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About the Author

The author of this blog is a science-geek/nerd and neuroscience grad student. As for irrelevant stuff, the author is a young, middle-class, Australian Caucasian male and professes to be an atheist and a utilitarian.

The author is approving of the transhumanist point of view (though reluctant to be described as a transhumanist until the term gets a solid meaning of its own). His focus is on the B and C parts of NBIC, and therefore he:

  • Approves the use of modifications into the genome of human somatic cells for therapeutic, cosmetic, psychological and physical benefits.
  • Approves the use of germline genetic engineering and pre-implantation selection for enhancement of offspring.
  • Approves the use of embryonic stem cells and therapeutic cloning for both therapy and, if possible, enhancement.
  • Approves the use of reproductive cloning, even without the consent of the person being cloned.
  • Approves the use of prosthetic, cybernetics and neurotechnology to repair, augment and enhance the human body or brain.
  • Approves of the use of nanotechnology to cure and enhance the human body and brain.
  • Approves of using performance-enhancing drugs, if safe, for performance enhancement in sport, business and education. This includes intelligence-boosting drugs (nootropics).
  • Approves the creation of human-human and animal-human hybrid embryos through transgenic manipulation or embryo fusion, for research and, if proven safe, reproductive purposes.
  • Disapproves of the patenting or ownership of genetic material, even including novel genetic material.
  • Disapproves of any restrictions of the above that are not based on concerns regarding informed consent. Even an unsafe and usually ineffective enhancement should be available to those who knowingly choose it.

    The author also wishes to remain anonymous for now, due primarily to the animosity of his close family towards human enhancement technology (the animosity of everyone else, however, is welcomed). The name ‘Josh’ will do for now.

    21 comments

    1. Interesting blog, “Josh”. You are more hardline on the H+ issues than I am, looking at your list of positions above – and I think we’d have some important disagreements on political philosophy as well. But it’s nice to know that there are other people in Australia who are not bioconservative in their bias. Do get in touch if you ever want to reveal your identity … or let me know if there’s anything I can do to help.

      Russell Blackford (IEET Fellow; Editor-in-Chief, Journal of Evolution and Technology)


    2. My political viewpoints are still a little idealistic and immature, in that I haven’t given them the great deal of thought that I have for bioethical topics. I’m very willing to be convinced that my political views are wrong, but I rarely see a defence of democracy – it is usually just assumed to be the ideal way of making political decisions.

      Good to see somebody reads my blog. I occasionally read JET. myself.


    3. Hey Joshua,

      In response to your comment on the 28th of July about how designing babies is just playing human, I admit I was rather misinformed when I blogged about it.

      After going through your article, I realize it’s not that easy to create a flawless baby afterall;you just can’t get the best of both worlds yet.

      Pretty cool blog you got here though it gets a tad dry for someone who doesn’t read(and understand much)biology like me.


    4. Hey Josh, just wanted to give you a heads up that All Around Athlete is now Human 2.0. Figured that suited the content better.


    5. I find your postings about bio enhancement issues interesting…
      However, your idea of a small intellectual elite ruling everyone else through central planning(like only allowing people less knowledgeable half a vote on certain issues) has been tried many times in history, and has always led to great suffering(unless you’re one of the intellectual elite, that is)

      Capitalism is by no means perfect, but as far as history is concerned, the fewest people suffer in a capitalist/Republic system than in any other type of system. (just see what living in these countries is like: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_socialist_countries )

      Don’t get me wrong, central planning by perfect, un-corrupt beings is the perfect system, but as humans have always been, and always will be flawed, such a system is impractical until the return of Jesus Christ.


      • However, your idea of a small intellectual elite ruling everyone else through central planning(like only allowing people less knowledgeable half a vote on certain issues) has been tried many times in history, and has always led to great suffering(unless you’re one of the intellectual elite, that is)

        Central planning by experts works quite well on a smaller scale. Like within a business, having the computer decisions managed by IT department or having the structure of the new office building created by engineers. I see no fundamental reason why this can’t be scaled up to country-wide decisions, like national health schemes or energy management.

        And the scaling of votes to knowledge only would be applicable to legal issues, where there is no evidence for right or wrong answers, but where knowledge about the issue is still paramount to making the decision (embryonic stem cell research being the best example. Why should I listen to the opinion of somebody who doesn’t even know what it is they’re opposing?)

        Capitalism is by no means perfect, but as far as history is concerned, the fewest people suffer in a capitalist/Republic system than in any other type of system. (just see what living in these countries is like: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_socialist_countries )

        Correlation does not imply causation. I would argue that capitalist systems simply have more natural resources, and hence more wealth, than socialist countries. And capitalism works far better with limited resources than socialism does. Indeed, in rich first world nations, the more socialised the government, the better the quality of life (i.e. Europe vs USA).

        That said, I’m not advocating socialism – I think socialism is only marginally better in theory than capitalism, and worse in practice.

        such a system is impractical until the return of Jesus Christ.

        Yeah…good luck with that…


        • If we modify human nature all the experimenting we did on various political systems goes out the window. If people are less motivated by greed and more caring maybe another Stalin could not happen.

          And as for current political sytems, the government should still have some control on the banks. The Canadian government managed to decrease the damage done in the last recession because of regulations on the way banks handeled money.


    6. Glad to see i’m not the only one who is conservative towards biological enhancements for use. OK here is an idea i came up with for adding telmere for our somatic cells. I want to take a retro-virus and that is only able to reproduce inside chickens or some other animal that can lay eggs “growing medium”. Take since its a retro virus it the rna thats droped off doesn’t permanently effect the cell and teh telmerase enzymes will be produced keeping those infected cells from reaching thier hayflack limit for an extended period but never destroyed by the retro virus because the virus could not reproduce in human somatic cells.


    7. i think that some people who argue against cloning forget that cloning is is a “short term” re-creating somethings DNA. Human cloning, i am for. i don’t believe you are creating another soul. i think your creating an image vegetable of a human. i do not think it is at all possible to create another soul, only God can do that. so therefore, i do not think that if used in that circumstance, cloning is against the bible.


    8. I habe much respect for what you are doing here and have been working to become a geneticist myself. Recently I have engaged in conversations with transhumanists about the possibility of non-organic consciousness. As a neroscientist I was hoping you could educate me. Can I binary computer be conscious? Is our consiousness a product of electrons flowing accross neurons in complicated ways, or some chemical processes? Are we any closer to understanding consiousness?


      • The short answer is, we don’t know what consciousness is, nor how to replicate it. It’s entirely possible that a binary computer could be conscious, but without being able to define consciousness, we have no way of knowing.


    9. Hi, do you consider an individual’s DNA his/her own property to be protected in an “intellectual property” (I take DNA as information stored in my cells here, in the same way that my memories/ideas/secrets are stored in my neurons)? if anyone makes a profit from cloning me or parts of me, I demand retribution. in the same way, noone should force me to give up my information for their prosperity, without due retribution. do you agree?

      Do you consider an individual’s unique genome as a part of that individual’s physical self, which must be protected (here I hint at the right to self-determination)? No-one should have the right to tell me what to do with my body and parts of it.

      I ask this because I am not sure I understand your 4th satement above (cloning even without consent). Am I misunderstanding what that is about?


      • No, I don’t consider your DNA to be your property. As to cloning without consent, please see my post on that topic.


    10. First off I want to commend you for a truly fantastic site, the information contained is both fascinating and useful. Now certainly it’s not immediately applicable, at least not easily/cheaply, but it is nonetheless an important subject to understand. Anyways, I am curious to hear your stance on the feasibility of Adeno Associated Viruses (AAVs). As I understand it, one could right now buy a custom AAV capable of changing genetic code in vivo. Do you believe these are safe and/or effective? I apologize if you have a post about this, but I haven’t gotten a chance to really dive into your blog, and this has been a burning question for me for quite some time.


    11. Dear Bioethics Dude,

      I really like your blog! Thank you for creating it. I can tell that you put a lot of time into your posts and genuinely appreciate that. I hope you continue to write your bioethics and biopilitics blog in the future. I especially love your post about the weakness of the “life begins at conception” argument.

      Cheers,
      Mia


    12. A youngling with a curiosity, saying : “an inexpensive way of accelerating the progress of transhumanisn, is through the ambition and potential of the youth”, so why not include popular fictitious articles on human enhancements. LIke halo, even though i dont like halo.


      • Deus Ex Human Revolution would be a million times better


    13. H_ Magazine would be interested in sharing your fyborgs vs. cyborgs article from 2008. If you are interested, contact peter at hplusmagazine.com

      Thanks!


    14. I am 12 years old and I check for new content on your blog weekly. I stumbled across your blog while doing personal research on human enhancement technology. Thank you so much for writing this blog.


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    16. Hi Josh, I’m doing a project and I have to come up with ways to solve any and every (or at least, as many as possible) of the problems surrounding human enhancement technologies, such as unequal access, regulation, safety, or economic impacts, etc. Do you have any ideas that could help me out? Thanks!



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