Liberation Biology Reviewed

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Brainwash, an online publication of America's Future Foundation, has a review of Reason Science Correspondent Ronald Bailey's Liberation Biology: The Scientific and Moral Case for the Biotech Revolution. A snippet:

As Bailey documents, biotechnology offers incredible possibilities for alleviating human suffering. Soon, we may be able to cure devastating genetic diseases, treat degenerative illnesses like Alzheimer's, help the world's poor to grow enough food to feed themselves, perform organ and tissue transplants without the risk of rejection, and prevent the spread of epidemics. Failing to pursue those treatments would be just as immoral as allowing children to die from smallpox. Bailey shows that, far from undermining human dignity, biotechnology will expand the options available to individuals and "enable people who would otherwise be 'dehumanized' by disease, disability, or death to survive and flourish."

If anything can be said to be the essence of humanity, it is that we work to liberate ourselves from biological constraints. From fire to agriculture to antibiotics, the history of our species has been a story of technology. Refusing to push forward with biotechnology wouldn't protect human nature–it would defy it.

Whole thing here.

More on Lib Bio, including purchase info, here.

Update: And here's another new review from The Indianapolis Star.

NEXT: The Week of the Long Knives

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  1. All cloning aside, I thought the book was a great read. Thanks to the Reason folks for sending me one to read. I plan to live to age 140.

  2. Refusing to push forward with biotechnology wouldn’t protect human nature–it would defy it.

    Which is exactly why the Luddites won’t succeed. Even if such research were banned here, it will happen somewhere else.

  3. …and then it’ll be hard to argue human nature with our super-strong immortal overlords.

  4. ChrisO,

    Then we’d have a “biotechnology gap.” 🙂

  5. Then we’d have a “biotechnology gap.” 🙂

    Which will prompt whatever Bush is in office at that point to suggest another Moon landing… 🙂

  6. Since this is the biology-related thread, I’ll go off on a tangent and post this:

    A volcano is erupting in the Galapagos Islands.

    http://www.cnn.com/2005/WORLD/americas/10/23/volcano.ap/index.html

    Is God sending a message to the wicked Darwinists? Or is He trying to destroy the fauna that led so many people into temptation, starting with Darwin? Perhaps that’s His way of delivering us from evil.

  7. Or is He trying to destroy the fauna that led so many people into temptation, starting with Darwin?

    Perhaps He’s stressing the fauna so it will evolve more rapidly, and the creationists will Get A Clue.

  8. Good Heavens.

    Seven comments and nobody’s denounced Bailey as a paid mouthpiece and a corporate shill.

    Somone’s slipping.

  9. “I plan to live to age 140.”

    You’re deluded. And no, I’m not against it in principle, I’m just a realist about it and about where the technology stands (in it’s infancy and barely invested in). Plus some say it may not even be possible in principle (hayflick limit arguments etc.).

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