October 6, 2010

RON BAILEY: From Yuck to Yippee! What this year’s Nobel Prize for a test tube baby pioneer tells us about the moral endorsement of technology. “The research pioneered by Edwards enabled all of the procedures mentioned by Gaylin, except for human cloning, and all have become widely adopted and accepted by the public and policy makers. When the first human clone is born healthy, that too will be accepted as an ethical use of technology by most people. We are still in the yuck phase when it comes to the public’s thinking about impending advances in reproductive technologies that will enable parents to endow their children with genes and epigenetic combinations that will improve their health, lengthen their lives, boost their intelligence, and strengthen their bodies. But sometime in this century, when these technological interventions become safe and effective, yuck will turn as quickly to yippee as the response to those test tube babies did 32 years ago.”

Cloning seems frightening now. One day it will seem . . . quaint.

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