Welcome to the home of The Question Evolution Project. Presenting information demonstrating that there is no truth in minerals-to-man evolution, and presenting evidence for special creation. —Established by Cowboy Bob Sorensen

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

The Downward Spiral of Gene Editing Ethics

In late 2018, Dr. He Jiankui produced the first genetically-modified babies (see "Genetic Human Experimentation and Ethics" for commentary and a link to an insightful article). Jiankui used the CRISPR gene editing system, which takes skill and intelligence. Scientists with both secular and Christian worldviews condemned his actions. Essentially, those twin girls are human guinea pigs.

The gene editing in China that made children into human guinea pigs is not only an act of arrogance, but can lead to further unethical practices.
Assembled from graphics obtained at Openclipart
While scientists (like other folks) want to know what makes things work, but sometimes a little knowledge leads to a passel of hubris. People with a materialistic worldview — believing that life is the product of time, chance, and random processes — are not likely to show good judgment when it comes to ethics. Jiankui's wild gallop outraged both secular (materialists) and Christian professionals, which gives an indications of how egregious his transgressions were. Even the leftist-leaning publication The Atlantic published a list of problems with his work.

Just step up on the hill and get a bigger perspective. Scientists don't know everything, especially about the human genome. This tinhorn decided to tamper with genetics of children, which will affect many areas of their lives. Some of these effects will not be manifest right away. People like this make their own ethics at their own convenience. The end justifies the means, mein Herr! Without a biblical worldview that submits to the Creator, biological experimentation can quickly become a convenient evil for the elite.
A Chinese geneticist, Dr He Jiankui, has caused a firestorm for modifying babies’ genes using a technology called the CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing tool. Professor Jiankui is an associate professor in the Department of Biology of the Southern University of Science and Technology in Shenzhen, China. By using intelligent design to modify natural genes, the well-educated Chinese scientist hoped to improve the genetic package in two girls. CRISPR-Cas9 exploits existing genetic tools and technology, such as bacteriophages, that were designed by God to perform specific tasks. Ironically, evolutionists believe a massive number of largely random mutations, without the help of any intelligence, turned single celled creatures, such as bacteria, into modern humans. We evolved by mistake, they believe, with no design or plan.

Uncharted Territory

In short, CRISPR and other technologies allow technicians to bring in genes from outside of the cell and incorporate them at specific locations inside a host cell. The report on the experiment said that Professor He Jiankui “helped make the world’s first genetically edited babies—twin girls by the pseudonyms Lulu and Nana—by altering their DNA while they were embryos to become resistant to future HIV infection.” One major concern was the possibility that gene editing could have unforeseeable negative consequences down the road. The gene altering could adversely affect other genes, or may adversely affect the immune system. In short, it is an experiment into uncharted territory that could have disastrous effects on the twins in the future.
To read the rest of this important article (there is some technical information in the middle), click on "Scientists Must Avoid the Slippery Slope of Designer Babies".
 

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