Orson Scott Card’s science fiction novel, “Ender’s Shadow” is a favorite of some of our staff. In it, a twelve-year-old’s medical condition gives him superhuman brilliance. Only after helping mankind win the war against an insectoid alien invader does Julian Delphiki discover he’s the product of a genetic experiment that unlocked the full potential of the human brain.
Julian’s potential comes at a high cost. He will outgrow his heart and die before the age of twenty. The mad scientist who engineered him is driven to make even more like him, eventually replacing the human race with a new and—in his mind—superior species.
Just last year, headlines announced the birth of the world’s first genetically modified children in China. The gene editing technology known as CRISPR has made it possible to tinker with the genetic design of human beings. And so, the world met Dr. He, the first mad scientist to don his lab coat in real life.
In response, many have warned that the time for preventative action is now. Writing in “Nature,” a group of leading bioscience researchers recently called for a global moratorium on the gene-editing of human embryos. “The introduction of genetic modifications into future generations,” they write, “could have permanent and possibly harmful effects on the species. These mutations cannot be removed from the gene pool unless all carriers agree to forego having children, or to use genetic procedures to ensure that they do not transmit the mutation to their children.”
In other words, GMO people, like GMO plants and animals, can pass on their artificial traits, not only making genetic experiments a permanent part of the human genome but also potentially affecting an untold number of lives.
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SOURCE: Christian Post, John Stonestreet and G. Shane Morris