Tinkering with Nature


The science of biotechnology makes a lot of amazing things possible. Crops can be genetically engineered (GE) to be more nutritious; terrible diseases can be treated; industries can replace harsh chemical processes with environmentally-friendly GE processes.

The science does not stand alone though. Along with all the possibilities of genetic engineering come some serious ethical questions. One of the most basic ethical questions is whether we should pursue genetic engineering at all.

Some critics say that the process of changing genes, and mixing genes across species lines is wrong. Other critics say the science itself is not wrong, but the possible applications are, for instance human cloning.

Consider this caution from a clergyman, "[Just] because we can do something, does not mean we should do something." And as we move into the future, everyone in our society will have to wrestle with the complex questions raised by genetic engineering.


Explore More: Genetic Engineering
Copyright 2004, Iowa Public Television
The Explore More project is supported by funds from the
Roy J. Carver Charitable Trust
and the USDE Star Schools Program.


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