The Body Beautiful

Mapping the human genome project finally finished two years ago, and now we can map our individual genetic make-up. Giving medical science the ability to tell us what is wrong with so much as a single cell in the next few years. I am sure the Greeks of the sixth century BCE would view this with some interest, as they were keen upon perfection in the body and saw the human body rather akin to a temple that you treated with respect and tested to the full.

Prolonging healthy life has always been a key determinate of human activity, decrepit old age being the repeated reason why some people have chosen to live hard-and-fast and die young before they became dependent. But I wonder if anyone, even those researching, is any more than an observer in the wider game.

We will genetically engineer children. We will use genetic techniques in the most vile tortures. We will use genetics to create new poisons for use in war.  Long ago I once heard a scientist say designing space ships for people was difficult as they took up a lot of space and legs are not necessary in space.

Legless astronauts?  Tireless soldiers? Dipnoan humans? The energy of a twenty year old at a hundred years of age?

Science is taking us to places religion only ever imagined.

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February 2019
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