“Mention of eugenics inevitably results in whoops of horror, gnashing of hair, rending of teeth, and discussion of Hitler… If by “eugenics” is meant both the selective breeding of humans and genetic manipulation of ourselves, we will shortly have to discuss it, Fuehrer or no Fuehrer. Google on ‘Designer babies’.” – Fred Reed, “The Inevitability of Eugenics: A Race of Self-Designing Tinker Toys” (1).
As Fred points out elsewhere in his article, human knowledge is pretty-much at the point that we can manipulate human genetics at the DNA level. He points to the production of “super-strong” dogs in China by excising the gene for myostatin. In my opinion, it is inevitable that China, Russia, the United States and others, will enter into a “DNA race” to produce the fittest and strongest soldiers, with greatly enhanced senses – “super-soldiers” against whom “normal” soldiers will stand no chance of survival.
We have already seen hints of this in the Jason Bourne series of movies, with CIA agents possessing greatly-enhanced linguistic abilities, fighting skills, and a photographic memory as well as other improvements. “You’re U.S. Government property. You’re a malfunctioning $30 million weapon. You’re a total goddamn catastrophe, and by God, if it kills me, you’re going to tell me how this happened!”
Genetic engineering, be it for intelligence, military requirements, physical attributes necessary for long-distance space flight and space colonization, or for any other reason that might come up in the future, is inevitable and is undoubtedly already happening. No country dare let itself fall behind, and as the necessity for genetic manipulation is made obvious by future events, moral and ethical considerations will fall aside as we go all-out to keep up with our rivals and gain mastery if at all possible.
On December 20th, 2013, I posted an article “The ultimate horror: DNA manipulation and biological warfare” (2). In it, I quote from “A Silent Biotechnology Race Lingers On” (3) by Brett Daniel Shehadey as follows:
“This year, BGI Shenzhen, China’s largest biotech firm, is collecting 2,000 genomes of the smartest people in the world and hoping to raise the intelligence of their society by at least five percent in the future… they are buying up massive amounts of sequencing machinery and genome related industries which will be used to map genomes and potentially screen for more advanced genetic traits in the future.” (Emphasis added).
As I observed, “The basic premise is logical but disturbing: The Chinese are intending to use genetic manipulation to increase the average IQ of their race by at least 5%, (at least the Chinese recognize the importance of IQ), and they have made the first solid first steps towards achieving that goal.” And that was two years ago…
Elsewhere, an Israeli bio-weapons effort to produce DNA-specific weapons to kill Arabs without harming Jews, seems to have hit a brick wall because of the remarkable DNA similarities between Palestinian Arabs and Sephardic Jews.
I believe that we are living in an increasingly dangerous world, and that human knowledge now exceeds our ability to handle it in a responsible manner.
(1) – Read “The Inevitability of Eugenics: A Race of Self-Designing Tinker Toys” here.
(2) – Read “The ultimate horror: DNA manipulation and biological warfare” here.
(3) – “A Silent Biotechnology Race Lingers On” seems to be no longer available on-line.
See also “Does Israel Have Smart Germs?” (November 1998) here.
Also relevant is “The Recent History of Publicly-Known Human Genetic Engineering” here.
See Wikipedia’s entry on “designer babies” here.