In case you didn't catch the story, artificial wombs have been successfully created and tested... at least, for sheep, according to this article shared by Mr. B:
Now, of course, this is all being sold - predictably enough and just according to the playbook - as a potential health benefit, for if it can be applied to humans, the technology could conceivably help premature babies; here's the way the article puts it in its first three paragraphs:
Inside what look like oversized ziplock bags strewn with tubes of blood and fluid, eight fetal lambs continued to develop — much like they would have inside their mothers. Over four weeks, their lungs and brains grew, they sprouted wool, opened their eyes, wriggled around, and learned to swallow, according to a new study that takes the first step toward an artificial womb. One day, this device could help to bring premature human babies to term outside the uterus — but right now, it has only been tested on sheep.
It’s appealing to imagine a world where artificial wombs grow babies, eliminating the health risk of pregnancy. But it’s important not to get ahead of the data, says Alan Flake, fetal surgeon at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and lead author of today’s study. “It’s complete science fiction to think that you can take an embryo and get it through the early developmental process and put it on our machine without the mother being the critical element there,” he says.
Instead, the point of developing an external womb — which his team calls the Biobag — is to give infants born months too early a more natural, uterus-like environment to continue developing in, Flake says.
True enough, such a technology would be a boon for care of premature babies.
But like Mr. B., I have difficulty believing that this technology is not applicable to the earliest stages of pregnancy. And that brings me to my high octane speculation of the day...
... while such a technology might be beneficial in the care of premature babies, I strongly suspect there's another reason set of reasons entirely for the creation of this technology, and that set of reasons boils down to just two words: genetic engineering. Conceivably, such a technology could fulfill two dreams - or rather, nightmares - of the transhumanist "community," for it would be (1) a means not only to create but to gestate chimerical life forms, and (2) a means to create and gestate clones. Both purposes could be served by the perfection of this technology. In the latter case, it would be a kind of real world fulfillment of the film Island, staring Scottish actor Ewan McGregor, where human clones are literally gestated in such 'biobags" and then "birthed" surgically on a pre-determined date.
The reason? There organs are going to be harvested for their "real" counterparts, and the clone - who is not viewed as a real "person" of course - is butchered, murdered, and thrown away. The technology, in other words, raises moral and jurisprudential issues. I'm one of those that maintains that human clones are persons, unique and different from their "originals" in the same way identical twins or triplets are different unique persons, regardless of the DNA similarities.
But watch, the transhumanist-progressive crowd will consult medical "ethicists" from the University of Oxford, who will contrive sophistical arguments why this is not the case.
See you on the flip side...