Are We Close to Creating Super-Humans? -A Galaxy Insight
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January 15, 2009

Are We Close to Creating Super-Humans? -A Galaxy Insight

Future_human_2_2 Nearly every day we are inundated with new genetic discoveries. Scientists can now pinpoint many specific genes including being lean, living a long life, improved self-healing, thrill seeking behavior, and having an improved memory among many other incredible traits. Many believe that these genes can be manipulated in ordinary humans, in effect creating Super-Mutants.

Isaac Asimov, the famous thinker and sci-fi writer wrote, “The advance of genetic engineering makes it quite conceivable that we will begin to design our own evolutionary progress.”

The options are nearly limitless. Theoretically, if a gene exists in another species, it can be brought over to a human cell. Imagine some of the incredible traits of the animal kingdom that humans miss out on- night vision, amazing agility, or the ability to breath underwater. The precedence for these types of radical changes is already in place. Experimental mice, for example, were successfully given the human ability to see in color. If animals can be engineered to have human traits, then humans can certainly be mutated to have desirable animal traits.

Recently, a National Human Genome Research Institute team reported a mutation in a gene that codes for a muscle protein known as myostatin which can increase muscle mass and enhance racing performance in whippets. Some wonder if human athletes could benefit from having a gene or two artificially mutated to give them a little extra strength and speed.

It is even thought possible to so drastically alter human genomes that a type of superhuman species could emerge. The fear with germline engineering is that since it is inheritable, offspring and all succeeding generations would carry the modified traits. This is one reason why this type of engineering is currently banned- it could lead to irreversible alteration of the entire human species.

Ethics, not scientific limitations, is the real brick wall. Most scientists believe manipulating genes in order to make an individual healthy is a noble and worthwhile pursuit. Some are against even that notion, arguing that historically amazing individuals have sometimes been plagued by genetic mental and physical disorders, which inadvertently shaped the greatness of their lives. Should we rob the human race of character shaping frailty? Very few scientists would dare to publicly endorse the idea of using genetic engineering to make a normal, healthy individuals somehow superior to the rest of the human race.

“The push to redesign human beings, animals and plants to meet the commercial goals of a limited number of individuals is fundamentally at odds with the principle of respect for nature,”
said Brent Blackwelder, President of Friends of the Earth in his testimony before the Senate Appropriations Committee.

However, would it be so bad if the human race was slightly improved? What if a relatively simple procedure could make an individual and his or her offspring more compassionate, intelligent and thoughtful? Currently scientists are using gene therapy in an attempt to wipe out disease, but what if we could save many more lives by wiping out war instead though engineering humans to be less bloodthirsty, hateful and narrow-minded?

After all, Nature isn’t always right. Nature has naturally selected many people to carry the burden of uncomfortable and often lethal genetic disorders. If nature knows best, then shouldn’t we quit trying to “improve” upon nature by “curing” people of genetic conditions we consider inferior? Many say we shouldn’t change human genetics, UNLESS it’s the RIGHT thing to do. Who gets to decide where the line is between righteous endeavor and the corruption of nature? These are the questions facing our generation.

Posted by Rebecca Sato

See: What do Robots Dream Of?

Comments

First you start small like making humanity immune against things like cancer and aids.

then watch "gundam seed" to find out what happens next. lol

Wow, I think you might just be onto something here!

www.web-privacy.pro.tc

It should be an interesting 30+ years ahead of humanity (assuming we all make it and don't kill ourselves).

I'm all for it!

Just think, you could someday order kits in the mail (or actually probably by then you'd be able to use a 3D printer to create them yourself) which have various options chosen to literally create "the new you".

Personally I'd want genes to boost my intellect so that I could ramp myself up to levels of superhuman intelligence, enabling me to achieve a dozen or so PhDs in all the required technologies to enable me to build a true artificial intelligence, create a data storage device capable of storing the contents of the human brain, then upload myself at some point before my body gives out. Although, academia nuts tend to enjoy research so I'd have to be careful not to absorb myself and become a "student of life", but I digress.

That way even in screen saver mode I'd be able to continue to be productive virtually thanks to the brain boost I received while still a corporeal being.

This is against the nature rules. If we can create super human then everyone would want a super baby ...then there is so many super baby born competition will be fierce in the next generation.

I personally think we should fix society from the ground-up before we start messing with genetics, and imbue the best of humanity with these.

There's too many poor examples of human beings in existence, they don't need "super powers" coupled with their low levels of consciousness and intelligence.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sickle_cell_anemia

" One-third of all aboriginal inhabitants of Sub-Saharan Africa carry the gene.[2] This is because those with only one of the two alleles of the sickle-cell disease are resistant to malaria, since an infestation of the malaria plasmodium is halted by the sickling of the cells which it infests"

Classic case of a harmful disease carrying a beneficial effect. One should be careful about genetically enhancing out undesirable traits, by unifying the gene pool you open vulnerabilities for a single strain of virus or bacteria to devastate the human race

Just watch GATTACA.

I'm all for it, but my concerns are if you think racism is bad now, just imagine what it would be like if some people can afford changes and others can not.

Remember the movie GATTACA?? That's what will happen. The people that are not genetically perfect, wont get to have a decent job.

I think that the choice to modify one's genetics should be up to the person themselves. If I want to turn myself into a giant green skinned 8+ foot tall Frankenstein then I should be able to.

/I love fallout 3

I feel bad for the poor people who are going to be the subject of failed experiments to "improve" our genetic qualities. Testing all these wonderful ideas at some point requires human lives. And as we all know experiments dont always go well. Not that making people better, smarter etc...is bad. but being able to test it correctly without hurting a human..is the trick.

not to mention at our rate of technological advance, nanobots that will "fix" anything wrong with a person will probably become effective prior to or during the same time that we are genetically altering ourselves. this lends us two methods of alteration, genetic and with nanobots.

It's obvious that the greatest desire of mankind is to attain eternal life. Some just trying to deny this and some try to protest against such attempts. Yet, at the end of the day, the flow of scientific breakthrough will crush religious resistances. This has been proven throughout centuries. I think big governments with big military budgets will be the one with greatest interest in this super-human thing. Of course, to create super-soldiers, even if it will lead to catastrophic results.

you guys should check out this guys research project.
tevieo.blogspot.com

you guys should check out this guys research project.
tevieo.blogspot.com

Sorry, i am not very scientific, but what about instead of messing with genetics, just add in some Nano Tech stuff to see what happens?

"However, would it be so bad if the human race was slightly improved? What if a relatively simple procedure could make an individual and his or her offspring more compassionate, intelligent and thoughtful?"

Yes it would. It would destroy the Republican Party!

It has already happened! A small number of people exert as much of their will on the rest of the world as they see fit! They do not live in tenement housing, they do no drive rusty Chevs, they do not pay unpayable mortgages, and whenever they wish the buy a politician like George Bush and go on a panty raid of the world's richest banks! They smash Palestinians for sport,break regimes like the U.S.S.R. For hellery, play games with nuclear weapons, force American soldiers to fight their dirty little wars, own patents of control, and operate with impunity in world courts. They have limitless personal luxury, money and medical care, many places they call home, private jet planes, doctors, lawyers and military servants, hospital ships on the great oceans for illegal organ transplants to prolong their lives,They live among us but apart from us, and often hold positions of power over us. We know some of them very well and we do not know some of them! They finance what they personally need, and we serve them for the crumbs from their tables. They are Gods among us, the Uber-rich dominant species on the planet, and we are beholden to them for the very air we breathe!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Singularity_is_Near

Biology is nearly obsolete; enter the age of the intelligent machine!

"This is one reason why this type of engineering is currently banned- it could lead to irreversible alteration of the entire human species."

Depending on the particular alteration in question, I don't see this as necessarily a bad thing....

However, I also question the 'irreversible' argument. The ability to make a specific alteration implies the ability to change it back, or to something else. It might be better to think of this as not so much 'genetic engineering,' as 'genetic editing.'

"Sorry, i am not very scientific, but what about instead of messing with genetics, just add in some Nano Tech stuff to see what happens?"

Oh, that'll ultimately happen, too. Indeed, nanotechnology could give us the *tools* to make the very specific genetic changes we may want. (as well as adding assorted non-biological augmentations and enhancements)

"I'm all for it, but my concerns are if you think racism is bad now, just imagine what it would be like if some people can afford changes and others can not."

Okay, but it's *already* true that some people can afford comparable things that others can't. (Education and Internet access, for example.) But like many other consumer technologies, this kind of genetic engineering will likely get better and cheaper with time. The market will certainly be there to use it if it's affordable, save for some groups like the Amish, who may choose to stay away from it...

There's lots of genetic alterations to the human genome that would be in the nature of repairs. Fixing the gene for vitamin C for instance, would enhance the survival of the species. There's probably a general cleaning out of dangerous recessives that could be accomplished without much risk.

IN the nature of enhancements, I am sure improved disease resistance via an improved immune system
would be a useful way of reducing healthcare costs
down the line.

And one more thing. Better and stronger teeth.

None of this needs to change the character of the species, but I think it would help us get down to the business of being human with fewer distractions.

I like the idea - kindof.

My first qualm is that "We" as a group should do anything. If this technology is going to be available, the individual has to be able to make the decision to change on their own, or all "we've" accomplished is a more DNA-oriented form of rape.

Second, the attempt of the concept would break the very rule being pushed that we're not allowed to cause harm. Individual genes can be used again
and again
and again
within the human body, and they often interact with other genes. The experimentation required to 'fix' an individual could leave you looking at the broken husk of a human being that even the Hunchback of Notre Dame would flinch to see, as it died of forms of cancer more hideous than currently imaginable.

Your goal is to force others to stop treating human beings as resources and property - but you've just advocated doing so by treating others as resources and property yourself. So do the right thing by your own morals and let people experiment as they wish, and experiment yourself as you wish. Demonstrate to others that the proper manner of treating others is with a spirit of cooperation, not with force.

The idea of modifying the human beings is as a minimum BAD and at the maximum it reveals the mental SICKNESS of those who predicate and pursue it.

IF you are not religious then why we should modify the natural evolutionary work done in the last couple of million years by the planet earth on humans and 'human like' beings ????

Who will benefits out of that ??
Some smart company with shares at Wall Street ??
Some mentally sick military group ??
Others unknown BUT still crazy ??

IF you are religious then you could expect a second Genesis Book....." You have eaten the fruits of the tree of the knowing...contradicting my orders...then You go away and You will die...and work ...and ....and"

In both cases the idea of supermen appears as a minimum NOT very hectic...and quite risky business.

Don't we have enough issues on this miniplanet to add our additional issues to the current ones ??

NO it appears we do NOT have issues and we lose time to think ....Bull Shit.

Regards

Danger of changing the entire human species ? Killing one human equals removing his genome from the pool and hence changing the composition of the human gene pool.
I believe what will come will be all new technology together, item by item, piece by piece. Like changing the genes first to cure illnesses, adding nano-technology for the same reason and bit by bit these things will become the "normal" stuff, like pills today and pacemakers etc.
And when everybody becomes "super" it means that everybody is just like the rest : average.
(http://zyxo.wordpress.com/2008/12/17/human-evolution-the-future-of-men/)

Uhuu
It is all so interesting, but... we are only babies...for
we have not even an idea of how many cells are in a
human body...and truly what each and everyone cell can do we know not; so therefore, our own DNA's full potential is not known either.

Are we moving a little too fast forward? For there are so many, many instances, where we already have been ... scientificly altering 'things' around. In these, we still have no way of knowing the true outcome of things. Some has had very horrible outcomes, both for Earth and for us...why will we not learn proper?

Remember we're newcomers here on Earth we are one
of the last arrivals, yes we know much, but we are
in truth only catching up to what has existed for eons of times, throughout Earths Evolution. So are any-
one really ready to say; 'Yes' to this when so much is
still not known, and where we'll still fight each other none stop???
Yes, we do know much, but do we truly know enough to manually keep altering; all things around us, in a different way; to the 'old' natural selection patters???
Where has our; "First do no Harm" gone??? When we still do not know what we truly do???


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