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Where are we today?

From chimeras -- human-pig embryos -- to CRISPR technology and Stem Cell Tourism, what do we need to know, to understand, to protect, and to avoid?

Comments

  • marilynKmarilynK star-trek-member

    Insignificant date available at this time to even fathom a reply.

  • startreknosubtitlesstartreknosubtitles star-trek-member

    Star Trek seems often negative about genetic manipulation. It breeds superior ambition (Space Seed). It creates unanticipated disease for those with "normal" immune systems (Unnatural Selection). It raises questions about whether one deserves congratulation for achievement if one has had a genetic "upgrade" as an advantage (Doctor Bashir, I Presume). In short, the results are typically "Frankenstein" cautionary tales.
    I would have no problem with intervention in utero to prevent detectable diseases but do have reservations about "designer" babies (for instance) not simply for the hubris it shows but also in respect of individual freedom that each new living thing has right to develop on its own. However, on the larger theme of "taking control of evolution," I would very much like to know what others think of the ending of The Motion Picture. In the 70s, Gene Roddenberry anticipated merger of human and machine, as already indicated by astronauts putting on the extra "skin" of a space suit, as a good thing, but it is rarely mentioned in fan literature that I have seen that the tagline, "The human adventure is just beginning" refers to the merger of Decker and V'ger, "possibly a next step in our evolution." I do not know that this merger is controlled in TMP, but there is a voluntarism on the part of Decker to enter it. Decker is the movie's truest hero, though the interpretation along the way that leads to understanding his decision is usually provided by Spock. Decker saves the ship and is willing to take the whole human race into a new leap beyond logic--ostensibly to be with Ilia, at least in some sort of digitized, "Tron" like form. But then the movie ends, and there is no deeper consideration of the implications of what Spock is suggesting. The ending certainly has shades of "2001," as does much of TMP, with the creation of the new "baby." I also wonder what Gene thought of "Q Who;" the biological/mechanical merger there is indescribably darker than that at the end of TMP and generally out of phase with the tone Gene wanted to set with TNG. It is difficult for me to imagine any science fiction project today positing the optimism about human evolution driven by merger with technology that TMP has.

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