Almost ten millennia ago man started engineering the genes of whatever it thought was useful for survival. Wild cereal grasses, fruit-bearing plants, animals were tamed to become an incessant source of food, hide, and service rather than one-time bounty. The process is called domestication. Something mankind owes its survival to a lot.
As per definition, domestication is an assortment technique using which the man pulls the strings of organisms’ evolution in a way that best suits the string-puller. It all started in a day’s work. Nothing much was said or done. Thousands of summers ripened the fruits of knowledge about plant breeding. Man put into use these rough canons of hereditary patterns he had framed over the hundreds of decades and got away with the best of it.
Now by taming the wild things, man was actually tailoring their genes according to his taste. The early man believed that crops gods in the same way the soil needed turning. All agrarian civilizations had one or a set of deities who were thought to be the fertilizers. Feeling himself so tiny against the Nature that sent floods, hail, droughts, and blight. But it took man thousands of harvests to realise that he was, indeed, the one who held sway on it as it was only he who tilled, sowed, watered, watched, and harvested his crop. These mythological morons never set foot on the ground. Man is himself the lord of agriculture.
The technology of re-wiring the genes and splicing together fragments from more than one organism’s genetic information is nothing but direct domestication. We may categorize the selection as natural and artificial.The organisms whose full DNA sequence underwent unmediated maneuvering are named Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs). The upshot is that domestication and genetic engineering-based domestication are man-made.
So there is absolutely nothing wrong with growing a drought resistant corn or weed-repelling soy as both have been domesticated to survive in adverse conditions in order to deliver more. It all started with the discovery of genes by Mendel, De Vries, Correns, von Tschermak, Morgan, Sturtevant and many others.
The “green revolution” took root in the fertile minds that bore groundbreaking ideas. That’s when the size of a normal corn ear swelled twice (during 1970-90) than that of its earlier generation. Plants and animals are being tamed through the very method and it holds the key to most of our mental deadlocks like famine-twined food insecurity, mercury-mocking global warming, super droughts, sandwiching desertification, mutating-pests, poison toll, fertilizer cost, resilient parasites, stubborn-wandering-weeds, wicked viruses, etc.
Genetic engineering per se is the leap in gene-driven domestication of plants and animals. A scientific extension of what we have been doing for the last 10,000 years. The survival of human race hangs by a thread and this thread is nothing but a gene.