In ‘Twins’, a moderately funny movie with Danny DeVito and Arnold Shwarzenegger, some mad scientists set out to create a superhuman using the sperm from several different men.
I guess it was technically science fiction, but science fiction is having a real hard time keeping ahead of just plain science lately. Just the other day, the British House of Commons voted to allow British doctors to go ahead and do just that, except they are only talking about 3 parents, and they’re saying the purpose is to avoid genetically transmitted diseases and not to create superman. Still, if it can be 3, there’s no reason it can’t be 4, or 5, or 30. And I’m sure some scientists out there would love to create a superhuman.
What I find weird is that if the House of Commons just voted to legalize it, at what point in time did they vote to illegalize it? And if Britain is the first country in the world to legalize it, does that mean that every other country in the world has laws against it? I doubt it.
My attitude towards the government meddling in research like this is about the same as my opinion on Church and State. I believe there should be a solid wall between Church and State, and between Sports and State even more. As far as the government deciding on the ethics of various medical experiments, I don’t think most governments have the right to speak on ethics at all.
Governments should stick to government stuff. Fixing the roads and bridges, keeping the fresh water system and the electrical grid up and running, maintaining a (somewhat less aggressive than at present)police department, keeping the schools open, stuff like that. They don’t need to be going to hospitals and telling doctors they can’t create new, 3 parent babies. That is most definitely a family decision, and none of anybody else’s business.
Also, the fears that this is a slippery slope are exaggerated. If this becomes available, I imagine within 10 or 20 years, we will see tens, maybe even dozens of such cases. Enough to be able to do a bit of statistic gathering, maybe even some hands-on research, but probably not enough to be a threat to the human race.
If people choose to go for this option in greater numbers, then that’s O.K., too. We’ve got to evolve some time.