From the author of The End of Nature comes a passionate plea to limit the technologies that could change the very definition of who we are. We are on the verge of crossing a line—from born to made, from created to built. Sometime in the next few years, a scientist will reprogram a human egg or sperm cell, spawning a genetic change that could be passed down into eternity. We are sleepwalking toward the future, argues Bill McKibben, and it’s time to open our eyes.
In The End of Nature, published nearly fifteen years ago, McKibben demonstrated that humanity had begun to alter irrevocably—and endanger—our environment on a global scale. Now he turns his eye to a new and equally urgent issue: the dangers inherent in an array of technologies that threaten not just our survival, but our identity.
Imagine a future where lab workers can reprogram human embryos to make our children "smarter" or "more sociable" or "happier." Some researchers are doing more than imagining this future: having worked with such changes on a wide range of other animals, they've begun to plan for what they see as the inevitable transformation of our species. They are joined by other engineers, working in fields like advanced robotics and nanotechnology, who foresee a not-very-distant day when people merge with machines to create a "posthuman" world.
Enough examines such possibilities, and explains how we can avoid their worst consequences while still enjoying the fruits of our new scientific understandings. More, it confronts the most basic questions that our technological society faces: Will we ever decide that we've grown powerful enough? Can we draw a line and say this far and no further?
McKibben answers yes, and argues that only by staying human can we find true meaning in our lives. A warning against the gravest dangers human beings have ever faced, this wise and eloquent book is also a passionate defense of the world we were born into, and a celebration of our ability to say, "Enough."