27Feb15 Meeting of Academic Conversations

The class did an excellent job researching and discussing pros and cons of genetic engineering over our 2 day conversation. THe following was discussed.

Genetic engineering can be described as any genetic manipulation that allows an organism to perform new functions or produce new substances. Genetic engineering can be used for many different purposes: health/medicine, selected genetic traits, agriculture, the environment, and food production.

cons of genetic engineering

  • possible adverse health and environmental effects

  • unscrupulous businesses trying to monopolize crops

  • human genetic engineering further way to separate elite (those that can afford it), widen the gap between privileged and unprivileged

  • would it eliminate genetic diversity like purebred dogs?

  • would we ever be satisfied or keep engineering like people addicted to plastic surgery?

  • If eradicated diseases what effect?

    • would it eliminate govt subsidies for those that chose not to have children genetically engineered and were born handicapped?

    • would those not engineered be discriminated against?

    • would innovators be same without hardships (Einstein, Temple Grandin, Stephen Hawkings…

    • human population increase with longevity

  • who will decide what is genetically beneficially, does being smarter lead to happiness, would everyone being smarter lead to a better world? Would homosexuality be eradicated?

  • If everyone genetically engineered for highest potential who would do lower level, but necessary jobs?

  • Would choosing eye or hair color or other genetic traits become a beauty fad that would change over time and kids would resent parents for choices they made?

  • Would genetic engineering eliminate freedom of choice if parents made decisions for kids before birth?


pros of genetic engineering

  • could eradicate disease

  • live longer

  • space exploration could solve population expansion

  • provide greater yield of food, eradicate hunger

  • make food resistant to insects, better for the environment

  • enhance abilities and capacities

  • still have diversity since people can never decide on one standard

  • diversity could possibly be more respected

  • could eradicate depression and disabilities

  • robots could do lower level jobs

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