Khan, failed savior: A better alternate history

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KhanMust be all these hours snow-bound in front of my computer… maybe the sub-zero cold is starting to freeze some (some?) of my brain cells… but it occurred to me the other day that Khan Noonian Singh must have been railroaded.  (And so were we.)

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Star Trek’s Federation history includes, among many other things, the fact that Earth had a World War III, and later, a Eugenics War, the combination of which tore Terran countries and societies apart.  It was from this series of disasters that Earth’s leaders finally started working together on a platform of mutual trust and cooperation, rebuilding the first truly global society.  This society eventually came to provide a universal living wage, food and housing for all, worldwide access to medicine, education and opportunities to do what they wanted beyond basic subsistence.

We also know, from the Star Trek Original Series episode “Space Seed,” that Khan and his followers were part of a group of genetically-engineered superior humans who tried, in Khan’s own words, to “give the world order.”  He and his people were soundly defeated in the Eugenics Wars and forced to flee Earth to escape prosecution.

But I now believe there’s more to the story than that… and a hint as to how Star Trek Into Daftness could have actually become a great movie. Continue reading

Are eugenics at our doorstep?

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Mitochondrial donation.  These two words are poised to create a firestorm of controversy around the world, as some governments are considering allowing parents who use in-vitro techniques to have children, to allow mitochondrial DNA from a third donor to replace some of the existing mitochondrial DNA in the egg.  Based on a procedure called cytoplasmic transfer pioneered in the 1990s, the method is intended to prevent the passing on of inherited and incurable diseases through mitochondrial DNA, which is carried from mother to child.

But naturally, when most people hear anything about this, they picture Khan:

KhanAnd stormtroopers:

Nazi troopsAnd they predictably freak out.  Are we at the doorstep of the long-feared eugenics program? Continue reading