“A gifted and thoughtful writer, Metzl brings us to the frontiers of biology and technology, and reveals a world full of promise and peril.” — Siddhartha Mukherjee MD, New York Times bestselling author of The Emperor of All Maladies and The Gene
Passionate, provocative, and highly illuminating, Hacking Darwin is the must read book about the future of our species for fans of Homo Deus and The Gene.
After 3.8 billion years humankind is about to start evolving by new rules…
From leading geopolitical expert and technology futurist Jamie Metzl comes a groundbreaking exploration of the many ways genetic-engineering is shaking the core foundations of our lives — sex, war, love, and death.
At the dawn of the genetics revolution, our DNA is becoming as readable, writable, and hackable as our information technology. But as humanity starts retooling our own genetic code, the choices we make today will be the difference between realizing breathtaking advances in human well-being and descending into a dangerous and potentially deadly genetic arms race.
Enter the laboratories where scientists are turning science fiction into reality. Look towards a future where our deepest beliefs, morals, religions, and politics are challenged like never before and the very essence of what it means to be human is at play. When we can engineer our future children, massively extend our lifespans, build life from scratch, and recreate the plant and animal world, should we?
A species-wide dialogue about what it is to "be human" must start as soon as possible, writes Mezl (Genesis Code), a member of the Council of Foreign Relations and Clinton administration staffer, in this urgent treatise on genetic engineering. Metzl provides the necessary background to his discussion: in 2004, four clinics in China helped couples genetically analyze their embryos and thus optimize gene disorder free births, a process known as preimplantation genetic testing (PGT). By 2016, those clinics numbered 40, some operating "on a colossal scale" and establishing China as the leading country for carrying out this process. The next step, Metzl argues, is genetically altering embryos to "optimize" them further, such as by increasing intelligence or strength. While science-savvy readers are unlikely to find these details particularly revelatory, Metzl brings an unusual degree of urgency to his policy recommendations. To prevent "a never ending process of creating and rewriting the code of life" from getting out of hand, he recommends that humanity build a "global regulatory structure," like that governing nuclear energy. Reflecting his background in think tanks and government, rather than in science or science writing, Metzl's focus is squarely on the societal implications of his subject, not its technical nuts and bolts. The result is a highly readable compendium of next-gen advice for the implementation and management of next-gen science.)\n