Put this in the file of "Evidence for How Fast Science and Technology are Progressing." It's from an article in the Washington Times...
"We are fast approaching arguably the most consequential technological threshold in all of human history: the ability to alter the genes we pass to our children," says the Center for Genetics and Society.
Steve Sailer, founder of the Human Biodiversity Institute, said, "The evolution of the human race is about to accelerate almost unimaginably. Thus, we can no longer afford the comforting illusion that evolution doesn't really apply to humanity."
Cloning of animals is now commonplace. Many who work in genetics take for granted that design of people is possible in principle and getting close in practice. . .
. . . if genetic manipulation does prove to be possible, we will be playing with something we do not remotely understand and whose consequences will be unpredictable. We will be creating our replacements.
I'm not suggesting we should argue about the merits of human genetic engineering in this space, because there are other places for that. But it is good to see that important questions are being raised and openly discussed.
What would be the consequences, politically and socially, of the ability to produce children with sharply higher intelligence? Once we begin fiddling with such things, will we be able to control the results? The results, remember, will be lots smarter than we are.
We do not know the limits of manipulation of human genetics. If smart people at the National Institutes of Health can figure out how to increase intelligence greatly, might not those who were greatly increased figure out to increase it even more? We can have no idea how the world would look to them. We aren't smart enough.
Part of CRN's mission is to raise awareness of the political and social consequences that may arise from molecular manufacturing -- both the benefits and the risks -- and to engage with others in an effort to devise and implement responsible public policy. If we do our job well, informed discussion of these vital issues will be taking place on all levels every day.
With astounding advances expected in genetic engineering, biotechnology, information technology, and especially nanotechnology, the near future looks very interesting.