Society is always changing and is trying to better life for all of its members. Genetic engineering is an emerging field that is advancing peoples lives everyday. “Genetic engineering holds great potential to bolster the health, food resources, and economies of all people”(Christopher p.19). With such promising results in the medical and agricultural field genetic engineering should be supported so it can impact society to its fullest potential.
Genetic engineering first gained attention in the 1970s, it began with gene swapping between two different organisms where scientist took “DNA from one organism and inserted it into another… it was done to reconbine with other strains of bacteria” (Torr p.14). Today genetic engineering has advanced to a much broader field. It now encompasses “cloning, eugenics, and bioengineered products such as: food, animals, plants, and boutique babies” (Friedman p.2). All these areas of genetic engineering provide the right tools for improving individuals and society.
More recently, in 1997, Dolly was a major scientific and technological breakthrough. Dolly the sheep was the first successful mammal cloned from a single adult cell. This brought up a lot conflict in society because people felt like man was over stepping his role. However, “virtually every major medical, scientific, and technological advance in modern history was initially criticized as ‘playing G-d’” (Torr p.198). Even heart transplants were considered controversial when the science field first introduced them. Nowadays heart transplants save thousands of lives each year. Just like heart transplants, genetic engineering will one day be more accepted as it becomes more widespread. Even 40 years after the initial experiments began genetic engineering, there are still tremendous discoveries being made every day.
One of the main reasons why people oppose genetic engineering is the ethical dilemma of human experimentations. “Because the potential dangers of genetically engineering humans outweigh the risks, the practice cannot be ethically justified”(Torr p.64). The risks affect not only the current generation but also the future generations because there is not enough research today on the complexity of the genes. “A gene affecting one particular disease susceptibility might have secondary or tertiary consequences that are unrecognized at the time…only to show up years or even generations later” (Fukuyama p.677). What these opponents need to keep in mind is that the field of genetic engineering is evolving so it can fix these problems in the future.
Another reason why people oppose genetic engineering is because it is not equally available to all social classes. Many people may not have the knowledge of all the various ways scientist use genetic engineering; however “it is the prospect of genetically engineering humans that has aroused the most public interests” (Torr p.14). Designer babies has the publics full attention; parents will have the ability to “choose their child’s characteristics such as; eye color, hair color, height, and IQ”(Friedman p.4). Because a designer baby is not a necessary medical need, insurance companies will not cover the cost of designer babies. This is an example where genetic engineering is only beneficial to the affluent.
In addition to designer babies, metical treatments from genetic engineering also cause a divide between the wealthy and the disadvantaged. “Germ line gene therapy can be used to prevent and cure certain diseases. These procedures are costly… making this procedure only available to the affluent”(Friedman p.5). Just like Henry Fords vision to make the automobile affordable to the general public, genetic engineering will follow a similar path. As with automobiles, the more time and research spent on these cures, the more available these procedures will become to the general population. Therefore there will no longer be a