I wrote a paper during my Junior year of high school about the morality of the up and coming trend of Designer Babies. Google defines this as “a baby whose genetic makeup has been selected in order to eradicate a particular defect, or to ensure that a particular gene is present.”
It is quite easy to see how this process would botch evolution. Through this advanced medical ideality, doctors can prevent a multitude of hereditary diseases, disabilities, and abnormalities before a child is even born. This is the positive, and happy end of the possibilities. The other, not so happy or abusive end includes the manipulation of a child’s hair color, eye color, traits, or personality quirks. If a couple decides that they want a blonde haired, blue eyed, dauntless baby girl, they can potentially produce such a thing.
As with all things, there is of course pros and cons. So if we take a step back from the marring of evolution, there are some positive things that can come of it. As mentioned before, doctors can prevent a multitude or hereditary issues that could cause someone to have a lot of troubles throughout the course of their life. This process also allows doctors to potentially extend the life expectancy of some individuals by up to thirty years. In general, the pros for Designing Babies comes when the aim of the procedure(s) is to improve the quality of life for an individual. So is there something morally unsound with genetically changing someone with the aim to improve their life? Even if it is morally sound, what could be some potential ramifications as far as evolution is concerned?
This article gives an insight as to some of the possible results of a society that practices the process of design. The most poignant point I recognized in this article was the future between the “Have’s” and the “Have Not’s”. Will this new medical procedure effect our evolution as humans in more ways than one? Could it create a whole new society, good or bad? What will the effects be to this process of natural selection? Could this alter the game of evolution as a whole? I think there is more than one argument and perspective for many of these questions.
I have addressed the possible positive outlooks on the design theory, so now I’m going to flip the tables, addressing a select few of the cons. As mentioned earlier, there is the situation where parents use this process in a greedy way, to create a child with “perfect” looks for example. There is also the possibility that, because doctors can use this technology to detect disabilities, diseases and abnormalities that there will be more abortions from parents who cannot afford to have all of the correct procedures done, but do not feel they can (or simply do not want to) care for a child who will have such challenges. There is also a theory of “playing God” from a religious stand. In light of this theory, many argue that God designs each of us just the way we were meant to be for a divine purpose. So if we change those traits or the child at all, we are playing God.
Do the pros outweigh the cons? Where can we draw a line?
There are many way to analyze all of this information, but I encourage you to truly consider the possible consequences in the realm of evolution.
You can read more on the possible pros and cons of Designer Babies here: