Hook: Consider the work of God: for who can make [that] straight, which he hath made crooked? (Ecclesiastes 7:13, King James Version)
Thesis Statement: This paper will argue that scientists should not modify humans through genetic engineering despite the potential this technology offers for health breakthroughs, because the long-term effects for individuals and society are unknown, and because it is a technology which has the potential for abuse.
Body Paragraph 1: Opposing Argument
Topic Sentence: Genetic engineering offer the potential for health breakthroughs which would improve the standard of living of many people suffering from diseases and terminal illnesses linked to genetics.
Evidence 1: For example, an article published in The Atlantic in 2014 describes how genetic modification has been developed to decrease the number of babies born with genetic defects (Khazan, 2014, n.p.).
Evidence 2: As another article describes it, genetic engineering is often celebrated as a way to “banish what are currently lethal or lifelong maladies with a single treatment that fixes them at the genetic root” (Mullin, 2018, n.p.).
Analysis: These benefits are short-term, but genetic engineering may cause bigger problems in the long-term, making this opposing argument highly problematic.
Body Paragraph 2: Supporting Argument 1
Topic Sentence: One clear reason that scientists should not use genetic engineering to modify human beings is that the long-term effects for individuals are unknown.
Evidence 1: The MIT Technology Review points out, for example, the in the trials which have been successful so far, “none of the embryos were allowed to develop for more than a few days” (Connor, 2017, n.p.).
Analysis: Unless studies are done on the effects on a live human being from birth right in to old age, it will not be possible to know the full extent of the long-term effects for genetically modified individuals.
Body Paragraph 3: Supporting Argument 2
Topic Sentence: Another clear reason that scientists should not use genetic engineering to modify human beings is that the long-term effects for society as a whole are unknown.
Evidence 1: As biotechnology expert Marcy Darnovsky explains, by enabling easier manipulation of genes to produce “designer” children, genetic engineering of human genes runs the risk of severely decreasing the diversity of the human race (Khazan, 2014, n.p.).
Analysis: Until a technology is in place, it is difficult to determine how and to what extent it will be used; this in turn makes it impossible to guess how this technology might change the course of the human race.
Body Paragraph 4: Supporting Argument 3
Topic Sentence: One final clear reason why scientists should not use genetic engineering to modify human beings regardless of whether it is “safe” or not, is that it is a practice which invites abuse.
Evidence 1: “The fear is that germ-line engineering is a path toward a dystopia of superpeople and designer babies for those who can afford it” (Regalado, 2015, n.p.).
Analysis: Like most technologies, genetic engineering is unlikely to be available to everyone; if only the rich and the privileged have access to this technology the gap between the privileged and the underprivileged will widen as traits which support privilege such as high intelligence become even more accessible to those who use it to exploit others.
Conclusion: Returning to the biblical quotation from Ecclesiastes 7:13, God has made a world which is rich in diversity, even when we as individuals cannot always see the beauty of that richness. Scientists should not do anything to risk the perfection of that diverse, complex creation.