Earlier this year, legendary physicist Stephen Hawking passed away at 76. Before he died, he had one last theory (more like a warning) to offer: A new race of genetically modified superhumans would lead to the end of humanity.
This new race, he warned, will come into existence when the wealthy elite of the world—Yeezus, Bill Gates, the Rothschilds—splice their DNA as well as their children's in order to modify human capabilities like memory, cognitive ability, and longevity, and make them extraordinary.
DNA splicing is a terrible idea, and it’s confusing to me that those who support this do not understand the dangers of doing so.
Has no one seen movies and big-budget video games that take place in apocalyptic worlds with fucked up genetically-modified creatures? The movie Splice? BioShock? Gattaca?
Anyway, Hawking warned everyone that such advances in genetic engineering would create a new superhuman race that could annihilate us regular Joes (just imagine current humans versus indestructible meta-humans that can withstand nuclear blasts and such). You know, because we’d suck compared to them.
In his last essay collection, which was printed in The Sunday Times, Hawking wrote:
I am sure that during this century people will discover how to modify both intelligence and instincts such as aggression,
Laws will probably be passed against genetic engineering with humans. But some people won’t be able to resist the temptation to improve human characteristics, such as memory, resistance to disease and length of life.
Once such superhumans appear, there will be significant political problems with unimproved humans, who won’t be able to compete,
Presumably, they will die out, or become unimportant. Instead, there will be a race of self-designing beings who are improving at an ever-increasing rate.
But here's the thing: The gene editing Hawking warned us about is actually happening right now. The DNA editing system Crispr-Cas9 has been around since 2012, and is already being used to literally edit incurable cancers out of sick children. While this is a good thing, it's also scary as hell.
Luckily, other professors are expressing the same concerns as Hawking about gene editing, so hopefully their views might slow down this kind of troubling advance. The Sunday Times quoted Dr. Chris Rapley from the University College London, who said:
Humans have arguably reached a critical moment,
We have moved beyond affecting the planet at the landscape scale to interfering with its very metabolism at the global scale. All the indications are that the limitations of our brains, both individually and collectively, leave us incapable of addressing the challenge. On this basis the future looks desperately gloomy.
Desperately gloomy. Yikes.
Good luck, everyone.