|Mortal Gods: Ignition artwork.|
News and primary sources on research and development that moves superhumans closer to becoming a reality aren’t necessarily common. But dedicated investigation uncovers some serious information showing that it is happening.
Armed forces and governments of a variety of nations are among the major organizations exploring the creation of superhumans. The U.S. armed forces and government won’t explicitly say they are researching and developing such technology and advancements, but they undoubtedly are. Governments of other nations, and private institutions are too.
The Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) issued a press release in March claiming, “Mammoth Milestones for Synthetic Biology,” and it reveals some of the unique things being researched.
Gene editing allows scientists to combine woolly mammoth and elephant DNA, engineer pig organs for human transplants and create malaria-resistant mosquitoes that can pass their resistance to offspring. While gene editing could help eradicate some of the world’s greatest global health concerns, it also has the potential to be a weapon of mass destruction.
The DTRA press release appears to focus more on how enemy states or organizations might manipulate traditional chemical and biological weapons to create new threats, and how the U.S. might counter these threats. But analyzing the press release shows that such R&D could lead to many more—and highly different—technologies and abilities as well.
Furthermore, the South China Morning Post, the state-linked Chinese media outlet, is more forthcoming about what the Chinese are doing regarding creating superhumans. An April article titled, “‘It’s most … most likely use, is the technology of human enhancement’: Chinese scientists alter genes in human embryos in controversial study,” provides some details.
In only the second paper ever published on genetic editing in human embryos, a team from Guangzhou Medical University described their attempt to mutate a gene found to hinder the spread of HIV in humans. …
The scientific community has long been divided over the subject of genetic modification of human embryos. One objection is the possibility of unintended consequences occurring in future generations, and another is that the technology could lead to the creation of “designer” babies created for the wealthy. …
“It’s most plausible use, and most likely use, is the technology of human enhancement.”
Sparrow said as the technique was more likely to be an early test for future genetic enhancement in humans.
“If you were serious about not wanting to go down this path where wealthy people are having children who have been genetically modified to have capacities that aren’t available to the children of poor parents, then the time to try and stop it is now,” Sparrow said.
American private institutions are looking into enhancing humans as well.
Mercury News reported in May that a secret meeting occurred at Harvard University where participants discussed creating synthetic humans.
Prominent Stanford scientist Drew Endy is denouncing a secret meeting held at Harvard University this week to discuss creating a synthetic human genome – essentially, constructing human life from scratch using chemicals. …
It portends a future with sci-fi implications, when a human genome – the complete set of genetic instructions for a human being – could be assembled like a Tinkertoy.
Mortal Gods: Ignition is an entertaining and thoughtful book featuring superhumans. But it is more than this. It is an acknowledgment that superhumans aren’t just fantasy any longer as governments and organizations around the world are attempting to create them.
Superhumans are speculative fiction that someday will be reality.