Radical Evolution: The Promise and Peril of Enhancing Our Minds, Our Bodies -- and What It Means to Be Human

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Crown, May 17, 2005 - Science - 256 pages
In Radical Evolution, bestselling author Joel Garreau, a reporter and editor for the Washington Post, shows us that we are at an inflection point in history. As you read this, we are engineering the next stage of human evolution. Through advances in genetic, robotic, information and nanotechnologies, we are altering our minds, our memories, our metabolisms, our personalities, our progeny–and perhaps our very souls.

Taking us behind the scenes with today's foremost researchers and pioneers, Garreau reveals that the super powers of our comic-book heroes already exist, or are in development in hospitals, labs, and research facilities around the country -- from the revved up reflexes and speed of Spider-Man and Superman, to the enhanced mental acuity and memory capabilities of an advanced species.

Over the next fifteen years, Garreau makes clear, these enhancements will become part of our everyday lives. Where will they lead us? To heaven–where technology’s promise to make us smarter, vanquish illness and extend our lives is the answer to our prayers? Or will they lead us, as some argue, to hell — where unrestrained technology brings about the ultimate destruction of our entire species? With the help and insights of the gifted thinkers and scientists who are making what has previously been thought of as science fiction a reality, Garreau explores how these developments, in our lifetime, will affect everything from the way we date to the way we work, from how we think and act to how we fall in love. It is a book about what our world is becoming today, not fifty years out. As Garreau cautions, it is only by anticipating the future that we can hope to shape it.

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RADICAL EVOLUTION: The Promise and Peril of Enhancing Our Minds, Our Bodies--and What It Means to Be a Human

User Review  - Kirkus

An eye-opening exploration of how cutting-edge 21st-century technologies, in embryonic form right now, pose the stark alternatives of a real-life Utopia or Brave New World.Information power has been ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - KevinJoseph - LibraryThing

Well-researched, and beautifully written, Joe Garreau brings his well-honed journalism skills to bear on the most vexing question humankind has ever faced: what to do now that our genetic, robotics ... Read full review

Contents

CHAPTER
15
CHAPTER THREE
45
CHAPTER FOUR
85
CHAPTER FIVE
133
CHAPTER
187
CHAPTER SEVEN
227
CHAPTER EIGHT
267
Suggested Readings
283
Notes
316
Index
351
Copyright

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Page 181 - Lords and Commons of England, consider what nation it is whereof ye are and whereof ye are the governors : a nation not slow and dull, but of a quick, ingenious, and piercing spirit, acute to invent, subtle and sinewy to discourse, not beneath the reach of any point the highest that human capacity can soar to.
Page 151 - His limbs were in proportion and I had selected his features as beautiful. Beautiful!— Great God! His yellow skin scarcely covered the work of muscles and arteries beneath; his hair was of a lustrous black, and flowing; his teeth of a pearly whiteness; but these luxuriances only formed a more horrid contrast with his watery eyes, that seemed almost of the same colour as the dun white sockets in which they were set, his shrivelled complexion and straight black lips.
Page 151 - I saw - with shut eyes, but acute mental vision - I saw the pale student of unhallowed arts kneeling beside the thing he had put together. I saw the hideous phantasm of a man stretched out, and then, on the working of some powerful engine, show signs of life, and stir with an uneasy, halfvital motion.
Page 148 - The battle to feed all of humanity is over. In the 1970s the world will undergo famines — hundreds of millions of people are going to starve to death in spite of any crash programs embarked upon now.
Page 107 - We may, perhaps, learn to deprive large masses of their gravity, and give them absolute levity, for the sake of easy transport. Agriculture may diminish its...
Page 339 - It is easy enough to say that man is immortal simply because he will endure ; that when the last ding-dong of doom has clanged and faded from the last worthless rock hanging tideless in the last red and dying evening, that even then there will still be one more sound: that of his puny inexhaustible voice, still talking. I refuse to accept this. I believe that man will not merely endure: he will prevail.
Page 331 - Non ha l'ottimo artista * alcun concetto, Ch'un marmo solo in sť non circoscriva Col suo soverchio, e solo a quello arriva La man che ubbidisce all'intelletto.
Page 180 - Suppose we could expel sin by this means ; look how much we thus expel of sin, so much we expel of virtue ; for the matter of them both is the same : remove that, and ye remove them both alike.

About the author (2005)

JOEL GARREAU is a student of culture, values and change. The author of the bestselling Edge City: Life on the New Frontier and The Nine Nations of North America, he is a reporter and editor at The Washington Post, a member of the scenario-planning organization Global Business Network, and has served as a senior fellow at George Mason University and the University of California at Berkeley. He has appeared on such national media as Good Morning America, Today, The CBS Evening News with Dan Rather, NBC Nightly News, ABC’s World News Tonight, and NPR’s Morning Edition and All Things Considered. He lives in Broad Run, Virginia.

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