Stewardship of the mutant

I just finished reading a fantastic book by Siddhartha Mukherjee; The Gene, an intimate history.

My synthesis goes like this:

  • Science has the capability to create a genetically modified human
  • The ethics of such a project are manifold
  • Mutants are an essential part of evolution

The most beautiful concept hints at the role of epigenetics in the play between genes and environment.

…the “self” is created through the chance interactions among events and genes…

It has been the function of science to seek cures for illness and to perfect the imperfect. Man has risen to meet the technical challenges quite wonderfully; mapping the genome, cloning cells, eradicating disease in a series of progressive strides across the sciences.

However, these tasks are exquisitely intricate and fraught with moral questions of the highest order. While it is now conceptually possible, is it thus desirable?

Variety is not only the spice of life but is life itself. Mutation is the essence of who we are. Stewardship of the mutant is essential to our survival.