Sometimes, you just stare into the middle distance and tremble. From the BBC:
Scientists say early experiments suggest it may one day be possible to make babies without using eggs.
They have succeeded in creating healthy baby mice by tricking sperm into believing they were fertilising normal eggs.
The findings in Nature Communications, could, in the distant future, mean women can be removed from the baby-making process, say the researchers.
Removing the need for an egg could have a wider impact on society.
Dr Perry said: “One possibility, in the distant future, is that it might be possible that ordinary cells in the body can be combined with a sperm so that an embryo is formed.”
In other words, two men could have a child, with one donating an ordinary cell and the other, sperm.
Or one man could have his own child using his own cells and sperm – with that child being more like a non-identical twin than a clone.
Dr Perry stressed that such scenarios were still “speculative and fanciful” at this stage.
Earlier this year in China, scientists were able to make sperm from stem cells and then fertilise an egg to produce healthy mice.
Dr Perry suggested that combining the two fields of research may eventually do without the need for sperm and eggs altogether.
We know how this movie ends.
We are already well underway in the commodification of human fertility. This just takes it to the next level. If this technology progresses, it is easy to imagine governments in the future manufacturing soldiers from the cells of the strongest and most intelligent males in society. Who will be the mother of these children? The father? (Not that it matters; by the time this technology becomes possible, the West will have deconstructed family and gender to the point where the terms are nearly meaningless.) What if someone harvests a cell from you without your knowledge or consent, and with the help of science uses it to make a copy of you?
This is Mengele-level stuff, in that it treats human life as nothing more than matter to be manipulated by scientists to impose their will. If we are lucky, somebody will find a way to destroy those laboratories. But we won’t be lucky. People will embrace this technology as one giant leap for human freedom and the conquest of nature.
When I tell people that we will get to the point in which Christians cannot in good conscience work in some fields because they cannot collaborate with the raw evil done there, this is the kind of thing I’m talking about.
I know someone, a Christian, who was a medical student at one of the nation’s leading medical schools, and working at one of its top research facilities. She quit following the research track, and shifted to another medical field, because she could not stand the ethos within the labs. She said that nobody gave much thought to the moral and ethical implications of what they were doing. It wasn’t that she saw any experiments that she believed were morally wrong (at least if she did, she didn’t tell me about it). Rather, it was the cutthroat competition for scientific success and grant money, a competition in which having moral scruples — even things as basic as being honest in your research and treating colleagues with respect — were an obstacle to one’s career.
Reading about the mouse embryos, I thought about that friend, and how no doubt the scientists working on this challenge don’t care about the moral meaning of their work. They just want to see if they can accomplish the task.
We know what genocide means: the deliberate mass killing of an entire people. We don’t have a word for the elimination of the concept of humanity, and human dignity, itself.