Greg Stock: Humans 2.0

Friday, August 31, 2012

Biotech entrepreneur Greg Stock tells Kurt Andersen he thinks technology may allow humans to break free of their natural life span. “We are like a dying animal,” he says, “we are stuck to our bodies and yet our minds can soar.”

Stock believes therapeutic interventions to treat diseases like cancer and Alzheimer's will inevitably lead to human enhancement. But if we all start living longer lives, what about the risks of overpopulation? “I have a 7 year old daughter, one that happens to [have been] conceived in a petri dish,” he says. “I feel that she is the luckiest girl alive.”

(Originally aired: November 4, 2011)

Guests:

Greg Stock

Comments [3]

V.

Greg Stock is completely out of touch with the realities of most people's lives when he says that the divide will be based on philosophy rather than class. There is already an enormous divide between the haves and have nots when it comes to both routine and life saving medical treatment. They already don't get enhancements because they're elective and not paid for by insurance and doctors don't even offer them the option. Some insurance companies even consider reconstructive surgery after disfiguring breast cancer surgery as an enhancement rather than an integral part of treatment. No matter what people's philosophical positions regarding biological enhancements might be, they will only get the chance to enact that philosophy if they have the money to access them.

Sep. 02 2012 12:11 PM
jon

However you discount the many different aspects of reproduction that account for that survival. Take for instance the difference between having hundreds of children at a time to just one, caring for the offspring or letting it fend for itself. Pack instinct or individualism. There are typically 3 stages of reproduction: pre-reproduction, the act itself (including in the womb until birth) and post-reproduction. All three stages have millions of diverse ways of trying to increase the number of successful outcomes.

Sep. 01 2012 02:15 PM
Michael M. Ross from Boston

He might be a biotechnologist, but he seems to have missed a course or two in biology. What he said sounded a lot like evolution by intelligent design...! "Design mechanisms that try and increase the number of successful outcomes..." There is only one known mechanism in evolutionary design, and that is natural selection for traits that increase survival (crudely, survival of the fittest).

Sep. 01 2012 11:01 AM

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