Letter: `Designer' babies

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The Independent Culture

`Designer' babies

Sir: Every time I read a headline like yours about designing human beings, I am moved to cry, "Will someone please, please tell me what is wrong with it?" Why are people so horrified at the prospect of producing future generations that are healthier in all ways than their ancestors?

Looking around me, I think I can truly say that most of the people I meet could do with a bit of design work, and I do not exclude myself. When this technology improves sufficiently, there will be damn few parents around who will want to face children asking why they were left with less than adequate genes because of,well, to be blunt, because of neophobia, technophobia, ignorance and prejudice.

There are dangers to the diversity of the human genome, especially the polar dangers of rigid social control by governments and the flood of individual decisions following the whims of fashion. But it ought not to be beyond the wit of humankind to devise laws that will control both of these idiocies and not throw away the greatest step forward since the invention of writing.


High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire