(ORDO NEWS) — In the last year of his life, the great theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking was actively working on the book “Short Answers to Big Questions”.
In it, he raised many questions, and one of them sounded like this: “What is the main threat to the Earth ?”
Asteroids, climate change and dangerous viruses that will be released from the permafrost? This answer would be trite and somewhat boring.
Hawking went the other way and singled out such a serious threat as the emergence of “superhumans” with artificially altered DNA.
If experiments of this format are banned at the official level, then they will simply go underground and be carried out illegally, as was the case in China when editing the genome of embryos.
“Over the past ten thousand years, the human body has undergone minor changes, but genetic engineering can overcome the slowness of natural evolution,” Hawking wrote.
Stephen Hawking was sure that in the foreseeable future, some developed countries would begin to create improved people.
By editing DNA, scientists will be able to protect “modified people” from congenital defects and most known diseases, and thereby significantly extend the lifespan, say, five times.
This will give rise to serious social, political and economic problems, because people will objectively cease to be equal even at the biological level.
“The appearance of “superhumans” is necessary for distant space travel, because insurmountable difficulties can arise with medicine in a state of weightlessness,” the professor added.
“Such people will be needed to conquer other worlds and quickly adapt to new conditions. However, DNA editing can be used for evil, and then we will get a catastrophic stratification of society.”
Stephen Hawking did not label DNA editing as “good” or “evil”.
He only believed that appropriate laws should be adopted that would control this area and prohibit such modifications as: phenomenal memory, transcendental strength, resistance to all diseases, or even immortality.
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