“This isn’t like learning how to build a better internal combustion engine, or the invention of the TV. This is engineering life itself. It’s tremendously exciting, offering hope on the one hand and potential terror on the other - just like a great movie. But how will it play out? Are we heading for a disaster, or a disease-free utopia? Probably neither. History is rarely like Hollywood. (If it were, we’d all be a lor thinner and less intelligent.)
Our biology is on the brink of moving at the speed of change we’re used to seeing in computer hardware. I can almost feel the world shifting under my feet and, as I head out into the early dusk, something George said to me toward the end of our conversation begins to echo round my head.
‘Evolution is far from over,’ he said, ‘It’s accelerating and something is going to replace Homo sapiens. Is it going to be wetware, or is it going to be silicon? Is it going to be genetically engineered, or is it going to be electrically engineered? Or, is it going to be some hybrid?’
There was a pause.
‘It’s just really a matter of when.’”
— Mark Stevenson, An Optimist’s Tour of the Future