I came across a link at MSN this afternoon that kind of opened my eyes. The article was about designer babies, “Designing the $100,000.00 baby”. I don’t think it will come as much of a surprise to many people that modern genetics can be used to identify certain traits in people before they are born. The ‘future’ of this technology is that some day parents will be able to design children to meet certain criteria – criteria that the parents would determine.

In some ways, this is evolution. Natural evolution would ultimately design a being so advanced that it would be able to modify it’s own genetic code, for it’s own purposes. It’s super-evolution. It gives us the ability to erradicate diseases – wipe out MS, Cancer, or diabetes by programming a genetic sequence into a group of cells.

Of course, there is a downside. There will be people who will abuse the technology. They will see the opportunity to make everyone like THEM, to wipe out diversity and create a ‘Perfect Race’, a ‘Perfect Warrior’, a ‘Perfect X’.

Technology is of course, amoral. The ability to do something positive is always balanced by the ability to do something negative. Nuclear technology gives humanity the ability to create loads of clean energy, but also the ability to utterly destroy entire countries or cities.

One thing technology does do is force us to look at our own values and how we view the world. By forming our own well-informed opinions and sharing those (and our reasons for them) with our children as they come of age, we excersize the ultimate responsibility of parents. It is not ensuring that our kids never get sick or suffer hardship, but ensuring that they have the values and sense of self to deal with whatever comes their way.

You can see the original article here.