Are Designer Babies Coming?

David Trammel's picture

Will the Future during the Long Descent include a slice of humans genetically modified at birth to be "better than human"?

Designer babies are on the way. We're not ready

"Many surprises come with having a baby, including learning your child's sex and discovering all the traits they inherited as they grow up. But what if parents could pick and choose their children's genetic makeup instead of leaving those traits up to nature? Such arrangements are increasingly possible, posing ethical and social dilemmas that more and more people are now facing. In November, Dr. He Jiankui announced that twin girls had been born in China from embryos whose genes he had altered using CRISPR gene-editing technology. According to the magazine Science, he hoped to build a baby-designing business. In March, a World Health Organization committee argued for a moratorium on clinical human genome editing "until its implications have been properly considered." But no system of global guidance exists to implement or enforce such a ban on the practice. In June, a Russian scientist declared that he plans to proceed anyway."


I tend to believe that the science and the accuracy of scientists' claims that they can make "super babies" is alot less than they claim but still expect that some of them are going to try. After all it will make them rich as the 1%ers try and give their children another advantage over their peers.

I don't think this will end well.

On a side note, one of my cli-fi stories does include a character who has been genetically modified to look like an elf so the possibilities for fiction are huge.

One of the more fascinating issues in much of Asia is sex-selective abortions. Because of the overwhelming preference for boys, girls get aborted in large numbers. Of course, this leads directly to, when the boys grow up, not enough girls to go around. There's already Chinese sci-fi on the subject available at your library. In the real world, there's bride kidnapping.

This also leads to the amazing sight of seeing someone who insists on no-questions-asked abortion on demand then insisting that it shouldn't be used for sex-selection!

Teresa from Hershey