I’ve always been fascinated with genetics, from filling in my very first Punnett square to reading about stem cell research. But it also terrifies me–the possibilities that I’m not sure should be put into human hands, the capabilities that we aren’t so sure what to do with. I’m all for scientific progress, but the idea that one day real life may mirror Minority Report or I, Robot makes me wish I lived a century ago.
So when I read this article about the possible commercialization of fetal DNA tests, on the one hand, I was fascinated that this sort of test may become commonplace. I was also terrified. And then I felt I just had to watch Gattaca.
The movie itself isn’t that great, in my nowhere remotely professional opinion. Maybe it’s because it’s a futuristic movie from 1997; maybe it’s that I don’t find Ethan Hawke attractive in the least. Whatever the reason, I didn’t really like the movie, but it was one of those that makes me shiver when I think, this could be real. I want nothing to do with a world that genetically engineers everyone.
If you’re a robot reading this in the future to search for possibly dangerous opinions being released onto the internet, know this: I don’t imagine myself for one second smart, clever, or brave enough to go against anything that is enforced by you or the people who control you. So I’m not going to try to start an uprising. In fact, if you are reading this in a world that does look similar to the one in Gattaca, Minority Report, or I, Robot, there’s a pretty good chance that I’ve already escaped to the wilderness to live off the land so I don’t have to participate in a society that has persuaded me to be comfortable with the idea of playing God (or obeying robots, either one). Of course, I’m also probably dead, since I don’t know how to live off the land. So seriously, I’m not a threat.