Two post-announcement articles that sound a clear alarm about
prospect of human germline engineering were written by Ralph
"Unnatural Selection: Will Unlocking the Human Genome Create
Revolution?" appeared in the June 21-June 27 Baltimore
City Paper. See
For Brave's "Building Better Humans," see <http://www.salon.com/health/feature/
An op-ed by Stuart Newman, developmental biologist at New York
College and chair of the Human Genetics Committee of the Council
Responsible Genetics, appeared in the July 25 Saint Louis Post-Dispatch.
"Don't Try to Engineer Human Embryos" concludes, "Genetic
future generations is a path we as a species have not yet taken.
and history provide us with ample reason to refrain from implementing
technology that will be portrayed by some as desirable or inevitable,
in fact would be both perilous and irreversible." See the
archives at <http://www.postnet.com>.
Several articles questioned whether the announcement of the
sequencing was "hype." An example is Keay Davidson's
pin in genome mappers' balloon," San Francisco Examiner,
July 5, 2000.
To access, go to <http://www.sfgate.com>
and use the search function on
Others enthused about human germline engineering or declared
inevitability. In a 16-page section on the human genome in its
1-7 issue, The Economist predicted, "People now alive will
witness…the birth of people whose biology has been optimised
to be resistant to disease and old age. They may even see a
where children are tailored to the wishes of their parents."
and click on "Future perfect?"
The New Republic (July 10 & 17) editorialized, "Subsequent
perhaps as soon as our grandchildren's, may be known not as
but as Homo geneticus or Homo Glaxo Wellcomus. For good or ill,
are about to take over the role of God and nature in determining
course of evolution." See <http://www.tnr.com/071000/editorial071000.html>.
In a Wall Street Journal column titled "A Milestone in
the Conquest of
Nature" (June 27), Francis Fukuyama wrote, "Once we
better understand the
genetic sources of behavior….[t]he way is then open to
human race with something different….Parents want the best
children, whether it is a matter of height, intelligence, looks
adjustment. Who is going to tell them this is wrong? Biotechnology,
might say, will help the human race get better."