Friday, December 7, 2018

more on transhumanism

Some more thoughts on transhumanism.

I’ve already expressed my view that an increase in the number of high IQ people would be a disadvantage to society. The manipulation of human genetics could pose other dangers also.

Intelligence appears to be a quality that is controlled not by a handful of genes but by huge numbers. If you want to create transhumans with incredibly high intelligence you’re going to have to manipulate thousands of genes.

The problem with this is that if you manipulate thousands of genes then how can you be sure that intelligence is the only thing you’re going to be changing? Human behaviour is incredibly complex. If you fiddle around with genes that alter the workings of the mind then you might end up with some unanticipated and very unpleasant behavioural changes.

You might end up with people with very high IQs and major psychological and behavioural problems. A high IQ person with severe psychological issues might be more of a liability than an asset to society. We have no way of knowing exactly what form such psychological disturbances might take.

It’s unfortunate that many people seem to be inclined to ignore such risks. These risks are entirely unpredictable and unquantifiable. Rather than being a magical shortcut to power and prosperity it might be more like playing Russian roulette.


  1. You are right, people have absolutely no idea how to do this - and how much easier it is to break than enhance human functioning.

    Meanwhile the traditional way of making more high IQ people - i.e. using two already-existing high IQ parents - is all-but demonised: for the past century (since Terman's study in California up to recent similar studies) it seems that the most intelligent women average about half a child: 1/4 of minimum replacement levels.

    Except among the most religious adherents to traditional and patriarchal religions - I should add. Of course, most of these groups are self cut-off from modern civilization and economically dependent. But among Mormons - the higher the intelligence/ educational level/ salary, the *more* children.

    So the root cause of subfertility among the most-intelligent is probably to do with religion - the loss of.

  2. Is the Age of Monsters almost upon us?