Special Section: THE SPIRIT: Who Will Make the Choices of Life and Death?

The quantum leap in man's abilities to reshape himself evokes a sense of uneasiness, a memory of Eden. Eat of the forbidden fruit, God warns, and "you shall surely die." Eat, promises the serpent, and "you shall be like God."

That temptation—to be "like God"—is at the root of the ethical dilemmas posed by molecular biology. In one sense, the new findings have continued the work of Newton, Darwin and Freud, reducing men to even tinier cogs in a mechanistic universe. At the same time, it was...

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