“Supersize Your Child?” by Richard Hayes Essay
“Supersize Your Child?” by Richard Hayes
In his article “Supersize Your Child?,” Richard Hayes explains the pros and cons of genetic engineering. His claim is one of policy that states by giving examples of what could happen if you genetically engineer your child; you could make them attractive, give them photographic memories, or even ensure they have a life span of up to 200 years. The warrants of his claim are that Hayes makes this all sound very attractive to the reader. He also assumes that the reader wants this for their children; the parents want the children to be the best of the best. (Hayes 184) Hayes supports his claim by giving examples of the progress we have made as a whole in the genetic engineering field. He explains that Science magazine reported that the 5-HTT genes reduce the risk of depression. It can also help depression after stressful events. He then goes into detail about how in 1993 biochemist Dr. Cynthia Kenyon with the University of California at San Francisco discovered a variant of the gene called DAF-2 that made nematode worms live four weeks instead of their normal two-week life span.
(Hayes 184) Hayes states if we do genetic engineering that we will mess up the natural selection process. Professor Lee Silver from Yale University also goes into detail and talks about how if we do this genetic engineering the genetic engineered people will be at the top of the classes, running things like politics and large corporations; while the ‘regular’ people would be lower class and working labor and service jobs. Hayes explains that people have one of two reactions when you talk about genetic engineered people, “It’s impossible” or “It’s inevitable.” Hayes goes into detail about if it is okay to genetically engineer your children, what are the limits? Another limit that is being argued would be that if it were going to be allowed for medical purposes like preventing an illness or even a birth defect.
(Hayes 185) Hayes offers examples to his claim by stating that one of the many problems with this theory is that people are meant to be unique and different. We all have different looks and talents for a reason. If we were meant to be truly equal then we would be, but not scientifically. In addition to this, Hayes gives an instance that in fact during the 1950’s cloning and artificial chromosomes were said to be impossible, but now these things are daily studies and show progress towards gaining ground on perfecting human beings. Finally, “Supersize Your Child?” is supported by much ethos and was written to inform a science-based audience about the advancing process of gene mutation. Hayes includes that many other scientists, biochemist, doctors, and other prominent people share their outlooks on the matter of genetic determinism. These scientists have confirmed that some genes have greater influence than others, but yet some don’t determine anything.
Hayes is the executive director of the Center for Genetics and Society, which is a nonprofit information and public affairs organization working to encourage responsible uses and effective societal governance of human genetic and reproductive technologies and other emerging technologies. He holds a PhD from Energy and Resources from the University of California at Berkeley. He served as assistant political director and then as national director of volunteer development. This article was published on Tompaine.com in February 2004. Tompaine.com is affililated with the New York Times and is a website with news and opinions on politics from a progressive perspective.
In his article, “Picking Sides for the News,” Robert J. Samuelson explains that Republicans and Democrats listen and watch different types of news broadcasts. Samuelson’s claim is what they choose to watch and listen to be based on what their values and beliefs are. Samuelson’s argument is a claim of fact. The warrant of his article is that the Republicans are saying this about Democrats; Democrats are saying that about Republicans. Each of the parties are nitpicking at the others values. Samuelson supports his argument with several statistics from Pew Research Center. Pew is a nonpartisan research center that provides information on social issues, public opinion, and demographic trends shaping the United States and the world. It conducts demographic research, media content analysis, and other empirical social science research. Samuelson provides several statistics from Pew in his article regarding how many people actually believe what they hear from the media. The number of people that believe most of what they hear has gone down significantly over the past decades.
This shows that today’s media is less concerned about the truth than they were years ago. The percentages are given for the conservative, moderate, and liberal viewers of several specific television news shows. This is very helpful for arguing that the media caters to certain audiences and only reports the news that will keep those viewers. More and more people are beginning to realize this is happening. The article “Picking Sides for the News,” makes a very good argument for whether the media makes the news instead of only reporting it. I agree with several statements made by Samuelson about the credibility of the news media. The main goal of most news broadcasters and other forms of media is to gain viewers.
In order to do this, they report what they think will gain them a larger audience; even if it means not always telling the complete truth or every side of a story. Finally, at the end of the last paragraph Samuelson says, “It will be a sad day when we trust only the media that voice our views.” There is a possibility that it will come true, most viewers use the media to get their information from. Sometimes the New channels and radio stations intertwine what is truly meant to be said. (Samuelson 174) Samuelson is a contributing editor of Newsweek magazine, a national publication. He has written a column for the Washington Post about business and economic issues since 1977. This article appeared in Newsweek in June of 2004.
Hayes, Richard. “Supersize Your Child?” Rottenberg and Winchell. 184-88. Rottenberg, Annette T. and Donna Haisty Winchell, eds.. Elements of Argument: a text and reader. 10th ed. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s Press, 2012. Print. Samuelson, Robert J. “Picking Sides for the News.” Rottenberg and Winchell. 172-74.