Creating Life With Genetic Technology

June 12, 2018

When I first studied genetics in undergraduate school I realized that humans would soon gain control over the very mechanism of creating human life. I then watched decade after decade as the goal of literally being able to create like a god drew closer to attainment. Let's face it, human beings can never close the cookie jar once the lid is off; they just consume/expand until they create havoc and destruction. A tribe of aboriginals in Tasmania realized the potential of fire to fundamentally alter their way of life towards materialism so they entrusted only a certain family to handle fire. Good try, but the rest of the world didn't have this level of self-control and opened pandora's box. Nuclear energy was to solve all of our energy problems but this was a thinly veiled excuse for creating more powerful weapons of destruction. In my 10th quarter of post-grad, bored to tears in Neuromuscular Diagnosis I, I decided to read Frank Herbert's amazingly prophetic series of novels - the Dune series. In it he described how riff-raff radicals on the edge of the galaxy would re-create or re-enliven dead people in vats of chemicals that stimulate the DNA. No longer science fiction - we are here now. I don't think the question is whether we can control genetic customization. We cannot. We've never been any good at that. Instead we should be looking forward to the unknown and embrace the never know, it could be amazing. Certainly it will be interesting.

-Kol Martens (Dharma Bodhi)®ion=stream&module=stream_unit&version=latest&contentPlacement=5&pgtype=sectionfront

Journalist: Clyde Haberman (New York Times)

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