I’m struck by two recent information pieces I’ve consumed in the past week. The first was a TED talk (love them!) about the possibility that the next generation might be a different species. The other information piece was a little less “natural-Darwinian” and was about, essentially, genetic engineering of children for medical purposes – to treat mitochondrial disease, specifically.
It seems inevitable, whether through evolution that has occurred throughout time, or through evolution facilitated by man, that humans will look very different in the future. Or is it?
I mean, fundamentally, the information age is a similar correlate: before the advent of the computer or the internet, for example, there were scientific journals, books, and conversations between people. The fact that communication has evolved so fast has certainly led to some changes – there is a LOT more information and easier access to it. But has the information fundamentally changed? I would suggest it hasn’t really – people still twitter about their feelings, dreams, desires, frustrations, and journals still publish studies on all manner of topics; books and e-books are still published about current events and stories involving villians and heros…
Is this a fair comparison: living organism with information? I guess the biggest difference is that information is much harder to kill off and humans may evolve to the point of becoming too similar that a disease could wipe us/them out or mistakes will be made whereby life expectancy falls substantially. The latter will be unlikely en mass due to regulations and those voicing concerns (as well as, hopefully, logic). The former option is conceivable. Beyond that, however, what is the objection? Why can’t we help hopeful-parents create a healthy, brown-eyed, black-haired baby instead of leaving it to luck?