Zoltan Istvan: Transhumanist Party Scientists Frown on Talk of Genetic Engineering Moratorium

From Transhumanist Party presidential candidate Zoltan Istvan at the Huffington Post:

A wave of ethical discussions and admonitions recently appeared after Chinese scientists reported successfully editing an embryo’s DNA. Many large media outlets interviewed scientists around the globe who chimed in on the ethical implications of the science, which ultimately could lead to designer babies. Some prominent scientists and bioethicists raised loud concerns about how genetic engineering might affect the future of humanity, and some of them went so far as to advocate for a moratorium on the research and technology.

Scientists and medical doctors at the US Transhumanist Party, a political organization that prides itself on advancing science, condemned calls for any moratorium, saying such talk is anti-progress and anti-innovation. However, Transhumanist Party scientists did agree that an open and thorough discussion on the matter is warranted.

“We are at a time in human history when such radical genetic engineering technology may help eliminate disease and give us healthier children,” said Dr. L. M. Memmel, a researcher, board-certified Obstetrician & Gynecologist, and Treasurer of the Transhumanist Party. “We should proceed with caution and an open discussion, but let’s not derail the train before it has left the station.”

Historically, scientific moratoriums have done little to stop progress, anyway. What they usually end up doing is giving other, less visible researchers and entrepreneurs the upper hand. When George W. Bush restricted federal funding for stem cell research in the United States–something he did primarily because of religious convictions–the research went overseas. Inevitably, other countries pursuing the science gained a notable advantage.

Jose Cordeiro, MBA, PhD, who is a faculty professor at Singularity University and the Technology Advisor of the US Transhumanist Party says, “Genetic manipulation of embryos should continue within ethical boundaries, and if the USA does not do it, other countries will do it.”

Read the full article here.

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