Wednesday, July 20, 2005


Liberation Biology: The Scientific And Moral Case For The Biotech Revolution,

Here is an excerpt...
...Human liberation from our biological constraints began when the first human sharpened a stick and used it to kill an animal for food. Further liberation from biological constraints followed with fire the wheel, domesticating animals, agriculture, metallurgy, city-building, textiles, information storage by means of writing, the internal combustion engine, electric power generation, antibiotics, vaccines, transplants, and contraception. In a sense, the goal toward which humanity has been striving for millennia has been to liberate ourselves, by extending our capacities, from more and more of our ancestors' biological constraints. . .

If we are allowed to use biotech to help future generations become healthier, smarter, and perhaps even happier, have we "imposed" our wills on them as bioconservatives warn? Will we have deprived them of the ability to flourish as full human beings? To answer yes to these questions is to adopt Jean-Jacques Rousseau's view of humanity as a race of happy savages, sadly degraded by civilization. Previous generations have, of course, "imposed" all sorts of technologies and institutions on us. Thank goodness they did, because by any reasonable measure we are far freer, richer, better off than our ancestors.

Also, Bailey weighs in on intelligent design. This is the best, most succinct, dissection of wingnut thinking that possibly I have read to date. Quote below.

Get rid of public schools. Give parents vouchers and let them choose the schools to which to send their children. Fundamentalists can send their kids to schools that teach that the earth was created on Sunday, October 23, 4004 BC. Science geeks can send their kids to technoschools that teach them how to splice genes to make purple mice. This proposal lowers political and social conflict, and eventually those made fitter in the struggle for life by better education will win.

So, say hello to my new yogi of the day and 10 to 1 Ronald Bailey and Ken Wilber know each others' future think and I'm in awe of both.

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