So our final judgment on "what’s wrong" with Huxley’s brave .. Excerpted from OUR POSTHUMAN FUTURE by Francis Fukuyama. Francis Fukuyama’s Our Posthuman Future fears that biotechnology will make monsters of us. Steven Rose weighs the evidence. The power to genetically enhance future generations could be a boon for humanity – or it could lead to an era of violent rebellion against the.

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Unnatural selection

Partly it is the product of historical accident: The two books were far more prescient than anyone realized at the time, because they were centered on two different technologies that would in fact emerge and shape the world over the next two generations. The political prescience of the other great dystopia, Brave New World, remains to be seen. Should we just retreat behind the mantra – originated by physicists who worked on the hydrogen bomb – that science is progress, and cannot and will not be halted?

There is no “nature” outside social context, and within the limits of evolved human biology the societies that we have created are extraordinarily diverse. In it, he discusses the potential threat to liberal democracy that use of new and emerging biotechnologies for transhumanist ends poses. To use biotechnology to engage in what another Christian writer, C.

It is easy to see what”s wrong with the world of But the posthuman world could be one that is far more hierarchical and competitive than the one that currently exists, and full of social conflict as a result.

Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. Selected pages Title Page. And sometimes he is way off course, as when he repeats the once-fashionable 19th-century nostrum that “ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny” – ie, that a human foetus relives its evolutionary history in the nine months prior to birth. But this kind of freedom will be different from all other freedoms that futkre have previously enjoyed.


Other editions – View all Our Posthuman Future: What the emergence of a genetic overclass will do to the idea of universal human dignity is something worth pondering. By this I mean not just fighting metaphorically, in the sense of shouting matches among talking heads on TV and debates in Congress, but actually picking up guns and bombs and using them on other people.

In his opinion, control of biotechnology is a political necessity.

Review: Our Posthuman Future by Francis Fukuyama | Books | The Guardian

References to cukuyama book Transpositions: Partly it is a matter of force of habit, and what Max Weber once called the “ghost of dead religious beliefs” that continues to haunt us. Brave New Worldby contrast, was about the other big technological ftuure about to take place, that of biotechnology. The politics of breeding future human beings will be very complex. It is because he has belatedly realised that so long as scientific and technological innovation proceeds at its current breakneck pace, social stasis – the end of history – is impossible.

From the Oug Revolution to the Present Day Certainly, no one ever got elected to Congress on such a platform. He is on less firm ground when dealing with genetic claims, where he accepts at face value the rather suspect evidence for so-called “smart” or “aggressive” mice engineered by adding or removing DNA from their genomes.

Huxley is telling us, in effect, that we should continue to feel pain, be depressed or lonely, or suffer from debilitating disease, all because that is what human beings have done for most of their existence ;osthuman a species.

The result is a well-written, carefully reasoned assessment of the perils and promise of biotechnology, and of the possible safeguards against its misuse. The year came and went, with the United states still locked in a Cold War struggle with the Soviet Union.

Don’t mess with human nature…

The most clear and present danger is that the large genetic variations between individuals will narrow and become clustered within certain distinct social groups. Today, many bright and successful young people believe that they owe their success to accidents of birth and upbringing, but for which their lives might have taken a very different course. He has been rowing back ever since. True freedom means futture freedom of political communities to protect the values they hold most dear, and it is that freedom that we need to exercise with regard to the biotechnology revolution today.


People were again quick to point out that these two events–the collapse of totalitarian empires and the emergence of the personal computer, as well as other forms of pksthuman information technology, from TVs and radios to faxes and e-mail–were not unrelated.

The Best Books of So the major surprise of Fukuyama’s book is that, in the field of human biotechnology at least, he favours regulation.

Many assume that the posthuman world will look pretty much like our own – free, equal, prosperous, caring, compassionate – only with better healthcare, longer lives, and perhaps more intelligence than today.

Many of the grounds on which certain groups were historically denied their share of human dignity were proven to be simply a matter of prejudice, or else based on cultural and environmental conditions that could be changed.

But if we do, we should do it with eyes open. Genetic enhancement technology is likely to be expensive and involve some risk, but even if it were relatively cheap and safe, people who were poor and lacking in education would still fail to take advantage of it. Gung-ho geneticists promise to encode human life on a CD, to create designer babies, to extend human life indefinitely.