‘Countries have been invaded for far less’: Why the genetic arms race could start a war

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Image: Pat Kinsella

Imagine you are the leader of a society that has chosen to opt out of the genetic arms race by banning embryo selection and the genetic alteration of human sperm, eggs, and embryos.

If other societies genetically enhance their populations and yours doesn’t, you may not just be at a competitive disadvantage in the future. You may not be able to protect your population.

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[T]here will be really no way to protect your population from inheriting what you see as unnatural genetic modifications unless other countries can be prevented from allowing the most egregious modifications. Your only option is not just for your country to opt out but to define, promote, and seek to enforce limits on genetic enhancement for all countries to follow.

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Over the course of the 20th century, an estimated 170 countries were invaded by others for a whole host of reasons, ranging from outright theft to ideological differences to pre-emption of a wide range of perceived threats. Is it so outlandish to believe that countries in the future might resort to military force to prevent other countries from altering the shared genetic code of humanity? Many countries have been invaded for far less.

Read full, original post: The designer baby debate could start a war

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