Thursday, December 29, 2005
Having Our Cake
It is inevitable that scientists will break the code of the human genome, letter by letter, and will learn how to make any and every genetic alteration. I wonder, however, whether we will be better or worse for the knowledge, for I have no doubt that we will put it to active use. In order to change the flavor of a cake, you have to change the recipe. The problem in our case is that we are the cake, not the chef. Even if the chef was a blind process called natural selection, it was creative enough to make us suit the taste of nature, that is to make us survivors, without any moral forethought at all. When we ourselves put on the hat and try our hand, we will not be able to resist flavoring ourselves to our own taste by adding a few extra dashes of goodness and a couple more teaspoons of virtue. And when nature takes one bite and spits us back out, then what? Well, that just might be the day that we finally die for our sins.