natural Selection: It's in Our Hands Now

In the film Genetically Correct: Insuring Perfect Babies, several families were followed as they dealt with genetic problems with their children. As the movie progressed, it presented several important ethical and governmental issues that have been in hot debate ever since the first test tube baby Louise Brown in 1978. This paper will seek to argue why genetic manipulation of embryos is justified by presenting genetic science as another form of Natural Selection, not only for life, but also for equality.
In reality, genetic screening and manipulation is really just another form of Natural Selection. Darwin’s theory from his travels on the Beagle and from On the Origin of Species outlines Natural Selection as the selection of nature of the strongest and best fitted organisms to survive. In reality, most of the living organisms on earth today are a result of millions of years of evolution; the progressive selection of mutated genes that illustrate a phenotype more suitable to our environment that we habitat. Only until the last two centuries has Man taken control, at least to some degree, of his environment, thus allowing the survival of less than fit organisms. Even with all of the technological advances in food production, water sanitation, and health safety, many genetic defects and mutations still loom over Man, reminding him that Nature’s long entrusted task of propagating species from generation to generation is still the hand of God. The film even predicted that each one of us has eight to twelve mutations within our genetic code. If those mutations find their way into offspring, they can be harmless, debilitating, or lethal. The point is that until the last few decades, it has been out of our control.
The ability now exists as was demonstrated in the film to genetically screen and select traits to pass on to future generations. Activists groups have lobbied against it, saying genetic engineering is against moral principles. Legislation has removed funding, saying it is not within a scientist’s realm to hedge genetic reproduction in societies’ favor. Really, genetic engineering is natural selection. Instead of nature allowing a child to be born with a lethal disease or deformity, an inevitable and eventual death, the scientist removes the problematic blastocyst from the Petri dish and it never grows beyond 24 cells. To restate this another way, Nature does not provide a way of survival for cancer victims, Alzheimer patients, babies who possess misshapen hearts, anencephaly victims, and the millions of other diseases that exist. It selects them as being unfit to survive, and they don’t. The scientist with the ability to select genes is basically selecting those same deformities to never make their way into living organisms. He is selecting those organisms not to die, but to never exist. This is Natural Selection.
Extrapolating further, society naturally chooses the strongest, smartest, and prettiest in all aspects of culture. Most advanced countries claim to patron equality for all, but most of us know from the halls of high school and the shows on television that life isn’t fair. Society naturally selects the cream of the human crop, maybe not between life and death, but between higher pay grades and greater influence. Scientists now can engineer children to be a certain height, have a certain personality, facial structure, hair color, certain academic aptitudes, and thousands of different variances. Future societies could not only be healthy, but truly equal as scientists select traits and abilities that people want to be expressed. Doing so would only be doing what nature in its natural course would have done had we not overshot its ability to select for us, albeit in a drastically shorter time frame.
Everyone can polarize themselves to the different sides of the genetic debate. The reality is organisms of any sort ultimately will do whatever it takes to survive. It is the only choice Natural Selection allows. Any organism will do whatever is necessary to ensure their genes are passed on to future generations and continue to proliferate. Genetic engineering is just another way, like car safety and food preservatives, to make that happen.

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