18 May 2021

Gene modification causes humans to lose their spine

In a world where everything seems to be solved by altering one’s genes a problem has risen: humans are losing their spine because of years of genetic modification. No gene can alter this development.

Three decades ago the Crisp-Cas9 protein was found in bacteria en scientists found out a way to use the protein, which bacteria use to alter their DNA, for modifying plants and animals and eventually even humans to cure diseases.

This ‘message from the future’ is written by a student of VU Amsterdam, as an assignment in the A Broader Mind course. The interdisciplinary course focuses on personal development and involvement with complex social challenges like poverty, sustainability and the digital world. This series is about genetic modification.

However, a new problem has risen that no gene modification can alter the outcome of. To understand the problem we have to go back in time to the period before we knew about gene modification. When humans faced a problem they would turn to one another, think of ideas to solve the problem and after solving the problem, they would come up with strategies to prevent them. This has been the way of solving problems for over thousands of years, since we first set foot on earth.

Problem solving

With the popularity of gene modification this has changed. Now every time you face a problem, you take the encyclopedia and look for genes to modify to solve the problem. When you look in the mirror and you’re feeling fat and you want to put on some more muscle, you modify the LEP gene - which codes for leptin, a hunger inhibiting hormone - and you knock out the MSTN - which codes for a protein known as myostatin found in muscle tissue responsible for restraining muscle growth. There you go, problems solved. Yes it will take a week or so before you’ll see results, but luckily you’ve enhanced all of your genes that help you with your patience.

This is the way we deal with problems nowadays. Instead of facing our problems we just alter some genes and we wait until the problems have solved themselves. Even when we’re feeling sad because of something, we can alter our genes to feel happier, by increasing the production of dopamine or our sensitivity for dopamine.

Losing our backbone

This has caused us to lose our backbone, our spine. We’re losing the ability to solve problems ourselves, using our brain, our creativity and co-operation with one another. We are living more individualized than ever before, and the problem is only getting worse, since the only way we can think of to solve this problem seems to be gene modification.

We need to go back in time, stop trying to be perfect humans, our perfect selves with no limits of ‘this is how I am (because of my genes)’ and start accepting the fact again that nobody is perfect. The incidence of hearing: ‘We’re all just humans in the end’ has drastically dropped in the past decades, because that wasn’t the reason anymore, but it has to become the reason again.

Destroying humans

Counterparties keep pointing at the fact that humans throughout history have kept exploring and searching for ways to become better and better. But we need to understand that we’re losing our ability to do so, by always grabbing towards the easiest solution. We’re losing our key element that distinguishes us from animals; our ability to solve problems. And therefore we are destroying the human race by trying to make it perfect. Just stop.

Timo Roskam, the visionary

Read all contributions from Messagers from the future.


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