Attack on the Clones; Francis Fukuyama and the Argument against Biotech. (ITM: In the margin).(Our Posthuman Future: Consequences of the Biotechnology Revolution)(Brief Article)(Critical Essay)

Article excerpt

FRANCIS FUKUYAMA IS A BIT OF A PUZZLE. IN JANUARY, HE WAS APPOINTED to President Bush's eighteen-member Council on Bioethics, and he has testified before Congress for a ban on human cloning--but he also supports easing restrictions on federal funding of controversial embryonic stem-cell research. He outlines his beliefs in a new book, Our Posthuman Future: Consequences of the Biotechnology Revolution.

Fukuyama first came to public attention in the `90s, after he wrote an article suggesting that the "end of history" had arrived--meaning that liberal democracy no longer faced any major ideological competitors. He later expanded this much-debated idea into a book, The End of History and the Last Man. He has since changed his mind, although it wasn't September 11 that did it for him. (Fukuyama views the attacks as a "desperate rearguard action" on the part of Islamic radicals.) "The one critique that could not be answered," he says, "was the critique that said you cannot have an end of history without an end of science."

In Our Posthuman Future, Fukuyama argues that personality-altering drugs, genetic engineering and other emerging or future developments in biomedical science could undermine liberal democracy. …