At a deeper level, questions like these remain: How can parents handle
information about genetic predisposition of their unborn child to a
disorder or disease ? What rights and responsibilities do employers or
insurers have with such information? What are the pros and cons of knowing
our own genetic proclivities? Should genetic engineering be used for curing
diseases? If genetic engineering is inevitable, who will regulate such
research and practice? Should the lives of human embryos be destroyed to
save or enhance another human life? Who is responsible for a
technologically created life--the technologist, the egg donor, the DNA
donor? Are we playing God and hurtling unrecoverably down an abusive track
by tinkering with these basic building blocks of life? Etc., etc.
Francis S. Collins, director of the National Human Genome Research
Institute at the National Institutes of Health, writes that once
researchers have spelled out the three billion letters of the human DNA
code, important new questions will confront us all. We discuss some of the
many issues surrounding the exploding bio-tech industry in our special
—Byron Barlowe, Editor/Webmaster, Leadership University
Cracking the Code
Mapping the human DNA sequence is a dream come true for many scientists,
but the possible consequences are giving bioethicists nightmares.
Meanwhile, some observers think Darwinian assumptions cause researchers to
place too much emphasis on genes.
Human Genetic Engineering
Ray Bohlin, Ph.D.
Genetic technology harbors the potential to change the human species
forever. The soon to be completed Human Genome Project will empower genetic
scientists with a human biological instruction book. Knowing this complete
code will open new horizons for treating and perhaps curing diseases that
have remained mysteries for millennia. But along with the commendable and
compassionate use of genetic technology comes the specter of both shadowy
purposes and malevolent aims. The author deals with specific ethical
questions regarding medical applications of genetic engineering.
Genetic Testing for Diseases: A Judeo-Christian Perspective
A variety of technological advances over the past 3-4 decades make it
possible to acquire a great deal of genetic information on any given
individual. This paper looks at some of the ethical issues that arise from
this technology and will examine how different worldviews shape our
approach to those issues.
Ray Bohlin, Ph.D.
Our culture teeters on the edge of a steep and dangerous precipice. New
technologies will soon allow us to change, radically and permanently, the
world in which we live. Indeed, we will hold in our hands the capability of
directly and purposefully changing who we are as human beings. The
technology I am speaking of is genetic engineering. Ethical and technical
questions swirl around discussions of genetic engineering like the wall
clouds of the eye of a hurricane.... I hope to lend a reassuring voice with
a dose of sober realism.
Untangling a Ball
A six-paragraph primer on the human genome and the job of those cataloging
A Perfect Identifier
DNA testing helps British police fight crime, but will liberty be another
casualty? This article from World Magazine explores the implications.
To Clone Or Not To Clone
Is cloning inherently evil or merely a tool? Are there circumstances in
which cloning a human might be good?
Begetting and Cloning
The author, a Protestant theologian, considers the question of human
cloning. He seeks to understand and explain the issue in a distinctly
Christian context. This task involves looking back to the biblical account
of God's plan for family life.
Go here to see our past Special Focus features.