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Is a fully edited human still human?
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Below is the assignment details— 1) First, summarize what you think the main arguments or messages are, and why you felt those were essential.
Some writing tips: Before you start writing, I suggest making a list of the top 3 to 5 key messages each movie is trying to convey. In other words, which 3-5 key points best capture the spirit and essence of the movie? Think of how you might summarize the movie to tell a family member or friend. After creating that list, brainstorm a bit on why you feel those core “take home” points were the ones that stood out for you. Once you’ve done that, write it up in a way that pitches your position on what’s important in the movie to me. You should aim for at least a page, up to two pages for this segment of each critique.
2) Second, I would like you to think hard about what this film is about, and how we might use the content of the film to rethink our answers to the central question of the course: What is human nature?
(A quick note about these question first. I’m asking A LOT of questions here because this movie sparked all kinds of thoughts for me. I encourage you to tackle many of these questions, but don’t feel like you need to answer all of them).
Some questions to help you think through this: Does this film make you rethink human nature? Do transplants from other species make us less human in any way? What is the heart of being human? Is it our biology? Or is it our social lives, our culture and language? Does the potential power of technologies like CRISPR change who or what we are as humans? Does being human mean owning our “flaws”, and the randomness of nature? Is a fully edited human still human? Do “good genes” produce “good people”? Think of all the music, science, philosophy, art and more that has been produced by “imperfect” people in the past few centuries…do we risk losing a lot of that in the future if we design humans for the traits we think are best? Remember the cycle cell trait – provides a benefit as protection against malaria in many parts of the world. If we edit stuff out to “be better”, what do we trade? Gene/environment relationships are incredibly complex and do we really have a solid handle on those relationships to make these big decisions? In this assignment, I actually want this section to be the biggest, so aim for at least two pages on this, but feel free to add more if you want!
3) Third, and finally, I want you to give me a personalized critique of the movie. In particular, I want you to think about and discuss the ethical implications of a technology like CRISPR when used to its fullest potential.
Some important guidelines here: I want this to be a critical analysis of the movie. If I get a page or two back that can basically be summarized as “I really enjoyed it!” you won’t earn many points. I’m looking for you reactions to this movie, but I want them to be specific and I need you explain why you feel something in the movie was done well, or was impactful for you on a personal level, or why you really didn’t like it (that’s ok too!), etc. I would urge you to avoid critiquing artistic decisions, things like song choice, cinematography, etc. I would much prefer that you comment and think about the content of the films, how they made you feel, whether or not they surprised you, if they revealed something new and exciting, etc. Finally, remember to explain your reactions, whether good or bad. I need to see that you’ve actually thought about the films intently and haven’t just written a quick, gut reaction. The more you can show me that you critically engaged with the movie, the easier it will be for me to give you a great grade for this assignment! I’m leaving the length of this section up to you. I want at least a page, but beyond that, it’s up to you!
The film is called Human Nature – Directed by Adam Bolt, Produced by Elliot Kirschner, Sarah Goodwin, Meredith DeSalazar, Wonder Collaborative.
https://video.alexanderstreet.com/watch/human-nature Abstract about the film
A breakthrough called CRISPR has given us unprecedented control over the basic building blocks of life. It opens the door to curing diseases, reshaping the biosphere, and designing our own children. Human Nature is a provocative exploration of CRISPR’s far – reaching implications, through the eyes of the scientists who discovered it, the families it’s affecting, and the bioengineers who are testing its limits. How will this new power change our relationship with nature? What will it mean for human evolution? To begin to answer these questions we must look back billions of years and peer into an uncertain future.
The novel is called Race, Monogamy, and Other Lies They Told You Busting Myths about Human Nature by Agustín Fuentes (I attached the PDF of the book bellow)
These two are the the only sources you can directly reference. ——
Bellow I have attached an PDF about the film Human Nature, that was used in class as a discussion about the film. I attached the film critique guideline and pdf of the book.
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