Online reading group and book discussion forum
  HOME ENTER FORUMS OUR BOOKS LINKS DONATE ADVERTISE CONTACT  
View unanswered posts | View active topics It is currently Fri Aug 26, 2016 5:09 am

<< Week of August 26, 2016 >>
Friday Saturday Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday
26 Day Month

27 Day Month

28 Day Month

29 Day Month

30 Day Month

31 Day Month

1 Day Month





Post new topic This topic is locked, you cannot edit posts or make further replies.  [ 1 post ] • Topic evaluate: Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average. 
How to make an almond - How to make a post-human being 
Author Message
User avatar
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
Nutty for Books

BookTalk.org Moderator
Silver Contributor

Joined: Jul 2002
Posts: 1583
Location: Cincinnati, OH
Thanks: 42
Thanked: 492 times in 386 posts
Gender: Male

Post How to make an almond - How to make a post-human being
I am enjoying Chapter 7, "How to make an almond", about plant domestication. It is interesting how humans selected a few plants for increased growth by chance, say around the latrine. Later other more sophisticated choices were made without understanding the underlying principles. Selecting peas with pods that didn't burst, mutants that germinated every year, or mutants that were able to self-pollinate. Interesting to see how quite sophisticated crops were developed without understanding anything about genetics. I look forward to Chapter 9, "Zebras and other unhappy marriages", which appears to be about animal domestication.

This subject got me thinking about a parallel with another book I've been puttering around with. Gregory Stock is director of the Program on Medicine, Technology, and Society at the School of Medicine of the University of California at Los Angeles. He has written Redesigning Humans: Our Inevitable Genetic Future. I haven't gotten very far into it, but he makes a strong argument that human genetic engineering is inevitable and cannot be stopped. It will grow out of our desire for such improvements as plastic surgery, artificial knees, and improved life for children. We already accept fertilization in the laboratory and so will accept "new biotechnology that will allow scientists to delay aging and to insert genes that enhance physical and cognitive performance, combat disease or improve looks into embryos."

I hadn't thought about this until I read Chapter 7 in the Diamond book, but it sounds like we are now engaged in redesigning the human animal without understanding the potential outcomes or principles. Perhaps in the distant future, a descendant of Jared Diamond will document how we transformed from homo sapiens-sapiens into homo super-sapiens without realizing it.

I also wonder in what other areas of nature we are making similar dimly understood choices that radically change the genetic future.

Edited by: LanDroid at: 10/18/02 7:42:34 pm



Fri Oct 18, 2002 7:40 pm
Profile WWW
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic This topic is locked, you cannot edit posts or make further replies.  [ 1 post ] • Topic evaluate: Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average. 



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:



Site Links 
Forum Rules & Tips
Frequently Asked Questions
BBCode Explained
Info for Authors & Publishers
Author Interview Transcripts
Be a Book Discussion Leader!
IDEAS FOR WHAT TO READ:
Bestsellers
Book Awards
• Book Reviews
• Online Books
• Team Picks
Newspaper Book Sections

WHERE TO BUY BOOKS:
• Great resource pages are coming!

BEHIND THE BOOKS:
• Great resource pages are coming!

Featured Books

Books by New Authors


*

FACTS is a select group of active BookTalk.org members passionate about promoting Freethought, Atheism, Critical Thinking and Science.

Apply to join FACTS
See who else is in FACTS







BookTalk.org is a free book discussion group or online reading group or book club. We read and talk about both fiction and non-fiction books as a group. We host live author chats where booktalk members can interact with and interview authors. We give away free books to our members in book giveaway contests. Our booktalks are open to everybody who enjoys talking about books. Our book forums include book reviews, author interviews and book resources for readers and book lovers. Discussing books is our passion. We're a literature forum, or reading forum. Register a free book club account today! Suggest nonfiction and fiction books. Authors and publishers are welcome to advertise their books or ask for an author chat or author interview.



Copyright © BookTalk.org 2002-2016. All rights reserved.
Display Pagerank