, or power?


  1. If designer babies are not offered to everyone, designer babies /will/ stratify society permanently, and there will be zero class mobility, because you will almost be dealing with two different species : designed humans, and naturally born ones.

    Not to say that every designed human will outperform every nondesigned one, but there's no reason to suspect that this will overwhelmingly be the case.

  2. We didn't mention this in our discussion, but I've been thinking about the lack of humanity people will attribute to designer babies. Or, maybe not a lack of it, but a lack of responsibility for it. While natural born people receive credit for being whatever it is they are, i.e. great writer, doctor, athlete, etc., designer babies would most likely end up being de-humanized, because they have been "given" some of their abilities.
    Like Andrew said, this will basically create two different species, and while one may outperform the other, it will most likely be less respected.
    I know the concept of designer babies offers some extraordinary possibilites, but I simply can't get past all of the seemingly imminent downfalls it will have in society.