Genome Editing and Eugenics. Is man starting to play God?

Enter the brave new world of Genome Editing, Eugenics and CRISPR. Gene editing is the new breakthrough kid on the block that is causing a major stir not only in scientific circles but has far reaching consequences in all corners of life and society, even animals and plants. In short if it has a gene and is alive and on this planet, it now has the potential t be edited. This was hitting the headlines a couple of months back earlier this year in 2016.


We have seen the development of In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF), Test Tube Babies, Surrogate Mothers and this next development really draws a line in the sand between the natural world and the brave new world of Science and Technology.

A recent Panorama video sheds some light on this fascinating but equally scary science on our doorstep that claims to have the answers and cures for all the worlds diseases and problems and even gives scientists the ability to potentially control evolution and "Play God". BUT is this a good thing or are somethings better left alone and left to their natural devices as in "Nature" or the higher powers?



In a world first, Chinese scientists have reported editing the genomes of human embryos. The results were published in the online journal Protein & Cell and confirm widespread rumours that such experiments had been conducted — rumours that sparked a high-profile debate recently in scientific and other circles about the ethical implications of such work.

British scientists recently have received permission to alter the DNA of human embryos within the overall mission of correcting devastating diseases in the womb. The work of one authorized stem cell scientist, using embryos donated by couples with a surplus after IVF treatment, will look at the fertilized eggs' development from a single cell to about 250 cells. The research could help scientists understand why some women lose their babies before term, and provide better clinical treatments for infertility, using conventional medical methods.

The real reason/purpose and goal of gene editing is eliminating serious diseases like cystic fibrosis and cancer, as well as improving fertility rates and In Vitro Fertilisation techniques and reducing miscarriages. The problem is this science/technology is opening a Pandora’s box of potential problems and is raising ethical questions and posing real long term risks from what amount to short to medium term solutions. No one at present knows the outcomes of adopting this science. Genetic alterations can be passed down to future generations, for example. The concept of designer babies and Eugenics is now a distinct reality with this new found gene editing with all the moral implications that this raises.

A look at the definitions and terms of this new emerging Science/Technology that include Genome Editing, CRISPR and Eugenics, that could radically change our lives for the better and the worse.

The Definition of Gene (Genome Editing) Editing:
Genome editing, or genome editing with engineered nucleases (GEEN) is a type of genetic engineering in which DNA is inserted, deleted or replaced in the genome of an organism using engineered nucleases, or "molecular scissors."

What is CRISPR:
CRISPR, or Clustered Regularly Interspaced Palindromic Repeats, is the technology behind gene editing. It identifies certain genes, cuts them, and rewrites their DNA. It has been used successfully to create bigger dogs and has even created micro-pigs, which are popular as pets.

The definition of Eugenics:
It is a social philosophy advocating the improvement of human genetic traits through the promotion of higher rates of sexual reproduction for people with desired traits (positive eugenics), or reduced rates of sexual reproduction and sterilization of people with less-desired or undesired traits (negative eugenics).

What are the potential problems and pitfalls of this new Genetic Scientific Discovery.

Here's what can happen with this Scientific discovery that is still very much in it's early stages. If you remember the film with Will Smith called "I am Legend" where they discovered a cure for cancer which was administered to the masses with dire consequences. This discovery has the exact same potential. Here's a few scenarios that have occurred that demonstrate that we are in new territory and not entirely sure what the end result will be.

The Intro News Scene from "I Am Legend". Cancer is cured?


The Result of the miracle cure and "I Am Legend" Trailer.



Scenario 1: If mistakes are inadvertently made in the editing process............what happens? In mice, for example, researchers blocked a gene that caused cancer, but the mice ended up aging prematurely.

Scenario 2: Correcting one mutation might cause another that can become hereditary and passed onto children. Then that person might even avoid having children, so it’s life-affecting down through a family line.

Scenario 3. At present Gene editing is not permitted  in the U.S. — so far. Last spring after Chinese researchers reported their use of CRISPR to edit the genes of human embryos for the first time, the Obama administration said it opposed such research in the US.

Scenario 4: With Eugenics things start to come into play as it has in the past in several countries, where leaders tried to build ‘better, more desirable people. Hitler is one example who's aim was to build the perfect blonde haired blue eyed "Aryan" race.

Scenario 5: There is concern about this whole notion of there being rogue private and unregulated underground clinics doing these things that are not authorised or in the black market. This would be done purely for financial gain with no concern over the legal, moral or long term hereditary health of those concerned.

Scenario 6: Designer Babies is the obvious final genie in the bottle which could generate a whole new world but one with Frankenstein potential.

Scenario 7: The obvious. Is man equipped to understand Genetic Editing of Human Embryos and Equal to Playing God?

Conclusions:

In every area of our lives we are on the verge of a "Brave New World" and mankind is starting to look and experiment with things which provide all the answers to all the worlds problems such as ageing, disease and other afflictions of the human condition. A recent article in The Guardian goes along with this hypothesis called Genetic editing is like playing God – and what’s wrong with that?



The problem is, where is all this leading, are we potentially reliving the Frankenstein experiment or the Hollywood film "I am Legend", do we really know the long term effect of essentially tampering with DNA, the very essence and building blocks of life. Is this really the answer to all our problems, or is this a step too far and going beyond nature and opening a Pandora's box that once opened can never be closed again.

Changing Nature and what God has created?
Here are some arguments from the Bible against changing what God has created. The following verses indicates that God who made the earth and the heavens, must be competent in making humans and this verse below is a good illustrator of the wrongness of research on human embryos. This verse speaks of how God knew us before we were even born, or even conceived. This would suggest that someone begins life before conception in the eyes of God.

Jeremiah 1:5 Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee.

You could argue that the following verse below from Ecclesiastes indicates we should not be tampering with what God ‘hath made crooked’. However, it appears to be arguing that we cannot, NOT that we should not, change what God has done.

Ecclesiastes 7:13 Consider the work of God: for who can make that straight, which he hath made crooked?

I Corinthians 15:39 All flesh is not the same flesh: but there is one kind of flesh of men, another flesh of beasts, another of fishes, and another of birds.

Another verse on the mixing of animals and humans. What God has created is good and that we should leave it that way and not interfere.

Further General Bible Quotes:

1 Corinthians 3:16-17 Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.

Proverbs 1:7 ESV
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction.

Psalm 139:13-14 ESV
For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother's womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.
Genome Editing and Eugenics. Is man starting to play God? Genome Editing and Eugenics. Is man starting to play God? Reviewed by Frank John on June 29, 2016 Rating: 5
Powered by Blogger.