By Charles Mueller
What will humans be in 2020?
If you had asked me that question in 2000, I would have been 16 years old and told you that humans would still be human, but they would have really cool technology (think Jetson’s). Maybe we would be smarter, but that would have been due to the fact we had experienced more and learned more. We wouldn’t be better because we would have learned how to change the essence of our humanity, our DNA. I would never have thought that one day we could design ourselves like we design cars, computers and our art.
Many of our leaders in the S&T world who are following the advancements in genetic engineering technologies are convinced a world where we can design ourselves to love like a dog, to see like an eagle, or to have the memory of a Clark Nutcracker bird (Google it), are still many years away. The same kinds of thing were said in the computer industry before people like Gates, Allen, Jobs and Wozniak decided to do what the experts said was decades away in their own garage. The world of garage S&T (genetic engineering) is finally possible and do-it-yourself biology is going to start to make what was evolutionary impossible, possible. It is going to help create the breakthroughs that drive this revolution.
After spending the last decade studying everything I could get my hands on about how life functions and evolves, as well as following the development of tools that allow us to manipulate it at the atomic scale, I honestly think humans in 2020 will be on a trajectory different than the humans of today. Humans of 2020 will be the first down a path to be whatever the humans of 2020 want to be. Their children will be optimized and their own genomes modified in an attempt to make their existence better. They will be the first humans by design, not evolution.