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Thursday, November 7, 2013

The days of natural child conception are over

Call me an alarmist, but a new gene splitting, repairing, and reattaching technique has been developed. Now it is possible to take an early embryo, test one of its cells for genetic disorders, cut out the defective genetic sequence, replace it with a normal bit, and reassert it in the cell to let the baby develop without that genetic disease.

But this is only possible with IVF.

Already proponents of the technology are saying how unethical it would be to allow a child to live with a disease that could be repaired with this genetic technique.

And that means a couple conceiving in the natural way are doing something unethical if there is any chance that their child could have a genetic disorder.

Call me an alarmist, but some day, you will see natural conception occuring only in places in the world where the technology is not available. Maybe not next year. Maybe not in 10 years. But it will happen.

Of course, with all bioethical issues, the proponents of the practice emphasize the ability to treat diseases and reduce suffering, which are in themselves noble goals.

But the technique can also be used to "fix" perfectly normal but in some way undesired traits. Such as hair color. Sex. Physical stature. Intelligence, insofar as this is genetic. Looks. Possibly talents and athletic abilities. Or traits of animals, such as the ability to glow in the dark.

Or vice-versa. Making super-intelligent animals, or other human-animal hybrids of some kind. Monsters from Greek mythology will be walking the earth.

The transhumanists are gonna love this. And they WILL be making genetically modified humans to server their vanity, er, I mean, progress. No, I really mean vanity.

Call me an alarmist, but normal, natural being-a-human-being is gonna change forever.

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