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Designer Babies In Aldous Huxley's Brave New World

Better Essays
In 1932, Aldous Huxley imagined and wrote about a world where designer baby technology is prevalent in his science-fiction novel, Brave New World. The technology would not come until many years later, but his ideas still hold up today. In the book, there were different classes depending on how genetically modified one was, including Alpha or Beta (“The Public Should Oppose Designer Baby Technology”). Outside of science fiction, though, is real science where an actual baby can be genetically modified before even being born. A designed baby is one that is purposefully shaped to be one way or another through processes including In Vitro Fertilization (IVF), where an egg is fertilized and genetically altered, and preimplantation genetic diagnosis…show more content…
Doing the procedure undermines evolution and could even reverse it. The reason humans have been so popular in terms of surviving and reproducing is due to the genetic diversity given to them from two million years of evolution. Now, not everyone will look exactly the same, but most will be pretty, healthy, and smart because almost everyone has the same idea of what a “better” human is (“Designer Babies: The Good and the Bad”). Almost no parent who would go through with the procedure would choose an ugly and dumb child. So, the genetic diversity or the variety of different genotypes will be severely reduced in modified communities. Also, the ability to survive directly depends on genetic diversity because populations without it will not be able to meet the demands of the environment (Wolfe, Christian). A disease that could be survived by a population with the normal human genetic diversity, would wipe out the modified community without the genetic diversity. Changing the genotype of just one can affect the whole diversity of humans and with the many processes, including sterilization and genetic screening, changing the genotype of one comes with ease. The ease of changing one leaves humans at a point where the achieved diversity can be easily destroyed, further placing them at risk through the threat of disease (Wolfe, Christian). With all risks and social divides, comes the fact…show more content…
Eugenics or “good breeding” is meant to improve the human race through the gene pool using various methods. Similar to designer babies, the process could be used for good, but like Colin Tudge points out, “…although guns and bombs can be used as agents of peace, [humans] should not be overly surprised when in practice they are used to make war” (Tudge 282). Eugenics can be performed simply by regulating who and who cannot mate. It can also be done by sterilization, a procedure that permanently blocks pregnancy in a woman, which was a reality for many. The most famous account was performed by Germany, specifically the Nazis, during WWII, when 400,000 women were sterilized (Tudge 284). The list of countries does not stop there, though, Canada, Norway, Finland, Estonia, Iceland, and Sweden all allowed for sterilization. Even the United States participated by sterilizing up to 100,000 people (Tudge 284). Its participation happened between 1911 and 1970, when six states passed laws that allowed the government to do such a horrible thing. “Horrible” can be used to describe the sterilization that occurred due to the countries’ reasoning behind it. The women were not given the choice, but rather the procedure was done to those that were deemed “feebleminded.” Germany took this a step further and based sterilization on race (Tudge 284). Through sterilization, the
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