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Redesigning Humans: Choosing Our Genes, Changing Our Future
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Redesigning Humans: Choosing Our Genes, Changing Our Future

3.62 of 5 stars 3.62  ·  rating details  ·  100 ratings  ·  5 reviews
A groundbreaking work, Redesigning Humans tackles the controversial subject of engineering the human germline -- the process of permanently altering the genetic code of an individual so that the changes are passed on to the offspring. Gregory Stock, an expert on the implications of recent advances in reproductive biology, has glimpsed the inevitable future of biomedical en ...more
Paperback, 296 pages
Published April 11th 2003 by Mariner Books (first published 2002)
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No Remorse
"God and Nature first made us what we are, and then out of our own created genius we make ourselves what we want to be." - Marcus Garvey (1886-1940) (via, Redesigning Humans by Gregory Stock, Pg.1)

"Imagine collapsing life's 3.5-billion-year history into a period of 35 years. On this scale, some 50 years remain until the sun flares into a "red giant" and fries our planet. Our first primate ancestors appeared one year ago, thirty-four years after life began. The first hominid arrived a month ago;
This is actually a pretty short book. It's only 201 pages of actual reading and then another 76 pages of appendices, indexes, etc.

I'm not going to pretend that I understood everything that Greggory Stock discusses (and as a side note, my edition has Greggory spelled with two G's, not one). The chapter on Superbiology got pretty heavy with germline technology and auxiliary/artificial chromosomes. I think I enjoyed the chapters on cyborgs, fyborgs (functional cyborgs) and ethics the most.

I got the
About engineering the human germ line, the author is clear: we can do it, we should do it, we will do it. I find some analysis of his convincing (albeit alarming to me), such as: profit-driven scientists will go to somewhere on earth and develop improved human products because people will pay for those, which makes it unstoppable and eventually breaking into countries that currently block such.

So humans will divide into castes based on their different degrees of "improvements", or lack thereof,
Snail in Danger (Sid) Nicolaides
IIRC this is the one that suggested that human-improving genetic research would be slow because it won't benefit the researchers, only their children. I can think of other reasons this will go slowly, but that one doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me.
A bit outdated, but a good read.
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