Re: Selfish Reason To Preserve Chimps

From: J. R. Molloy (
Date: Fri Nov 30 2001 - 05:00:22 MST

From: "Mark Walker" <>
> BTW, I think there are a couple of reasons genetic engineering ought to be
> given more prominence in Transhumanist thinking. First, it is something that
> we could start right after lunch--at least we have the technology, we just
> need the resources and the political will. Imagine if genetic engineering
> smarter persons were taken on with the same sort of political enthusiasm as
> landing men on the moon. I realize that around here genetic engineering is
> not as "sexy" as uploading but it would seem wise not to put all our
> posthuman eggs in one basket. (After all, the claim that humans can create
> an AI is an empirical and falsifiable proposition). Second, my experience
> suggests that when it comes to presenting the Transhumanist case it is
> better in the first instance to discuss concepts like 'posthuman' in meat
> terms. Talk about SIAI requires two conceptual leaps for most people,
> namely, that we can create superintelligence and we can create AI.

>From what he has said about this subject, I think Stephen Hawking would agree
with you. However, roboticists may be able to create human-competitive
intelligence in a few more decades, and that makes it difficult for
geneticists to keep up with the pace. As for uploading, that may be the
slowest approach of all, judging by the complete lack of progress in that
area. The strongest reason to think that robotics will take the lead is that
robots are a proven economic powerhouse. Anything that can replace humans as
workers has immense (verging on unimaginable) economic value, and as we know,
money makes the real world turn. AFAIC, posthuman is just another word for
human-competitive robot.

--J. R. Molloy

--- --- --- --- ---

Useless hypotheses, etc.:
 consciousness, phlogiston, philosophy, vitalism, mind, free will, qualia,
analog computing, cultural relativism, GAC, Cyc, Eliza, cryonics, individual
uniqueness, ego, human values, scientific relinquishment, malevolent AI,
non-sensory experience, SETI

We move into a better future in proportion as science displaces superstition.

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