Doctors, pastors meet to consider 'playing God' with people's DNA

Gene editing could help eliminate disease but raises moral reproductive questions

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  • Egyptian origins Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 19, 2017 6:41 a.m.

    "multiply & fill/replenish" the earth. There's been a depopulation movement that says that if people limit families to 2 children/household there will be a stabilization in the population that can then manage the earth's resources effectively. The theory is dead wrong. The amount of food generated in the United States produces enough wasted food to feed the entire earth several times over. In the ancient Mesopotamian records it's said that the Gods created man by manipulating the DNA of a primitive human. Then you have the famous argument about evil. If God created man why then are there imperfect DNA? If scientists are able to repair the corrupt DNA, they need to be allowed to do so. The concept that they're "playing God" is a fallacious begging the question argument. If man's alteration of DNA makes them Gods, telling them not to make the changes because you don't want any other gods to compete with your God doesn't make sense. It is prophesied that during the Millennium there will be no sickness, no disease. That tells me that the ability to manipulate the DNA is the fulfillment of those prophesies. The only problem to worry about is cultural & legal discrimination.

  • 1covey Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 12, 2017 9:00 a.m.

    Dr. Frankenstein, I presume ? Seriously, if you want to improve babies, do more on prenatal care. The problem with 'playing God' is that not even scientists are even close to being God.

  • Maxwell95 Queen Creek, AZ
    Oct. 9, 2017 11:47 a.m.

    Ok, crispr cas9 and cas 13 had been noted by the originating scientist that it can't be used to make what is called " designer babies" meaning having certain traits. Like stronger, smarter brain, taller, athletic, blue eyes, blonde hair. Simply not how it works it works as a genome editing tool to target mutated DNA and or with the cas 13 protein target specific cells RNA mutations. It allows to make snippets to remove that mutated DNA or RNA to be able to be treated in fix, used to end all types of diseases or genetic mutations like " cardio myapathy" also is a key role in how we can find and target what is mutating cells to be triggered into out of control "malignant,benign" cancer cells to be able to find better and successful therapies, treatments or a cure. Not only that crispr is being used to aide and help decrease miscarriages and improve feritlity rates with couples who have a hard time doing so by using crispr to turn on essential proteins to allow ferility. Catchy title but essentially you are not playing god, now if crispr gets into the wrong hands and they figure out other ways to use it then yeah it can be bad. Thats why world why there needs to be laws,peramiters.

  • Seldom Seen Smith Orcutt, CA
    Oct. 8, 2017 3:46 p.m.

    How much editing/modification occurs before the genome is no longer human?

    Is it allowable to make an individual 25% stronger, or say able to process oxygen significantly better, or 6'1" tall versus their 5'6" inheritance, olive skin instead of black?

    If restrictions are enforced in the United States, a number of other countries will no doubt fill market demands.

  • 10CC Bountiful, UT
    Oct. 8, 2017 8:43 a.m.

    Kudos to the participants in this conference - this is a discussion that needs to happen.

    In the past, there were (completely understandable) concerns about "playing God" with blood transfusions. Similarly, transplanting a heart or a liver from one person to another was a sure sign of Man exceeding the clear boundaries between Heaven and Earth.

    We see those issues differently, now. On gene-editing, proceeding very cautiously is the right path.

    The promise of saving / improving life - like is done regularly with those portable electrical heart resuscitation devices that boy scouts help educate people how to use - is too compelling to rigidly and reflexively say "no".