Travis Van Easteren
26 February 2014
Imagine a world where autism and downs syndrome are a thing of the past, and where there is no shortage on food for anybody. Over the years mankind has developed and improved technology to save more and more lives through the manipulation of the DNA that makes up all living organisms. However, there are those who oppose this approach. Despite the risks and ethical concerns, genetic engineering holds the potential to benefit humanity through both direct and indirect means.
In the past genetic engineering has been used on crops and humans alike with great success. A few years ago there was a study that “concluded that the biotech varieties increased the state’s food and fiber production by more than 10 million pounds, improved farm income by nearly $33 million, and reduced pesticide used by 776,000 pounds annually” (Hammerstrom 124). It is also worth noting that “most soybeans planted have been genetically engineered to resist the herbicide glyphosate” (Roleff 11). These modifications allow the soybeans to grow without danger of suffering destruction along with weeds. The benefits that arose from previous use of genetic engineering expand beyond plant life as well. Human lives have directly benefited through direct manipulation of the human genome as well. An example of said benefits includes a case where “gene therapy has been used to treat people with Parkinson’s disease” (Roleff 43), as a result people’s lives are dramatically improved as they no longer suffer from impaired motor skills and speech. Genetic engineering also contains the potential of allowing mankind the chance to have “a mind that could learn more quickly, or having a more robust immune system” (Bostrom 26). These are merely a few examples ...