Selected Quotes from Advocates of Species-Altering Technologies

"Many people love their retrievers and their sunny dispositions around children and adults. Could people be chosen in the same way? Would it be so terrible to allow parents to at least aim for a certain type, in the same way that great breeders…try to match a breed of dog to the needs of a family?"


Gregory Pence, Professor of Philosophy, School of Medicine & Humanities, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Who's Afraid of Human Cloning? (Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 1998), page 168

"Some will hate it, some will love it, but biotechnology is inevitably leading to a world in which plants, animals and human beings are going to be partly man-made….Suppose parents could add 30 points to their children's IQ. Wouldn't you want to do it? And if you don't, your child will be the stupidest child in the neighborhood."


Lester Thurow, Professor of Economics and Management, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Creating Wealth: The New Rules for Individuals, Companies and Nations in a Knowledge-Based Economy (New York: Harper Collins, 1999), page 33

"And the other thing, because no one has the guts to say it: If we could make better human beings by knowing how to add genes, why shouldn't we? What's wrong with it?…Evolution can be just damn cruel, and to say that we've got a perfect genome and there's some sanctity? I'd like to know where that idea comes from, because it's utter silliness."


James Watson, President, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, quoted in Engineering the Human Germline: An Exploration of the Science and Ethics of Altering the Genes We Pass to Our Children, Gregory Stock and John Campbell, eds. (New York: Oxford University Press, 2000), pages 79, 85. Watson shared the Nobel prize for Chemistry in 1962 for the discovery of the structure of DNA, and served as first Director of the Human Genome Project.

"The first century or two of the new millennium will almost certainly be a golden age for eugenics. Through application of new genetic knowledge and reproductive technologies…the major change will be to mankind itself…[T]echniques…such as…genetic manipulations are not yet efficient enough to be unquestionably suitable in therapeutic and eugenic application for humans. But with the pace of research it is surely only a matter of time, and a short time at that."


Glayde Whitney, Professor, Department of Psychology, Florida State University, "Reproduction Technology for a New Eugenics," paper for The Galton Institute conference Man and Society in the New Millennium, September 1999, published in The Mankind Quarterly (Vol. 40, No. 2, 1999), pages 179-192 and online at

Whitney has come under fire for his racist writings, including his forward to My Awakening: A Path to Racial Understanding, by former Ku Klux Klan National Director David Duke.

"What is called for here is not genocide, the killing off of the population of incompetent cultures. But we do need to think realistically in terms of the 'phasing out' of such peoples . . . Evolutionary progress means the extinction of the less competent."


Richard Lynn, University of Ulster, Interview in Newsday (January 9, 1994)

"[I]f the cost of reprogenetic technology follows the downward path taken by other advanced technologies like computers and electronics, it could become affordable to the majority members of the middle class in Western societies….And the already wide gap between wealthy and poor nations could widen further and further with each generation until all common heritage is gone. A severed humanity could very well be the ultimate legacy of unfettered global capitalism."


Lee Silver, Professor, Department of Molecular Biology and Woodrow Wilson School for Public and International Affairs, Princeton University, "Reprogenetics: How do a Scientist's Own Ethical Deliberations Enter into the Process?" Humans and Genetic Engineering in the New Millennium: How are We Going to Get “Gen-Ethics” Just in Time? (Copenhagen: Danish Council of Ethics, 2000), and online at
. Silver lectures widely on the social impacts of biotechnology.

"The right to a custom made child is merely the natural extension of our current discourse of reproductive rights. I see no virtue in the role of chance in conception, and great virtue is expanding choice….If women are allowed the 'reproductive right' or 'choice' to choose the father of their child, with his attendant characteristics, then they should be allowed the right to choose the characteristics from a catalog."


James Hughes, bioethics consultant, sociologist, bioethicist, health care policy analyst, producer of the public affairs program Changesurfer Radio, and Secretary of the World Transhumanist Association, in "Embracing Change with All Four Arms," Eubios Journal of Asian and International Bioethics (Vol. 6, No. 4, June 1996), pages 94-101, and online at

"[In a few hundred years] the GenRich—who account for 10 percent of the American population—[will] all carry synthetic genes….All aspects of the economy, the media, the entertainment industry, and the knowledge industry [will be] controlled by members of the GenRich class….Naturals [will] work as low-paid service providers or as laborers….[Eventually] the GenRich class and the Natural class will become…entirely separate species with no ability to cross-breed, and with as much romantic interest in each other as a current human would have for a chimpanzee….[I]n a society that values individual freedom above all else, it is hard to find any legitimate basis for restricting the use of reprogenetics….[T]he use of reprogenetic technologies is inevitable….There is no doubt about it…whether we like it or not, the global marketplace will reign supreme."


Lee Silver, Remaking Eden: Cloning and Beyond in a Brave New World (New York: Avon Books, 1997), pages 4-7, 11

"'Germline' therapy…will force us to re-examine even the very notion of what it means to be human [as] we become subject to the same process of conscious design that has so dramatically altered the world around us….Through this technology, we will seize control of our own evolution….By the time recipients of even the best engineered chromosome are ready to have children, it will be twenty or thirty years after they themselves were conceived. Their once state-of-the-art artificial chromosome will be hopelessly out-of-date, and they'll want to give their child the latest gene cassettes and artificial chromosomes. It's not so different from upgraded software; they'd want the new release."


Gregory Stock, Director of the Program on Medicine, Technology and Society, UCLA, in "The Prospects for Human Germline Engineering," Telepolis, (January 29, 1999), and online at

"The advertising pitch for inheritable genetic modification is called "Organic Enhancement" because "the DNA molecules added to embryos are totally organic [and] all-natural….[K]eep in mind, you must act before you get pregnant. Don't be sorry after she's born. This really is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for your child-to-be."


Lee Silver, "Beyond 2000, " Time (November 8, 1999), pages 68-69. Silver adopts a whimsical tone to fantasize a marketing campaign for inheritable genetic modification by the "St. Genevieve" fertility clinic in the year 2025.

"Like atomic energy, cloning can be used for beneficial purposes—to increase population and to open the window of genetic reprogramming."


Dr. Severino Antinori, "Human cloning project claims progress, " Gulf News (March 4, 2002). Antinori is an Italian fertility specialist leading a project to create a human clone. He previously gained notoriety when he helped a 62-year-old woman become pregnant through IVF.

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