A recent story in The New York Times offered a chilling front-page headline: “Scientists Seek Ban on Method Of Editing the Human Genome.” At issue: Preserving humanity, natural selection, and leaving science out of our bodies.
This means that if doctors can fix it so that your baby is born without certain diseases, they can’t do it, but it also means if you want to produce a designer baby, filled with unnatural doses of beauty, brains, and athleticism, that’s out too.
At first glance, you might say that science is already in our bodies, via surgery, drugs, robotics, altered foods, and changes in our environment. On the other hand, once we use science to dictate a path for the unborn and those who will inherit new traits that didn’t exist before, we bristle. But what if there were a way to genetically alter a fetus so that we can ascribe the writer gene, if such a thing even existed?
Would you wave a magic wand and choose your child’s career path and lifestyle? Where’s that baby’s right to choose his destiny?
Being a writer comes from many sources. One’s childhood environment, the times he or she lives under, and life experiences would seem to be the leading influencers. But writers often react to something – an injustice, a bad experience, a loss, an unbearable pain, a commitment to curiosity, or a special person in their life. Maybe it’s also genetic, as writers are predisposed to picking up the pen based on their DNA.
Not all writers are built the same way, so it’s hard to make a generality, but one could possibly say that writers tend to be less violent people, smarter than most, and lean towards shades of mental imbalance. There you have it, the writer profile: a wussy nerd prone to depression. But it’s really not like that, is it?
It would be interesting to map the genome of writers, to see what common physiological traits exist among our great thinkers and voices. I’m sure we’ll see a pattern develop, and if one does, will scientists use it to try to program new writers, maybe even “improve” them, or worse, destroy the genetic material that would lead one to choose a writing career?
Why do any of us write? What leads us to write in the style that we practice our craft? How did we come to choose the subject matter of our content? What would make us decide to step away from the keyboard permanently?
Few people are passionate about their job, but I always find writers to be passionate about their profession. Writers are deeply driven individuals who pursue their art with a level of integrity, vision, and hope like few others. I don’t know what part of a writer is genetic, and no doubt some piece of him or her is, but I do know that even well-meaning scientists – as well as corrupt governments and greedy corporations – need to draw a line against evolutionary alternations of humans.
We should write about it!
We should write about it!
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Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog © 2015
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