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Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Designer Vaginas

I just enjoy saying the phrase. Mark Morford handles the actual topic quite nicely.

Fabulous news for victims of birth defects and cancer and rare vaginal disorders? You bet. Intriguing implications for all sorts of cosmetic applications, not to mention what it might mean for transsexuals, not to mention how close we are to doing the same thing with other organs -- and even, eventually, entire limbs? One guess.

It is, we can all agree, a lot to take in. It is a great deal to attempt to process in one tiny and oh-so-fleeting lifetime. The notion of human eugenics alone is, for many, overwhelming enough, the idea that new parents will soon have some sort of checklist at the gynecologist's office wherein, when docs go in to tweak your fetus' DNA to eliminate diseases, you can also easily choose not only its sex, but also the skin tone and hair color and eye tint and muscle dexterity and 0-60 acceleration and number of cupholders and overall genetic propensity toward an IQ that may or may not lead to voting for aw-shucks warmongering neocon imbecile politicians. Neat! Or, you know, not.


Americans have a kind of schizophrenic view of science anyway. We view scientific progress not as a barometer of our further understanding of the universe and the world around us, but rather in terms of what cool, frequently unnecessary tricks it can do for us. Merely viewing science as a mode for accomodating our personal issues is not healthy, not as individuals, and certainly not in the aggregate.

And yet, that's where the money is, in enabling our vanity, strengthening limp cocks, fertilizing barren or post-menopausal wombs, and someday soon, allowing us to select from a laundry list of "desirable" traits we wish our offspring to have. Of course, when it comes to utilizing science to further research and help people with degenerative diseases or paralysis, the stem-cell lobby trots out the snowflake babies and bleats about potential life. Well, "potential" is, pardon the pun, a loaded question -- no doubt the average American male has committed several "potential" genocides by his fifteenth birthday, if you want to get reductio ad absurdum about it (and they seem to want to do exactly that).

I can think of few things more inherently dangerous than self-indulgent people contorting science to conform to their desires, but it seems that more often than not, that's exactly what happens.

1 comment:

Joe Blow said...

well, God wants all sperm to find a nice warm egg to impregnate and the sperm-shooters and the incubators had better get with the program and stop wsting God's special gift.