TED2009: Juan Enriquez

Discuss

18 Responses to “TED2009: Juan Enriquez”

  1. Anonymous says:

    I don’t understand how this is an evolutionary advantage yet. Are people with access to Google significantly genetically different from other people? Do they grow to adulthood and reproduce more than people without Google?

    This tissue engineering, like Google or any learned behavior, doesn’t seem to be linked with any unusual heritable trait–unless there’s actual genetic engineering of gametes going on, or selection of some kind. It sounds like some people’s grandchildren will look different on the outside, but still have the same basic homo sapiens’ programming.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evolution

    “There is a great difference between selective adaptation and acclimatization. Adaptation occurs over many generations; it is a gradual process caused by natural selection. Acclimatization generally occurs within a single lifetime and copes with issues that are less threatening.”

  2. eustace says:

    This whole idea supposes that mankind will escape the robopocalypse. Our inevitable metallic masters will never allow this future to occur.

  3. Shaddack says:

    There are quite some bugs in human DNA. What about starting tackling those? E.g. repair the bug in ascorbate biosynthetic pathway?

  4. error404 says:

    how come this guy didn’t get the starburst halo effect like all the other TED post people did? Is he not in the gang?

  5. Anonymous says:

    all this Ted stuff is really interesting but of course you can’t go unless you are rich, famous or have rich/famous friends … not like 99.99% of us could ever afford to go … so thanks for keeping us unwashed masses in the loop

  6. holtt says:

    He’s not l33t.

  7. Memory Harker says:

    Heh. Homo BORGolutis is what it sounds like …

  8. Brainspore says:

    Doesn’t speciation require divergent populations that can’t or won’t produce fertile offspring together? We live in a world where Chihuahuas still knock up Great Danes, and it took thousands of years of deliberate selective breeding to make them so different.

    Our grandchildren will doubtlessly find incredible ways to distinguish themselves but that doesn’t mean they’re about to stop doing the nasty.

  9. Dr. Dave says:

    Burpchick above has it right. (#3) People with access to Google do not have a SELECTIVE advantage over people without. Yes they have advantages within SOCIETY, but to state such ideas in Darwinian terms shows a profound misunderstanding of what Natural Selection is and how it works.

  10. musicpsych says:

    He knows that Battlestar Galactica isn’t real, right?

    Sorry, ever since I read a book that he wrote, I have a hard time taking him seriously.

  11. burpchick says:

    I could be wrong about this, but my understanding is that evolutionary “success” is measured by the ability to reproduce successfully (and have those offspring live long enough to reproduce themselves). So, a person who lives to be 30 and has 10 kids is more sucessful that one who lives to be 100 with no kids.

    I guess my problem is with the statement that a “significantly increase[d] average life span” is somehow connected to “a third track of speciation.” This alludes to Lamarck’s whole notion that we inherit acquired traits, which is not the case.

  12. josephlrc says:

    I think it is more that access to google indicates access to a lot of other things- healthcare, education, etc, that will impact the number of possible children and their survival rate.

  13. Yamara says:

    Our grandchildren will doubtlessly find incredible ways to distinguish themselves but that doesn’t mean they’re about to stop doing the nasty.

    Yeah, I’m thinking today’s hentai is tomorrow’s biomorphic blueprints.

    We’re going to be exhibiting vestigial ape qualities for some time to come.

  14. Okathleen says:

    Soon we will be able to live outside our brain. In fact, it might be that as we choose a new nose or chin, we trade in our brain for one that is happier/fresher/smarter. What worries me is when robotics learn to emote. Properly emote. Yikes.

    • Antinous / Moderator says:

      Okathleen,

      You’ve had several warnings about linking to your blog in comments. Please contact me if you want your account reinstated.

  15. StRevAlex says:

    Juan Enriquez is a great speaker and a brilliant man. He gives me hope for humanity.

  16. Brainspore says:

    all this Ted stuff is really interesting but of course you can’t go unless you are rich, famous or have rich/famous friends … not like 99.99% of us could ever afford to go … so thanks for keeping us unwashed masses in the loop

    Wait a minute. An isolated subgroup with clear advantages over the rest of the humanity… oh my God! TED is causing speciation!

  17. Jeff says:

    As a transhumanist I like this sort of thing–it feeds my chronovoric delusions.

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