Conserving Humanity at the Dawn of Posthuman Technology

(Image by cdd20 from Pixabay)

Excerpted from Conserving Humanity at the Dawn of Posthuman Technology, by Joseph R. Carvalko Jr. (Palgrave Macmillan, 2019). Reprinted with permission from the author.


At this moment in history a virtual cornucopia of creativity in all spheres of human endeavor blossoms on a scale never before witnessed. But as science and the arts ascend into an amorphous digital cloud for all to access, this new age of enlightenment conceals an ironic twist in human evolution, a twist which threatens to set in motion a vortex into which our social existence, as we know it, vanishes.

With advances in genomic modification and computer-based prosthetics, our species tumbles headlong into a future world that will be populated by societies of transhumans—what I shall call Homo futuro—technological offshoots of Homo sapiens exhibiting greater intellect and creative capacities, who will have longer, healthier lives, and off-load much of the world’s mundane, arduous, and dangerous work to ever improving robots.1

This is our facticity—a truth about our existence—one that will, for better or worse, profoundly influence the lives of our children and our children’s children and bear on our choices, our transcendence.2 But, when we will engage Homo futuro in its full panoply remains uncertain, as do many techno-scientific predictions. However, like the dawn of a new day, this Cimmerian event radiates below the horizon, waiting to reveal to we Homo sapiens that our time honored human trek through history may soon chart a new trail into the future.3

Until now, the world’s advanced nations have nearly unanimously said “no” to allowing germline modifications of the human genome—that is those that get passed on to our offspring—fearing its incalculable and irreversible consequences for the human race.4 But it’s difficult to ignore the power of genome editing when it can be used for correcting birth defects, building resistance to disease, increasing tolerance to environmental conditions or enhancing senses or abilities. And, as history demonstrates time and again, it only takes the slightest crevice for the genie to escape the laboratory’s Petri dish and become our new reality. Particularly at this moment we cannot ignore evidence that we have reached a historic threshold between two different evolutionary states.

In November 2018, geneticist He Jiankui announced details about the two babies he claims to have genetically modified as embryos using the gene editing technology known as CRISPR.5 Dr. He managed a genetics lab at the Southern University of Science and Technology in China, where he’d modified the CCR5 gene in what is believed to be the first heritable edit to our species—Homo sapiens. The CCR5 gene is known for its role in Human Immunodeficiency Virus, or HIV, although it also has a less well-understood role as a modulator of learning, memory, and neuroplasticity.6 If the doctor’s claims bear out, this event marks an inflection point and radical departure from the historically imperceptible changes over the course of human evolution.

Throughout this book, I raise the suggestion that future designs instantiated in transhumans will compete with the initiative of the modern human to discover truth and beauty, and that these offshoots of the Homo sapiens will, in their own way, flourish in love, compassion, and we would hope, peace and humility. Yet, I am discomfited by the prospect that we and certainly our progeny may someday coexist with beings of extraordinarily superior intellect and physicality. And, if this portends our future, it has the potential to change the essence of who we are, the I that defines our transcendent core.

Recognizing that we stand at the cusp of an evolutionary departure from the modern human, what should we choose to do?7 Stop progress at all costs or manage the revolution as best we can? G.E. Moore (1873–1958) in his influential work Principia Ethica (1903), wrote that assessing what’s good or bad may be indefinable, but if revised life forms come to exist, how should we respond if we aim to preserve what is fundamentally human?8

Modern humans have been endowed with biochemical consciousness yielding a set of emotions and thoughts, which combines with other like minds to add to the world’s output: its products, processes and social constructs, all of which bear on our humanity for better or worse. The origin of these productions seat deeply in neurological structures and processes that have evolved to advance civilization to ever increasing levels of knowledge and norms that convey riches in expression of love, art, music, literature—and wisdom. As Seneca wrote: Homo sum: humani nihil a me alienum puto; thus, “I am a human being: and I deem nothing pertaining to humanity is foreign to me.” So, will it be that as our Homo sapiens descendants come upon the successors of our species, that they will greet them with equanimity?

Over the course of history humankind has defended interests, whether territorial, economic, social or political—and pursued, at bottom, goals for survival, love, power, and self-actualization. Against this backdrop, it’s our need for recognition that motivates us to pursue our potential as individuals largely through life experience, learned knowledge, language, art, and technology. But, now we face the brink of dramatic change. As we venture into a world of Homo futuro, the real possibility exists that ways in which humans have heretofore imagined and actualized as modern humans, will be in the best case augmented or, in the worst case, replaced by species of higher intellect and creative potential of a kind. If we embrace the idea that enhanced human intelligence in the long run will be developed through advances in technology, we also must consider that Homo sapiens risk obsolescence, the kind of outmodedness that led to Neanderthal extinction, our last hominid rival, forty thousand years ago. Before extinction, some humans will culturally and biologically assimilate with Homo futuro. This premise follows from the idea that initially transhumans may not be significantly distinct from the Homo sapiens. Increasingly, over time, Homo futuro will become intellectually exceptionally gifted compared to Homo sapiens and likely will assume positions of power and achievement in every walk of life. Eventually, compared to its successors, the Homo sapiens’ apparently inferior brain power will lead to its extinction. When the new speciation begins, we should anticipate its greatest effect will be in the classes least able to intellectually compete.

A lack of access to these breakthrough technologies will put populations in less developed nations at an intellectual disadvantage. As to affluent countries that can afford these technologies, it will drive a veritable “arms race” toward a better brain/physicality. For example, China is widely regarded as a developing nation, but strong in science, and could successfully compete with other technologically advanced nations.

As behavioral geneticist Robert Plomin reminds us, genetics do not tell us about how or what we think, or how our brain works; instead, this study of our molecular makeup gets to the core of who we are—it is about individual differences, or in other words, what makes us unique [1]. Humans have anywhere between about 19,000 and 23,000 genes distributed on the two sets of their 23 chromosomes, of which an astonishing 6000 genes are expressed in the brain. How many of these encode for traits and biological markers or indicators of intelligence is unknown. And importantly, as between human beings, there are no scientifically verified differences in intelligence that favors or accretes positively to any social class, ethnic origin, phenotypical distinction, or sex.

It does appear that the number of genes implicated in intelligence may be large. This vast collection of intelligence-related genes may even work in combination, such that any particular gene set has a small influence on overall IQ. Despite this vastness, it may not be unreasonable to assume that by manipulating a relatively small percentage of discrete differences, a burgeoning population of individuals with marginally enhanced cognitive traits would emerge. Enhanced characteristics could include increased working memory, augmented visuospatial processing, and sheer mental processing speed. Once we concede that humans will be subjected to genetic modification to increase cognitive capacities, we are led to consider its implication—that is, what end will this enhancement serve, and what unintended consequences shall we face, in terms of human productivity, creativity, and values.9

Gene flow, the concept that explains how a gene version is carried to a population where it previously did not exist, may be an important source of genetic variation. If a genetic trait is advantageous and helps the individual to adapt and thus improve their odds of surviving and reproducing, the genetic variation will be more likely inherited through the process known as natural selection. Humans without this genetic variation will have lower survival rates, while humans possessing this genetic code will live longer, producing more offspring with greater survival rates. Over time, as subsequent generations with the favorable trait continue to reproduce, the trait will become increasingly more common in the gene pool, making the population different from its original ancestral one, and resulting in what we’d consider a new species.10 Of course, the rate of evolutionary change that brings about this effect may be fast or slow, depending on the degree to which the enhancement regimen would be adopted.

To carry forward this hypothesis, two or more new dissimilar classes or species, caused by genetically engineered traits that express for intelligence, would only add pressure to existing societies, many of which have been unable to integrate and assimilate disparate ethnic, religious, and racial immigrants. History has shown with remarkable constancy that when an invading ethos collides with an indigenous culture, the latter goes through stages of resisting, capitulating, and abandoning its aboriginal fabric, culturally, racially, and on an evolutionary scale, physiologically.

The idea that we face an inevitable posthuman co-evolution assumes that average differences between Homo sapiens and Homo futuro genomes will result from human motivated selection of genes based on breakthroughs in identifying how intelligence and creativity function within the brain. Leaving aside the myriad ways in which intelligence can be defined, current research is deep into the study of intelligence genes, gene complexes, and brain structures. Hundreds of scientists are engaged in genome-wide association studies (GWAS), seeking to link genetics to not only intelligence, but also a variety of specific disorders, both inherited conditions and those whose genetic/environmental disorders are less certain.

Four traits with especially large published and replicated GWAS results are height, body mass index, educational attainment, and depression, the last two implicating intelligence and a linkage to creativity itself [2]. And using some of the most recent GWAS data, scientists have identified specific alleles, or variations in genes, that account for at least 20% of the 50% heritability of intelligence [3].

Our posthuman future does not only lie in what scientists will learn about where biological roots of intelligence are located, but also to where artificial intelligence (AI) can be engineered and interfaced, not only in computers directly, but the human brain. The best example thus far is the implementation of a prosthetic system that was able to use an individual’s own memory patterns to facilitate the brain’s ability to encode and recall memory, showing a short-term memory improvement of 35–37% over baseline measurements [4, 5, 6, 7].11

In part, the idea of enhanced intelligence goes beyond genetic engineering and prosthetics—it includes seemingly futuristic technological innovation such as AI, utilizing silicon-based semiconductors and associated software, as well as synthetic biological devices for control and computation in the human brain [8].

Synthetic biology has opened up a world of genomic editing that can be used to modify or design genetic sequences at the level of individual base pairs and, potentially, at multiple sites found in a given gene or an organism’s entire genome. Someday, synthetic biology, coupled with the inorganic chemistries of AI wet-ware, that is, biological equivalents of computer silicon chips, loaded with AI, will transform the science of genetic editing and other applications for physical implants.12 Biological AI constructs, unlike conventional computer chips, will have the potential to affect the germline, and thus the speciation of future generations. We see evidence in recent successes to manufacture bacteria out of whole cloth; through the technology of 3-D printing for creating anatomical organs; and, in a more profound way, using gene technology to create complex computer-like circuits, such as AND, OR, and NOR gates capable of computation [9].

It’s axiomatic that useful technologies evolve and spawn new technologies, and with each innovation, we see a convergence with other technologies.13 In part, this is because technologies have utility, which services complex, progressing systems: for example, social, biological, and mechanistic systems, such as banking, brains and computers, respectively. The same holds for human enhancement that has been assimilated into various technologies for reasons of survival or good health—for example, pacemakers to keep the heart beating, or Prozac to maintain mental wellness.

Likewise, transhumans will not depend on a single technology, but multiple technologies distributed within their anatomies. The acronym, Nano-Bio-Info-Cogno refers to nanotechnology, bioengineering, information systems, and cognitive technology that may join to boost human performance, physiologically and psychologically. In various ways, these classifications of technology will be manifested in synthetic DNA molecular computers, micro-sized miniaturization of silicon computers, communication networks within the body, micro-mechanical drug delivery vehicles, and brain networks, which use AI to optimize and work better [10]. In my earlier book, The Technohuman Shell—A Jump in the Evolutionary Gap, I detailed illustrative electronic devices that already supplement and in the future will further enhance physiology. However, here the emphasis is on technology that will augment perception, intuition, thinking and creativity in a posthuman world.

Artificial intelligence is dangerously reductionist, especially when used for decisions that require human judgments, such as matters of life or death. Ethicist Wendell Wallach wonders if robotic war machines will reach complete autonomy and if so, “Will they pick their own targets and pull the trigger without the approval of a human?” [11]. Consider an amplification of this concern, when robotic autonomy invades human autonomy, and compromises principles to do no harm and fairly mete out justice. If we yield our place on earth to decision-making technology, we surrender humanity’s role in decision-making to systems that lack any sense for the meaning of life.

To gauge whether society is ready to accept genetic engineering enhancements when these become available, we need only turn attention to the market for in vitro fertilization (IVF), a practice well-entrenched in most modern societies.14 For several generations the use of surrogacy, donor eggs, cryogenic technology and testing embryos for genetic markers have allowed infertile parents, straight or gay, married or single—to have children. The in vitro embryonic screening technology involves extracting cells from embryos and determining relevant genomic markers before choosing which embryos, based on a specification, might be implanted into a uterus.

A proposed offshoot of IVF technology uses stem cell-derived gametes and iterates embryo selection (IES), which could accelerate enhanced intelligence [12].15 Shulman and Bostrom, from the Future of Humanity Institute, Oxford University, argue that IES in vitro, through the compression of multiple generational selections, will lead to improved IQ [13]. Furthermore, they hypothesize that expanses in IQ gain will depend on the number of embryos used in selection. For example, 1 in 2 embryo selections would yield a 4.2 point IQ gain, and 1 in 10 embryo selections would result in an 11.5 point gain. Over five generations, a 1 in 10 embryo selection protocol would max out at a 65 point gain, due to diminishing returns; and a 10 generation protocol would likewise max out at a 130 point gain. I again emphasize that the Shulman and Bostrom idea focuses on a biological solution for increasing IQ; however, other nonbiological technologies, as AI computational devices that provide enhanced memory, may also result in an apparent increase in IQ.

Needless to say, adding gains of between 5 and 130 IQ points to any population, even to a few individuals within a demographic, could effectively empower intellectual capital. Such capital could be employed for social, political, economic, or scientific advances. The world largely suffers from a class based mode of distribution, and if the matter of improved IQ were feasible, it likely would be made available to the more affluent in society.

IVF, IES, or CRISPR-type gene editing for increasing intelligence fits squarely within the realm of scientific possibility, but whether these or similar technologies would be accepted by societies at large or, on the other hand, legislatively prohibited, remains uncertain.16 Because of these genetic editing technologies’ significance in determining global economic competitiveness through improving human intellectual capital productivity, developed countries would likely look favorably at these advances. BGI, a Chinese company possessing the largest gene-sequencing facility in the world, launched a project to study the basis of intelligence in 2012 [14]. Whether BGI will succeed in its endeavor is an open question. Some geneticists have expressed doubt and others optimism. The jury is still out inasmuch as no study to date has positively identified the gene set for enhanced intelligence [15, 16]. That said, numerous studies involving hundreds of geneticists are underway, precisely to discover where the genetic determinates are located within the genome [17].

Understanding whether a genetic basis for intelligence exists, and if such a basis can be manipulated, requires delving into the multiple disciplines of: evolution and population genetics; genes and genetic epidemiology; molecular biology; the brain and cognitive neuroscience; and the architecture of cognitive psychology. This is a tall order, and one which, in overview, provides an introduction to what the future may have in store. I draw upon and cite much of the latest research in these fields, in addition to literary works discussing these topics, such as: Blueprint (Plomin, 2018); Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid (Hofstadter, 1979); An Interaction, Creativity, Cognition, and Knowledge (Dartnall, Ed., 2002); and, The Cambridge Handbook of Creativity (Kaufman and Sternberg, Eds., 2010) [18, 19, 20, 21].

Contemporary research in genetics, artificial intelligence, human intelligence, and creativity serves as a looking glass into aspects of our resourcefulness that are likely to change. These changes will be powered by the acceleration of technology, as the early adopters of these changes begin to embrace CRISPR-like gene editing and artificial intelligence for themselves and their offspring.

I have added footnotes that explain ideas or define terms and concepts that may be familiar to those who are not experts in a particular field. I agree that where technology is central, we need rigor and objectivity. But in appreciation of this fact, much room exists for analogies and metaphors to gain a conceptual understanding of complexities that terse technical definitions may not well serve. On the other hand, aesthetics, found in art, poetry, music or prose, need to be dealt with on a human level, and I’ve granted myself license to employ all appropriate avenues, including straight definitions, rhetorical flourishes, metaphors, imagery, fiction, and poetry to explore a balanced perspective of what the future may hold in store.

Let me restate two of the more salient issues that we shall explore in the following chapters: (a) how will the technologies of genetic engineering and electronics, e.g., AI, improve cognition and influence human potential, particularly creativity; and (b) what questions should be raised and answered before we transform society into new divisions of Homo sapiens and Homo futuro, generally.

As Biologist and Naturalist, E. O. Wilson observed, the two great branches of learning, science and the humanities are complementary and “arise from the same creative process in the human brain.” Science lays bare our potential and the humanities counsels us to tread wisely. In sum these truths light our way into an uncertain future [22].


1 Plato spoke about the need for every human to be acknowledged by others as human, and deserving of respect. Some attribute recognition, by others, as the driving force leading to creation of works of art, discovery of new lands and the founding of empires. And although transhumans may exhibit enhanced intellects, as will be argued below, Francis Fukuyama, in The End of History and the Last Man (1992), suggested a need for hyper-recognition can lead to domination and oppression of others, and devolve into a life of hedonistic, materialistic pleasure and self-obsession.

2 Facticity is the third person viewpoint that others have about me, e.g., weight, gender, skin color, as well as demographic and psychological characteristics. But as a first person I can choose, who and what I am. Other senses of transcendence refer to exceeding the limits of ordinary experience. Jean-Paul Sartre speaks of transcendence in describing the relation of the self to the object oriented world and to others. I leave it to the reader to pick up on the various connotations of the word throughout the book.

3 Cimmerians are mythical peoples described by Homer as dwelling in a remote realm of mist and gloom.

4 In 1866, the German biologist August Weissman provided the basis for our understanding of two types of genes, germ line and soma line. Germ line genes are comprised of sex cells and passed along to subsequent generations, while the soma line cells are a result of environment, determining physical and behavioral characteristics. According to the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, 2017, “Germline editing” refers to all manipulations of germline cells (primordial germ cells, gamete progenitors, gametes, zygotes, and embryos). “Heritable genome editing” is a form of germline editing that includes transfer of edited material for gestation, with the intent to generate a new human being possessing the potential to transmit the genetic “edit” to future generations. See, Human Genome Editing: Science, Ethics, and Governance. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. Somatic cell editing is underway for purposes of treating genetic diseases pertaining to the various tissues of the body, but in contrast to heritable germline editing the effects of changes made to somatic cells are limited to the treated individual and would not be inherited by future generations.

5 Clustered Regularly Interspaced Palindromic Repeats (CRISPR/Cas9) is a breakthrough technology enabling the correction of errors in the genome. With CRISPR, scientists can turn on or off genes in cells and organisms quickly, cheaply and with relative ease to fix diseases such as HIV, cancer, and other genetically based diseases (see,

6 Reducing CCR5 activity may improve learning and memory according to one study (see,

7 Neo-Darwinian theory holds evolution is based upon a population of organisms that (a) vary in heritable traits influencing their chances for reproduction and survival; (b) have off-spring resembling their parents more than they resemble randomly chosen members of the population; and (c) produce more offspring on average than are needed to replace members removed from the population by emigration and death.

8 Joel Garreau, argues that we are engineering the next stage of human evolution through advances in genetic, robotic, information and nanotechnologies, by altering our minds, memories, metabolisms and where unrestrained technology may bring about the ultimate destruction of our entire species. Joel Garreau, Radical Evolution: The Promise and Peril of Enhancing Our Minds, Our Bodies—And What It Means to Be Human (Doubleday, 2005).

9 Monozygotic or identical twin studies combined with imaging of brain structures and features confirm a genetic basis for particular forms of intelligence.

10 See,

11 For example, a hippocampal electronic prosthesis, implanted to improve memory or replace the function of damaged brain tissue.

12 Synthetic biology is a scientific discipline that relies on chemically synthesized DNA to create organisms with generally novel, enhanced characteristics or traits. The subject combines disciplines from biotechnology, genetic engineering, molecular biology, molecular
engineering, systems biology, membrane science, biophysics, electrical engineering, computer engineering, control engineering and evolutionary biology.

13 Any patented invention illustrates the point of convergence, which will be taken up in chapters that follow.

14 In 1978, Louise Brown was the first child conceived with IVF and according to a 2012 report by the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology, more than 61,000 babies were conceived with the help of IVF. It costs about $12–15,000 for an IVF procedure.

15 IES has been used to produce fertile offspring in mice and gamete-like cells in humans.

16 U.S. law does not limit the number of children a sperm donor may produce, while other countries do restrict the numbers (anywhere from one in Taiwan to 25 in the Netherlands). No U.S. law prevents selecting embryos, providing federal funds are not used, so there’d be no prohibition to select embryos with “high IQ.” Pre-implantation genetic diagnosis in the UK is regulated by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority, which permits identification of embryos with a schedule of rare genetic diseases for which the parents are known carriers. And UK’s restrictions allow prenatal screening for Down’s syndrome, a disability that produces low to moderate intellectual disability, so in some sense, they have one foot in a eugenic practice that reduces the probability of lower IQ children being born.


[1] Plomin, R.B. (2018). How DNA Makes Us Who We Are. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

[2] Ware, E., et al. (2017). “Heterogeneity in Polygenic Scores for Common Human Traits.” bioRxiv 106062.

[3] Plomin, R., et al. (2018). “The New Genetics of Intelligence.” Nature Reviews Genetics 19: 148–159.

[4] Developing a hippocampal neural prosthetic to facilitate human memory encoding and recall, Journal of Neural Engineering (2018).,….088/1741-2552/aaaed7.

[5] Tsien, J.Z. (2016). “Principles of Intelligence: On Evolutionary Logic of the Brain.” Frontiers in Systems Neuroscience 9. ISSN 1662-5137.

[6] Tsien, J.Z., pioneered Cre-loxP-mediated brain subregion–and cell type-specific genetic techniques in 1996, enabling researchers to manipulate or introduce any gene in a specific brain region or a given type of neuron. See, Tsien, J.Z. (2016). “Cre-Lox Neurogenetics: 20 Years of Versatile Applications in Brain Research and Counting…” Frontiers in Genetics.,

[7] Amara, A. (2013). “Electronic Hippocampal System Turns Long-Term Memory on and Off, Enhances Cognition, Kurzweil, R., AI.” Kurzweil Accelerating Intelligence. Earlier progress was reported in Brain-implantable biomimetic electronics as the next era in neural prosthetics, Proceedings of the IEEE, Volume: 89, Issue: 7, July 2001.

[8] Nielsen, A.A.K., and Voigt, C.A. (2014). “Multi-input CRISPR/Cas Genetic Circuits That Interface Host Regulatory Networks.” Molecular Systems Biology 10 (11): 763.

[9] Charles, Q.C. (2015, October 23). “Organs on Demand? 3D Printers Could Build Hearts, Arteries.”

[10] Gurney, K. (1997). An Introduction to Neural Networks. London and NY: Routledge; Reyneri, L.M. (1999). “Theoretical and Implementation Aspects of Pulse Streams: An Overview.” In: Proceedings of the Seventh International Conference on Microelectronics for Neural, Fuzzy and Bio-Inspired Systems, 1999. MicroNeuro’99. IEEE. Murray, A.F., et al. (1991). “Pulse-Stream VLSI Neural Networks Mixing Analog and Digital Techniques.” IEEE Transactions on Neural Networks 2 (2): 193–204.

[11] Wallach, W. (2015). A Dangerous Master. Basic Books.

[12] Sparrow, R. (2013). “In Vitro Eugenics.” Journal of Medical Ethics 40: 725–731. Published online first: 4 April 2013.

[13] Shulman, C., et al. (2014). “Embryo Selection for Cognitive Enhancement: Curiosity or Game-Changer?” Global Policy 5 (1): 85–92. ISSN 1758-5899.

[14] Yong, E. (2013). “Chinese Project Probes the Genetics of Genius.” Nature 497 (7449): 297–299.

[15] Chabris, C.F., et al. (2012). Psychological Science 23: 1314–1323.

[16] Davis, O.S., et al. (2010). Behavior Genetics 40: 759–767.

[17] Deary, I.J., Johnson, W., and Houlihan, L.M. (2009). Human Genetics 126: 215–232.

[18] Plomin, R.B. (2018). How DNA Makes Us Who We Are. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

[19] Kaufman, J.C., and Sternberg, R.J. (eds.). (2010). The Cambridge Handbook of Creativity. Cambridge University Press.

[20] Hofstadter, D.R. (1979). Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid. Basic Books.

[21] Dartnall, T. (ed.). (2002). An Interaction, Creativity, Cognition, and Knowledge. Westport, CT: Praeger Publishers.

[22] Wilson, E.O. (2014). The Meaning of Human Existence. Liveright Publishing Corporation.

Conserving Humanity at the Dawn of Posthuman Technology, by Joseph R. Carvalko Jr. Copyright © Joseph R. Carvalko Jr, 2019. All rights reserved.

Joseph Carvalko is an American technologist, academic, patent lawyer, and writer. As an inventor and engineer, he has been awarded 18 patents in various fields. He has authored academic books, articles, and fiction throughout his career. Currently he is an Adjunct Professor of Law at Quinnipiac University, School of Law, teaching Law, Science and Technology; Chairman, Technology and Ethics Working Research Group, Interdisciplinary Center for Bioethics, Yale University; member, IEEE, Society on Social Implications of Technology; summer faculty member, Interdisciplinary Center for Bioethics, Yale University.

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  1. I'm so glad to read this piece by Joe Carvalko. He is way ahead of his time. I am part of a group in SW Florida working to stem waves of climate change that will in not so long a time be the undoing of humanity's best prospects. We've formed a group, The SWFL RESET Center, dedicated to pulling together any and all NGO's and like-minded citizens to use our collective energy to advocate and educate. This is difficult work, because in spite of the overwhelming evidence of global warming and shifts in the global ecosystem, people just don't have the attention span or sense of urgency to motivate them toward action.
    Joe Carvalko has tackled an even more difficult challenge. The issues that he raises are profoundly important and they deserve our attention now. Steps are being taken, policies being set, attitudes being formed by technologically advanced subsets of society that are distant from everyday life. They'll set society off in particular directions that we will come to grips with only later, when we discover we may have inadvertently taken the wrong, possibly irreversible path.
    I know that Joe is a fan of metaphor theory. Is the one that says humanity is getting ahead of it's skis good for where we find ourselves?


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