The Sapling Test

“I predict that because of my test, we will have confirmed indicators of actual evolution within our lifetime.” - Dr. Richard Sapling, "The Nature Versus Nurture Lie," New Scientist Magazine, Issue 4211, 23rd February 2020.

The Sapling Test was developed by Dr Richard Sapling as a maternal blood-screening  assessor that predicted the genetic make-up of a fetus. Launched on 20th of May 2020, its initial cost of $99[1] made it easily accessible to many in the U.S. In several countries, it quickly replaced the Multiple Marker Test as a prenatal screening test.[2]

The test is an investigation performed during the second trimester of pregnancy to classify a patient as either high-risk or low-risk for chromosomal abnormalities (and neural tube defects).[3][4] (described below).

The Sapling Test measures serum levels of AFP[5], estriol[6], beta-hCG[7], and genetic variation in blood cells with a seventy percent sensitivity and five percent false-positive rate.[8]

A blood sample is taken from a patient by pressing a polyurethane card, embedded with six 2mm needles onto the skin. Each card is coated with synthetic human stem-cells. After a two-minute wait, an MR code forms upon the back of the card. Using cell phone software (downloaded to accompany the test), the user scans the pattern to access their unique report. The report is grouped into three sections; the first predicts the sex of the child, the second the physicality of a child, and the third their intelligence . The report ranks a child on a graph against every previously tested fetus, predicting a child’s IQ, height, weight, stamina, speed, and agility. The test goes further still, estimating the likelihood of adult defects such as the possibility of stroke, heart disease, and diabetes.[9]

‘The Sapling Test’ (2029) Wikipedia. Available at (Accessed: on 24th October 2042).


Help your children be more.” Sapling Inc advertising slogan 2023.


“As it became possible to pinpoint real indicators of intelligence and physical ability, many schools responded by restructuring themselves in order to nurture one or the other. Elementary schools became miniature MITs or University of Floridas. Some commentators have chosen to focus on the negatives, with talk of a two-tier educational system, but surely the bigger picture is in the common good for all of us, for mankind, for the improvement of us as a species.”

Griffiths, J. ‘Sapling: Ten Years on,’ New York Times, 17th July 2035: Available at The New York Times Cloud.


“It’s a timely study of humanity’s words versus humanity’s actions. Is a child any less or more of a child because of where they are plotted on that graph? And who gets to choose the factors we plot them against? What about empathy? What about courage? What about selflessness? But here we are, facing the inconvenient truth that since the test’s conception, the chances of life for a fetus have fallen from eighty-eight percent in 2019 to sixty-five percent in 2025. Since the test’s conception, recorded births of babies born with Down Syndrome have dropped by seventy percent. Since the test’s conception, recorded births of babies born with physical abnormalities have dropped by ninety percent. They used to joke about a Starbucks being on every corner, now it’s abortion clinics.”

Senator George Munroe, Sen. for Ohio, Fox and Friends (2027), Fox News, 4th June.


“I have type-two myotonic dystrophy, a genetic wasting disease. There’s a twenty percent chance of passing it on to my children. This is our fourth try. The last three showed… some signs. I’m beginning to lose hope. I’m thirty-seven now and I don’t know if I’ll ever have a child.”

Kay, J. (2028), Interviews of Loss , Faber, Harper Collins & Bloomsbury; London.


“Rarely in the history of marketing has a product made such an impact. But then, as a company, they had to keep growing, improving, diversifying –– we wanted more, and we got it. Now, Sapling has us covered from the cradle to the grave. No longer simply a pregnancy test, they’re an any time diagnostic tool that lets us know how we’re performing at any step of our lives. And their true genius is that they then sell us the drugs to get us back on track.”

Donovan, K. (2035), The Big 6: A Retrospective , Simon & Schuster, New York



2021             2041

Infant Mortality (per 1000)                    

5.9%            3.9%

Average Household Size                   

2.6             1.8

Life Expectancy                           

71.5             76.4


100               104

Source: World Bank



2021             2041

100m Male                         

9.58             9.45

100m Female                       

10.49             10.22

Marathon Male                        

2:01:39             1:58:22

Marathon Female                      

2:17:25              2:06:14

High Jump Male                        

2.45 m             2.53 m

High Jump Female                        

2.09 m             2.13 m

Long Jump Male                         

8.95 m             9.02 m

Long Jump Female                        

7.52 m             7.59 m

Source: IAAF




It is the end of the school year, the last year for Todd and Angelo. They are moving to middle school in September. Like many districts, there is a choice to make. There is the local, publicly controlled JFK school and Model Academy, a private school. Both are open to applications, but a recent USA Today investigation found that Model Academy is very selective. Their intake for the last three years has been exclusively made up of those pupils who scored in the top twenty-five percent of intelligence or physical ability, as shown in the Sapling Middle School Test. Todd and Angelo were ranked in the lower percentile of the test.

TODD: Can you run a mile in under three minutes?


TODD: Can you lift 200lbs?


TODD: Are you good at football?


TODD: Then what are you talking about?

ANGELO: I just think I’d make a good runner or maybe a tennis player.

TODD: But the test said you can’t.

ANGELO: What if it’s nothing to do with the test. What if it’s to do with what we’re taught. Maybe I’d be a great runner if they taught me how to run. Maybe you’d be an inventor or something if they taught you.

TODD: That’s not the way it works.

ANGELO: Says who?

TODD: They say . They call it evolution. It gets rid of its weakest links.


TODD: Would that be so bad?




Peter Rainer   - Host

Tina Carr      - Senator (D – CA)

Mike Jones     - Communications Officer Sapling Inc.

Steve LaMalfa   - Director of Raytheon School of Excellence Boston


CARR: And that’s my point. All it’s done is continue to increase the divide between those that have and those who do not.

LAMALFA: But the data simply does not lie. Look at the growth in human achievement, physically and mentally. Almost every world record has been broken time and time again over the last ten years. Life expectancy has increased by almost five percent. Five percent, Tina!

CARR: I’m old enough to remember Lance Armstrong winning seven straight Tour de France titles and then being stripped of them all.

LAMALFA: Not the same…

CARR: And what’s the point of living longer if the standard of living is worse now than it’s ever been –– unless you’re in the top ten percent of course, and that’s the point! Only those at the top are reaping the benefits of… whatever way you want to spin what is happening in this country. An elite class who are told, from birth, that they are better, that no one else should even try, that if you’re not the best, you’re nothing, worthless. Never has humanity been so divided, so compartmentalized, so judged by dots on an algorithm that places human beings on a graph. Human beings! You can’t run, you can’t jump, you won’t live past fifty years of age. So what! Who the hell decided that any of that mattered? Where’s the test for being a decent human being?

JONES: That’s exactly the sort of hyperbole I expect from a socialist leaning failed Senator…

CARR: Wow!

JONES: …failed Senator, who has been bankrolled by the liberal elite cabal, intent upon dehumanizing anyone who does not hold their beliefs.

CARR: Who are these elite? Who? I’m not sure you even know what that word means, perhaps you should ask your lobbyist friends from Sapling or Infogenics. If you want to talk about dehumanizing, maybe you should start there. The termination rates in this country have gone from two percent to twenty-nine in a decade.

JONES: You know Tina, some people have short memories, but I recall a time when you argued for the right to terminate, for a woman to have autonomy over her own body.

CARR: Nice deflection, Mike.

JONES: What’s the difference? Explain it to me.

CARR: You’ve gone way beyond the patriarchy. Now you’re creating a two-tier society of those who scored well on a subjective pre-birth test and a subculture of those who didn’t or whose parents refused to allow their fetus to be tested. And you have no idea how the fracture between those two parts of society will turn out in ten or twenty years, but I’ll take a guess at who’ll be holding the whip.

LAMALFA: For crying out loud Pete, are you going to step in and facilitate this or not?


“This is not new; it is simply a different language and a different set of criteria. This is eugenics and given enough time, this will be looked upon as no different than Victorian studies into morally bankrupt individuals based on the shape of their faces.

For as long as mankind has existed, there has been a definition of what is good breeding and what is bad, and it will forever be based on wealth. Eugenics has always had one goal: to replace natural selection among human groups by human selection among human groups. And the first victim of such a transformation is always equality. If one section of society transforms into something superior, what rights will these higher humans claim over those left behind? This question is troubling enough within rich, developed societies, but what are the implications for the world’s poorest countries? It is there that the threat of inequality becomes something menacing.”

Sophia M. Thornhill, Professor of Natural Religion, Moral Philosophy, and Civil Polity. Stanford University. From, ‘An Essay in New Eugenics,’ published in American Scientist Volume 236, pp. 23-32, May 2036.


“It was a choice, let’s be clear about that. I gave people information; what they did with it was up to them.”

Interview with Dr. Richard Sapling, People Magazine, Issue 702, 17 th April 2038: Available from People Magazine cloud.


“They used to say that a child conceived in love has a greater chance of happiness. They don't say that anymore.”

Gattaca, Jersey Films, Colombia Pictures, United States, (1997), 106 minutes.

AIDAN FUREY lives in Belfast, Ireland. He was recently awarded a First-Class Honours Degree in English and Creative Writing. His work can be found at various places both online and in print and he is currently seeking representation for his novel, Good Deeds and Bad Devotions.