Talking about Babies with made-to-order defects? – Pregnancy – MSNBC.com

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Babies with made-to-order defects? – Pregnancy – MSNBC.com

Good morning.  weighing in on this issue, I have to say it’s grossly irresponsible to create designer babies with defects.  Evolution marches on, and as far as I’m concerned, the next step in evolution will be technological-meaning that humans will define the direction of movement, rather than ‘genetic jitter’.  If I had the atomic Delorean, you bet I would go back in time to 1980 and make myself taller (and maybe a little smarter, and more diesel…).  As a society we should be working to improve ourselves by eliminating genetic disease, and moving towards an ideal.  In the past, the ability to store fat was a positive survival trait, now it isn’t.  Shouldn’t we consider changing our genes to reflect new realities of existence?

There are ethical issues here.  Not having a baby with down’s syndrome is an unequivocally good thing.  Not having a baby with achondroplasia is slightly more questionable, but I will say that it is unethical to have a child who will grow up to  be disadvantaged.  Yes you get into Brave New World arguments-somenone with a super IQ probably won’t be too in the mood to be a UPS depot worker scanning boxes and loading them onto trucks when they could be unlocking the mysteries of the cosmos or curing the common cold,  but maybe that’s the direction we need to go in.

For me personally, I don’t want to have kids for two reasons.

  1. I don’t want to crimp my lifestyle.  23 years of caring for Junior, grief, and fortune is a lot of work!
  2. I wouldn’t be able to face Junior when he or she says "why don’t I get any respect because I’m short?"

Now don’t give me grief because I know the statistics.  Marco Pantani (TdF winner 1998), Louis Lazar MD, and the others are outliers.  that’s right statistics fans, outliers.  I plan to be an outlier but it’s not easy or likely and that’s the deal.  so sign me up for engineering of the next generation.

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