In a world first, Chinese scientists have reported editing the genomes of human embryos. The results are published in the online journal Protein & Cell and confirm widespread rumours that such experiments had been conducted — rumours that sparked a high-profile debate last month about the ethical implications of such work...While the West (or the post-West) will have some spirited debates by "bioethicists" about genetic modification and what it means about equality, gender norms, sexuality, and all the other buzzwords that sustain the rent seekers of the Parasite Class, the Chinese are just going to go ahead and do this.
Some say that gene editing in embryos could have a bright future because it could eradicate devastating genetic diseases before a baby is born. Others say that such work crosses an ethical line:researchers warned in Nature in March that because the genetic changes to embryos, known as germline modification, are heritable, they could have an unpredictable effect on future generations. Researchers have also expressed concerns that any gene-editing research on human embryos could be a slippery slope towards unsafe or unethical uses of the technique.
The paper by Huang's team looks set to reignite the debate on human-embryo editing — and there are reports that other groups in China are also experimenting on human embryos.
[Chinese scientists genetically modify human embryos, by David Cyranoski and Sara Reardon, Nature, April 22, 2015]
An older report from Vice, which, channeling Rachel Jeantel, thinks eugenics is "creepy-ass." Here, the reporter interviews Geoffrey Miller, an evolutionary psychologist:
How does Western research in genetics compare to China’s? We’re pretty far behind. We have the same technical capabilities, the same statistical capabilities to analyze the data, but they’re collecting the data on a much larger scale and seem to be capable of transforming the scientific findings into government policy and consumer genetic testing much more easily than we are. Technically and scientifically we could be doing this, but we’re not.When people are given the chance to select for intelligence in their children, even liberal celebrities (especially liberal celebrities) do it. They even sue when the race of the baby isn't the one they want.
Why not? We have ideological biases that say, “Well, this could be troubling, we shouldn’t be meddling with nature, we shouldn’t be meddling with God.” I just attended a debate in New York a few weeks ago about whether or not we should outlaw genetic engineering in babies and the audience was pretty split. In China, 95 percent of an audience would say, “Obviously you should make babies genetically healthier, happier, and brighter!” There’s a big cultural difference.
[China is engineering genius babies, by Aleks Eror, Vice, March 15, 2013]
If egalitarianism is a revolt against nature, in Murray Rothbard's phrase, what may finally end it is when it just becomes another consumer choice. The disturbing reality of such hatefacts such as racial differences in intelligence among racial groups become less threatening when picking up IQ points is a question of money rather than genetics. The key word here is "may." It's equally likely that egalitarianism in the West is so powerful that even acknowledging the reality of something like IQ or desirable physical characteristics is to threatening to be allowed. The future of genetic engineering (or, dare we say it, "eugenics") may be a ban on such activity in the West, with those who can afford it flying to Asia to get procedures done on their future children.
Naturally, those who can afford such procedures will be the same people who mostly loudly champion equality at home. It's like some Hollywood celebrity demanding we shut down the coal mines and put people into poverty, and then flying home on their private jet.