Socrates Cafe discusses genetic engineering

Josh Brewer

Socrates Café, in conjunction with Students of Philosophical Hypothesis in Academia (SOPHIA), Quinnipiac’s philosophy club, held a joint meeting Nov. 28 in the College of Arts and Sciences to discuss genetic engineering, its possible benefits and its impairments.

A discussed concern included should employers be able to fire employees based on the fact that the employee has a genetic malfunction that can lead to a future disease or sickness? Another example would be if those people with genetic disorders will still be able to receive health care if the health care companies knew that they had a chance of contracting a sickness.

Approximately 20 students and nearly a dozen faculty attended, including Professor of Philosophy Benjamin Page, Assistant Professor of Philosophy Sarah Rebecca Bamford, Professor of Biology Donald Buckley and Executive Director of the Albert Schweitzer Institute David Ives.

The meeting presented several ideas such as the processing speed of computers. It is estimated that within the next 10 years desktop computers will have the processing speed of a human brain. By 2040, it is expected that desktops will have the processing speed equivalent of all human brains.

“It was a very interesting discussion, I learned a lot about the projected possibilities in terms of genetic engineering, and it brought up a lot of good questions amongst the group,” said sophomore Jacob Morris, leader of the club SOPHIA. “It’s also nice getting to interact with the faculty outside of class. Overall I think it was a success.”

Other topics included health care for people with genetic diseases, human and animal cloning, extending human life and genetically modifying food and animals.

SOPHIA “is a weekly club dedicated to the exploration of ideas and the world around us. Meetings consist of semi-formal discussion, where everyone is free to share their perspective without judgment” according to the group’s description on Do You QU?