1. Physicist Freeman Dyson says germline
engineering would lead
to new human species
Speaking at a May 16 ceremony in which he was awarded the Templeton
Prize for Progress in Religion, Princeton physicist Freeman
warned that human germline engineering "could cause a splitting
humanity into hereditary castes."
In a public address at the Washington National Cathedral, Dyson
"Wealthy parents will be able to buy what they consider
for their babies...Within a few generations, the children of
poor could become separate species."
The Templeton Foundation has supported theologians who advocate
human germline engineering, and programs to educate theologians
the benefits of "free markets." But Dyson argued that
demands government regulation. "No matter how strongly
in the virtues of a free market economy," he said, "the
must not extend to human genes."
See "Physicist envisions 'hereditary castes,'" The
2. James Watson endorses scientists "playing
At the annual meeting of the British all-party Parliamentary
Scientific Committee held in mid-May, James Watson argued that
is nothing intrinsically wrong with the idea of scientists "playing
god" by manipulating the human genome. Watson rejected
human germline engineering by asking, "[I]n all honesty,
don't play god, who will?"
3. "Technocalypse" -- Dutch Television
on post-human genetics
Dutch TV recently aired a two-part series on genetic engineering
A web site with images and lengthy transcripts from the television
"Technocalypse." Among those featured were prominent
including Max More, president of the Extropy Institute (a libertarian
group that promotes human germline enhancement and cryogenics);
Kurzweil, who argues that "non-biological intelligence
become dominant" over humans; and Hans Moravec, who believes
"once the level of computer competence [has] risen beyond
human engineers, then there won't be any human engineers there
be robotic or computer engineers."
shows is at <http://www.omroep.nl/ikon/technocalypse/>.