Should we strive to engineer better humans?


While proposals like cognitive or moral enhancements to help create a less doomsday-prone population are quite speculative (and on occasion, a little trollish), they’re beginning to gain actual ground in the field of existential-risk study.

One such intervention that has gained the attention of existential-risk scholars is iterated embryo selection. This process involves collecting embryonic stem cells from donor embryos, then making the stem cells differentiate into sperm and ovum (egg) cells. When a sperm and ovum combine during fertilization, the result is a single cell with a full set of genes, called the zygote. Scientists could then select the zygotes with the most desirable genomes and discard the rest.

The result would be rapid increases in IQ, a kind of eugenics but without the profoundly immoral consequences of violating people’s autonomy.

Related article:  Dark days: Examining Europe's history of eugenics, including forced sterilizations in Sweden

[T]he positive effects of cognitive enhancements on agential error may be especially pronounced as the world becomes more socially, politically, and technologically complex. Although cognitive enhancements could worsen some types of terror agents, the evidence—albeit indirect—suggests that a population of cognitively enhanced cyborgs would be less susceptible to accidents, mistakes, and errors, and therefore less likely to inadvertently self-destruct in the presence of weapons of total destruction.

More broadly, it seems plausible to say that a smarter overall population would increase humanity’s ability to solve a wide range of global problems

Read full, original post: The Case for Radically Enhancing Humanity

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