Genetic Enhancement

Genetic Enhancement
It is unlikely for us to worry about genetic enhancement is inevitable because there is skepticism arises from three sources: futurology and its limits, the science of behavioral genetics, and human nature itself. Most people agree that genetic enhancement is inevitable. However, the technological predictions have always been wrong. We know this is true that, for instance, the experts have predicted that by the turn of the century we would live in domed cities, commute by jet-pack, and clean our home with nuclear-powered vacuum cleaners wielded by robot maids. After that, we were promised the paperless office, interactive television, and the Internet refrigerator. Not only the fact that these developments have not yet happened, but most of them will never happen. From these invisible predictions, we could hardly believe if the prediction about the ?designers babies? is going to happen. The reason why technological predictions are usually wrong is because futurologists make prediction as current progress can be extrapolated indefinitely.
They underestimate how much has to go right for a development to change of life, as it takes a large amount of discoveries, with the psychological and sociological imponderables that make people adopt some invention. This is about the same situation of the genetic enhancement from the fact that the development is just in initial period, but it is expected to become truth if research proceeds on its current course. On the other hand, futurologists tend to focus their fantasies on the benefits of a new technology, whereas actual users weigh both the benefits and the costs. It raises a question if people are willing to spend huge amount of money or take the risks to have a ?designer baby?. The second reason why we don?t need to worry about the genetic enhancement is inevitable is because of the science of behavioral genetics is questionable. If the technology is questionable, the genetic enhancement is far from inevitable. The first challenge about the behavioral genetics is they don?t have a foregone conclusion about anyone?s traits and behaviors are transferred by their parents. Although identical twins share all their genes, and reared together to have same environment, they are imperfectly correlated in personality measures like extroversion and neuroticism. The correlation is seldom greater than 0.5, this tells us there is another enormous role for chance in development of a human being in stead of genes transferred by parents. The second challenge about behavior genetics is that they can?t fully understand and control the genes. Firstly, they have failed to find single genes that consistently cause specific condition like autism or manic depressive disorder. The finding of musical, sport talents from genes is even harder because it is easier to disrupt a complex system with a single defective part than to improve it by adding a single beneficial one. Secondly, geneticists have difficulties in controlling genes as the effect of one gene and the effect of the second gene don?t produce the sum of their effects when they?re simultaneously at work. Also, genes have multiple effects, and evolution selects those genes that achieve the best compromise between positive and negative impacts, as can be seen when mice were given extra copies of nmda receptor, the mice did learn mazes more quickly, but they also turned out to be hypersensitive to pain. An more relevant example would be when there is gene in humans that would boost 10 points in IQ, but there is also a 10 percents chance of developing torsion dystonia. Moreover, geneticists have difficulties in control over the genes, as most traits are desirable at intermediate. In fact that parents don?t want their children to be too aggressive too confident. Due to the difficulties the geneticists faced and the side effects of genetic enhancement would cause, it is unlikely to see ?designers babies? to become universal. The final reason why we don?t need to worry too much about the genetic enhancement is inevitable is because of the human nature itself. We know that people don?t want to ?change human nature?. We know this is true from the fact that even though people can undergo the in-vitro fertilization to choose the sex and astrological sign for their children, people generally prefer to conceive their children the old-fashioned way. Moreover, people generally don?t accept new technologies because of their belief about living things have essences which give them certain powers and which can be contaminated by pollutants. Due to their refusal to ?change human nature? and new technologies, parents would not accept a risk of retardation in exchange for a moderate chance of improvement. Therefore, genetic enhancement is far from inevitable.

Genetic Enhancement 9.5 of 10 on the basis of 1308 Review.