Modern biology research is developing at a staggering rate, with new technologies constantly emerging with myriads of opportunities but also enormous challenges. Some technologies recently developed (the technical term is CRISPR/Cas9) now allow us to make very specific alterations in the cells of the body and, importantly, in such a way that these changes are inherited -- once we made them, they are inherited to generation after generation.
In some instances, these and other technologies will be a blessing. We can make sure that a child of parents affected by a disease will not inherit the disease -- indeed a blessing to the child, the parents and to society. But what about enhancing the physical characteristics or the intellectual capabilities of a child? Small changes could seem good and acceptable, such as changing the color of the eyes, but when do we cross and where are the boundaries between good and evil? What about changing mental characteristics? What about a human without a consciousness? Or a human without faith? Or a human designed for evil tasks?
The biological science community has expressed these concerns on several occasions and has called for a hold on further developments until alignment is created on the boundaries. Despite many conferences held about this issue, the technological development continues in some places of the world without any regulations or restrictions.
In my recent novel, "amadeus! -- what makes a human human?," I bring my readers to the edge of the capabilities of the biological sciences and technologies with the total artificial creation of a human being. I approach these issues in a drama where the modern biological sciences and technologies are exploited for good and evil purposes. In this novel, I show you how the modern biology touches on fundamentals such as faith, religion, creation and arts in a dramatic story that alerts every reader of the urgency of coming to terms with the biological revolution.
What is it, at the end of the day, which makes a human human? This is a question we all should urgently get our heads around.
Author of "Amadeus!"
Josephine deBois is a children's book writer and columnist who often brings the fundamentals of science, art and religion together in her writing. Her most recently published children's book written entirely in German, "Lille Lyn og Farverne," is about a young girl who grows up seeing colors while the rest of society is colorblind. She currently divides her time between Europe and New York. For more information about the book, visit http://www.josephinedebois.com"
By Josephine deBois
Published Dec 2014