Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Cell research vs Mother Nature

This CNN headline I found today, House passes embryonic stem cell bill, raises an interesting "hold-on-a-minute!" moment for me.

Beyond the arguments regarding "the sanctity of life" and "what we can do for our loved ones afflicted with crippling diseases," we might consider the ramifications of this research, if it is successful and then implemented, in changing the course of the law of natural selection in human development.

Consider this: Changing the course of or entirely correcting a hereditary disease, e.g. Alzheimer's or Parkinson, in a given individual would still leave the genetic deposition for transferring that disease intact. Thus, allowing the physical or mental defect to reappear in future generations of the affected family line. Natural selection attempts to weed-out these genetic defects, in order to build a stronger and healthier strain of human, a stronger and healthier society.

Messing with Mother Nature is risky business. We have already opened the door to altering the course of Natural Selection long ago with such life extending surgeries as heart and other organ transplants routinely performed in hospitals every day. Is it already too late? Are we already on the road to creating a weaker, albeit a more intelligent, human being?

If the inherent genetic code can be changed right along with the genetic defect in each application, then maybe we have something. If not, "hold-on-a-minute!"