When I first saw this I thought it was an artwork by someone like the Yes Men or Jacob Boeskov, meant as a provocation to initiate debate about the ethics of genetic engineering. But it seems I was wrong.

Some of CRISPR’s uses can be implemented in a general health care for everyone, like the cure for HIV, which they seem to promise. But other uses of CRISPR, like designer babies and eternal youth, will be only for the privileged. Here one could anticipate a challenge to human unity, either in classical terms of class or in terms of generations. If CRISPR develops its potential to create designer babies and that becomes a norm, just like the nuchal scan today, we might end up seeing a gap between those born before and after CRISPR was implemented, where those before CRISPR becomes the old and dumb losers in society.

I am sorry I did not choose a piece of fiction or popular culture, but a real-life science-fiction. I felt it was very relevant to the topic at hand.

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2 Comments on "CRISPR"

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Charlotte Grum

Hi Honey!
I find that your wording “real-life science fiction” encapsulate the ‘entangledness’ of naturecultures very precise. It makes me think of all the fascinating and frightening semi-fictional scenarios in the world as we know it. I just wonder – and I will pass this wonder to you – do you think those fictionlike facts and figurations have raised in number or do you see them as an intrinsic part of a living (human) mind being aware and articulate about itself?
(Maybe this should be discussed over a beer or two :-))

Johannes Poulsen
Johannes Poulsen
This reminds me of Elaine Graham’s book “Representations of the Post/Human”. You might already have read it, but for those who haven’t: She makes a point of analyzing what she calls technoscience and popular culture side by side as “some of the most definitive and authoritative representations of human identity in a digital and biotechnological age”. They can’t really be separated, and they inform each other’s visions. The concept of an end to human unity going along generational lines is certainly one of the more likely scenarios. I hadn’t thought about it in those terms before, and it would be… Read more »