Designing babies into elitism

Advanced pubic opinion is at present divided on the question of gene editing — or, termed more crudely, designer babies. The two chief proponents on either side are George Church of Harvard University and Marcy Darnovsky, the executive director of the Center for Genetics and Society.

Church says we ought to proceed carefully in order to eradicate distressing genetic diseases. This would start with the most serious, such as Tay Sachs, and then work along a list of at least 5,000 others that have already been identified. This program would take centuries but there’s no reason why it shouldn’t be started soon.

Darnovsky says that the human genome is immensely complex and that any inept gene editing in one generation will persist, and might even ramify with unexpected consequences from then onwards.

The weight of government legislation in all advanced countries is against Church present. If, however, gene editing is impeded further, we can be certain that rich mothers will avoid legislation on one pretext or another in the same way that personal tax is avoided. This will enhance the clear lead in health, looks and intelligence that is already opening up in the advanced countries by the social elite.

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