The man who becomes known as Crake, formerly called Glenn, moved into genetic engineering from a science background. Crake’s work in the “Paradice” department of his firm involves experimenting on human embryos, enhancing supposedly desirable characteristics in, and eliminating what are seen as flaws from, their genetic makeup. One of the positive features is green eyes; it later turns out that such eyes are also not harmed by ultraviolet light. While Crake carries out the work, most of the feature choices had already been made.
As Glenn, Crake had grown up with Jimmy, who renames himself Snowman. The boys lived in a compound run by the bioengineering firm where both their fathers worked. Jimmy’s father is shown as one of the scientists who helped create the conditions upon which Crake later builds; he had worked on genetically altered hybrid creatures.
As an adult, the talented scientist Crake worked for a biotechnology firm. One of its activities also paves the way for the later experiments and apocalyptic devastation: manufacturing instantly lethal drugs.
The choices were justified in the eyes of the society’s decision makers. Atwood makes it clear that science, apparently unregulated, had become ascendant over arts and humanities, so that those who might object were relegated to the periphery.