Transhuman Babies and Human Pariahs 215
the specific role of genetics in the development of human psychology. Once scientists ascertain
such knowledge, an explanation defining the characteristics essential to human psychology for
purposes of human personhood would accompany the definition.
In the meantime, since scientific knowledge of the human brain is still in its infancy,283 a
temporary ban to all germline genetic modifications affecting the human brain has to be enacted.
Such a ban should last until scientists have deciphered to a degree of scientific certainty the role
of genetics on human psychology, what constitutes human psychology, and by implication, the
functioning of the brain—which is possibly the most complex item in the known universe.284 As
daunting as the aforementioned task sounds, it is a necessary step in protecting society, the human
species, and the rights of any genetically modified children who will ultimately bear the brunt of
what was done to them before they even existed. This definition would also still allow research
and development in other areas of genetic engineering which could lead to great societal benefit.
A more elaborate definition of human person is not necessary at this moment. For example,
one of the greatest concerns of those who oppose human germline modifications is that those who
have the means would be able to buy enhancements—such as the capability for greater
intelligence—for their future child.285 The proposed definition, however, indirectly restricts the
implementation of germline genetic modifications meant to increase human intelligence. The
reason for this indirect restriction is that human intelligence and human psychology are inexorably
interconnected,286 and therefore, any changes to the threshold level of human intelligence in a
hypothetical, genetically enhanced human would affect his or her psychology.
Consequently, the proposed definition would also have the effect of restricting dramatic
changes to human intelligence, which would result in the gross social inequalities that some
opponents of the technology fear.287 Transhumanist proponents and enthusiasts of the designer
baby movement may protest that one of the most promising aspects of genetic enhancement is the
increase in human intelligence, and that the proposed definition implicitly impedes the
achievement of this goal. However, this definition merely prohibits the enhancement of human
intelligence through germline genetic modification. Outside the definition remain other possible
283 Thomas Insel, the Director of the National Institute of Mental Health, has spoken about how little is known about
the human brain: “I can’t tell you – nor can anyone else how the brain functions as an information processing organ.
How does it do it?... We really don’t have a sense how the brain works.” Kevin Loria, Most People Don’t
Understand Just How Little We Know About the Human Brain, BUS. INSIDER (May 22, 2015),
284 KAKU, supra note 136, at 1-2. To illustrate this point, Kaku states: “There are 100 billion stars in the Milky Way
galaxy, roughly the same as the number of neurons in our brain. You may have to travel twenty-four trillion miles to
the first star outside our solar system to find an object as complex as what is sitting on your shoulders.” Id.
285 See generally Annas, Andrews & Isasi, supra note 13. See also Pham, supra note 136, at 150 .
286 See Robert J. Sternberg, Human Intelligence; Psychology, BRITANNICA ONLINE ENCYCLOPEDIA (May 7, 2015),
https://www.britannica.com/topic/human-intelligence-psychology (noting that the most salient theories of human
intelligence are based on “psychosometrics; cognitive psychology, which concerns itself with the processes by
which the mind functions; cognitivism and contextualism.”). See also ROBERT J. STERNBERG, BEYOND IQ: A
TRIARCHIC THEORY OF HUMAN INTELLIGENCE (Cambridge University Press 1984). At its most essential level,
Human psychology is the behaviors reflecting the inner workings of the human mind. See also Christian Nordqvist,
What is Psychology? What are the Branches of Psychology?, MEDICAL NEWS TODAY (Aug. 14, 2015),
287 Annas, Andrews & Isasi, supra note 13, at 161.