The Bride of Frankenstein is alive and well. You may or may not remember the movie, but in it, the mad scientist concerned reveals his "prize creation," little jars of tiny humans, in full costume, the quintessence of the alchemical "homunculus." Now it's become a disturbing reality:
This is - and I will not mince words - the end result of a philosophy that early on and in relationship to a very different issue bought into the moral and ethical lie that somehow a unique human zygote is not a person and not deserving of the equal protection of the law, whether that zygote be created "the old fashioned way" or by the meddling hand of man. But whether you share that view or not, there is another implicit logic behind all this....
In my book Genes, Giants, Monsters, and Men, I raised the specter of the standards of American patent law, and how they were being applied to the issue of GMO foods. The essence of this argument is that if a product cannot arise naturally, but requires the intervention of the hand of man, and if that process follows a precise recipe which others can duplicate, then it is patentable and both the idea and the product become property. Following this logic, I then raised the specter of the ancient texts that seem to suggest - though some would dispute it - that modern man himself originated by some similar process practiced in High Antiquity by "someone else," who might return someday to reclaim their "property." Attorneys might have a field day with this, should such a bizarre and high octane scenario ever occur, for the "course of performance" over the past centuries of humanity "managing" its own affairs would seem to constitute a legal argument against any such implicit contract. And there would be "jurisdictional" matters to settle: what court would have jurisdiction to hear such a case?
But what if, I asked, similar processes were to be applied to modern humanity by our out-of-control pharmaceutical cartels (mercury is safe, everyone, get your flu shot!). In that instance, any "products" become property, and not persons, and we're right back to the "logic" of Dred Scot case. One can even envision a scenario where said corporations and their little "humanity farms" and their microchipped genetically engineered occupants could be counted as "3/5 of a person" for census purposes... in other words, the potential for political mischief is almost unparalleled, and given the track record of various government agencies and corporations, don't put it past them!
The upside-down morality of these mad scientists and their government and corporate backers is revealed by the fact that this will all be touted as a "good thing" to save animal testing!:
"Developers of artificial micro-humans, or ‘mini GM humans,’ are hoping to release their technology on the market by 2017. No this isn’t a sci-fi joke. Scientists are developing artificial humans in the same vein as GM plants with the hope that these creations will replace the need for using animals in laboratory testing."
Welcome to the "brave new world" folks. We'll see lots of hand-ringing and platitudinous "explanations" of the benefits from technocrats, politicians, and "religious leaders" and so on. It will be a carefully managed "debate" that will be no debate at all.
See you on the flip side...