Eric Steiger


Over seventy-five years ago, Aldous Huxley envisioned a future in which the creation of human individuals is not left to chance and sweaty biology, but is a feat of engineering individuals to established specifications. Huxley described a process by which human ova are fertilized in-vitro, then "budded" through an imaginary technique into multiple copies, and finally into identical twins in incubators, entirely absent of a mother's womb. While many of Huxley's predictions about the future have come to pass, such as helicopters, the assembly line, and indeed, in-vitro fertilization, the prospect of ectogenesis, of gestating a child completely outside of its mother's uterus, is still within the of science fiction. However, that may not be the case for much longer. Scientists predict that safe, reliable, and complete ectogenesis will be available within the next thirty years, and perhaps within as little as ten or five.