Like I said two days ago, Caitlyn is an unusual girl. Thanks to genetic manipulation, performed "Outside," she’s not truly human. She’s a hybrid, human and bird at the same time. At one point, Brouwer comments that this was only possible because no one was "Outside" to object to the morals of experimenting on a human’s DNA.
This is pretty much in line with what Christians teach about genetic manipulation. It’s never considered a good thing to mess with God’s creation in such a way. But that just brings up the question: how much manipulation is bad? Is any amount acceptable?
Obviously giving a girl wings is a bit over the top, so let’s dial back the potential outrage factor a bit. Suppose some day, scientists discover a way to genetically manipulate a fetus to eliminate a horrific condition like Tay Sachs. Would that be acceptable? How about altering a child’s DNA to make sure it has the "correct" eye or hair color? Or to make him smarter or more athletic?
If we oppose genetic manipulation since it changes God’s creation, then does that apply to cosmetic surgery? If we can’t change a child’s appearance before she’s born, why can she change her appearance through breast implants, collagen injections, or botox? Or on a simpler level, what about hair dye or simple make-up? And it’s an issue for men too, with dyes that take away gray hair.
Now maybe I’m being a little ridiculous with that final example, but I went to those lengths to show a great strength of speculative fiction in general. I’ve said this before, but speculative fiction, such as Broken Angel, allows us to dive into uncharted territory and wrestle with issues before they present themselves in reality. Caitlyn, with her wings, makes us ask ourselves, "How far is too far?" Rather than present a knee-jerk reaction, it’s best for us to sit down and genuinely think through the issue. If it’s bad, why is it bad? Where do the lines fall? Through speculative fiction, we can do our best to figure it out.
Go and see what the other tour participants have had to say:
CSFF Blog Tour
D. G. D. Davidson
Rebecca LuElla Miller
Mirtika or Mir's Here