Genetic engineering is currently challenging society. This study examines the difference between being “human” today and being “human” in the future. Within this experiment the overall question is “How will genetic engineering change us a society”‘. While researching, information was found on the development of finding cures for diseases currently affecting a widespread of population like diabetes, cystic fibrosis, the loss/gain of pharmaceutical industries and how genetic engineering is diffusing individualism but affecting several individuals psychologically. Currently genetic engineering is taking place, as found when an individual is pregnant, he/she may find out whether the baby is potentially “disabled”, boy or girl and much more.
Within all the research found overall genetic engineering has pro’s and con’s, could potentially create the “new designer baby”. Consequently, although as wonderful as it seems business will slowly diffuse and as a society will develop a new meaning of being human. This study will open the viewers eyes to materialism, a change in behaviour throughout society as genetic engineering becomes encultured into society.
Genetic Engineering Genetic Engineering often referred to as “Genetic Manipulation” is the process of directly modifying DNA to alter an organism’s characteristics in a particular way. Currently genetic testing is widely available, well the engineering aspect is further to come. Although an individual is yet to be genetically modified, the future is slowly going to invent the new “designer baby”. Genetic Engineering is challenging the values and determinism of humans, by finding cures for several diseases, create a possibility for “designer baby”, and affects the health of individuals. Genetic Engineering challenges values and determinism of humans. First, currently genetic engineering is fighting illnesses such as Cystic Fibrosis, Diabetes, Severe Combined Immunodeficiency as well as it improves quality of life.
Belluck (2017) study found the following: But 10,000 medical conditions are linked to specific mutations, including Huntington’s diseases, cancers caused by BRCA genes, Tay-Sachs disease, cystic fibrosis, sickle cell anemia, and some cases of early-onset Alzheimer’s. Repairing the responsible mutations in theory could eradicate these diseases from the so-called germline, the genetic material passed from one generation to the next. No future family members would inherit them.
Belluck’s studys applies to to marxism because genetic engineering is mutating potential diseases, therefore the pharmaceutical industry will diffuse. The industry will diffuse because individuals will no longer need antibiotics.The loss of the pharmaceutical industry will create economic competition between the diffusion of pharmaceuticals, and the newly developed genetic engineering institutions. This applies to functionalism, as it creates a new institutions to meet the needs of the public by get rid of diseases, as well as getting rid of the cost. This also applies to symbolic interaction because people will begin to understand the possible outcomes of being genetically engineering therefore it will provide meaning and understanding in society creating a new social norm. Secondly, within the diffusion of pharmaceutical industries genetically modified individual’s will potentially experience specific side effects.
According to Patra (2015), “genetic engineering could also create unknown side effects or outcomes” (p. 2). Within the process of modifying genes there is a potential possibility of unknown side effects. This creates an invention brought forward to the pharmaceutical industry because business owners will be forced re-educate their employees of how to treat the symptoms. This could also be related to structural functionalism because new businesses will be invented to treat symptoms of genetic engineering. Furthermore, currently a very common diseases, alzheimer’s is a progressive brain disorder that destroys the memory and thinking over time. This disease is currently one of the most common diseases in the elderly.
According to student (2017), “So, to study Alzheimer’s, the researchers genetically engineered the nerve cells of the worm to contain the APP gene, effectively giving it Alzheimer’s” (p. 7). In the students study he/she is testing how genetic modification can alter an individual’s chances of getting Alzheimer’s.
The student tested several proteins on an individual while monitoring the potential outcomes. This study creates competition for retirement homes because retirement homes often dedicate a floor just for individuals with Alzheimer’s. If individuals are modifying their genes to prevent Alzheimer’s the institutions of retirement homes will diffuse the floor specifically designed for Alzheimer’s patients. A sociologist would look at the cure of diseases as a challenge to society because organizations will lose a significant about of money. An anthropologist would look at this as a new way of seeing life.
Individuals will begin to realize the positivity of curing diseases potentially creating a cognitive consistency of genetic engineering individuals. A psychologist would identify the change in behaviour within society because if no one is being diagnosed with alzheimer’s than employees will lose their jobs affecting many individual’s mentally.Genetic Engineering challenges how society determines a “healthy lifestyle”. Currently individual’s strive to live a healthy lifestyle due to the fear of becoming ill. Vitamins, healthy diets, gym memberships are all huge aspects of individual’s lives worldwide. According to Ventor (2004), “But the most damaging impact of GE in agriculture so far is the phenomenon of pesticide resistance” (p. 2). Pesticide resistance is the process of one insect becoming partially resistant to a pesticide.
Over time it would pass its trait to an offspring/adapt to survive. This would become a norm because the insect would bread enough for the pesticide resistant trait to become embed in their species. This affects a healthy lifestyle because the insects are eating produce that humans eat to stay healthy.
Eating healthy foods such as fresh produce (vegetables, fruit) will diffuse in the next generations culture because people will develop external factors to the unimportance to eating healthy (exogenous). This is a huge challenge to society because as a culture eating healthy is taken seriously, but once individual’s are genetically modified to never be unhealthy, eating healthy will diffuse as well as insects will continue to eat them. This also creates a challenge for the agriculture industry because farmers will lose money. A sociologist would connect this to marxism because the insects create economic competition in the industry of agriculture.
Genetic engineering also challenges the idea of “human cloning”. Human cloning is when someone genetically replicates another individual. Morales (2009) study found the following, “Many have speculated that human clones would lack the necessary traits for true independence from progenitors” (p. 1). Human cloning has several regulations to help protect other individual’s identities although, there is still potential that the world could come to a place where people will want to look like a specific individual.
Human cloning will become a huge challenge in society because as parents plan to genetically modify their child they will be faced with several other parents wanting their child to look the same. Human cloning also creates a possibility of less individualism. This could create a potential social change. Currently there are several stereotypes based on how an individual looks such as being a “jock”, being a “nerd”, being a “emo”, When humans all start to look similar and are biologically advanced to a similar level of intelligence being classified under a certain stereotype will diffuse.
This creates a good challenge to society because it will begin to eliminate bullying within the culture. Cloning will also create new values to the people in society because rather than worrying about physical appearance, people will start to worry about money, accessories. Genetic engineering also challenges the ability of humans. Currently, as human mistakes are bound to happen, not everyone is intellectual, some are athethletic and others aren’t. Belluck’s (2017) study found the following, “we could all to easily find ourselves in a world where some people’s children are considered biologically superior to the rest of us” (p.
5). This theory challenges young adults who are planning to conceive because they will be faced with 2 options. 1) To either conceive “naturally” with hopes that their child turns out intelligent, etc. 2) Genetically engineer their child in to being what will be considered acceptable. Currently, the behaviour of individuals is quite normal, some are rather highly intelligent, some are more athletic and others may be diagnosed with a disability/disease. Being naturally birthed has been a part of our culture, but as time passes the possibility of genetically engineering the perfect child might go against our morals and values as it goes against the cognitive consistency of having a natural birth. A psychologist would relate this to learning theory because people will learn how to interpret the future generation of people. Meaning, individual’s will no longer value things like intelligence, power, health issues, athleticism.
This could also change the theory of the 90% theory. The 90% theory is 5% of the world is “leaders” the other 5% are complete opposite and the rest of the 90% are middle classed people. In conclusion since individual’s will all become biologically superior the 5% of high class people may increase, as the 5% of low class people potentially will disappear. If the 5% of higher class people go up the world might change the way our institutions work; smarter people will discover new things creating more jobs. Finally, genetic engineering challenges the meaning of being an individual, being human. Iglesias (2017) study found the following: For some it appears impossible to imagine themselves as embryos.
We must challenge our poor imagination with our intelligence and allow it to see beyond only what we want to see. The human being by his or her free will can pay attention, or listen, or want to be aware, or not at all. Iglesias’s study describes a much more philofier way of looking at being human.
Humans aren’t just the body they live in, their ethnicity. Humans are individualized, unique and creative. As humans struggling is recognized as important, it is apart of growing up and becoming a better person. When genetic engineering occurs the idealism of being human will diffuse.
Why? Because biologically babies will be developed to be almost perfect, they’ll all be intelligent, athletic, healthy. Eventually a new meaning to being human will be discovered. If humans are no longer making mistakes than how will being human be defined.
This study could be related to symbolic interactionism because the meaning of being human will diffuse into something totally new, meaning being human will change overtime and society will begin to adapt. This goes against an individual’s cognitive consistency because they’ve encultured Iglesias’s definition of being human their entire life. Genetic Engineering is challenging the values and determinism of humans, by finding cures for several diseases, creating the possibility of a “designer baby”, shutting down pharmaceutical industries and affecting the health of individuals. Within this study information was conducted on the cure of diseases genetic engineering is providing, how it is affecting agriculture, the change in behaviour within society currently and the future, as well as creating a potential “designer baby”. Genetic engineering will challenge the determinism society will bring as individuals will become far more biologically advanced.