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

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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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. 
K9_Typical_Islander replied...
Jul. 8, 2010 at 11:08 pm

Okay, good case but there has been thousands, even millions, of babies being born in the past, considerably before BC and onwards, and still today that have some trace of a disorder or lethal disease BUT the parents of those children did not result to GE for a resolution or closure. They dealt with it, loving their child/ren despite their "defects". Anyways, no one is perfect, so why are we starting now? We could use GE technology to resolve other, high-priority issues, such as... (more »)

Beckon This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Jul. 15, 2010 at 8:56 pm
Actually, you can save a baby's life before it's born. By screening parents for certain genetic pairings (i.e. cystic fibrosis) GE could someday be used to switch off those carrier genes in the parent and nullify any chance of the offspring having that condition.
dancer13 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Jul. 19, 2010 at 5:21 pm
I was attempting to get at what Beckon is saying, but apparently I wasn't quite as clear as I would've liked. :P
Dreamboat replied...
May 19, 2011 at 8:38 am
Yes, Beckon is correct. It is possible to test the child before it is born, and if it has a disease or defect they can be changed to improve their live. Also GE can only be used to a certain extent, we can only change our bodies so much. No one would be able to increase their brain speed or their running, to more then the best human so far. The main use of GE in the future would be to save lives, cure cancer, stop chronic diseases, and help people have a better life.
awesomeaugust This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Mar. 5, 2010 at 4:42 pm
I definitely appreciate your opinion but I don't know enough aboutt he subject to know if I agree. Your article was very convincing and made really good points, so based on soley you article I would have to agree. One point of critique I might have is that you leave off the last line:"Change is not always good." It's a bit repetitive to the line before, and I think leaving it off would make the ending a bit more open. Overall, great article! Please keep writing!
*StandardToaster* said...
Feb. 11, 2010 at 9:30 pm
hmm. i also don't agree on some of this. i mean i agree that genetic engineering in humans is for the most part bad, but the curing of diseases would help our world immensly. i think genetic engineering in general is very interesting, but needs to be better understod before it is used.
Savor~the~Moment This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Feb. 11, 2010 at 3:19 pm
I agree with you for the most part. I think that we should accept that we may or may not look like our parents or act like them. However, there are emergency cases where it's a good thing that we have human genetic engineering, as in cases when you need a child to be similar to another for health purposes.
xJ3rZyxBoyx said...
Jan. 20, 2010 at 9:50 am
well when it comes to genetic engineering, i am kinda on the fence. it is right because it can help make our society stronger smater and so on. on the other hand, every couple can afford 30k for their baby to be engineered and the would be a misfit. hmm.
RahulD. replied...
Mar. 5, 2010 at 9:08 pm
This issue has been addressed many times, and I would argue that genetic engineering isn't wrong because of the reasons that this author proposes, but rather, for the far more serious risk of genetic homozygosity. THAT is the major risk of artificial selection when pertaining to humans.
Enflamed. Rhinoceras said...
Jan. 20, 2010 at 7:54 am
i m with u, but the last bit i think isnt really true. Change is good most of the time, and the only time where i see where it's not good is with the genetic engineering. Change is nature, and i think that we should change, but for the better. And genetic engineering is jus wrong
xAllegria replied...
Feb. 11, 2010 at 6:50 am
Change is not necessarily good or bad, but change which is not natural is probably bad.
Anyways, "when all children are above average"... =D
toxic.monkey said...
Dec. 29, 2009 at 12:25 pm
it seems to be a good start but you could really write more on the topic. (i agree with you though:P)
Diana P. said...
Oct. 25, 2009 at 6:27 pm
thank you to everyone who has read and commented on my article!!! :]
brandongreer15301 said...
Oct. 2, 2009 at 9:12 am
I somewhat agree with the author, it is not okay to alter human genes to better themselves for fame or fortune. I do think that it is okay to alter genes when you have a disease. We should learn to get better at what we do without technology, dont get me wrong technology is great in some cases, but not to make you "Superhuman"
LucyM said...
Oct. 1, 2009 at 8:27 am
Maybe even if genetically creating "super humans" is wrong, it can also be used for good, like eliminateing genetic diseases. For example, cystic fibrosis is a genetic disease that's very difficult to live with. if we could fix the human genome so that disease no longer existed or couldn't be passed on, wouldn't that be a good thing?
Purple Midnight said...
Sept. 10, 2009 at 4:58 pm
I totally DISAGREE with you, Tabitha P. Not the author. Im with the author 100%. Even if the cheap could be "super human", which I totally doubt because no matter how far you get in science, changing a humans DNA is not walk in the park and its not cheap for them, so it won't be cheap for us. I think that humans should be the way thay are. You don't need to be some imitation of the termanator or something. We are made the way we are supposed to be. We don't need some tra... (more »)
liza bsn II from enverga said...
Aug. 31, 2009 at 10:58 am
i dont knw if i have to agree or disagree in genetic engineering coz it has a positive effect at the same time negative effect....
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