Rand Paul referenced the movie Gattaca while stumping for a Senate candidate in Virginia, bringing the issue of eugenics to the national debate.The problem is not just that DNA testing will lead to abortions or state control of reproduction, which Paul warns about, but also that it will become a huge government regulated entitlement and cause people to feel they have no right to have natural children with their spouse. Paul actually hyped up the Transhumanist dreams about eliminating diseases, and indeed his personhood Life at Conception Act would mandate that cloned and genetically engineered human embryos must be implanted, and does not prohibit eugenic gamete sales or genetic engineering or cloning.I haven’t found his whole speech on line yet, but it seems he’s only worried about those precious designer embryos not being implanted, and about state control of eugenics. Interestingly, when he reads almost verbatim the plot of Gattaca from Wikipedia, he removed the word “liberal” from “liberal eugenics,” making it seem as though the society depicted in Gattaca practiced state controlled “eugenics” not “liberal eugenics” which is consumer directed, market-based but highly regulated and heavily subsidized. “Liberal eugenics” is the likely outcome if we don’t prohibit genetic engineering all together, not Libertarian Transhumansim, which is unregulated and unsubsidized and un-connected to reality.
Does Rand Paul want to stop eugenics and transhumanism or not? I hope this story has legs and we find out soon.
We should also find out what Katherine Clark and Frank Addivinloa have to say about eugenics and natural reproduction rights.
Congress needs to prohibit creating a person by any method other than joining a living man and a woman’s unmodified sperm and egg and preserve every marriage’s right to use their own genes to conceive offspring together.