As the author of ‘The decline and fall of the Roman Empire’, Edward Gibbon, stated ‘All that is human must retrograde if it does not advance.’As we transcend into the 21st century, we can all look around us and see that transformations have been brought about in nearly every aspect of our lives. We are living in times where we constantly strive for new heights: to create the seemingly impossible, to break records, to make life easier.
It is an undisputed fact that we have evolved in numerous ways and one can assuredly recognise the innumerous beneficial changes that the likes of science and technology has brought about in our world today.The efforts of genetic engineers have made a great impact on our world today. In recent years, the development of cloning and genetically modified foods has been a breakthrough in modern science â€“ marking our times as the technologically advanced era.The idea that we may one day clone a human being has been a part of science fiction and scientific debate for generations.
However, it was not until 1996, when a group at the Roslin Institute led by British scientist Ian Wilmut had cloned the first adult mammal, the now-famous Dolly the sheep that the world really changed the way it thought about human cloning. Instead of the question being, could we do itâ€¦the question now seems to be when will we do it?One thing must be clarified. As Glenn Seaborg quite rightly stated, people must understand that science is inherently a potential to be harnessed by man to do his bidding. Therefore, the opposition’s perception that ‘genetic engineering’ itself creates more harm than good is profoundly invalid.
In actual fact, there are innumerous cases to prove otherwise. We must keep in mind that genetic engineering is a relatively modern process, and just like the introduction of any new modern process in the context of their time, strong opposition will always be imminent.Therefore, whilst we concede that genetic engineering does have fallibilities, like the humans who created them, it is research and development that allows them to refine this technology. It is, thus, the product of these refinements that allows human beings to have more options in this world.
And this is the stage that we are at. Options being the key word. Genetic Engineering has by no means taken away choice from individuals. Genetic engineering has merely expanded our horizons by giving us greater choice.
And therefore genetic engineering has in no way created more harm than good.So what are the benefits of human cloning to society? Geneticists foresee that the greatest practical application would be to allow infertile couples that do not wish to adopt to use cloning to have children who are biologically related to them. Infertility rates are increasingly prevalent and the desire for two people, who are prepared to love and care for their own child, is in no way unethical. Because that is what it comes down to.
Who will be there once the child is born? Well, the answer to that question is quite simply â€“ the people who created it. The reproductive technologies used only act as an intermediary in order to allow a couple to have children. It does not make the child in any way less human. In addition to this, there is an extensive screening period to ensure that couples are prepared to have a child together.
There is a high priority placed on legal and security issues also ensuring that people do not abuse this technology in any way.Cloning could also be used to produce offspring free of certain diseases, which are caused by flawed genes formed in the mitochondria. Eliminating the defective genes ensures that a child will be born disease-free, and more importantly, that the child will be able to live a complete life â€“ a life which it deserves. The one and only wish of a parent is that their child is born healthy and fully capable.
Cloning makes this possible.A recent article made explicit how genetic engineering is being utilised today to save the life of a sick older child. Six British couples are creating embryos with cells that match the sick child’s tissue type in order to have a miracle baby that will be able to save their brothers’ life. This child, quote the parents, ‘is a special gift from nature.
‘ Not only have they pledged their love for this child, but they have vowed to bring it up ensuring it knows that it is a saviour. And more to the point, that embryology technology allowed them to keep their family.Genetic engineering has proved to be capable of saving lives. And life is the most valuable thing that must be taken into consideration here.
Governments globally have realised the great potential that genetic engineering can provide us with. It is for that reason that private companies in Britain and the US have been allowed to continue with stem cell research.Ladies and gentlemen, genetic engineering in the context of our time is a classic example of what Gibbon’s meant when he stated, “All that is human must retrograde if it does not advance”. We, as human beings, have proved that we have the capacity and commitment to make the impossible a possibility, and the examples that we have given, merely a few of many, prove that humans have utilised this technology to further humanity’s quality of life.
Yes, we agree that there are those who abuse this technology, however the benefits of genetic engineering outweigh the harmful consequences by far. And in this case, the end does justify the means.