Tuesday, 13 November 2007


Part two, entitled "THE BIOTECH REVOLUTION", of this excellent series aired on BBC4 last night and it was as good as the first. Last nights episode dealt with genetics and biotechnology and, like the first episode, was simultaneously fascinating and terrifying. The potential of this technology is mind bending, from being able to grow replacement body parts to "improving" ourselves physically & mentally to dramatically increasing our lifespans - pretty much, the sky-is-the-limit for what we may be able to do. The program also discussed the dangerous potential of this technology such as the rich and powerful literally genetically enhancing themselves into a permanent ruling class (with near immortality) or how we could evolve ourselves away from humanity into a new species to even how we could remove all the distinguishing foibles of being human and become "perfect". Obviously none of this is possible today but its not too far off and we need to start deciding now, how we are going to use this technology. The overall effect of the program was to give the sense that we really are on the cusp of science-fiction becoming science-fact - a dizzying notion. It reminded me of that Chinese curse, we are living in interesting times.