Wednesday 18 February 2009
This is the scariest thing I've read in a long time. If the leading lights in synthetic biology are this naive, humanity is toast. The idea that we can prevent abuse while democratising access, by bonding researchers into a loving utopian community, is laughable. The comparison to computers is completely inappropriate. Thomas Lord's comment near the bottom is a pretty good summary of the problems here.
I especially dislike the rhetorical technique that treats suppressing a technology as de facto absurd. On the contrary, if a technology poses a serious danger to humanity, then it absolutely should be suppressed, or at least tightly controlled and not "democratised". We've done it for nuclear weapons with moderate success.
God have mercy on us.