We are on the verge of remarkable breakthroughs in the field of biology.
The price of genetic testing is falling each year at an exponential rate thanks to cheaper computation. The 2020’s will be the decade wherein a good majority of humanity will understand their own genome. Conceivably, humans will have their genes checked on a periodic basis as a means of medical diagnostics. However, the real prize in biology is gene alteration. Humanity may have truly cracked the code of life with the introduction of the Crispr cas9 system which allows us to use enzymes to snip and alter genes. We can now potentially create designer babies.
There may be as little as 20 genes linked with intelligence – or perhaps as many as one thousand. The number does not necessarily matter. What does matter is the degree by which intelligence is linked to genetics. Linkage will determine the future of civilization. If intelligence is highly hereditary – meaning gene driven – then altering our genome with the best and brightest of genes will considerably alter the trajectory of Man.
Soon may come a day when all humans have an IQ of over 140 – the number by which genius is designated. What will it do for humanity when all humans possess superior intelligence? Will our society be better off? Will we become a more studious species? Will we become more artistic?
Proponents of “intelligence via genetics” will point out that lower IQ is highly correlated with such characteristics as anger, violence, obesity, and apathy. Therefore, smarter humans would lead to a world of less anger and aggression. However, will the inverse not become equally as bad? Will a society of highly intelligent individuals result in a passive, non-aggressive society lacking what we call “personality”? Will such a society truly be better off or ever on the cusp of calamity?