A story ripped from the pages of Aldous Huxley’s “Brave New World,” has become reality: 30 genetically modified babies were born.
After the news was released a new debate broke out about the ethics of some modern medical research.
Some wonder if the future may see “assembly line humans” modified to fulfill certain roles deemed necessary by the State such as soldiers, factory workers, teachers, truck drivers, janitors, and so on.
According to the Daily Mail, 15 of the 30 children identified were conceived during an experiment conducted by medical scientists at the New Jersey Institute for Reproductive Medicine and Science of St Barnabas. Reports indicate that at least two children have DNA from three parents. This means those genes will be passed onto future offspring artificially impacting the gene pool.
Altering human genes strikes fear in some geneticists. Others express revulsion at the concept. Such technology could be used to create so-called super-humans, or, at the other end of the spectrum, low-intelligence hordes fit for menial slave tasks.
Lord Winston, of the Hammersmith Hospital in West London, expressed opposition to such research. “Regarding the treatment of the infertile, there is no evidence that this technique is worth doing…I am very surprised that it was even carried out at this stage. It would certainly not be allowed in Britain,” he told the BBC.
Fertility pioneer Professor Jacques Cohen acted as lead researcher. The report appears in the peer-reviewed journal, “Human Reproduction.”
Among his peers, Jacques Cohen “…is regarded as a brilliant but controversial scientist who has pushed the boundaries of assisted reproduction technologies,” the Daily Mail writes.
The foundation that Huxley feared
Huxley originally wrote his timeless novel as a warning to future generations—a warning that’s going unheeded. Scientists that promote the idea of humans directing their own evolution are growing in number. Like any new technology, the ability to control the human organism can be used for great good or manipulated for greater evil.
Eugenicists, like Aldous Huxley’s brother, evolutionary biologist Julian Huxley, envisioned a Utopian world built upon a foundation of genetic manipulation. Individualism is to be abhorred and the collective state of Man is revered. In essence, humans would be bio-modified into a regimented state where a command and control society led by intellectual elites would become the “queen bees” of the hive. A similar horrific vision was shared in Frank Herbert’s sometimes overlooked novel, “Hellstrom’s Hive.”
Huxley’s nightmarish future envisions a world that 21st Century America is plunging itself into at nearly breakneck speed. The warning from Huxley, whom some rate as the 20th Century’s greatest intellectual, is every bit as prescient as Orwell’s “1984” or Rand’s “Atlas Shrugged.”
At the dawn of genetically modified organisms that have now begun swallowing up agricultural crops, some futurists envisioned creating genetically modified humans. The idea has spread from universities and think tanks to corporations and even military research labs like DARPA. One microbiologist is even actively promoting the idea of genetically modifying combat soldiers he calls “biomods.”
The question now facing medical scientists is: can the genie be returned to the bottle…or in this case, the test tube?