"The world would be a better place if everyone grew brains." - Humble Master
Question #91834 posted on 11/18/2018 9:12 a.m.

Dear 100 Hour Board,

What are your thoughts on "Designer Babies"? Basically, it's the idea that in the near future, couples will be able to genetically modify their babies to give them attractive features, eliminate genetic diseases, and grant them other desirable traits.

Do you think it tampers with fate, or messes with things man ought not to mess with? Or is it a useful tool to potentially improve the lives of many?

-I. Asimov


Dear you,

First, I think it's important to clarify what you mean by designer babies: you say couples will genetically modify their babies. That's something I haven't really heard about before, and I think it presents an overlapping but distinct set of moral quandaries from those presented by couples being able to genetically select among embryos to determine which one will become their baby. 

Genetic modification actually bothers me less, at least when it comes to legitimate medically-based interventions (rather than purely aesthetic ones). Genetically modifying someone for visual purposes seems like something that would frequently be done for vain or shallow reasons (although there could, of course, be exceptions to this), and I don't think that excessive focus on making your baby the prettiest baby there's ever been is terribly healthy for parent or child. 

However, I'm more concerned by the possibility of genetic selection, because that, to me seems to bring humanity closer to trying to replace Heavenly Father's role (and trying to determine who comes into our family and, perhaps more importantly, who does not) rather than simply trying to do the best we can for the people who come to our family. I would worry about different ways that such processes could disrespect the power God has given us to procreate, I guess, but I don't have a lot of knowledge about this area to back up my gut concerns.

Note: There are also eugenics concerns here.

So there's a few thoughts from me.

~Anne, Certainly


Dear you,

GATTACA has all the answers.

(But seriously it's a fantastic movie. Go watch it.)

-guppy of doom


Dear you,

Don't flaunt your little last-season Prada baby at me, honey.


--Ardilla-ly Blonde

posted on 11/19/2018 9:22 p.m.
I'm not sure if this is relevant since the question has already been answered, but this might be a homework question from MMBIO 121.