What Came First, The Chicken Or The Woman?


In the article, “Cultures of Eugenics,’ subRosa, makes the argument that women and chicken are far more similar then you would think. Oh, stop me if you’ve heard this one before! According to subRosa, “women and chickens both produce eggs, and eggs are all-important in today’s genetic engineering industry” (subRosa 15). Moreover, the article does a side-by-side comparison of two entities, arguing that both chickens and women were the first animals/humans to be permanently confined indoors “based on intensive genetic selection, dietary manipulation, bodily restriction and drugs” (subRosa 4). However, things started to get a bit fuzzy when trying to accept the suggestion that Britney Spears is linked to the genetically engineered pharm chicken of the same name. Comically, the authors assert that as Spears is a cosmetically engineered American teen idol, so too is its poultry counterpart. While I agree with the bulk of subRosa’s arguments in their essay, this one was a little too far fetched for me. 

-Ro Weissberg


Engineering The Perfect Mold

Human genetics engineering is endangering our society.  One of the best and worst progressions scientists have made is the ability to look at chromosomes and begin to understand which chromosome affects certain traits.  The better use of that would have been for scientists to look at which chromosomes affect disease and use that as early detection in patients.  However, scientists took that to the extreme.  The newest desire in the field of genetics is the ability to choose which chromosomes are deemed as “perfect” and put those together to create a designer baby.

SubRosa in the article “Cultures of Eugenics,” quotes James Watson.  “. . .it would be foolish for parents not to use the technology of genetic engineering because genetically enhanced children are going to be the ones that dominate the world” (Culture of Eugenics).  This idea of a chosen baby ideal is already present in our society.  There is a clinic called The Fertility Institutes where traits about a future child can be chosen.  The clinic has the “worlds leading and most respected 100% (99.9% accuracy) gender selection program (The Fertility Institutes).  The doctors at this clinic have broken down the gender chromosome and can now plant the chromosome in the egg so the child will be whichever gender the parents desire.  Eye color and hair color are the newest chromosomes to be discovered.

Image(From The Fertility Institute’s website)

At some point, scientists who have research this topic will figure out what all the chromosomes do.  Behaviors will soon be attributed to chromosomes and parents will then be able to pick the personality of their future child.  Some researchers believe that be determining specific behaviors criminals will be phased out and crime will no longer happen because genetic engineering will produce only humans that will make a contribution to society.  However, this control over society and the reproduction may produce new laws.

If some where in the future, enough rule makers believe genetic engineered humans do prevent crime, it may become a rule that all parents MUST visit a clinic that performs these procedures.  That affects people’s choice as to when they wish to reproduce.

This obsession for perfection is hurting society.  Society needs different people to perform the different functions needed for society: police officers, judges, professors, artists.  However, if genetic engineering becomes prominent, people may be reproducing a new molded race.  This race will all behave in the same way and have the same aspirations and the same level of intelligence.  Our society functions on everyone’s differences and with the combination of too much similarity, society will not be able to function.

Another thought as to if this were to become a law is whether the law would allow people to actually chose the behaviors.  If rule makers know that we need x-amount of teachers and x-amount of plumbers, then wouldn’t it be possible to create a law in which there can only be x-amount of certain genes injected into future children?

– Stephanie Banas