Gattaca: We're Not Far Off

The New York Times reported over the weekend that there’s a 149 dollar test for children to determine if they have the sports gene.

My initial thought was, Awesome! We should see what it says about Emory! like we’d be getting a reading from a 15-dollar, storefront fortune teller. After I thought about it a bit more, the idea began to make me very uneasy. I’m asking way too many questions of the “what if? variety.

Can we be trusted with this information? Will it bring more good to the world than bad? Because I’m just not sure.


  1. What is the sports gene? What % of the population has it? If you don’t have it, does that mean you will be a clumsy oaf? Or just that you won’t grow up to be LeBron James?


  2. BTW, I had to look up LeBron James’ name to make sure I got it right. I don’t think I have the sports gene.


  3. I have to cry “foul!” on this one (see that? that sports reference? Oh, I make myself laugh).

    I am lucky that I can walk without falling down. Hand-eye coordination? Please. I can’t catch, throw, or run.

    However, drop me in the ocean and check out my stylin’ swimming moves. I am a fish. A former star football player and scholarship-receiving lacrosse player once told me that I was an “amazingly strong swimmer.” For someone who feared gym class like the plague, that is a compliment that still makes me beam. I remember it warmly whenever I am asked to play volleyball or some such thing.

    So to get to the point, what exactly is this sports gene? Does it only apply to “traditional” sports, like baseball and basketball? Because my husband, who definitely was/is an athlete and excelled at nearly every sport known to man, can’t swim worth shit.


  4. Sports gene? I’ve never heard I of such a thing and honestly wonder why anyone would need a test to know that. If your kid is a sports prodigy, I think you’ll likely know. Heaven forbid, you wouldn’t want him/her wasting life being an intellectual nerd if he/she has the sports gene. Hell, it’ll save a lot of time and academic drudgery to just know in advance.


  5. it will bring more bad than good.


  6. it will bring more bad than good.


  7. What about the gene that makes you wanna cry now that NCAA football season is coming to a close? He might have inherited that one…


  8. Somehow our parents and their parents before them were able to live with the unanswered questions.

    I agree that we can’t be trusted with the information. As soon as we think we’re omniscient, then we begin to act as though we’re omnipotent. Neither of which are true no matter how many test results make us think it’s true.

    Yeah, I think in cases like this one (non life threatening medical condition), we should just let ourselves sit with the unfolding mysteries, our vulnerabilities and the mistakes we might make…and the truly wonder-ful things too.


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