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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 122 comments. Post your own!

Macx14 said...
Sept. 19, 2010 at 7:50 am:
I think the purest beauty of childbirth and bering children is having them surprise you. Watching them develop and grow naturally without being spoon-fed their physical and mental traits before they could do anything. It's not fair. You make a great argument and you're a strong writer. Check out some of my writing too if you have time!
 
sunshine14This teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. replied...
Oct. 11, 2010 at 8:59 pm :
You couldn't have said it any better(:
 
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tomtamtimmy This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Sept. 19, 2010 at 3:26 am:
its scary to think what could go wrong in the genetic modification of a human. and it could be contiued down the familiy line.before we start playing god we must assess the risk and deplete them as much as possible. but though its scary to think what could go wrong it may also be a useful tool. someone with no legs could be put in a coma like state, have there genes changed and a few months later they wake up with a new pair of legs!
 
Johnny replied...
Oct. 11, 2010 at 5:08 pm :
That's not how it works. Genetic engineering is done through the passing of genes, mainly the good genes. Think of natural selection. That's what they're doing here. They can't go in and alter your genes now, not at all. That's not what genetic engineering is. Genetic engineering is taking the best and breeding it with another best, and then, bam. You have a better child. Then you repeat, until the best is even better than the former best.
 
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SharpieChance said...
Aug. 6, 2010 at 10:53 am:
Just the idea of having everyone superhuman and alike is disgusting. I mean we are different now but with genetic engeneering then everybody would be the same. It would be boring.
 
KatieD880 replied...
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 ... (more »)
 
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aks_5 said...
Jul. 15, 2010 at 9:42 pm:
This is great! And I totally agree with everything in this piece.
 
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Aelita said...
Jul. 15, 2010 at 4:11 pm:
I agree with some of those points, but I don't know that it would be all bad.  For example; if humans could isolate genes responsible for fatal genetic conditions, perhaps they coud eliminate them.  Also, they could perpetuate genes from deceased relatives, which could be something as simple as a baby born with the exact same eyes as a deceased relative.  That wouldn't hurt anyone, but it'd make people happy.
 
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everthought said...
Jul. 15, 2010 at 1:39 pm:
But then again, could reproductive technologies such as invetro fertilization count as a section of genetic engineering...?
 
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everthought said...
Jul. 15, 2010 at 1:37 pm:
at least my generation won't be around until this whole genetic engineering gets extremely popular. as much as we try to put it down, it seems like genetic engineering will be a definite part of the future.
 
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MariaNight said...
Jun. 23, 2010 at 7:42 pm:
There was a reason why Hitler wanted a "pure race", all because of genetic engineering!
 
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Maleesha said...
Jun. 23, 2010 at 6:11 pm:
This is an extreamly well written article! I agree with you as well, let nature do its job and don't mess with it by adding technology to it. The world was doing fine before humans and all we have done is make it a lot worse
 
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K9_Typical_Islander said...
Jun. 23, 2010 at 8:35 am:

You couldn't have said---in this case written--- it better. Great diction. Well worded and pieced out. I get your flow~

There is also a lengthly debate over Genetically Modified Food, as well. I wrote a handful of research essays on that...never gets boring.

 
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rtprice said...
Jun. 1, 2010 at 7:36 pm:

Hmmmm...

Interesting article.  I have to disagree with you, though.

Although it's very easy to say genetic engineering of humans is bad because it:

 
rtprice replied...
Jun. 1, 2010 at 7:42 pm :
*winces*
Sorry about that.   My computer posted an unfinished comment. 
 
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nilsya said...
Apr. 18, 2010 at 3:59 pm:
Enough said. This is an awesome article.
 
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kagc411This teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. said...
Apr. 18, 2010 at 2:40 pm:
I agree with you. Making someone perfect due to genetic mutation would, as you say, separate us even more.
 
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mseva said...
Apr. 18, 2010 at 11:09 am:
I just submitted an essay for the Points of View that was very similiar to this. It's about theraupetic cloning though. I must say I agree. Check out my essay when it's approved. We have many of the same beliefs.
 
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dancer13 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Mar. 27, 2010 at 8:26 pm:
Genetic Engineering in moderation is not necessarily an evil. There should be some regulation, obviously, but if it helps to save some baby's life...why not?
 
K9_Typical_Islander replied...
Jun. 23, 2010 at 8:41 am :

Been pondering on your last sentence.

How can GE save a baby's life before the baby itself is even born? Could you give an example of this situation.

To save a baby, you must have one on hand first in order to do some saving on.

 
dancer13 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Jul. 5, 2010 at 7:22 pm :
What if a baby were to be born with some deadly disease, or a missing limb or something? You could use GE to correct the defect, though of course there would have to be a valid reason first. 
 
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