July 20, 2005

I’M READING RON BAILEY’S Liberation Biology: The Scientific And Moral Case For The Biotech Revolution, and I think it’s likely to be one of the most important books of the year. Here’s an excerpt:

Human liberation from our biological constraints began when the first human sharpened a stick and used it to kill an animal for food. Further liberation from biological constraints followed with fire the wheel, domesticating animals, agriculture, metallurgy, city-building, textiles, information storage by means of writing, the internal combustion engine, electric power generation, antibiotics, vaccines, transplants, and contraception. In a sense, the goal toward which humanity has been striving for millennia has been to liberate ourselves, by extending our capacities, from more and more of our ancestors’ biological constraints. . . .

If we are allowed to use biotech to help future generations become healthier, smarter, and perhaps even happier, have we “imposed” our wills on them as bioconservatives warn? Will we have deprived them of the ability to flourish as full human beings? To answer yes to these questions is to adopt Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s view of humanity as a race of happy savages, sadly degraded by civilization. Previous generations have, of course, “imposed” all sorts of technologies and institutions on us. Thank goodness they did, because by any reasonable measure we are far freer, richer, better off than our ancestors.

Indeed we are. And Bailey’s book is important enough to attract nasty ad hominem review spam from the Jeremy Rifkin crowd!

Comments are closed.
InstaPundit is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.