How much of our medical and biological technology is breaking down Mother Nature’s selection process, and how much will it affect evolution in the future? The basic tenet of evolution is that individuals that are “more fit” in the population can reproduce more readily, have more offspring, and therefore become a greater proportion of the population. But say, as a lecturer said as a hypothesis, that we develop fertility technologies for patients with diseases who normally would not reproduce. These diseases could, potentially, be passed on to offspring, keeping the alleles in the population.
What’s the ethical balance between providing for people to have the right to reproduce and the ethics of bringing an individual into the world with a costly, painful, and difficult disease or syndrome? Is it always better for everyone to have lived and lost? There’s always the suggestion of adoption, and while I think everyone should be allowed to reproduce, is it fair? It’s a gray and controversial line, but in my experience, you have to work with the cards you’re dealt. You can’t always get what you want in life. Is it fair? Right? Just? No way. But there are things in life that you have to work around and work through, rather than try to change or “repair.” To me, it seems like a cop-out. Not everyone can be above the mean. It’s inherently impossible.
My friend Marc isn’t willing to bring a child into this world–a sad, depressing, unfair world, in his view–regardless of any mutations in his alleles; wouldn’t it be worse to bring a child into the world already with a serious disease?