Metzl’s threefold genetic path to build a Superman


Let’s say you take a time machine 1,000 years in the future, pick up a baby and bring it back to present day. Who would that baby become?

“That child will be Superman,” said Jamie Metzl, chief strategy officer at Boston startupOrig3n and member of the Atlantic Council. He envisions a future in line with Aldous Huxley’s projections – one in which we harness all the genetic tools we’re developing today and evolve a new race of superhuman.

“We’re having a hard time understanding that there’s a Moore’s Law for our own biology,” Metzl said as he laid out his vision at this week’s Exponential Medicine conference in San Diego. “We will very soon be in a position to fundamentally transform our species – and what it means to be human.”

Clearly Metzl is immune to the overwrought Gattaca references that irk much of the broader bioethics community. He’s unapologetic about slowly and purposefully building on the disease-eradicating tools we now have to create a more evolved species.

“We’ll start this process because people won’t want their children to suffer from terrible diseases,” Metzl said. “But the process of eliminating these diseases will open the door to all kinds of manipulations.”

This metamorphosis into Supermen will happen in three overlapping phases:


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