Genetic Engineering MAG

By Diana Peek, Rockwall, TX

Bam! A 16-year-old takes off running at his high school track meet. He is not a quarter of the way around the track when the first of his five opponents reaches the finish line.

Now, in the 21st century, many people say the world is on the verge of a scientific revolution that brings one of the most ­controversial ideas of all time: genetic ­engineering of humans. I believe this is morally wrong, dangerous, and will lead to problems in our society.

The ethical dilemmas of human genetic engineering are what make this issue so controversial. Humans are trying to play too large a role in the universe. Many people believe that genetic engineering of humans is ­interfering with natural processes like the random selection of genes for looks and talent passed from parents to offspring. Human genetic engineering could let individuals “play God” and choose and manipulate their genes and those of their children. I believe that giving people this power goes against the basic forces of ­nature. All that is really needed is for us to accept ourselves the way we are.

The idea of a divided society in the near future is a troubling and likely consequence of human genetic engineering. Societies have always been divided by varying degrees of inequity and bias. Now, with the emergence of the genetic revolution, society entertains the prospect of a new and more serious form of segregation. One based on genotype.

The destructiveness of prejudice and discrimination is unmistakable. Imagine a world where the rich not only hold all the power, but they become superhuman. They could do things far beyond even the best abilities of normal people. Genetic engineering will bring about a rift between the upper-class citizens who are fortunate enough to afford such technology, and the lower classes who must rely only on their natural abilities. Human genetic enhancement would guarantee that families who can afford it would be able to perpetuate their social and political dominance.

Technology, or lack of enough advanced technology, is another topic of controversy for the genetic engineering of humans. It is interesting to think about the impact technology is having on the world, but is mankind ready for this kind of change?

Genetic engineering has the potential to treat and possibly cure a variety of cancers and chronic diseases, but in reality, this technology is not as promising and reliable as it may seem. Seven years after the first gene-therapy trial on humans, a complete cure for even one patient has not been produced. The technology seems to have an impressive array of benefits, but the science is still in its infancy.

It is simply part of the nature of mankind to want to be better, stronger, healthier, happier, and capable of achieving more. On the other hand, some things are better left unaltered. Change is not ­always good.

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This article has 126 comments.

on Apr. 5 2011 at 11:30 pm
MasterZone BRONZE, Toronto, Other
2 articles 0 photos 39 comments
I never thought of genetic engineering as morally wrong. Ever since I was in kindergarden, I dreamt of a world where everyone was genetically engineered to become extremely smart and/or extremely powerful in a physical aspect. Different people think of genetic engineering differently.

on Apr. 5 2011 at 6:48 pm
BethanyCobb16 BRONZE, Blowing Rock, North Carolina
3 articles 0 photos 2 comments

Favorite Quote:
Love is just a word until someone comes along and gives it meaning

I think the first line is proving that it has always been that it has always been people can catch up with you in a race. but if your genetically engineered then it changes everything..

on Apr. 5 2011 at 3:33 pm
imdefyinggravity SILVER, Bolton, Connecticut
8 articles 0 photos 6 comments

Favorite Quote:
You don't want to hear it, but someone has got to tell you, they're just shoes! LET THEM GO! ~Glinda

 I don't understand what the first line has to do with the article... it seems out of place unless there was an explanation to go with it. 

jacobmhkim said...
on Apr. 5 2011 at 2:26 am
jacobmhkim, Burbank, California
0 articles 0 photos 11 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Man, unlike anything organic or inorganic in the universe, grows beyond his work, walks up the stairs of his concepts, emerges ahead of his accomplishments." (Steinbeck, The Grapes of Wrath)

@wordsoflife The theory of evolution states that species evolve over a long period of time. When you say that a rat cannot morph into a mouse, you are only talking about a single rat. However, a population of rats over time, with the right circumstances, can become new species. Also, morality is subjective.

jacobmhkim said...
on Apr. 5 2011 at 2:20 am
jacobmhkim, Burbank, California
0 articles 0 photos 11 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Man, unlike anything organic or inorganic in the universe, grows beyond his work, walks up the stairs of his concepts, emerges ahead of his accomplishments." (Steinbeck, The Grapes of Wrath)

Looking at the article the most broadly I can, I would have to disagree. First of all, the "immorality" of genetic engineering becomes completely irrelevent when we think of how cruel natural selection can be. It's a near fascist idea to say that only the fit should survive in this world. Genetic Engineering can be used in a variety of options from which you are stating but one: that it will be abused. It's true that the rich have much power in this world but if government regulations were put in harshly enough, we can prevent them from getting their hands on them for commercial purposes. It's like saying the rich can develop a nuclear bomb by hiring enough scientists. It's plausible, but the government will act right on it. Also, the only disease you mentioned in the article was cancer when cancer is not strictly a genetic disease. There are studies that high chances of getting cancer can be passed down but specific mutations in DNA does not cause it. Instead of just mentioning cancer, you should mention diseases such as Cystic Fibrosis and Tay-Sachs.

BayBee. SILVER said...
on Mar. 14 2011 at 5:31 pm
BayBee. SILVER, Reno, Nevada
5 articles 0 photos 15 comments

Favorite Quote:
Hate is often an obverse form of love.
You hate someone whom you really wish to love but whom you cannot love.

Now what if genetically modifing foods has simalar adverse effects? I believe this is a more urgent issue, and it has been proven that the problems it has been creating will soon progress into disasterous proportions.

on Mar. 14 2011 at 2:29 pm
jennywalsh24 SILVER, Woodbridge, Virginia
5 articles 0 photos 8 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Hope is alive as long as the sun exists." -Me

I agree! I think what your kis looks like at birth should be up to God. Genetic engineering gives the rich more power and arrogance.

on Feb. 20 2011 at 10:37 am
WerewolfWriting BRONZE, Eerie, Nevada
4 articles 0 photos 32 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Life is not about the breaths we take but about the people who take our breath away."

I agree 100%  We should leave genetic engineering to books and authors and in the Science Fiction aisle in the library.

on Feb. 20 2011 at 6:46 am
wordsoflife SILVER, Starke, Florida
7 articles 0 photos 18 comments

Favorite Quote:
Truth is the absence of Lies. -me

P.S.: Genetic engineering is morally wrong.

on Feb. 20 2011 at 6:44 am
wordsoflife SILVER, Starke, Florida
7 articles 0 photos 18 comments

Favorite Quote:
Truth is the absence of Lies. -me

Are you serious? Have you ever seen a rat morph into a mouse? There is NO evidence of evolution. If natural selection does happen, all of those people with chronic diseases should be dead.

on Jan. 29 2011 at 3:27 pm
IridescentWords SILVER, Wilkesboro, North Carolina
9 articles 0 photos 14 comments

Favorite Quote:
"You want to escape the confusion that you see before you. I tell you, you will never be able to escape the outer confusion unless, and until, you have escaped the inner confusion. And the inner confusion is your continuous doubt-indulgence." - Sri

I agree, I agree, I agree. We were created the way we were for a reason. If we go messing with that reason, and try to create "perfect", we could cause extreme issues for humanity. If there was a reason for us to be "superhuman" to be genetically aligned in the perfect way possible, then we would have been in the first place. There are things in life that can use improvement, but I do not believe that humanity is one of them. And if you think about it, there things about us that are already perfect. Are you breathing right now as you read this? Do you even realize the complex process that involves? The miniature details that gives you the ability to keep living? And people want to mess with this? Something that they can't even fully understand or comprehend and they want to enhance it??? Insane.

on Jan. 29 2011 at 3:25 pm
BeautyFromPain21 SILVER, McGraw, New York
6 articles 0 photos 5 comments

Favorite Quote:
the only thing to fear is fear itself.

yes, some can think this is wrong. some people may agree that this is morally and ethically incorrect. but honestly, if it's a way to improve our knowledge of things, why not? we don't need to genetically engineer everything, but if it can teach us more about the world of chances and oppurtunities surrounding us...why not test it out...?

if it won't hold as back, why not try to see if it will push us forward?

Anita PLATINUM said...
on Dec. 18 2010 at 12:30 am
Anita PLATINUM, Santa Cruz, California
20 articles 0 photos 36 comments
yeah I agree. it's needed for genetic diseases, but not for appearance. 

on Dec. 16 2010 at 6:32 pm
dancingintheflames GOLD, Kirksville, Missouri
18 articles 0 photos 42 comments

Favorite Quote:
She stood in the storm and when the wind didn't blow her away, she adjusted her sails<3

I completely agree! Nice work on this peice, you have tha some opinion as me!

Leann14 GOLD said...
on Dec. 16 2010 at 6:27 pm
Leann14 GOLD, DeGraff, Ohio
16 articles 4 photos 112 comments
P.S.- It's different if you want to save a child's life by making them unable to have deathly diseases. I'm fine with trying to save people's lives... just not selecting every feature of a child born.

Leann14 GOLD said...
on Dec. 16 2010 at 6:25 pm
Leann14 GOLD, DeGraff, Ohio
16 articles 4 photos 112 comments
I agree. I mean, really, we were born the way were for a reason, right? Why would you want to tamper with the delicacy of each individuals' uniqueness?

KatieD880 said...
on Nov. 29 2010 at 3:36 pm
Why is everyone so set on the idea that genetic engineering is only used for creating "the perfect child?" People don't even realize how altering genes can really be beneficial. Genetic engineering is used everyday in agriculture to assure that big healthy crops will grow to feed our rapidly expanding country. Gene therapy  (a type of genetic engineering) is used to cure certain autoimmune diseases and heart disease. If scientist continue their research then one day diseases such as Huntington's Disease, ALS (Lou Gehrig's Disease) and cystic fibrosis could be cured saving thousands of lives that would have only survived until early adulthood as a result of the fatal defective gene. But you are right, genetic engineering would be boring, because none of those people that inherited those diseases would end up in the hospital and all the Inherited Disease doctors would be soooo bored. Then in a way we would all be the same too because no one would have those disease and would be sick. Oh wait, no, that would actually be a good thing. 

KatieD880 said...
on Nov. 29 2010 at 3:11 pm
You think that people go to genetic counselors because they want their kid to look a certain way? I never thought about it that way. I always thought genetic engineering was a good thing that stopped inherited disease from killing a child, such as cystic fibrosis does. I always thought that scientist should continue their research and one day find the cure to the genetic mutation of sickle cell anemia which affects 90,000 Americans according to the CDC. Or find cures to other inherited diseases like Huntington's Disease; which gives a child a 50% chance of inheriting and then coming to their inevitable death at the age of early adulthood.

on Nov. 2 2010 at 4:11 pm
missTaco BRONZE, Kingston, Massachusetts
4 articles 0 photos 53 comments

Favorite Quote:
Enjoy Today, because you could die tomorrow

i completly agree. nobody would wanna live in a world of identical people, think about it!

LexiB SILVER said...
on Nov. 2 2010 at 8:01 am
LexiB SILVER, Tallassee, Alabama
7 articles 0 photos 34 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous, do not be terrified, do not be discouraged. For the Lord your God will be with you where ever you go."

Joshua 1:9

I agree. I think the reason genetic engineering takes place is because parents want their kids to 'look better' or they want to choose their gender. How disgusting! I think this practice goes against the religion our country was founded on and it's just plain wrong! And the kids don't even get to choose if they want their cells messed with.


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