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Genetic Engineering Will Create Super-Intelligent Humans Within a Decade

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October 22, 2014, 4:52 PM

Because intelligence is such a strong genetic trait, rapidly advancing genetics research could result in the ability to create a class of super-intelligent humans one-thousand times higher in IQ than today’s most brilliant thinkers.

Stephen Hsu, Vice-President for Research and Professor of Theoretical Physics at Michigan State University, believes we are only a decade away from identifying the many thousands of genetic variants that control for intelligence. These variants, called alleles, could then be selected for by the parents of a soon-to-be-conceived child, and possibly genetic engineering could be done on adults to boost their intelligence.

“We can imagine savant-like capabilities that, in a maximal type, might be present all at once: nearly perfect recall of images and language; super-fast thinking and calculation; powerful geometric visualization, even in higher dimensions; the ability to execute multiple analyses or trains of thought in parallel at the same time; the list goes on.”

Hsu argues that it’s a matter of when, not if, researchers achieve this capability. That could mean a race to the top (or bottom, depending on your point of view) where the laissez-faire policies of one nation could attract a class of wealthy and powerful people looking to get a whole lot smarter. If that were the case, a new and powerful kind of inequality could arise like never before.

http://bigthink.com/ideafeed/genetic-engineering-will-create-super-intelligent-humans-within-a-decade



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