rhetoric, religion, cloning, genetic engineering, science writing for the public, human enhancement, cloning, religious discourse,
James A. Herrick
Human enhancement technologies have been described and debated in popular fiction and non-fiction for at least a century, and have generated even greater controversy since the cloning of Dolly the sheep in 1996 and Craig Venter's announcement of the first synthetic life form in 2007. Following each new development in cloning or genetic engineering the media are abuzz with talk of scientists "playing God." This study will explore the rhetorical strategies characterizing the human enhancement debate, focusing in particular on how essentially religious language and concepts are deployed on both sides of the controversy. The goal is to illuminate the rhetorical maneuvering of the human enhancement movement and its opponents, and thus to advance understanding of this increasingly prominent public controversy.