On this week’s episode of Unsupervised Learning, Razib talks to Jonathan Anomaly, author of Creating Future People: The Ethics of Genetic Enhancement. Anomaly is currently the director of the Philosophy, Politics and Economics program at La Universidad de las Americas, Ecuador. He has been a lecturer at Duke and the University of Pennsylvania and holds a philosophy Ph.D. from Tulane University. Anomaly has been thinking and publishing on the implications of the intersection between ethics and biology for the last fifteen years, from the moral case for synthetic meat to the necessity for a global regulatory regime for antibiotics. Anomaly maintains that modern technology can drive humans to greater excellence and virtuosity, his views explicitly influenced by ancient Greek aesthetics and modern utilitarianism. In Creating Future People he applies these values to the context of 21st-century biotechnologyś possibilities, making the case that we now have the tools to improve and perfect ourselves as a species.
Creating Future People is a controversial book, and Anomaly is swimming against current cultural trends in the West that are highly skeptical of biotechnology, whether it be vaccines or genetically modified organisms. But, if our technological capabilities are any indication, the debate is only in its infancy and Creating Future People lays down essential markers and sets some helpful terms for the debate.