• Tamarah Webb

Humanoid in the Manger

The desire to want more is an impending trait of human beings. We can never be satisfied with the blessings we receive. We hold a strong desire to acquire something but once it is ours, we wish for better or something entirely different without first being grateful. Just like kids, who ask for a new scooter, although they have a bicycle that has only been ridden once. Wanting to change the way we look to reflect the appearance of others is another example of human nature. Plastic surgeries--those superfluous in nature--are one of the most demoralizing actions of mankind that have proven us as unappreciative and selfish peoples.

Within “Humanoid in the Manger” Bernadine Healy expresses aspects of humans accepting their offspring as they are naturally born, versus altering their genes to create a more "desirable" child. Healy then poses his concern towards effects these developments could have on social classes. The capable wealthy class can afford to genetically alter their offspring but the poor and middle-class citizens cannot. Is this fair? Should these “God-playing” experiments (techno-eugenics) even be legal? Will this create a Social Darwinism effect, causing future generations to have been selectively manipulated? Will naturally developed children one day be filtered out by “superior” ones?

Manipulating perfectly healthy genes to “upgrade” a child is a morally corrupt desire that will result in great consequence. Mankind has a relentless desire for control and power. However, Godly abilities are not ours to poses. We must comprehend the concept of divine power and accept it as truth. They were ordained for a reason. We cannot handle having control of the future, time travel, or DNA formation of human beings.

We as the created can indeed create and are meant to do so, therefore we are creators. However, we are not gods. We must control ourselves and know the difference between performing experiments out of lust for power, versus exploring ideas within genuine investigative science to aid mankind. Lust is a constant demon the man has always battled. In order to protect our creations, we must practice restraint, mentally and physically. We must use wisdom to know when boundaries have been reached, then retract.

Controlling the emotions, appearance, and or talents of a child through techno-eugenics isn’t only “playing-God,” but futurists have testified to the possibility of headless fetal organ farms to develop when experimenting with embryonic manipulation. These organisms will grow as humans but because of their headless mutation; they can be legally kept alive strictly to be used as organ downers. Blocked brain formation during early embryo created these headless beings. This would further result in a headless fetal organ farm, “creating human bodies without forebrains,” Princeton biologist Lee Silver told the London Sunday Times. This is an ultimate break in ethical barriers. Headless fetal organ farms legally grow and keep humanoid organisms ‘alive’ in order to provide organs to those who wish to be “immortal.”

We should not make techno-eugenics legal and risk furthering these developments. The slightest tweak to a perfectly healthy cell has the possibility to cause a malfunction within our bodies or those of our children. This may spread to become an outbreak that developed into mass infection within communities and then countries. The worst possibility of all is that we could completely erase the idea of natural reproduction. It would seem like a foreign art or ancient practice, making it no longer desirable. This natural development that united humankind would be forever gone. I know this is speaking at great lengths, but we have no idea where this type of science can lead us. The chances we take might be detrimental; and what is done, may not be easy or possible to fix.

The immoral idea of using mutated humans as parts is not only grotesque but also ridiculous, shameful, and heartless. If we opt out of using cell mutation, our conscience may be cleared of this evil.

However, designer embryos could save lives by terminating genes infected with a disease. Laurie Beach has battled supra cellar germinoma (germ cell cancer) for six years. Without proper medical assistance, Laurie developed a brain tumor that caused her body to lose its thirst response. In attempts to save individuals such as Laurie, salient experiments such as designer embryos should be further studied. Studies to save lives such as Laurie’s would be for the betterment of humankind and therefore, genuine science, ethical, and reasonable.

Although humanoid manufacture is a legal practice, the only “catch” regarding techno-eugenics is that federal money cannot be used within the work. This brings into play the social class aspects. A window is open to wealthy individuals who wish for “super babies” but this window is shut to individuals within the middle class who may want the same for their offspring.

Creating genetically altered offspring will cause a social evolution that will drown out naturally reproduced offspring. Natural birthed children will struggle to find jobs and attain advanced reputations. As genetically enhanced babies become desirable, prices will decline in order to bring in more money. Without having, “super” genetic abilities, an immoral Social Darwinism effect will take over.

This is a scary thought, moving in a direction that will cause us to become more narcissistic and narrow-minded. We will still have a social class, however. Certain people will be able to look down on others in society because their parents/creators didn’t consider giving them a more advanced ability or the genetic traits that develop/enhance their beauty. 

However, if everyone had the financial ability to attain cell “enhancement,” would this change the idea of the science form be egotistical? Since the problem of a Social Darwinism evolution would be erased form possibilities, would it make this practice decent? The answer is simple, no. Just because everyone is or can do something, doesn’t make it right.

Regardless of the popularity or accessibility of something, moral fibers and ethics should still guide humanity, especially on an action of this magnitude. Altering the development of an embryo is an irreversible act. Even if efforts are made to reverse previous acts, what was done in the past cannot be erased. 

It is ethically, morally, and should be legally wrong to adjust the development of a fetus for personal pleasure. Techno-eugenics involves creating offspring aimed for fame, money, and power. Nevertheless, in this progressive area of our society, it is sensible to realize these experiments will exist in our future. We are already a society with desires and willingness to pay ridiculous amounts of money to enlarge part of our anatomy to fit and stay “in” with what we believe is desirable.  

Designer babies will create a grotesque enterprise. Although there is a division on legalizing future experiments, practicing techno-eugenics and the development of mutant babies should not be acceptable. The media has created films that predict the existence of designer beings. Zombies are well-known creations in SyPhy entertainment that have developed from mutated DNA. Of course, they are fictional beings because they are living and dead, but the idea of monstrous beings developing form genetic mutation isn’t out of the question. It is a chilling thought. Power is the root of evil. Beginning experiments such as genetic mutation will cause further experiments to occur. Because we possess the inevitable desire to want more, our selfish mentality may lead us to our own destruction.

It would be similar to the story of ‘Frankenstein’ by Mary Shelley. Victor Frankenstein created a being in his own image but because he didn’t mentally prepare for the repercussions or analyze the “god-like” abilities he was attempting to acquire, he caused his own destruction. I felt sorry for Victor in the novel; it would be horrendous for mankind to suffer the same fate.