Monchè Gelin, mwen dakò avèk ou 100% ... sitou mwen sispèk anpil konfrè mwen nan Ann Pale se manjè chat yo ye.
But seriously... when it comes to genetic engineering, humanity is indeed playing with fire. However, I also feel that in a sense, we are already doomed, not meaning necessarily the End of the World, but reflecting my conviction that science and technology can never be stopped, though it is incumbent to powerful institutions (such as governments, religions, scientific communities, ...) and the force of public opinion to try to control its development, rather than trying futilely to put the genie back in the bottle.
As you pointed out, it is extremely naive (or cynical) for business-minded people to say things like "as long as they do not enter the food chain". Who in the world knows what might kill and/or eat a genetically-modified cat? Let's take an improbable, but as recent events show, not an impossible scenario. A number of those genetically-modified cats happen to live in a coastal area. A tsunami strikes and takes them away. They are gobbled up and digested by some big fish in the sea. Man goes fishing, catches big fish. Man puts big fish on the market. Guess where the little kitties happen to be in the food chain at that moment in time???
Rest assured that there are more probable scenarios than that of a tsunami. I just wanted to make a point that indeed one never, ever, really knows what might happen to a living thing and its interactions with other living things.
And of course, the genetic engineering will not be limited to cats: next will be dogs (for greater reliance), pigs (for safer meat and perhaps tastier ham), sheep (for more wool), horses (for greater speed at the racetrack), etc...
All the way to women (with longer legs, and perhaps less nagging), men (with a mor
e athletic build) and genetically-modified installable prime-ministers (much leaner and less prone to put their foot in the mouth)...
Yet, we are moving headlong into unchartered territory, and we already have some potent reminders of our great vulnerability: the Mad Cow disease originating in England (?), the Asian Avian flu, and the HIV virus (causing SIDA and originating from God knows where). We have found it extremely difficult to control those diseases that have spread in many areas like wildfire. How many new and potentially devastating new diseases will we be introducing with our experimentation with the basic blocks of life?
However, if the force of human vanity is our guide, we are indeed in BIG TROUBLE. Men and women do not ever seem satisfied with what Nature allocates to them. In the past century, we have seen some cosmetic surgery become routine: liposuction, facelifts, T&A (tits and ass) reshaping, straighter noses, fuller lips, fairer or darker skin, etc. In Argentina, the world's capital of cosmetic surgery, the art has reached unprecendented levels. I trust that you have heard of hymen reconstruction. Now you can never be really sure whether a woman is truly a virgin or whether her virginity has been reconstructed. As a matter of fact, many Argentine men, eager to experience what life and the sexual revolution had deprived them of, now pay for their wives of many years to have their hymen reconstructed. So, the experience of deflowering a woman, or perhaps just their wife, can finally be theirs to savor for one night.
And you know what, those husbands will have willingly spent thousands of dollars for that fake experience. Go figure!
That is not genetic engineering by a long shot, but do you see a common thread? Human Vanity, my friend.
This reminds me of another excess of human vanity, this one cultural. In some countries of Asia and Africa, a woman who is found not to be a virgin at the time of marriage is liable to be lapidated or killed by other means. Yes, we are talking 20th and 21st centuries, folks: Unfortunately, this is the state of humanity, today. Well, what do you know, a number of young girls of those cultures travel to Europe for their "education" and are exposed to the promiscuity of European circles and the pervasive sexual revolution. Sooner or later, they go out with young men, whom they they would like to consider as boyfriends. Those boys, of course, want to engage in sex. The girls want it too, just to feel closer, more intimate, or perhas, just to be able to keep their boyfriends. But they have a BIG problem. They know that if they lose their virginity, their fathers or designated spouses are likely to kill them upon their return to their society, in revenge for the unspeakable humiliation. So what to do??? Presto, they found a solution: anal sex... They can have it all they want and keep their precious virginity.
Perhaps, this practice is changing already or will soon change. With hymen reconstruction, there will not be such an urgent need for anal sex anymore (except for those leaning to that, in the first place). Do it now, wash away your sins later with a hymen reconstruction. Neat concept.
But what does the preceding have to do with genetic engineering? Everything. What I am trying to tell you is that the human emotions at the core of our personalities, that have guided the wild success of cosmetic surgery will be driving genetic engineering just the same. Today, we are not just talking about genetically-modified pets, we are also talking about genetically-modified humans to achieve socially or aesthetically desirable characteristics: blond hair, blue eyes, yeux saffran (the sort that drove Mrs. Piwouli wild, in Piwouli and the Zenglendo), and who knows what other traits we find just plain "sexy" ?
Can the Stepford wives be far behind?
Gelin, se naje pou n sòti!
And by the way, women of the forum, back off, I was just kidding about the nagging part...