transhumanist dreams and dystopian nightmares the promise and peril of genetic engineering

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Transhumanist Dreams And Dystopian Nightmares

Author : Maxwell J. Mehlman
ISBN : 9781421407272
Genre : Science
File Size : 58. 36 MB
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Transhumanists advocate for the development and distribution of technologies that will enhance human intellectual, physical, and psychological capacities, even eliminate aging. What if the dystopian futures and transhumanist utopias found in the pages of science journals, Margaret Atwood novels, films like Gattaca, and television shows like Dark Angel are realized? What kind of world would humans have created? Maxwell J. Mehlman considers the promises and perils of using genetic engineering in an effort to direct the future course of human evolution. He addresses scientific and ethical issues without choosing sides in the dispute between transhumanists and their challengers. However, Transhumanist Dreams and Dystopian Nightmares reveals that radical forms of genetic engineering could become a reality much sooner than many people think, and that we need to encourage risk-management efforts. Whether scientists are dubious or optimistic about the prospects for directed evolution, they tend to agree on two things. First, however long it takes to perfect the necessary technology, it is inevitable that humans will attempt to control their evolutionary future, and second, in the process of learning how to direct evolution, we are bound to make mistakes. Our responsibility is to learn how to balance innovation with caution. -- Michael A. Goldman

Wondergenes

Author : Maxwell J. Mehlman
ISBN : 0253111056
Genre : Medical
File Size : 34. 94 MB
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Wondergenes not only imagines a future world in which genetic enhancement is the norm, but asserts that this future has already begun. Genetically engineered substances are already in use by athletes, in vitro fertilization already provides the primitive means by which parents can "select" an embryo, and the ability to create new forms of genetically engineered human beings is not far off. What happens when gene therapy becomes gene enhancement? Who will benefit and who might be left behind? What are the costs to our values and beliefs, and to the future of our society? To answer these questions, Maxwell J. Mehlman provides an overview of the scientific advances that have led to the present state of genetic enhancement and explains how these advances will be used in the future to redefine what we think of as a normal human being. He explores the ethical dilemmas already facing researchers and medical practitioners, and the dilemmas we will all be expected to face. In his forecast of the dangers inherent in this technology, he is particularly concerned with the emergence of a "genobility" made up of those able to afford increasingly expensive enhancement. Wondergenes is a serious, accessible introduction to the social and personal implications of genetic engineering. Mehlman weighs the social and economic costs of the many proposals to regulate or limit genetic engineering and provides six concrete policy recommendations -- from professional licensing to a ban on germ-line enhancement -- that propose to make the future of genetic enhancement more equitable and safe.

Radical Abundance

Author : K. Eric Drexler
ISBN : 9781610391146
Genre : Technology & Engineering
File Size : 78. 20 MB
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K. Eric Drexler is the founding father of nanotechnology—the science of engineering on a molecular level. In Radical Abundance, he shows how rapid scientific progress is about to change our world. Thanks to atomically precise manufacturing, we will soon have the power to produce radically more of what people want, and at a lower cost. The result will shake the very foundations of our economy and environment. Already, scientists have constructed prototypes for circuit boards built of millions of precisely arranged atoms. The advent of this kind of atomic precision promises to change the way we make things—cleanly, inexpensively, and on a global scale. It allows us to imagine a world where solar arrays cost no more than cardboard and aluminum foil, and laptops cost about the same. A provocative tour of cutting edge science and its implications by the field's founder and master, Radical Abundance offers a mind-expanding vision of a world hurtling toward an unexpected future.

Genetic Engineering

Author : Mae-Wan Ho
ISBN : 0826412572
Genre : Science
File Size : 80. 50 MB
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"This book examines the social and political implications of the intimate involvement of genetic engineering science with big corporate business, and it points to serious hazards that are inherent in the technology but are largely ignored by practitioners and regulators alike." "The author calls for a halt to commercialisation and for an independent public enquiry into the hazards involved, taking into account the most comprehensive scientific findings as well as the socio-economic and ethical implications."--BOOK JACKET.Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Transevolution

Author : Daniel Estulin
ISBN : 9781937584788
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 44. 8 MB
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Arguing that the race to better humankind is about to go to a new dimension as a result of a nanotechnological revolution, this enthralling read purports that the depth of progress and technological development is such that people in the very near future may no longer be fully human. TransEvolution discusses the transition from human to someone—or something—new and different and the increasing trend of implementing prosthetics, organ implants, bionic eyes, hearing aids, and other technological augmentations. Humans are capable of doing things they never imagined would be possible 20 years ago, and the rapid growth of this trend is nowhere near its end. But do the benefits of these advancements come with a price? Is humanity in danger because of this domination of science and technology? Bestselling author Daniel Estulin describes his vision of the future in which he believes the elite will employ their Promethean plans.

Technophobia

Author : Daniel Dinello
ISBN : 9780292709867
Genre : Literary Criticism
File Size : 58. 32 MB
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Dinello examines the conflict between the techno-utopia promised by real world scientists and the techno-dystopia predicted by science fiction. The book summarises the current state of each technology, while presenting corresponding reactions in science fiction.

Life Liberty And The Defense Of Dignity

Author : Leon Kass
ISBN : 9781594030475
Genre : Medical
File Size : 34. 96 MB
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At the onset of "Life, Liberty and the Defense of Dignity," Leon Kass gives us a status report on where we stand today: "Human nature itself lies on the operating table, ready for alteration, for eugenic and psychic 'enhancement, ' for wholesale redesign. In leading laboratories, academic and industrial, new creators are confidently amassing their powers and quietly honing their skills, while on the street their evangelists are zealously prophesying a posthuman future. For anyone who cares about preserving our humanity, the time has come for paying attention." Trained as a medical doctor and biochemist, Dr. Kass has become one of our most provocative thinkers on bioethical issues. Now, in this brave and searching book, he also establishes himself as a prophetic voice summoning us to think deeply about the new biomedical technologies threatening to take us back to the future envisioned by Aldous Huxley in "Brave New World." As in Huxley's dystopia, where life has been smoothed out by genetic manipulation, psychoactive drugs and high tech amusement, our own accelerating efforts to master reproduction and genetic endowment, to retard aging, and to conquer illness, imperfection, and death itself are animated by our most humane and progressive aspirations. But we are walking too quickly down the road to physical and psychological utopia, Kass believes, without pausing to assess the potential damage to our humanity from this brave new biology. In a series of meditations on cloning, embryo research, the human genome project, the sale of organs, and the assault on mortality itself, Kass evaluates the ongoing effort to break down the natural boundaries given us and to remake the human body into an instrument of our will. What does it mean to treat nascent human life as raw material to be exploited? What does it mean to blur the line between procreation and manufacture? What are the proper limits to this project for the remaking of human nature? These are the questions we should be asking to prevent runaway scientism with its utopian longings from reshaping humankind in the image of our own choosing. Kass believes that technology has done and will continue to do wonders for our health and longevity and that we have much to be thankful for. But there is more at stake in the biological revolution that saving life and avoiding death. We must also strive to protect the ideas and practices that give us dignity and keep us human. "Life, Liberty and the Defense of Dignity" challenges us to confront the posthuman future that may await us by thinking deeply about the life and death issues we face today.

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