Beyond Human?: Science and the Changing Face of Humanity

John Bryant. Lion (IPG, dist), $16.95 trade paper (253p) ISBN 978-0-7459-5396-0
Molecular biologist Bryant explores the need for and avenues toward establishing an ethical blueprint for science. He argues for a balanced use of bio-technology to enhance or prolong life and reviews many of the current hot topics: stem cell research, eugenics, euthanasia and the right to die. He stresses that he is a Christian but has no use for fundamentalism; his stated viewpoint is that of "Christian-based virtue ethics". Bryant is extremely concerned that medical and genetic advances might only extend the gap between the haves and have-nots since, as it currently stands, only the rich can afford life-extending or genetic treatments. He concludes that making life better for the majority must be the ultimate ethical goal. Therefore, genetic altering for inherited diseases is allowable but "designer babies" are not. He concludes on this note, stating that "scientific research is a legitimate activity" but considering the problems society faces today we shouldn't be wasting time on "thought-control technology,...artificial wombs and sexless reproduction!" This is a heart-felt discussion of thorny ethical conundrums but Bryant's personal beliefs impact his exploring the questions deeply. (June)
Reviewed on: 07/15/2013
Release date: 04/01/2013
Genre: Nonfiction
Ebook - 131 pages - 978-0-7459-5898-9
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