Usenet posting "Engineered Evolution"

Max Hunter (
Wed, 04 Feb 1998 23:56:26 -0600

In early 1997 It became clear to me that my children needed
an explanation for their fathers weird beliefs. My youngest son
came to me one day with a plaintiff look on his face and asked.
"Dad, why aren't we christian anymore?" In his mind he equated
being a christian with going to church.

I stammered a bit then tried to explain that I wanted him to
search for truth with all his heart and mind, and use the time
life had given him to make a better world for those who follow.
To do that effectively he would have to utilize his intelligence
and not allow others to define truth for him. I clearly lost him
in the translation. (his attention span timed out)

I have four very bright children (and do not anticipate contributing
further to the gene pool), all of them impress me daily with their
intelligence. We are very close, more so than most. Since they
first learned to comprehend whole sentences, we've been playing a game.
We call it talking. We gather at the table or sometimes on the carpet.
One of them brings up a mystery...anything they don't understand.
Then we have a free-for-all brainstorming session on the problem.
We have together solved (....well not really) puzzles ranging from
time travel to "If Methuselah was so darn good why did he drown in
the flood."

As a result of his question I began a diary which came to be called
the Blue Book for no other reason than pure chance. The first
draft was stored on a blue floppy disc. My idea was to develop
a little life-guide and have a few copies made up, so they could
read it when I'm toothless and senile. Perhaps then they would
understand what their Dad was trying to tell them.

As they are all critical thinkers, I am sure they will end
up with as much awe and wonder as I feel towards science and
engineering. My hope was to give them a defined set of ethics
and a reason for the same without resorting to pie in the sky,
carrot and the stick (read religious) fairy tales.

In January of 1998 I posted a portion of the text on Usenet. To
my delight, the response was overwhelmingly positive (although
some accused me of being a Jim Jones type cultist). Most wanted
to read more.

More importantly I discovered that my ideas were shared by
many others. A new friend asked me if I was a Transhumanist
or a Extropian. I had no idea what he meant. My first
thoughts in retrospect were probably off base. I became angry
that he would dare question the status of my sexuality or of my
vision. (I am pretty sure an extropian is also someone with

After a little searching I discovered that both of these groups,
however unfortunate their choice of names, were very much like me.

I had been calling myself a New-Realist (from Wild Palms) much
to the chagrin of my religiously impaired friends. So I guess now
I really am a STRAIGHT Transhumanist, and an Extropian with
good vision.