In order to give focus to some major changes she sees on the horizon, Sramana Mitra has written several pieces that grew out of her original article, Man and Superman: Human History Bifurcates. The previous articles in this series: Two Distinct Species; What CAN Be Controlled?; Rationalizing Populations; How Long Does Democracy Survive?; The Environmental Time Bomb; Role of Religion, and Will There Be Revolution? Please share your thoughts and help get the conversation going.
As this series has developed, I’ve had the privilege of listening to various perspectives about the possibilities. I’ve also had very interesting exchanges about questions, alternatives, and ramifications.
One particular point of view, over a beautiful luncheon at my friend Enrica’s, concerned online learning.
Clearly, the distinction between Man and Superman is largely in intellectual capacity.
What if, using the power of online learning, large populations can become more intellectually capable?
MIT’s Physics courses, once available only to a few hundred, are now accessed by thousands.
Well, as long as we’re talking about thousands, we’re still within the realm of these highly uplifting, thrilling rather, possibilities.
But remember, we’re concerned about humanity that will balloon by mid-century to 10 billion people.
Millions of people simply do not have the intellectual capacity or the motivation to absorb high level disciplines through online (or offline, for that matter) channels.
So millions, let alone billions, upgrading to Superman ain’t feasible.
Would it be feasible with the help of genetic engineering?
This is THE action item that in my opinion, is worth exploring. Can Man be genetically engineered to enhance intellectual capacity, especially, capacity for learning?
I understand, that if this were to be possible, it would be very expensive.
But at least, if a large percentage of the population can be upgraded, the species, albeit an evolved and enhanced species, will survive more readily, and at a larger scale.
This segment is a part in the series : Man and Superman