Will We Engineer a New Human Species?

New genomic technologies allow scientists to read organisms' genomes as well as make increasingly complex changes to them, creating organisms with new capabilities.

What's the Latest Development?


The advancement of genome sequencing technology has allowed scientists to make changes to our genetic code which will take us beyond the constraints of Darwinian evolution, says technologist Juan Enriquez. "The new human species is one that begins to engineer the evolution of viruses, plants, animals, and itself. As we do that, Darwin's rules get significantly bent, and sometimes even broken." He says evolution will one day be guided by what humans engineer. 

What's the Big Idea? 

What implications would follow from genetic engineering so advanced that humans speciate? Enriquez says speciation would open up some very troubling moral questions which the world has shrunk from ever since the 1930s and 40s. "You do have to ask, if there are fundamental differences in species like dogs and horses and birds, is it true that there are no significant differences between humans?" Answering this question might become imperative to future genetic research. 

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