Normalizing the Weird
Genetic engineering in humans is still out of most people’s normalcy field. To bring it closer, let’s try genetic engineering for dogs first.
Genetic editing tools are already here, and it is now possible to edit DNA both pre-birth (the type of genetic engineering that gets most attention in the press) and in living humans. It still remains a taboo topic, with emotional, moral, and sterile logical arguments to be made both pro and against.
You don’t want human experiments or eugenics, but there are also huge benefits to treating existing diseases and it may also mean the next step in our evolution as a species. Then there are religious takes, the question of playing God, and the social taboo of life and death and who gets to decide (to the more extreme end: how long should one live).
Along with genetic engineering comes the topic of anti-aging and life-extension because there’s a lot of overlap, and they’re all tracks moving towards the same direction.
The smart thing George Church did with his startup Rejuvenate Bio is to normalize both genetic engineering and life-extension technologies by first introducing them for dogs. As we’ve seen going straight for humans causes a lot of uproar, but people love dogs and they want their dog to live longer. He’s bringing these ideas closer to our normalcy field in two ways. First, we’re used to animal experiments, and are more open-minded towards trials on dogs for a good cause. Second, he’s playing on our emotional and peculiar connections to dogs to make us see these technologies in a more positive light.
Weirding out the Normal
If you’re a little child, generally be wary of strangers, except one day of the year, where you’re encouraged to take food from them and even demand it. That is, trick or treating for Halloween, October 31st.
On a similar note, why would you trust a stranger to make you safe food- restaurants.