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Bioengineer humans to tackle climate change, say philosophers | Leo H...

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/blog/2012/mar/14/human-engin...

Bioengineer humans to tackle climate change, say philosophers
Authors defend controversial academic paper saying their online critics have misunderstood nature of philosophical inquiry

Screen grab of a character from the computer game Deus Ex : Human Revolution, which is about bio-modification of humans. Photograph: deusex.com

Earlier this week, The Atlantic ran an eye-catching, disturbing interview with a professor of philosophy and bioethics at New York University called S. Matthew Liao. He was invited to discuss a forthcoming paper he has co-authored which will soon be published in the journal Ethics, Policy & Environment. But within just a few hours of the interview going live a torrent of outrage and abuse was being directed towards him online. As I tweeted at the time, the interview was indeed "unsettling". Liao explained how his paper – entitled, "Human Engineering and Climate Change" – explored the so-far-ignored subject of how "biomedical modifications of humans" could be used to "mitigate and/or adapt to climate change". The modifications discussed included: giving people drugs to make them have an adverse reaction to eating meat; making humans smaller via gene imprinting and "preimplantation genetic diagnosis"; lowering birth-rates through "cognitive enhancement"; genetically engineering eyesight to work better in the dark to help reduce the need for lighting; and the "pharmacological enhancement of altruism and empathy" to engender a better "correlation" with environmental problems. Both the interview and the paper itself include a prominent disclaimer. As the paper says: To be clear, we shall not argue that human engineering ought to be adopted; such a claim would require far more exposition and argument than we have space for here. Our central aim here is to show that human engineering deserves consideration alongside other solutions in the debate about how to solve the problem of climate change. Also, as we envisage it, human engineering would be a voluntary activity – possibly supported by incentives such as tax breaks or sponsored health care – rather than a coerced, mandatory activity. However, that wasn't enough to prevent an extremely hostile reception to such ideas.

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Indeed. Typically people complain about the downstream solutions like geoengineering that 2 of 15 6/04/2012 11:55 PM . terms such as "eugenics". but has since left to be a "full-time mum". Our paper is intended for those who believe that i) climate change is a real problem.co. and so on. the term "eugenics" often gets brought up whenever people mention human enhancements. a) we are not necessarily endorsing any of the solutions we have canvassed. and asked them. People who comment on anything online have usually not read it. in the West". and then people comment on them. owing to i). Liao was the first to respond: First. Ross Anderson. which leads to 3) industry. Dr Anders Sandberg and Dr Rebecca Roache. You are lucky if people remember the original topic. People seem to assume we are some kind of totalitarian climate doomsters who advocate biotechnological control over people. This is unfortunate because my co-authors and I are positively against any form of coercion of the sort the Nazis had done in the past (segregation. Somewhat inevitability. are willing to take seriously geoengineering. So. Mark Lynas tweeted that he thought it was an "early April Fool". it is not surprising that they would find our solution to what they perceive as a "non-problem" incredible.Bioengineer humans to tackle climate change. Given this. One solution might be to try to consume less (fix 2). and b) if these solutions were available. also makes this clear. All bets are off if someone doesn't accept i). Bill McKibben tweeted that the paper contained the "worst climate change solutions of all time". and indeed the death of reason.guardian. Finally. let alone any argument. One sceptic blogger said that the "sick" Liao and his co-authors should be "kept in Guantanamo". which leads to 4) greenhouse gas emissions. Secondly. We can also make less emissive industry (fix the 3-4 link).uk/environment/blog/2012/mar/14/human-engin. which lead to 5) planetary heating.) Has your paper been misrepresented online? If so. and ii) who. the writer of the Atlantic interview. Climate change and many other problems have upstream and downstream solutions. (Roache was at the institute when the paper was first being drafted 18 months ago. remove greenhouse gases from the atmosphere (reduce 4). it seems that voluntary use of contraception would be a form of eugenics. how and why? Sandberg: Most reactions are not based on what we actually wrote. For example... Climate sceptics were the first to vent their anger. The way the term 'eugenics' is used by some of the people who are against our proposal. I then sent the following questions to Liao's co-authors.. and that some changes might not just be permissible but work well with a liberal ethics. "Nazis" and "eco fascists" were quickly being bandied around. say philosophers | Leo H. Another said the paper "presages the death of science. geoengineering that cools the planet (reduce 5) or adapt to a changed world (handle 6). many people who are against our proposal explicitly deny that climate change is really a problem. I think that our paper/position is being grossly misrepresented by some people online.. which leads to 6) bad consequences. both based at Oxford University's Future of Humanity Institute. It was hard to disagree. it should be up to individuals to adopt them voluntarily. and a co-editor of the journal. http://www. sterilization. As we specifically say in our paper. But prominent environmentalists were also keen to denounce the paper. were the philosophers who co-wrote the paper surprised by the reaction? Or had all their critics misunderstood what they were trying to achieve? I contacted each of the authors in turn. What we are actually saying is that changing our biology might be part of solving environmental problems. some of these people have also said that encouraging people to drive less is an overreaction to climate change. and genocide). 1) human consumption leads to 2) a demand for production and energy.

for publishing this paper? Sandberg: Well. I suspect other technologies are going to change our species faster than genetics. forcing them to act in ways that benefit the environment. 3 of 15 6/04/2012 11:55 PM . adopting a more long-term stance. however. they are risky or don't actually solve the cause of the problem.. It is of course desirable for a long list of other reasons too. We have been represented as arguing . The solutions we discuss may seem bizarre and unrealistic. but that does not entail they are not worth exploring. 2) imposed centrally by the state.guardian. spend a lot of time discussing views that they do not necessarily endorse . However. "eugenicists" etc.Bioengineer humans to tackle climate change. making people smarter is likely to make them better at solving environmental problems. Certainly one can imagine nasty governments imposing various green policies on the population. Yet they do not seem to worry much about the political decisions that are constantly being made about our reproduction (laws against reproductive cloning are political decisons about the desired form of human reproduction). but unlikely to wipe out humanity. http://www. it would likely have not just green effects but also benefit health and animal welfare again many might decide to go for it. climate change is at the lower end of concern. what would be the most upstream solution? Change human desires or consumption. with no external compulsion. In fact. We are fairly typical liberal academics thinking about the world.uk/environment/blog/2012/mar/14/human-engin. and that we envisage human engineering to be a voluntary activity.. and 3) often based on bad science. But we can also affect the drivers. But our paper doesn't give them any particular ethical support: if you are willing to infringe on people's reproductory liberty. I imagine that this is partly because people assume that nobody would dream up such bizarre solutions to climate change unless they believed that they should be implemented. in my normal work with global catastrophic risks at the Future of Humanity Institute. there are many strong evolved drivers in human nature that act against it.among other things that people should be forced to adopt these bizarre measures for the good of the environment. but it is hardly moral .because it is totalitarian and doesn't respect individual rights. why not just prevent them from consuming as much as they want? Green totalitarianism might be possible. What do you say to those who are claiming you and your fellow authors are "eco Nazis". none of us are deep greens or totalitarian. for people to use or not as they wish. Roache: I say that they haven't read the paper! We explicitly state that we do not endorse coercion.the reason eugenics in the past has been such a bad thing was because it was 1) coercive. nutrition or health.co.it's part of the learning process. If one can avoid these problems I do think it could be useful: in that sense I am an eugenicist. and say we should go for upstream solutions (where a small shift affects the rest of the chain). So. Philosophers.. That probably disqualifies me from being an eco Nazi. to many people even a hint that our biology might be subject to political considerations is horrific. While this can be done partially by persuasion and culture. I think parents should be allowed to select genes for their children ("liberal eugenics" in the term of Nicholas Agar) .. If there was a modification that removed the desire for meat. caring about the environment. say philosophers | Leo H. We are living in an era of biopolitics. We argue that it might be worth considering making available some seemingly bizarre solutions to climate change. Of course. Roache: Yes. It is better to make the issues explicit and discuss them than assume they will go away if we ignore them. cooperate better and have fewer children. and many people would freely choose to use enhancements to achieve this even if they cared little about the world. Certainly a problem. For example.

etc. To make matters worse most people debating it will not read the paper and see how we discuss the ethical problems or why even we think it is a preposterous idea.guardian.I admit I was delighted when some of my normally rather bio-radical colleagues protested against the idea after a presentation we gave here in Oxford. habits. say philosophers | Leo H. When I wrote the paper I felt I was to some extent trolling . In philosophy we take ideas and test them to destruction. I was working on this paper at around the same time as I was working on a paper about whether it is conceptually possible for more than one person to inhabit a single body. Big complex problems are unlikely to 4 of 15 6/04/2012 11:55 PM . This is very different from everyday life where most people who state an idea or belief also believe in it ... so the wider public was bound to find it ghastly. My personal view is that human engineering on its own is unlikely to fix climate change. they react instead. What the paper does is to take environmental goals and collide them with some common bioethical intuitions (the sacredness of the natural. The methods we mention are all too weak. The core idea is that we should not imagine that our biological nature is exempt from being part of a potential solution to environmental problems. and what matters is whether they work. Could there be ethical reasons not to do things that would help the environment? Could there be environmental needs so pressing we would be forced to budge our biological policies? Roache: It was always a possibility.. The fact that we presented it as a response to the widely-discussed problem of climate change is also relevant here: it's not unusual for philosophers to write about wacky and horrifying ideas. not what kind of method they are.uk/environment/blog/2012/mar/14/human-engin. and they should be supported. namely. indirect and slow. http://www. This means that we often bring up concepts or lines of thought we do not personally believe in and then argue them as strongly as possible to see where they go and what we can learn.. but the publication of the latter passed without comment from the Daily Mail. The problem with arousing emotions is that most people then become very stimulus-response driven..Bioengineer humans to tackle climate change. Ultimately. You could claim this paper is a reductio ad absurdum of the idea that we should aim for upstream solutions to environmental problems rather than downstream solutions. what were you trying to achieve with the paper? Are people interpreting it too literally. they will just think some eggheads blithely promote eugenics.and it makes people misunderstand this kind of thinking. I was a bit more surprised that the blogosphere and popular press took notice of the paper. but non-philosophers are rarely interested in them because they often have no obvious bearing on real life. In our opinion methods of changing people. We hoped the paper would be exciting enough to stimulate discussion but not to preclude thinking. Our normally unflappable bioethicist colleagues were shocked by the idea of human engineering. technology or the environment are all possible approaches. believing you personally would advocate for these ideas? Sandberg: People are unused to ethical analysis.that hopefully produces an uncomfortable itch that will stimulate some real thinking about what we want to give prioritiy. I'm not convinced about that: there might indeed be win-win enhancements that are both good for us individually.) . But thinking about out-of-the-box approaches is useful: too much of the climate debate has been forced into doctrinaire camps where any consideration of alternatives is heresy. For example..co. are acceptable and practical. for society and for the environment. They don't think very deeply about the issue. Did you predict this level/type of response? Sandberg: A bit. that human biology must not be touched. have good effects.

it seems unappealing. One thing is sure: they have certainly been successful in courting attention (not to be sniffed at in the world of academic publishing.Bioengineer humans to tackle climate change." However. In the same issue.Groupon. human engineering may ultimately be unworkable. But if their aim was to generate a pensive.. There remains a danger. if the online reaction is anything to go by. we will be publishing several other articles critical of geoengineering. wide-ranging philosophical debate on the subject of human engineering and climate change I'm not convinced they have been successful. or because its costs outweigh its benefits.. Roache: We wanted to encourage people to think about a group of solutions to climate change that have so far been ignored.se/andart/archives/2009/03 /a_really_green_and_sustainable_humanity. it was a series of Swiftian philosophical thought experiments more designed to contextualize actively discussed schemes like geoengineering. I do think that in the long run humanity has to become posthuman it wants to be truly sustainable. and personal computers are all important aspects of modern life that were once regarded as bizarre and unrealistic. By publishing this article. and this will be next on their agenda. We haven't received any questions on it yet. http://www. the responses indicate that both the authors and journal stand squarely behind the controversial paper and believe its critics have woefully misinterpreted its contents and the reasons for publishing it. It should not be rejected merely because. I agree with the authors that we should not fear debating such ideas . not yet at least. See Free! 5 of 15 6/04/2012 11:55 PM .com. at first glance. The article was clearly not a positive policy proposal.guardian. Previous Blog home Next Ads by Google Sydney Coupons 1 ridiculously huge coupon a day.html But this is not feasible for the next few decades. but this should be because it is impossible to implement. He said: We accept submissions from scholars across the academic community. Instead. The things I've seen written on it so far appear to miss the point. written by a professor who is not otherwise engaged with the climate community. Human engineering may seem bizarre and unrealistic. but this does not mean it could not turn out to be feasible and promising: telephones. too. at the very least. why the paper is being published and whether the journal anticipated this sort of response. I have a little essay about it here: http://www. I also asked Benjamin Hale. we are not endorsing it at all. despite the fact that in many cases it would be scientifically possible to implement them. for that matter). or any form of publishing. and co-editor of Ethics.even if the end result is that we still roundly reject them. You're our first. have simple and neat solutions: we need to investigate (and perhaps use) a lot of approaches.uk/environment/blog/2012/mar/14/human-engin. The article went through the same double blind peer reviewed process that all of our articles go through. And discussing it is itself valuable: it is by exploring and assessing potential responses to a problem that we make progress towards solving it. We have circulated the paper widely and are publishing between seven to nine critical responses from ethicists across the field.aleph. that the paper will be used in the future as a stick to attack any suggestion of environmental action: "Let them do this. Policy & Environment. Of course. Get 50-70% Off Sydney's best! www. Well..au/Sydney "Shocking" 2012 Horoscope What Does 2012 Have In Store For You? Shockingly Accurate. assistant professor of philosophy and environmental studies at the University of Colorado at Boulder. In total.. "test tube babies". say philosophers | Leo H.co.

Who knows what our values will be or the ethics we will adopt/accept after several more decades of global warming? I'll bet you anything societies' values will have marked differences from those of today.uk/environment/blog/2012/mar/14/human-engin. It was not promoting particular solutions. Personally I'd roughly see 30% of the suggestions worth thinking about. Frankly. LV09 14 March 2012 1:28PM Part of the BBC 'Bionics' series Can you build a human body? http://www. 30% I'd personally reject and 30% would need more work before I was convinced they had merit. jdthec | Link Recommend (1) Responses (0) Report Clip | Link Recommend (75) Responses (1) Report Clip | Link Recommend (30) 6 of 15 6/04/2012 11:55 PM .guardian.. It's never too soon to start thinking about the future. It's just that some of the ideas are newer than what we have grown to accept today. nor shall it be the last. say philosophers | Leo H.com Comments 122 comments. The paper was in an ethics journal.bbc. that a scientist will have to say this.' Unsurprisingly this is certainly not the first time..com Train your mind Improve memory and attention with scientific brain games.. displaying first Staff Contributor Comments on this page are now closed.. some of the ideas were very mild. If you think about the human engineering we accept today as a matter of course.. I think that our paper/position is being grossly misrepresented by some people online. My reaction was as per the authors.PremiumAstrology.uk/news/health-16632764 LV09 14 March 2012 1:31PM Liao was the first to respond: 'First. Free Trial www. values and ethics. It was challenging ideas. Others were somewhat more confronting.uk/news/health-17235058 Is the Six-Million-Dollar Man possible? http://www. morals..Bioengineer humans to tackle climate change.bbc..co. though.co. http://www.co. it makes the paper seem fairly mild overall. SouT 14 March 2012 1:21PM Staff highlight Recommend (104) Responses (1) Report Clip I looked at the paper after some bloggers were talking about it in terms of 'typical AGW-cultists promoting eugenics'.lumosity. www.

of course.Bioengineer humans to tackle climate change." the totalitarians).co. breeding is not frowned the usual thing..uk/environment/blog/2012/mar/14/human-engin. Gattaca situation. but my willpower often fails me). 14 March 2012 1:37PM Would it be immoral for the government to offer a magic pill to anyone who wants it. What is taking antibiotics.just entrenched camps. You and falsely disabled people in China for a the record.. Can't wait to read the paper now. I have to concur with the "To be clear. sensible talk in these comments? I sincerely hope people are willing to.afraid. I doubt we'll see it though. cough medicine or even aspirin but bio-engineering of a sort. I think the subsequent discussions are fun.. One-Third Of The Human Race Has To Die For Civilization To Responses (0) Recommend (31) Report Responses (0) Clip | Link Report Clip | Link Recommend (29) Responses (0) Report Clip | Link Recommend (96) Responses (0) Report Clip | Link Recommend (41) Responses (1) Report Clip | Link Recommend (6) Responses (0) Report Clip | Link Recommend (14) Responses (0) Report Clip | Link 7 of 15 6/04/2012 11:55 PM .. JimTheFish 14 March 2012 1:44PM typical knee-jerk responses to the original article. http://www. I like provocateurs. mrkool 14 March 2012 1:45PM Isn't this a case of some very bright people coming up with some slightly random ideas about how to accelerate our own evolution to catch up with what may be evolving too fast around us? Regardless of our own involvement in that particular scenario. such a claim would require far more exposition and worthwhile response (in fact.. lack of debate helps argument than we have space for here. Be I'd take any country is going to more fruit. 14 March 2012 1:32PM funkmaster2000 14 March 2012 1:35PM Staff highlight I think it's a debate worth having. What is having a hip replacement. it will be Shall we attempt to have a proper. McDonalds have been bio-engineering fat people for years. Hardly screams "eugenic Nazi scum" to me The technology's nowhere near advanced enough to support an imminent solution to climate change.. (And for ask Yao Ming. in that respect MaMaPeng3 the whole topic is 'pie in the sky' thinking. Naturally ideas like these have to be seriously discussed and rigorously analysed but hysterical over-emotionalism is hardly helpful. will move to people desire chocolate and more have no qualms with the ethics of an sort of future because they fresh fruit. that (for instance) makes China in the less Bio-engineers. China. including this guy. I could do withlead the world into a reason. historically. Ifthat pill. I'm sorry I missed the original drama. Sorrythisusernameetc 14 March 2012 1:41PM This is nothing new. we shall not argue that human engineering ought to authors' assertion that refusing to consider the issues is a be adopted. But now all I can think of is this Onion piece: Scientists: 'Look. sorry). improving health? It's this interesting debate to have.. see very fewlinked to climate change.. it all has an air of inevitablility about it. and whether these are anywhere near the final solution (just couldn't put it another way.guardian. Disappointingly. The idea of selective Pity it's been hijacked byupon . Msomerville 14 March 2012 1:50PM This is funny: When I wrote the paper I felt I was to some extent trolling. say philosophers | Leo H.

BappZrannigan 14 March 2012 2:19PM Response to JimTheFish. that a scientist will have to say this... A very chilling view of the future. 14 March 2012 1:44PM I agree that these seem like knee jerk reactions.guardian.. didn't there.. Replies may also be deleted. 14 March 2012 1:52PM Well there had to be one. Nelthon 14 March 2012 2:28PM Response to HaroldAmbler. For more detail see our FAQs. I think that our paper/position is being grossly misrepresented by some people online. He's a philsopher. Unsurprisingly this is certainly not the first time. that someone reads an article on the internet they do not understand before making a blinkered comment at the bottom of it.uk/environment/blog/2012/mar/14/human-engin. Anything not done explicitly in the interests of the child needs to be thought about very carefully.. This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn't abide by our community standards. http://www. annoyinglefty 14 March 2012 2:05PM Response to LV09. rather than saying it should be done. 14 March 2012 1:31PM Liao was the first to respond: 'First.. nor shall it be the last... He's not a scientist. say philosophers | Leo H. Be Sustainable. nor shall it be the last. So How Do We Want To Do This?' which was not HaroldAmbler recognized as satire by some people and led to some really funny 14 March 2012 1:52PM responses on G+. It may be that any such thing is intrinscally unethical. MarketSquareHero 14 March 2012 1:52PM Colin Kapp came up with the idea of miniaturising humans as a way of reducing each individuals impact on the environment in his 1970's book "Manalone". it should be remembered that anything done to the genome of a child. ub313 14 March 2012 2:03PM While I'm not against embryo selection and support genetic engineering of humans.co. One who was debating the ethics of something. We already allow selective fertilisation (probably the wrong terminology) so mothers can have children whose bone marrow or kidney etc can be transplanted to an unhealthy sibling. fetus or embryo is coercive.Bioengineer humans to tackle climate change.' Unsurprisingly this is certainly not the first time.. :-) Recommend (1) Responses (0) Report Clip | Link Recommend (12) Responses (0) Report Clip | Link Recommend (8) Responses (0) Report Clip | Link Recommend (6) Responses (0) Report Clip | Link Recommend (11) Responses (0) Report Clip | Link 8 of 15 6/04/2012 11:55 PM .

They hardly have AndySynn great track records. http://www. Having a debate in the terms of issues and considerations seems rather reasonable . life expectancy and infant mortality be far worse by lack of defined reason with care as responsibility.since care and responsibility are still seen by the privileged as interfering with their unrestrained individualism and lack of care/responsibility social and environmental consequences... Sounds great to me.obscene -perhaps or lesser evil of no change and disadvantage for the global majority. say philosophers | Leo H.be it prevention of inherited deformity.this is only likely to happen by open debate rather than 'outsourcing it to even worse regimes and therefore ' free marketizing' it anyway by its export which will allow exactly the profit before people motivatyion to be re-installed by such export. people there. TBombadil Recommend (6) Responses (0) Report Clip | Link Recommend (15) Responses (0) Report Clip | Link Recommend (8) Responses (0) Report Clip | Link Recommend (13) 9 of 15 6/04/2012 11:55 PM ..all have an ethical downside . and even a cure for dementia. economics is usually applied in a co-ercive manner and its only the money that keeps it somehow indirect though the result is always personal and affects/stifles someone's else's health and generational equality of outcome. Having an empathy or care implant in the financial sector may be rather more cost effective than re-fighting the historical wars of inclusion and social equality that would cost many more lives of the disadvantaged . It's equally false and reactionary . Life would be made indeed be an inclusive and very real 'lottery'. Plimer. I suspect its thesis I think I'll somewhat removed from real science. Morner.then making sure that the usual liberalist criteria . If these things are going to happen . Soon. This isn'tKING5TON a thread to dispute the veracity of anthropogenic climate change . but let's ignore the wightangler parochialism]? 14 March 2012 2:39PM seems have the 'offended' bloggers have no idea of eugenics and biogeneticism and the continuing relativism of moral cost/life expectancy v greatest number parameters in practice to nearly all medical advances . they cost? pass on your book thanks. Plus it's . was the MWP 'climactically' or rather climatically benign [depending on where you lived. dietary. You could also argue that income relative poverty ratios if applied by liberalist narrow notions of liberty and justice must by consequence result in health.given that the alternative would be to prevent any debate on the same illogical grounds that eugenics is somehow taboo.That such discussion highlights real issues that people feel uncomfortable with -shows debates value .guardian.uk/environment/blog/2012/mar/14/human-engin.inevitably based on economic and property based social indexing is ommitted from onset. Uhm. I'm pretty sure that Dr Liao is aware of can I get my augmentations then and how much will So when it. Out of interest.co. given these benefits a lottery or draft in exchange for securities would be a good bet if this would result in a direct percentage of 1% being included proportionally .as these concerns highlight environmental likely consequences with a human survival ethic that may offer scenarios and bio-scientific solutions at worst case level.Bioengineer humans to tackle climate change. do they? 14 March 2012 2:39PM And the people you acknowledged: I see some familar fringe I will be the first to sign up for genetically engineered eyes..that argument's been played out in the scientific 14 March 2012 2:33PM literature thank you very much.raved over by Joe Bastardi and James Delingpole.

I liked how the paper acknowledged the affect the meat industry has on the environment etc but it made out that humans are helpless little creatures who need science and drugs to stop eating meat. not sure why people response to stress. organs and brain cells. was it a debate with right-wing Christian Republicans Over the thousands of years during and following the PETM 55 by any chance? million years ago many of the animals that did survive evolved into miniaturised forms. not their bodies busysquits 14 March 2012 3:11PM Lets go for it! I want to be smarter. would people really pick genetic engineering over giving up meat? flammesolaire 14 March 2012 3:11PM trolling with ethics is boring seems the ethics people are the most unethical of all? the just don't have te balls to say we drive too much we don't need bioengineering to control population growth . skin.. If oxygen depletes. Homo Floresiensis.Bioengineer humans to tackle climate change. Also engineering our own species is just a ridiculous idea. it's not a great triggering a repeat of the PETM. Again this is a natural response to and stresses oftoo much a limited space Someone been reading the watching living in sci-fi ? It is this where there are barely to our resources to inevitable. There are plenty of healthy alternatives to eating meat we don't need drugs. for any to survive they would need to evolve rapidly to It's something that will arguably happen in the future. arrogance that will leadenough eventual and maintain a viable population.. is a naturally occurring sound like pretty standard transhuman fare. example of doing human engineering but I wouldn't mind having That would create an extremely stressful environment for a few of Adam Jensen's abilities. Embrace the change. jessiebee 14 March 2012 3:06PM why would anyone go to the lengths of engineering a drug when you just have to NOT PUT THE MEAT IN YOUR MOUTH. 14 March 2012 3:00PM have been found on the island of Flores in Indonesia. hence able to evolve faster that would probably be a natural response for humans. say philosophers | Leo H. extinction.. be able to breath underwater and regenerate limbs. are upset.uk/environment/blog/2012/mar/14/human-engin. faster. 14 March 2012 2:57PM In a worst case scenario the Earth will warm enough to melt the permafrost releasing hundreds of billions of tons of methane Given that Deus Ex is being used in the header. http://www. humans. But being the new conditions. reducing the size of human beings. the world gets hotter etc we can develop a form of animal photosynthesis. Responses (1) Recommend (6) Report Responses (0) Clip | Link Report Clip | Link Recommend (6) Responses (0) Report Clip | Link Recommend (12) Responses (0) Report Clip | Link Recommend (7) Responses (1) Report Clip | Link Recommend (4) Responses (0) Report Clip | Link Recommend (9) Responses (0) Report Clip | Link 10 of 15 6/04/2012 11:55 PM . horses for example shrank to the size of DanielBurden cats.. retrorik The fossilised remains of miniature humans. 14 March 2012 2:50PM alfredooo 14 March one 2:52PM It's interesting that2012of the modifications they discuss viz.guardian. all we need is cheap accessible contraceptives and women given right to decide about their own bodies you need to change people's mind. As smaller animals tend to breed faster and afraid of it won't help anyone.co. Couple a giant leaves sticking out my head.

For more detail see our FAQs. Hickman explores the assertion that philosopher's paper has be misinterpreted as supporting the concepts in the paper. I suppose Mengele could have said he was a "fairly typical liberal academic thinking about the world".co.. Clearly these individuals are no Einsteins.. by our community standards. Smith1867 14 March 2012 3:48PM It is interesting that Mr. DavidLePage 14 March 2012 3:21PM "We think that regular widespread killings of poor people might be a solution to the problem of over-population. Replies may also be deleted. you find that idea upsetting? Tut tut.guardian. Imagine how much easier life would be. if you want to be pedantic about it I suppose I could have put 'It's not the first time an ethical philosopher has had to say this'. Celebrity chefs: join the dole queue. we would never personally endorse such an approach. Sounds great to me.uk/environment/blog/2012/mar/14/human-engin. But sure. Or even. Oh. but that doesn't have the same ring to it." At least some of the scientists behind the development of nuclear weapons had the humility to express regret.Bioengineer humans to tackle climate change. It really just boils down to how you market the idea. JezJez 14 March 2012 3:47PM Yeah. of course. LV09 14 March 2012 3:41PM annoyinglefty 14 March 2012 2:05PM 'Philosopher or Scientist' is semantics surely? There are some who would argue that Philosophy is a sub-section of Science. all scientists are in some way philosopher. say philosophers | Leo H.. as opposed to simply discussing them and Recommend (1) Responses (0) Report Clip | Link Recommend (4) Responses (0) Report Clip | Link Recommend (6) Responses (1) Report Clip | Link Recommend (6) Responses (0) Report Clip | Link Recommend (4) Responses (0) Report Clip | Link Recommend (9) Responses (1) Report Clip | Link 11 of 15 6/04/2012 11:55 PM . The "ethics" of some parts of academia resemble those of the limited liability company – they are designed to allow people to evade responsibility. Thereby all philosophers are in some ways scientists. flammesolaire roderickspode 14 March 2012 3:14PM 14 March 2012 3:16PM I will be was removed by a moderator because it didn't This commentthe first to sign up for genetically engineered abide eyes. we're just speculating. I think it might be too late for you Mewl But making people smaller is a good idea 14 March 2012 3:16PM it would be amazing if they could invent a pill instead of having to eat. The word science coming from the Latin meaning knowledge. and Philosophy from the Greek meaning love of wisdom. http://www.. Pandora? Who was she? I don't think I'm aware of her work.

or sponsored health mandatory activity..uk/environment/blog/2012/mar/14/human-engin. human engineering would be Response to TBombadil. 5h1t4brainz 14 March 2012 4:46PM Recommend (1) Responses (0) Report Clip | Link Recommend (6) Responses (0) Report Clip | Link Recommend (8) Responses (0) 12 of 15 6/04/2012 11:55 PM .. care – rather than a coerced. 14 March 2012 2:50PM a voluntary activity North Korea is already doing this. particularly from a philosopher and ethisist. Bill McKibbon's tweet "worst climate change solutions of all time". meaning it is already 2073. the use of the 50-year-old number will probably increase to 60. We already know how many 50-year-olds there will be every year between now and 2063. then heads the article with the headline: therealspratt 14 March 2012 3:56PM Bioengineer humans to tackle climate change. that tax 14 March 2012 3:56PM breaks and sponsored healthcare are not a form of coercion. They are several inches vs. shorter than South Koreans." BobyVan 14 March 2012 4:40PM People in the climate debate may not know this. Smith1867 To assert. Or apply North Korean "eugenics. but ridicule.Bioengineer humans to tackle climate change. say philosophers | Leo H. nothing else arrives soon enough. http://www.. the extreme denunciation I have seen from certain quarters is quite a different matter.. Worst of all time is superlative. when they engage in misrepresenting it themselves? Plutonium I also find it somewhat difficult to reconcile the the following 14 March "prominent disclaimer". Build the nukes. which says: statements in their 2012 3:56PM Also.co. As life expectancy increase in developing countries. So he is hardly impartial in this discussion. say philosophers Where do I sign up to get my robot arms? How can one complain about misrepresenting a paper. does nothing to support the quality of the paper and deserves Portraying the paper as ridiculous is one thing. That is the population group that determines average economic activity. Please define extreme denunciation and give examples. Also some South Korean women wear special low-heel shoes incentives such tootax breaks than possibly supported by so they are not as much taller their male companions. FoucAll 14 March 2012 4:03PM I WANT A ROBOT HAND! Recommend (5) Responses (0) Report Clip | Link Recommend (4) Responses (0) Report Clip | Link Recommend (0) Responses (0) Report Clip | Link Recommend (5) Responses (0) Report Clip | Link Plutonium 14 March 2012 4:08PM Basic problem is that it is already effectively 2063 and CO2 will double before 2050 under the present trend. hard to imagine something more extreme. but Bill McKibben is a well known anti-enhancement person. as we envisage it. Building 50 TWe "renewable energy" destroys the planet even faster than coal. His book Enough is all about how we shouldn't tinker with human nature.guardian.

say.nature is not going to do it fast enough because nature is not making the changes to our environment. 14 March 2012 3:48PM It is interesting that Mr. say philosophers | Leo H. The Americans spent squillions of dollars to develop a pen that Recommend (6) Responses (0) Report Clip | Link Recommend (2) Responses (2) Report Clip | Link 13 of 15 6/04/2012 11:55 PM .why are we doing that? Just for the fun of seing an ear grown onto a mouse's back? JCDenton 14 March 2012 4:49PM Nice choice of picture.. as opposed to simply discussing them and then heads the article with the headline: Bioengineer humans to tackle climate change.guardian. Not his fault. Where. does nothing to support the quality of the paper and deserves ridicule.. say philosophers How can one complain about misrepresenting a paper.. particularly from a philosopher and ethisist. not Leo Hickman. that tax breaks and sponsored healthcare are not a form of coercion. we genetically engineer animals all the time in laboratories . Hickman explores the assertion that philosopher's paper has be misinterpreted as supporting the concepts in the paper.. http://www. he won't have any control over how it's presented on the site or the page. Watch the Jeremy Kyle show and then tell me there isnt a case RobertsRadio for Eugenics 14 March 2012 4:48PM I think it makes sense to engineer people to their environment. amount to coercion to fly? Guess11 14 March 2012 5:02PM Reminds me of the Russian Space Pencil story. Report Recommend (3) Clip | Link Responses (0) Report Clip | Link Recommend (4) Responses (0) Report Clip | Link Recommend (1) Responses (0) Report Clip | Link CentralBelter 14 March 2012 4:56PM Response to Smith1867.co.Bioengineer humans to tackle climate change. is the line between a government or other institution enabling or supporting people in doing things and coercing them into it? Do the tax breaks enjoyed by airlines. Bring on the augmentations. afterall we are making our environment what it is and we need to adapt to it ...uk/environment/blog/2012/mar/14/human-engin. in your view. People can't have it both ways! Also. To assert. TonyH 14 March 2012 4:53PM There's a term for this: Pantropy. I'd like regeneration first please. when they engage in misrepresenting it themselves? It'll be a sub who wrote the headline.

. What do we need these bodies for anyway when we spend most of our time sitting in front of computers? Get rid of these wasteful physical appendages with their wasteful needs and turn us into ones and zeros. http://www.. legjoints 14 March 2012 5:29PM making humans smaller via gene imprinting and "preimplantation genetic diagnosis" Recommend (4) Responses (0) Report Clip | Link Recommend (2) Responses (0) Report Clip | Link 14 of 15 6/04/2012 11:55 PM . it is their human right to eat meat or maybe they believe in free will? Maybe the multi billion pound meat industry perpetuate this myth and the multi billion pound pharmaceutical industry keep it going too purely for comsumerist. or qubits. would write in zero gravity.uk/environment/blog/2012/mar/14/human-engin... if the "real" world is ravaged by climate change would be a far nicer place to be. helping animal welfare. More than one way2012 5:02PM and simple usually leads the way. even though we can screen for these defects. We are getting taller and larger and so each human is taking up more space and consuming more of the world's resources than before. No need for keyboards or screens either as we'd exist within our computers.Bioengineer humans to tackle climate change. helping their health and saving the NHS billions of pounds in the process? Maybe they are of the ingrained belief that they MUST eat meat in order to survive. The more intelligent people tend to have fewer children.guardian.. if you weren't particularly empathetic to start with you probably wouldn't bother.. and so having children and possible passing these genes on. would people really pick genetic engineering over giving up meat? Recommend (4) Responses (0) Report Clip | Link Recommend (8) Responses (0) Report Clip | Link They wouldn't. All of our virtual desires could be met in the virtual world which. 14 March 2012 3:06PM Also engineering our own species is just a ridiculous idea. say philosophers | Leo H. My suggestion would be to digitize humanity. So then why doesn't their good sense tell them now that if they give up meat they will be helping the environment. Human beings are evolving the wrong way.co.. Existangst 14 March to skin a cat. RobertsRadio 14 March 2012 5:04PM Response to jessiebee. captialist financial gain? legjoints 14 March 2012 5:16PM If there were a pill that would make you more empathetic who would take it? If it just made you kinder and more considerate towards others but had no direct benefit to you then. The Russians just took a pencil. turn us into virtual beings. More people with genetic abnormalities are living longer. if they had any sense.

Bioengineer humans to tackle climate change.. Eventually." It is like when they say they give a tax break for families in which women stay at home and give birth to children.uk/environment/blog/2012/mar/14/human-engin. genetically superior human being. http://www. "We will giveinhale them. the breaks or sponsored health care –the point that coerced. But don't complain that you are treated like a second class citizen. All rights reserved. Remindsodetojoy Kurt Vonnegut novel Slapstick me of the 14 March 2012 5:30PM Western civilization is nearing collapse as oil runs out. ultimately a destroying Western civilization beyond repair. 15 of 15 6/04/2012 11:55 PM .co. © 2012 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. but it is their fault if they are seen as second class by the "disciplined" women.guardian. and the Chinese are making vast leaps forward "Also.. It is your choice not to take it.by miniaturizing themselves and training groupsaof as we envisage it. Recommend (4) Responses (1) Report Clip | Link Comments on this page are now closed." that they cause a plague among become so small those who accidentally you an option to become In other words.. human engineering would be voluntary activity – possibly supported by incentives such as tax hundreds to think as one.. They don't have to accept it. say philosophers | Leo H. miniaturization proceeds to rather than a they mandatory activity.