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Biohazards

Wesley J. Smith

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Advances in biological science raise troubling questions about what it means to be human.

"By the end of the 21st century," writes Reason magazine science editor Ronald Bailey in his book "Liberation Biology," "the typical American may attend a family reunion in which five generations are playing together. And great-great-great grandma, at 150 years old, will be as vital ... as her 30-year-old great-great grandson with whom she's playing touch football."

UCLA futurist Gregory Stock predicts in "Redesigning Humans" that the genetic engineering of progeny for health, intelligence, physical beauty, even sociability, will be so successful that procreation through intercourse will be deemed "too unpredictable," making "laboratory conception ... obligatory rather than optional."

Princeton biologist Lee Silver believes fervently, as described in "Remaking Eden," that the wonders of human redesign will eventually lead to a "special point" where our posterity will create themselves into a "special group of mental beings who "are as different from humans as humans are from primitive worms. ...'Intelligence' will "not do justice to their cognitive abilities. 'Knowledge' does not explain the depth of their understanding. ...'Power' is not strong enough to describe the control they have over technologies that can be used to shape the universe in which they live."

Read the entire article on the San Francisco Chronicle website (new window will open).

Posted: 11-Nov-05



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