Can we even call this ‘evolution,’ Glenn?

(via Instapundit) It’s an interesting discussion, to be sure – how we’re going to evolve, and all that – but it really isn’t the right word.  I’m not an evolutionary biologist or anything, but I was under the impression that evolution was fueled by the need to adapt to a changing environment.  But the history of human-based technology is the history of changing the environment to suit our needs.  Our increasing ability to directly manipulate the DNA of our offspring isn’t really going to make us ‘evolve,’ then: it’s under too precise control.  And you probably couldn’t call it ‘mutate,’ either: it’s not random.

‘Diverge,’ maybe?  – I’m bringing up the semantics of this because I don’t want people to think that any of this is particularly inevitable, and calling what we’re going to do to our specie’s genetic structure either ‘evolution’ or ‘mutation’ suggests a certain inevitability, or at least passivity.  It’s neither; and though a lot of it will probably be desirable, things should be thought through first.

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