Strange Creatures By Susan Blackmore: An Analysis

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If given the chance, would people change any physical or personal traits about themselves? The genetics company “23andMe” was given a license on technology that allows humans to design a child to be everything they wish it to be, as designer genetics help to create the “perfect” infant. As scientist begin to use technology to unfold the hidden mysteries behind designer genetics, a scheme of genetically modified children is being made. Scientists are beginning to fathom which gene does what and ultimately what genes can be manipulated to meet the parent's desires, by using a donor, as this “meme”, of the idea of a perfect child, is starting to become highly coveted. In Susan Blackmore’s essay, “Strange Creatures”, she presents the ideas of a…show more content…
Designer genetics to create a baby after careful selection is a meme, and “we can say that memes are ‘selfish’, that they ‘do not care’, that they ‘want’ to propagate themselves, and so on, when all we mean is that successful memes are the ones that get copied and spread, while unsuccessful ones do not” (Blackmore 37), and some may consider this genetic modification to be a successful meme which is why parents are so willing to try it. By using technology in this type of way, it may possibly benefit some if it is spread for good causes, such as helping a baby be born without a disease that is known to run in the family so the parents won’t have to see their child go through pain. Many parents put their faith in “23andMe” and their technology because it is their last hope to be able to conceive a child without them having to worry about any debilitating disease or disabilities and since this procedure would be implicated even before the child is developed, there would be no questions of morality. However, some people might take advantage of this new technology and use it for nothing more than creating their fantasy child, as they start to choose non-health related traits such as weight, height, gender and eye color. Turkle argues that technology begins to control human life as it exploits human vulnerabilities and this technology could be doing just that.…show more content…
Once a child starts to grow older, “23andMe” could ruin the strong tie between a parent and a child as the baby starts to realize they look different from their family members, and eventually the child might start to question whether or not they are apart of the household they see around them since not everyone would look exactly the same. This genetic modification will also start to loosen ties in society as this meme “spreads [itself] around indiscriminately without regard to whether [it is] useful, neutral, or positively harmful” (Blackmore 37) and starts to become more popular, eventually leading the costs for this genetic modification to rise and resulting in the fact that not everybody would have enough money to design their baby. All of a sudden, there will now be a newfound separation where people will face prejudice, no longer for their ethnicity, but for their inferior genetics. Gladwell argues that “weak ties seldom lead to high-risk activism” (137), and once individuals realize they are facing such prejudice from people who used to be just like them, they will rise and demand for changes and equal rights. Society will change as new social ranks will be made and genetically modified people will want nothing
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