Friday, October 2, 2009

Synthetic Biology

Fabulous New Yorker article by Michael Specter. If the science truly succeeds, it will make it possible to supplant the world created by Darwinian evolution with one created by us. Bill Joy, a founder of Sun Microsystems, calls for us to "limit development of the technologies that are too dangerous." Yet, as Specter writes, "the opposite approach might give us better results: accelerate the development of technology and open it to more people and educate them to its purpose. Otherwise, if Rob Carlson's methamphetamine analogy proves accurate [in which strict control caused by laws and DEA enforcement, has led to more professional, centralized production and rising use of the drug], power would flow directly into the hands of the people least likely to use it.