Monday, December 17, 2007

Yellow Flashing Light

Genetics and artificial genetic manipulation are a growing science and a growing concern. Some dream of, not only altering existing organisms, but creating new ones. In fact they are already doing some amazing things some of which are very useful to humanity. However they also have concerns about the dangers. They speak of the ability to create a virus from scratch; I don't know if I like that idea at all (but Osama might).

Personally I favor some genetic manipulation but I believe we need to exorcise extreme caution. I would prefer that experiments be done in total isolation from the environment and extra caution be practiced against letting these things into our environment.

I know I sound like a leftist here but this is potentially dangerous stuff. We have seen what happens when a natural living organism is introduced into an environment where it has no predators; could you imagine what would happen if an artificial lifeform got lose into the environment. I'm not saying "Don't do it!" but I am saying be careful.

I would love to see perennial wheat and corn that only has to planted once every few years and grows again in succeeding growing seasons. For farmers it would be a boon, but what would happen if (when) it gets into the natural ecosystem? I think we should go with it, but we need to find a way to contain it. I have a couple of ideas of how it could be done, but they to bring up other concerns.

Some say this is playing God and perhaps they are right, but we are an animal made in the image of God.

I remember reading a Star Trek novel a number of years ago where they referred to some synthetic plants that farmers grew in the 22nd Century including a plant whose fruit looked and tasted like steak. Can we do it? I don't know.

Anyway, what new critters would we create? Do we look at the AD&D Monster Manual or what?

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