Annotation: The author offers a sobering look at genetic engineering and where it could lead us if not used appropriately and thought about wisely. He questions whether we will ever decide we've grown powerful enough, whether we can refuse to do something that we can do. Looks at the fields of nanotechnology and advanced robotics. Index, notes.
The great civil rights activist Martin Luther King Jr. once said, "All progress is precarious, and the solution of one problem brings us face to face with another problem." This is a statement that Bill McKibben, author of
Enough: Staying Human in an Engineered Age, would agree wholeheartedly with. McKibben would like scientific progress on Earth to come to a grinding halt. This is essentially a manifesto, albeit one that provides a harsh wake-up call to all those who support the headlong rush of technology.
In this book the author predicts a future in which nobody is really human anymore, as a result of advances in genetic engineering and robotics. He argues that the state of the world is fine just like it is which is a bit rich coming from an upper-middle-class writer that has enough to eat and can get sufficient medical attention. Still, this is an engaging read, though it does get preachy at times. The writing is clear and reasonably fast paced and it piqued my interest in these subjects. The book made me want to learn more about these emerging fields - for they are shaping our world for better or worse.
This was a good, easy-to-read book that will awaken many readers to the all too relevant dangers and benefits of genetic engineering and robotics. I enjoyed reading this book because it made me think about these fields in ways I hadn't before. I would recommend this book to my friends as a good starting point for further reading on these subjects. The main failing of this book was the subjectivity of it. I would rather read a science book that presents more of both sides of an argument. For this reason, I think this book should stay a Cornerstones of Science nominee.