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We are fast approaching arguably the most consequential technological threshold in all of human history: the ability to alter the genes we pass to our children.

Crossing this threshold would irrevocably change the nature of human life and human society. It would destabilize human biology. It would put into play wholly unprecedented social, psychological and political forces that would feed back upon themselves with impacts quite beyond our ability to foresee, much less control.

Advocates of this new techno-eugenics look forward to the day when parents quite literally assemble their children from genes listed in a catalogue. They celebrate a future in which our common humanity is lost as genetically enhanced elites increasingly acquire the attributes of separate species.

The implications for individual integrity and autonomy, for family and community life, for social and economic justice and indeed for world peace are chilling. Once humans begin cloning and genetically engineering their children for desired traits...