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You will never look at the world in the same way after reading As the Future Catches You. Juan Enriquez puts you face to face with a series of unprecedented political, ethical, economic, and financial issues, dramatically demonstrating the cascading impact of the genetic, digital, and knowledge revolutions on your life. Genetics will be the dominant language of this century. Those who can "speak it" will acquire direct and deliberate control over all forms of life. But most countries and individuals remain illiterate in what is rapidly becoming the greatest single driver of the global economy. Wealth will be more concentrated and those with knowledge to sell-both countries and individuals-will be the winners. Consider what will happen when:* Your genetic code can be digitally imprinted on an ID card and your insurance company and employer see that you are genetically disposed to, say, heart disease.* Pharmaceutical products are developed so that you can eat genetically modified broccoli to protect yourself from cancer.* Cloning will be as common as in vitro fertilization and scientists can influence the genetic design not only of other species but of your own children.* Creating wealth no longer requires many hands. Lone individuals are giving birth to entire new industries that rapidly become bigger than the economies of most countries on earth, but create very few jobs.As the Future Catches You resembles no other book. A typical page may contain just a few dozen words. But each seemingly discrete fact is like a chip in an intellectual mosaic that reveals its meaning and beauty only as you step back and see the big picture. Juan Enriquez is like the best teacher you ever had, one who helps you to see something in a new light and makes you say, "Now I get it!" Juan Enriquez's main point is that technology is not kind, it does not say "please," but slams into existing systems and destroys them while creating new ones. Countries and individuals can either surf new and powerful waves of change-or get crushed trying to stop them.The future is catching us all. Let it catch you with your eyes wide open.From the Hardcover edition.
"We are the primary drivers of change. We will directly and indirectly determine what lives, what dies, where, and when. We are in a different phase of evolution; the future of life is now in our hands."Why are rates of conditions like autism, asthma, obesity, and allergies exploding at an unprecedented pace? Why are humans living longer, getting smarter, and having far fewer kids? How might your lifestyle affect your unborn children and grandchildren? If Darwin were alive today, how would he explain this new world? Could our progeny eventually become a different species--or several?In Evolving Ourselves, futurist Juan Enriquez and scientist Steve Gullans conduct a sweeping tour of how humans are changing the course of evolution--sometimes intentionally, sometimes not. For example:Globally, rates of obesity in humans nearly doubled between 1980 and 2014. What's more, there's evidence that other species, from pasture-fed horses to lab animals to house cats, are also getting fatter.As reported by U.S. government agencies, the rate of autism rose by 131 percent from 2001 to 2010, an increase that cannot be attributed simply to increases in diagnosis rates.Three hundred years ago, almost no one with a serious nut allergy lived long enough to reproduce. Today, despite an environment in which food allergies have increased by 50 percent in just over a decade, 17 million Americans who suffer from food allergies survive, thrive, and pass their genes and behaviors on to the next generation.In the pre-Twinkie era, early humans had quite healthy mouths. As we began cooking, bathing, and using antibiotics, the bacteria in our bodies changed dramatically and became far less diverse. Today the consequences are evident not only in our teeth but throughout our bodies and minds.Though these harbingers of change are deeply unsettling, the authors argue that we are also in an epoch of tremendous opportunity. New advances in biotechnology help us mitigate the cruel forces of natural selection, from saving prematurely born babies to gene therapies for sickle cell anemia and other conditions. As technology enables us to take control of our genes, we will be able to alter our own species and many others--a good thing, given that our eventual survival will require space travel and colonization, enabled by a fundamental redesign of our bodies. Future humans could become great caretakers of the planet, as well as a more diverse, more resilient, gentler, and more intelligent species--but only if we make the right choices now. Intelligent, provocative, and optimistic, Evolving Ourselves is the ultimate guide to the next phase of life on Earth.
If Darwin were alive today, he would likely recognize that technology has evolved so far, and so fast, that the origin, evolution, and future of life itself is no longer just driven by natural selection and random mutation. Why are genetic conditions like autism, asthma, and allergies on the rise at unprecedented, biologically impossible speeds? What traits does our world select for, and what does that mean for us? Will our children be a different species?Today's humans have altered the nature of our world so much, and developed such profound capabilities for re-crafting our bodies and environment, that random mutation and natural selection are no longer the primary determinants of which species survives and how they change over time. The nature of the evolution of our world is now increasingly defined and driven by: Un-Natural Selection-- where the traits being selected for have little to nothing to do with our ability to survive and thrive--and Non-Random Mutation-- in which drastic changes to our environment wreak havoc on what gene are expressed and passed down.Evolving Ourselves is the story of how our massive human perturbation and, increasingly, our specific designs and desires are altering life on Earth. It is a chronicle of where our remarkable new capabilities for altering our bodies, other living creatures, and our environment are taking us in the near term, and introduces the possibility that we might cause our own extinction in the long run.
Can a country be like a marriage that has run out of cash and steam, resulting in the inevitable frank discussions about just who is pulling his or her own weight? Eventually, even those who love each other sometimes conclude they cannot stay together. Juan Enriquez's unique insights into the financial, political, and cultural issues we face will provoke shock and surprise and lead you to ask the question no one has yet put on the table: Could "becoming untied" ever happen here? It's a question made es...