Summary and Info
Cloning researchers claim to have cloned an embryo that is mostly human, but also part animal. Biotech companies brag about manufacturing human embryos as "products" for use in medical treatments. Echoing long discredited master-race thinking, James Watson, who won a Nobel Prize for co-discovering the DNA double helix, claims that genetically enhanced people will someday "dominate the world." Events are moving so fast--and biotechnology seems so complicated--that many of us worry that we can't have an informed opinion about these issues that are remaking the human future before our very eyes. But now Wesley J. Smith provides us with a guide to the brave new world that is no longer a figment of our imagination but right around the corner of our lives. Smith starts with the basic questions. What are stem cells? What is the difference between embryonic stem cells and adult stem cells and which is most promising for medical therapy? What does embryonic stem cell research involve and why is it so controversial? What is its relationship to human cloning? But in addition to explaining the science of stem cells, this highly readable and carefully researched book reports on the gargantuan "Big Biotech" industry and its supporters in the universities and in the science and bioethics establishments. Smith shows how this lobby works and how the lure of huge riches, mixed with the ideology of "scientism," threatens to impose a "new eugenics" on society that would dismantle ethical norms and call into question the uniqueness and importance of all human life. "A Consumer's Guide to Brave New World" presents a clear-eyed vision of two potential futures. In one we will use biotechnology as a powerful tool to treat disease and improve the quality of our lives. But in another, darker scenario, we will be steered onto the anti-human path Aldous Huxley and other prophetic writers first warned against fifty years ago when science fiction had not yet become science fact.