Friday, July 20, 2007

Whoa - never saw a dog like that!...

What if biotech - like computers - became ubiquitous and accessible?
These facts raise an interesting question. Will the domestication of high technology, which we have seen marching from triumph to triumph with the advent of personal computers and GPS receivers and digital cameras, soon be extended from physical technology to biotechnology? I believe that the answer to this question is yes. Here I am bold enough to make a definite prediction. I predict that the domestication of biotechnology will dominate our lives during the next fifty years at least as much as the domestication of computers has dominated our lives during the previous fifty years.

What might this idea look like in practice?
Domesticated biotechnology, once it gets into the hands of housewives and children, will give us an explosion of diversity of new living creatures, rather than the monoculture crops that the big corporations prefer. New lineages will proliferate to replace those that monoculture farming and deforestation have destroyed. Designing genomes will be a personal thing, a new art form as creative as painting or sculpture. [More of a very provocative essay]

I think I have ignored this admittedly wild idea because I can grasp electronics, but struggled (like many Americans) with biology. While I have read science fiction stories about advanced cultures based on biotech vs. computers, they always seemed pretty far-fetched.

Until now.

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