Why Your Body Needs to be Redesigned
The human body is a machine, like a motor car or an aircraft. Like a motor car or aircraft, the human body is made up of parts assembled according to a thoughtful plan. The parts that make up the human body are much smaller than those of an aircraft, and the design is much more complicated. The human body is also capable of reproducing itself and of thinking, unlike a more conventional machine. But the basic principle is the same.
A technology has arisen called Genetic Engineering. This has developed to the point where microscopic creatures can be completely redesigned. Genetic Engineering has been used by the pharmaceutical industry to develop bacteria to produce chemicals such as human insulin, used in the treatment of diabetes. Just as in past centuries, vinegar was produced by fermentation, now insulin and other useful chemicals can be produced in the same way.
The technology has also been used to make minor changes to plants and animals. Plants have been genetically engineered to be resistant to pests and diseases. Animals have been genetically engineered to produce milk and fur containing expensive chemicals. For example, goats have been genetically engineered with spider DNA to produce very thick spider web filament instead of hair. This goat hair is used in the manufacture of bullet-proof vests. As yet the technology has not been used to make major changes in the design of plants and animals.
Genetic Engineering is possible because of the way that plants and animals reproduce and grow. The method used by human beings to grow is also used by all other creatures in the world, although it is possible there are plants and animals yet to be discovered that reproduce and grow by some other method. The method used by all currently known creatures to reproduce and grow involves a substance called DNA. DNA acts as a blueprint for the growth of all known creatures (apart from some viruses which use the chemically similar RNA).
DNA can be thought of as like a necklace with beads, where the beads have four different colours. The beads act as blueprints to produce a plant or animal. The size and shape of the plant or animal depends on the combinations of the beads. DNA is a molecule, in that all the “beads” on the “necklace” are chemically attached to each other. Just as a road may be anything from a few metres long to right across a continent, so a DNA molecule can be any length. As a general rule, the smaller the creature, the shorter the DNA molecule.
In practice a DNA molecule exists in a compact, folded up form, like a rope that has been coiled up. A folded up DNA molecule is called a chromosome. The name, chromosome, refers not only to the folded up DNA, but to any molecules which are clamped onto the DNA to keep it tidy, or for any other reason. A chromosome can be very large, and some are so large they can be seen with a microscope.
A chromosome is rather like a DVD, or digital video disc. A DVD contains a track, which is folded up in the form of a spiral to make it compact. The information is encoded on the track. Similarly, in a chromosome, the DNA molecule containing the information is folded up to make it compact.
Each species has a certain number of chromosomes; for example humans have 46. Two of the chromosomes determine whether a creature is male or female. A female has what are called two “X” chromosomes, while a male has one “X” chromosome and what is called a “Y” chromosome. This is the case with all known species. It is possible that a species might be found where the gender of the species is determined by some other means, but so far none have been found.
A plant or animal is made up of what are called cells. A cell is usually microscopic in size. Typically a plant or animal has millions or billions of cells. A human body has around about 5 trillion cells (5,000,000,000,000). Each cell contains a set of chromosomes. Growth occurs when a cell divides to form two cells. Not all of a creature is made up of cells. Hair, teeth and fingernails are not made up of cells.
A plant or animal usually starts as a single cell. This then divides into two cells. The process is repeated over and over again until there is a fully grown creature. The growth is controlled by the template in the chromosomes. In the case of the human body, the human starts as a fertilised egg or ovum. This then divides seven times to form a round ball of flesh called a blastocyst. The blastocyst grows to form an embryo, which develops into a foetus, which is then born as a baby, grows into a child, and then into an adult.
From an engineer’s point of view, the human body has many very clever design features, and is superior in design to any other known creature. For example, there is the way in which the human body is powered, by eating food. It is difficult to imagine how this method, which we share with lower animals, could be improved upon.
Having said that, there are lower animals that have design attributes that are useful and that humans would like to have. Insects have a superior resistance to radiation. Dogs have a superior sense of smell and taste, and arguably should be used to judge wine competitions. Carrier pigeons can sense magnetic fields. Lizards have the ability to grow back body parts that are accidentally cut off. Clearly it would be useful to a human who had lost a leg in a traffic accident to grow back a new leg. If a tooth was pulled out, it would be useful if a new tooth grew in its place.
These are design attributes that other animals have. At the same time, there are attributes that we can think of that it would be possible to include in the design of the human body. For example, if someone was suffocated through a collapse of a mine or by drowning, it would be useful if they could go into hibernation rather than die. Also, it would be useful if the respiratory system filtered nitrogen out of the blood, so that a diver could not get the bends. It would be useful if a human, exposed to a vacuum, did not bleed, but went into hibernation.
It would be useful if a baby was born with certain instinctive knowledge, such as how to walk and swim, how to avoid danger, and how to speak some elementary words. Currently, only a few people have a photographic memory, but it would be useful if everyone did. It would be useful not to need to sleep.
It would be useful if people had the ability to electronically upload their skills to a computer in a few minutes, and download other peoples’ skills from a computer. If you wanted to learn a new language, you could simply attach some electrodes to your head. Or perhaps the human brain could generate a radio signal that could be picked up by another human in close proximity, and exchange information that way.
An instinctive knowledge of right and wrong would end the need for police and military forces. An instinctive work ethic would increase economic output. An instinctive knowledge of the existence of God would keep everyone happy. The current ego and libido instincts could be replaced with a family instinct, prompting men and women to live together and have children for all the right reasons.
In summary, redesigning the human body will vastly reduce health, education and law enforcement costs, while increasing economic output. It is not so much whether we can afford to do it, but whether we can afford not to do it.
So far we have considered changes in the design of the human body that are of benefit to humanity as a whole. But there are also changes to the design of the human body that are of benefit to individuals. The obvious improvement is so that a person does not age, but appears to remain 35 years old indefinitely, and does not die.
Why do people die? People do not die because it is the Will of God. The Holy Bible, and the Holy Quran, are in agreement that people ought to live forever. From an engineering point of view, there are four reasons why people die. First, it is because the human body is not designed to remain 35 years old indefinitely. Second, it is because most of the cells in the body are programmed to die after they have divided a few dozen times. Third, it is because there are no effective mechanisms in place to identify and kill cancerous cells. Fourth, it is because there are no effective mechanisms in place to eliminate harmful substances from the body such as cholesterol and mercury.
The best way of upgrading the human body would be to construct a pair of artificial chromosomes. The same artificial chromosomes would be used to treat different individuals. Having manufactured and duplicated the artificial chromosomes, they would somehow be added to the chromosomes of an individual. That person, and his or her descendants, would have those artificial chromosomes as part of their genetic material. Hence, they would have the superior physical attributes.
One way of adding the pair of artificial chromosomes would be during in vitro fertilisation (IVF). An egg would be taken from the mother. To this egg would be added genetic material from the father. The artificial chromosomes would then be injected into the egg. The egg would be allowed to grow into an embryo. The embryo would be implanted into the mother, and the mother would have the pregnancy in the usual way.
That is all very well for future generations. But what about those of us who have already been born? It would be nice if there was some way we could be given an extra two chromosomes, in each of the five trillion cells of our bodies, so that we could live forever.
The solution would be by means of an artificial disease, the “immortality bug”. This bug would consist of a cell, say one-tenth the size of a typical human cell. Each of the cells of the “immortality bug” would contain the pair of artificial chromosomes. The “immortality bug” would be grown in a fermentation tank containing mildly salty water with added sugar and nutrients.
Upon being injected into someone’s bloodstream, an “immortality bug” would swim around looking for a cell that had not already been treated. Upon finding a cell, the “immortality bug” would force its way into the cell without damaging it. The “immortality bug” would then divide twice, to produce four sets of chromosomes. One set would remain in the cell, to take control of the cell. The other three sets of chromosomes would become three “immortality bugs”, and would leave the cell, and look for other cells to infect.
Suppose the “immortality bug” was injected into a ninety year old person. After about two days, the elderly person would become more energetic and would start to eat more than usual. Gradually, over about a year, the elderly person would appear to age in reverse. After a year, the person would look as they would have done in their thirties if they had cosmetic surgery.
A person who has been injected with the “immortality bug”, and who has had their body redesigned, will be a different species from an ordinary person. While they will be a different species to humans, they will be able to mate with humans, and their progeny will be the new species.
As to the ethics of infecting the world’s population with the “immortality bug”, Holy Scripture talks of creatures called angels. These angels are said to be superior to humans. And it is written that humans will one day become angels. We conclude that people who have had their bodies redesigned by means of Genetic Engineering are the angels mentioned in Holy Scripture.
The development of the “immortality bug” will be an engineering project to rival the Apollo Space Program or the Manhattan Project. Let’s suppose that it takes 100 years to develop the “immortality bug”. Apparently today’s youth will all be dead by then. But in the early stages of the project, the project will probably develop a drug that will allow the cells in the body to divide any number of times, and not just several dozen times. Also it will develop other medical breakthroughs. This will increase the lifespan from about 80 years at present to about 150 years. So anyone who is a teenager now has a good chance of being around when the “immortality bug” becomes available.
The biggest threat to the “immortality bug” is the opposition from the Catholic Church. This can be seen from the way immortality is treated in science fiction. As for example the “Doctor Who” series made by the BBC, the staff of which is disproportionately Catholic.
All science fiction that we are aware of depicts immortality as undesirable. Anyone who wants to live forever is portrayed as the “bad guy”. In a typical science fiction treatment of immortality, the “hero” sets out to investigate disappearances of people. It turns out, according to the story, that they have been killed by the “bad guy”, as part of his attempt to live forever. Typically, he has to murder one person for each additional year of life.
The only example we are aware of where immortality is properly depicted is in J.R.R. Tolkien’s “The Lord of the Rings”. This is the story of a mythical place called the Shire, inhabited by the Halflings, who practice racial discrimination by refusing to allow Orcs to settle in their country. According to the story, there is a species called the Elves who have immortality. Those who have seen the movie might recall the scene where the Elf Prince, Elrond, remembers a battle in which he took part 3000 years earlier. No doubt other authors have written books and screenplays in which immortality is properly treated, but they are simply not published.
For anyone who wants to live forever, it is vitally important that governments spend large amounts of money on research into genetic engineering. It is vitally important that taxpayers’ money not be wasted on the usual sort of spending of socialist governments, such as hobby courses at universities. It is vitally important that the mass media and educational institutions are not permitted to propagate ideas in opposition to genetic engineering. If you want to live forever, “politically correct” people must be thrown into detention camps along the lines of Guantanamo Bay.