Archive for the ‘genetic engineering’ Tag

Poll: Who Should Replace Us, Androids or Genetically Engineered Superhumans?   Leave a comment

sophia android

Super-smart Sophia the android has been named a citizen of Saudi Arabia.

By C. Michael Forsyth

A spirited debate has cropped up among scientists, ethicists and ordinary U.S. citizens about which would be a better replacement species for humankind: a master race of genetically enhanced superhumans, or androids thousands of times more intelligent than people.

“Robot overlords would be more likely to govern fairly because they have no emotions,” argued Bernard Herkstone, a top expert in artificial intelligence.

But humans genetically engineered for superior intelligence get the vote of bio-ethicist Dr. Natalie Lungucci.

Khan

Khan, a genetically engineered superman, appeared in a classic “Star Trek” episode.

“Homo Sapiens have had a good run,” she pointed out. “We’ve had dominion over this planet for more than 30,000 years. But it’s time for a changing of the guard. If we can create a new sub-species that is free of disease, has a super-genius I.Q. and none of our flaws, for goodness sake why wouldn’t we? We can take pride in the knowledge that these Numans, as I like to call them, will be our direct descendants, just as we descend from the now-extinct Homo Erectus.”

Computer experts estimate that within a few decades, if not sooner, advances in A.I. will reach what’s known as the “singularity,” the point at which programs have greater reasoning capacity than people.

“Imperfect human politicians can then be replaced by androids with impeccable judgement,” explained Herkstone. “There would no longer be the need for human college professors, journalists or even artists, because synthetic beings will do a much better job.”

Meanwhile, the science of gene-editing is becoming increasingly sophisticated.

“After eliminating hereditary diseases, scientists will be able to move onto removing such flaws as shortness of height and unattractive facial features,” Dr. Lungucci explained. “Genes borrowed from animals will be essential ingredients. DNA from a salamander, for example, could give the Numans the ability to regenerate lost limbs. Plant DNA could give them the ability to obtain extra energy through photosynthesis. Most importantly, the Numans will be as superior to us ‘Old Humans’ in intelligence as we are to the rhesus monkey.”

Now the race is on, experts agree.

“There’s really no telling which type of superior being will cross the finish line first and replace humans as the dominant species on Earth,” Herkstone said. “It will be very exciting to watch.”

This is of course satire…at least for another couple of years. If you enjoyed it, check out the writer C. Michael Forsyth’s collection of bizarre news, available on Kindle and in other eBook formats.

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DNA Scientists to Parade Latest “Monsters” Oct. 31 at Frankenstein Awards   Leave a comment

CREEPY critters are a cinch to create with gene-splicing.

By C. Michael Forsyth

ZURICH, Switzerland — Halloween is around the corner and you know what that means. That’s right, another annual gathering of the world’s top genetic engineers as they parade their kookiest creations at the Frankenstein Awards.

Each year, scientists present life forms they’ve created through gene-splicing. Past winners have included a goat-spider hybrid, a camel with the head of a pig, a bouncy, meowing marvel playfully dubbed the Katgaroo, and last year’s recipient of a Victor in the Most Frightening category: a wriggling, legless poodle with a dash of earthworm DNA.

“The Frankenstein Awards is an opportunity for genetic engineers to get out of the lab, let their hair down and show their creative side,” explains Swiss science writer Julien Anliker.

The Parade of Monsters held on October 31 is the climax of a three-day convention featuring panels, lectures and late-night karaoke.

This year’s presentation is expected to be livelier than ever because for the first time hybrids with human DNA will be included in the competition. Teams of researchers from around the world have been laboring in secret, each hoping to blow away their colleagues with a dazzling new living wonder.

“The Brits have reportedly been working on a human-hamster mix they’ve nicknamed The Humster,” said Anliker. “The Greek team, led by Professor Demetrikos, is going with a cultural theme this year.  It’s rumored they’ve been developing a life form inspired by Greek mythology, perhaps a centaur or a minotaur. That’s one of the most eagerly anticipated entries.”

WE CAN make a real minotaur, so why not?


While in past years some critics have denounced the awards ceremony for trivializing genetic research, participants insist that they learn a lot from cultivating their colorful creations. And the scientists point out that DNA manipulation is a boon to mankind.

Dr. Boris Petrovsky of Russia predicts, “One day soon, we will wipe out many genetic diseases such as cystic fibrosis, discover a cure for cancer, and perhaps engineer a race of superior humans that will serve as the replacement species for homo sapiens.”

CENTAURS figured prominently in Greek mythology.

Copyright C. Michael Forsyth

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