Director, Commonwealth Policy Center

A Chinese scientist recently claimed to have successfully edited the genes of twin girls. He says he did so to make them resistant to HIV. The news was met with criticism from the scientific community. Some doubted it was true. Now, the Chinese government is condemning him (He Jiankui), and have reportedly placed him under house arrest. The development is fascinating on two accounts. For starters, the scientific community is placing ethical boundaries on science. Secondly, the Chinese government has a terrible record on human rights but it's accepting that there are limits to what some people can or should do to other people. Improving the human condition is a good thing but tinkering with DNA is  dangerous because unknown consequences loom. Editing human DNA trespasses into God's realm. And when we try to play God, it doesn't end well.