I'm a big fan of science and technology as well as humans. I like the transhumanist movement and was just wondering what your thoughts and feelings are about it?
Please stay on topic and don't obsessively talk about how religion is mostly anti-human etc. I already know that. :P
I'm more interested in how humanity can be better, have more enjoyable lives and evolve in positive ways. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transhumanism
Thanks and I look forward to your ideas and perspectives. :)
Oh come now, surely you understand what I meant. Evolution is not a process that is happening every day. There are millions of unsuccessful mutations that lead nowhere. Over millennia, yes, some mutations reveal themselves to be viable, but they're rare, So to be technical with the English here, depending on the generational turn-over rate of the species looked at, evolution does not happen over millennia, but every few millennia. It is specifically not continuous.
Your post got me thinking, perhaps it's been a while since our species truly had 100% natural evolution, if ever. I was extremely near-sighted before the laser correction (I now have 20/20). I can not imagine a bird or a wolf surviving with anything like my poor eyesight long enough to reproduce. Perhaps my kind were responsible for cave painting or basket weaving, but surely human society is responsible for the condition to carry on.
Of course this assumes "natural" means no human intervention at all. Perhaps the key is whether or not a correction is intentional as transhumanism aspires, making it truly artificial.
Heck, have they isolated a religion gene yet?
The implications of successful gene manipulation is mind-boggling, especially when you consider the ramifications it could have in providing immunity to the thousands of diseases we must face as a species. There is definitely huge possibilities for good but I fear that errors could be made and very unfortunate and undesired results could come into fruition. And if we were not immediately aware that something was indeed wrong then you have the concern of this oversight being transmitted through reproduction into our offspring. Then the cat is out of the bag as they say. Many have concerns over GMA foodstuffs and their potential for harm to unknowing humans. Most scientists presently dismiss the cries of GMA alarmists but I think the jury is still out. We could make some unfortunate realizations in the years to come. I prefer to aire on the side of caution.
Oh, lovely. People stop dying of fatal diseases, meanwhile a large part of the world population is without birth control, doesn't want to use it, or believes birth control is wrong. Your optimism is touching, Ed, but you really don't see the catastrophic implications?
I've come to the point where I think any dogma which increases the percentage of humans on the planet is in my own personal value system immoral, this is the idea I try to present to people. The motivation behind people wanting yet more humans on this earth just boggles the mind.
We play with antibiotics and we create superbugs
We play with pesticides and we create pesticide resistant pests
Genetic manipulation will bring no more "good" than "bad", but it will certainly make pharmaceutical companies even richer.
Genetic manipulation is more business for big pharma. The last time pharmaceuticals "healed" anything for real (not high cost maintenance regimens) was before pharmaceuticals became Big pharma.You can bet that polio would NOT have been vanquished in this economic context, nor any other disease that we consider eradicated. The health care system is not about health, it's about sales.
All this pushing for the eternal life has been adopted by medical corporations, taking over where fountain of youth faithers left off, with even more dollars rolling in.
Myopia is almost always a modern civilisation disease. It is man-made. So had you lived a "natural" life, you simply would not have myopia.
You may counter but what about congenital myopia? Indeed, good question. In nature, in an animal has congenital myopia, it does not live to breeding age, therefore congenital myopia, in a natural population, gets bred out, by creating a non-fit genetic makeup. So, you still would not be a myopic adult, though you might be a myopic infant, for a very short duration...
I've also had lasik, I got both eyes done for 1000$, it's great to have my book-worm library-rat vision fixed. But had I not been a 'that' way, I would not have been myopic. My stance on medical intervention is not to delete/un-know what we have, it is to direct the future research funds to more appropriate and rational outlets
I have to agree with you there, TAA - I was told by my optometrist as a teenager, that if I lived on a farm or ranch (which I didn't), that I could throw my new glasses away.
I design airborne weather RADAR for Boeing and AirBus jets.. I can hook you up!
Could you design a small blimp that carries one pilot with a few big boxes or one pilot and 2-3 passengers? How big would it have to be to do that? What kinds of lighter than air gases could you use? Part helium or hydrogen for buoyancy, part hot air for elevation changes like a hot air balloon? What sort of engine could be used as a means of propulsion? If you could make it with a combination of solar powered and wind powered (harvest the air power from descending/slowing down) or maybe hydrogen powered that would be ideal. Is any of that even technically possible? If so, please make one for me and humanity. hahahaha :)
In HS, our science club fiddled with an idea, but never built a prototype, due to some real engineering problems. A vacuum balloon. Theoretically a vacuum balloon could displace about 1 lb of weight per about 12.7 cuft of vacuum (I would have to redo the computation, this is from memory, I could be a little off). But you have to over come air pressure on the surface of the balloon of 14.7 lbs/sqin. At the time we could not think of any materials that could survive the stresses on the surface, and be light enough as a structure. Since then, it appears that carbon fiber composites might fit the engineering spects, but work would have to be done on balloon geometry to find an optimization.
Another material that might work for the balloon might be something called an aerogell. This is a very light weight and strong material, that I think is made of a silicon gell composite. It has very interesting thermal and mechanical strengh properties, but making it large amounts might be daughting.
Maybe a combination of materials with something like this stuff would make the structure of a small blimp/airplane light enough and strong enough to be useful? It's fun to think about anyway.