Posted by: laughs4dads | October 13, 2010


For years now, we’ve been told that soon, genetic engineering will be used to allow parents to select traits in their babies, much in the same way you can choose options for a new car. This will likely occur about the same time we finally get our jet pack personal flying apparatus, which we have been waiting for since approximately 1957. In other words, we’ll either have designer babies around June of 2012 or some time in the winter of the next millennium.

But they’re definitely coming. And while a baby with a built-in iPod jack and Surround Sound sounds really cool, the idea of being able to select your baby’s traits raises all sorts of troubling questions. For instance:

What will the children designed by the people on the “The Jersey Shore” be like?

Let’s forget about all the ethical issues for a minute. They’re irrelevant anyway. The history of scientific research shows us that, if it can be done, it will be done. By somebody. Somewhere. And Fox News will not be happy about it. (After all, they still haven’t gotten over evolution.)

To me, the big issue is, do we want kids running around who were designed by people with bad taste?

Of course, even without genetic engineering, a man and a woman can meet at a Britney Spears concert, go out to dinner at Chili’s, get married at the local Motel 6 (he in a rented powder blue tux, she with powder blue eye shadow), honeymoon in Atlantic City, decorate their trailer with French provincial furniture, and have children who are actually born with mullets. But with the randomness of nature, there’s always the chance that the family line includes a long lost taste gene that may rise to the surface in their offspring.

Also, one can hope that over many generations, natural selection would eventually weed out the DNA that leads to the wearing of baseball caps with the bills to the side (unless it turns out that this is some kind of survival technique, perhaps a method of camouflage that induces predators to leave you alone because they think you’re an idiot).

But what if couples with horrible taste could actually choose to perpetuate their tastelessness by designing their children? What if, in other words, polyester begat polyester?

Look, it’s not as if the world is saying, “We hate America, but they sure do dress well.” As a population, we have terrible taste, in television, movies, fashion, food, just about anything you can name.

So, first, let’s stop wearing Uggs in summer with shorts, and Crocs at any time (with any thing), and thinking that The Olive Garden is delicious Italian cooking.

Then we can talk about picking the traits of our children.


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