David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 37 (1):22 (2010)
A common worry about the genetic engineering of human beings is that it will reduce human genetic diversity, creating a biological monoculture that could not only increase our susceptibility to disease but also hasten the extinction of our species. Thus far, however, the evolutionary implications of human genetic modification remain largely unexplored. In this paper, I consider whether the widespread use of genetic engineering technology is likely to narrow the present range of genetic variation, and if so, whether this would in fact lead to the evolutionary harms that some authors envision. By examining the nature of biological variation and its relation to population immunity and evolvability, I show that not only will genetic engineering have a negligible impact on human genetic diversity, but also that it will be more likely to ensure rather than undermine the health and longevity of the human species.
|Keywords||Evolution Genetic Engineering Bioethics|
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Citations of this work BETA
Robert Sparrow (2015). Imposing Genetic Diversity. American Journal of Bioethics 15 (6):2-10.
Chris Gyngell (2012). Enhancing the Species: Genetic Engineering Technologies and Human Persistence. Philosophy and Technology 25 (4):495-512.
Russell Powell, Guy Kahane & Julian Savulescu (2012). Evolution, Genetic Engineering, and Human Enhancement. Philosophy and Technology 25 (4):439-458.
Russell Powell (2015). The Disvalue of Genetic Diversity, Or: How to Treat a Sandelian Ethos on Steroids. American Journal of Bioethics 15 (6):29-32.
Nicolae Morar (2014). An Empirically Informed Critique of Habermas' Argument From Human Nature. Science and Engineering Ethics (1):1-19.
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