Up@dawn 2.0

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Genetic Enhancement and the Bigger More Positive Picture

Chant, Tim, and Eleanor Nelsen. "Genetically Engineering Almost Anything."NovaNext. PBS, 17 July 2014. Web. 18 Feb. 2015.

My contribution to my groups topic on Genetic Enhancements is to cover the positive attributes towards the science. I’m highlighting the reasons why genetic enhancement, and particularly gene insertion and deletion, should be viewed as a blessing to society rather than simply parents creating children tailored towards specific needs or wants in their lives, or people merely floating their ways to the top instead of using the hard work ethic America is so found of.

Genetic enhancement has gotten a bad reputation throughout the years, most famously people claim that scientists are trying to play God and shouldn’t mess with the natural order of things. But what exactly defines genetic enhancements? Should we view the vaccines our children, and we ourselves, have received over the years as a genetic enhancement,  considering they are unnatural in their own right, being made in a laboratory and injected into our bodies? Do steroids constitute as a genetic enhancement since they promote the rapid growth of muscles that would not naturally be found in the person taking them? At what point do we decide which enhancements are good or bad? Perhaps wrinkle creams and tanning lotions should be turned aside as well. The fact these creams and lotions alter the bodies genes to prevent wrinkles or cause the skin to turn shades darker at a rapid pace, when in fact it is not natural for these things to occur naturally in the body. We wrinkle, some of us are pasty throughout life, but when do we choose what is too far for science and what is just enough to satisfy every soccer moms craving of being a sun kissed cocoa dream?

One such way to look at genetic enhancement is to think of it as an improvement of self. If you could have increased memory capabilities, a better metabolism, be stronger physically, would you not see these things as desirable? If the technology is able, why should one go through the blood, sweat, and tears, so to speak, simply to lift a few extra pounds? Is it really worth subscribing to lumosity to attempt to remember those last few items on your shopping list? Wouldn't you want the best for your child? Not having to struggle through memorizing their multiplication tables with a simple insertion of a gene before birth? Potentially having the upper hand at baseball or basketball, not having to worry about the fragility of breaking a bone while at practice, or pulling a muscle and missing the big game. Maybe even having a simple boost with their physical strength could help them achieve their dreams of climbing Mount Everest. Say you were always terrible at learning to play an instrument, nothing ever stuck in your mind about what hand goes where and what note to strike when, so you request to have your child's musical ability heightened. With a genetic enhancement, they can flourish. They find a group where they seem to fit in so naturally, people who understand them and can help them reach the best of their potential, a group that understands the same things they're going through when learning to play new pieces or learn a new instrument. Could you honestly think this is such a bad thing to want for a child? Genetic enhancements can help the world, and the people in it, find out how to be the very best them they can be!

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