The future of human evolution
1st March, 2006
There is no stop button......in the race for human re-engineering. Science will soon give some of us the tools to make ourselves cleverer and stronger. What will it mean for humanity?
My daughter is 10. Fast forward 25 years, and she is having her first child – early by the standards of all her friends, but she’s keen on ‘natural’. Of course, she did pre-implementation genetic diagnosis, and she and her husband (yes, very old fashioned, they married) had some agonising days deciding on whether to modify a genetic predisposition to depression and whether to splice in a gene for enhanced intelligence. In the end, they felt they had no option but to give their baby the best possible start in life.
Five years later, my little granddaughter is starting school. Again her parents have talked over the pros and cons of cognitive enhancement. A pharmcogenetic package is now routinely offered on the NHS after the government decided that, given international competition in the global knowledge economy, there was no option but to ensure the nation’s schoolchildren had better powers of memory and concentration. I had my doubts, but I have to admit that my little granddaughter is proving a wonderfully clever creature – a constant source of amazement to me.
My doubts were in part assuaged by the fact that I had already started stronger doses of the same...
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