Friday, May 22, 2009


Imagine your 10-year-old kid comes home from school with a hamster that glows in the dark. He says the older brother of one of his friends a few doors down the street grows glow-in-the-dark animals in his basement.

He also makes genetically modified E. coli in a closet and sells it to labs doing cancer research. He uses a DNA "thermocycler" bought on eBay for $59.

Should the government make all this illegal? After all, this bio-tinkering could "theoretically lead to the creation of harmful viruses like Ebola or smallpox, since their genomes are available online."

Although glow-in-the-dark hamsters are a couple of years away, creating glow-in-the-dark bacteria is already "a popular trick among biohackers," according to a recent article in the Wall Street Journal:

In Attics and Closets, 'Biohackers' Discover Their Inner Frankenstein -

Without going into an AP biology class on this blog, here's the relevance of this for a Congressional campaign:

434 members of Congress are too clueless to draft legislation relating to this issue. Even the geekiest of them couldn't keep up with these biohackers. The other member of Congress knows there's no need to, even if it were Constitutional to do so. Which it's not.

Would the Framers of the Constitution agree with modern legal scholars that the Constitution must be "a living constitution" to address utterly unanticipated crimes like "biohacking" and "the threat to national security" it poses?

No. And double no. (And it's not [yet] a crime.)

Having people doing research for cancer in their basement is a good thing. The ability of train engineers and trolley conductors to use a cell phone in an emergency is also a good thing. The fact that a handful of people misuse cell phones and synthetic DNA is not a good reason to ban both for everyone.

America's Founding Fathers were passionate about having a limited government, with liberty for the People. Thy understood that this required public schools that taught Christian morality. Only when society at large wasn't stealing from each other and killing each other could we have liberty and limited government. Citizens of a Christian nation can be trusted with "affordable molecular biology equipment" and genetic databases, and will also promote Christian morality around the world. Then, rather than drafting sweeping laws, they will dwell safely with "a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence."

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