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Genetic Engineering This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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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.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.




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This article has 123 comments. Post your own!

WerewolfWriting said...
Feb. 20, 2011 at 10:37 am:
I agree 100%  We should leave genetic engineering to books and authors and in the Science Fiction aisle in the library.
 
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MountainPoet said...
Jan. 29, 2011 at 3:27 pm:
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 ar... (more »)
 
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--forgiven-- said...
Jan. 29, 2011 at 3:25 pm:

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?

 
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Leann13 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Dec. 16, 2010 at 6:25 pm:
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?
 
Leann13 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Dec. 16, 2010 at 6:27 pm :
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.
 
DaddiesDoodle This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Dec. 16, 2010 at 6:32 pm :
I completely agree! Nice work on this peice, you have tha some opinion as me!
 
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missTaco said...
Nov. 2, 2010 at 4:11 pm:
i completly agree. nobody would wanna live in a world of identical people, think about it!
 
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LexiB said...
Nov. 2, 2010 at 8:01 am:
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.
 
KatieD880 replied...
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... (more »)
 
Anita This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Dec. 18, 2010 at 12:30 am :
yeah I agree. it's needed for genetic diseases, but not for appearance. 
 
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sunshine14 said...
Oct. 11, 2010 at 9:05 pm:

Agreed. Completely. 100%. If this is our future, then what becomes of 'you are unique' I would feel disgusted with the thought growing up that my parents had me specially engineered. I'd feel as if I was processed and sold from a shelf. And giving my own children that image would make me even sicker still.

"It is simply part of the nature of mankind to want to be better, stronger, healthier, happier, and capable of achieving more." That, and the worst of all, to be better than everyone... (more »)

 
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Johnny said...
Oct. 11, 2010 at 5:17 pm:
But it IS natural. All of you people who are against that don't realize that a form of genetic engineering happens in nature called NATURAL SELECTION. Animals pick and choose the strongest, healthiest mate that will most likely produce strong, healthy babies that will survive and pass on their good genes. Genetic engineering isn't much different.
 
towerjunkie019 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Oct. 11, 2010 at 9:08 pm :
exactly.  genetic engineering is pretty much extremely fast evolution.
 
wordsoflife replied...
Feb. 20, 2011 at 6:44 am :
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.
 
wordsoflife replied...
Feb. 20, 2011 at 6:46 am :
P.S.: Genetic engineering is morally wrong.
 
jacobmhkim replied...
Apr. 5, 2011 at 2:26 am :
@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.
 
MasterZone replied...
Apr. 5, 2011 at 11:30 pm :
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.
 
Lilliterra replied...
Aug. 15, 2011 at 6:19 pm :
Please read my article on evolution, and whether it is possible, called, "What Darwin Didn't Know."
 
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Albetta said...
Sept. 19, 2010 at 9:56 pm:
I completely disagree with this. Biological engineering is the future of the human race. Every other species to have died out has died out because they failed to adapt to a changing environment. Human beings are now on the verge of forcing our bodies to change. This tool can be used to make our race immortal, not individually, but as a whole.
 
sunshine14 replied...
Oct. 11, 2010 at 8:58 pm :

Yes, they did all die out because of changing environments, but what environment is there to change for us? Humans travel all around the world where a variety of environments await us. Environments do change, but one day a man can be staying overnight in Alaska, and the next, he'll be traveling through Egypt. Changing environment is not a threat to us.

I agree strongly with this article. I've most feared this topic of new technology. I agree on all levels with this piece.

 
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