My Humble Suggestions for Improving Humans
For my ideal modification of humans, I would make a few changes to hopefully improve individual efficiency and group efficiency.
- Rather than reduce the physical maturation period, like Crake, I would increase it to around 30 years. If we were able to mature our minds faster than our bodies, a lot of common problems (violence, sexual frustration, etc.) might be reduced. Additionally, I think this would help not only curb population growth, but promote greater docility in the general population. This could potentially backfire, but I’m hopeful.
- Related to the previous modification, I would drastically increase the life expectancy of the population with better cellular efficiency. This wikipedia article lists a few species with negligible senescence. If humans matured at around 30, lived for quite a bit longer than we do currently, I think we would be able to increase individual achievement. I think there’s something to be said, however, of the value of quick generational turnover; it allows for correction to a great extent. Like Crake said, it only takes one generation to disappear for everything to go to hell.
- I wouldn’t mess too much with our outward physical characteristics. One thing that I think would be cool, however, would be to make humans capable of photosynthesis, as it would help not only ease hunger problems across the world, but would also directly benefit everyone. Imagine going hiking and then getting lost in the woods. You could power yourself by just basking in the sun. This might also create a slight red/green/orange translucence in the population depending on the season, but some people might find it attractive!
- Tied somewhat to #2 & #3, I would make us able to survive in harsher climates and environments. This would allow us to expand not only on Earth, but perhaps moving into the future it would increase our chances of surviving other climates/atmospheres.
- Nightvision. Increased sensory abilities in general, perhaps even the ability to see/hear things in spectra which have previously been beyond our ability. This would just be pretty awesome in general, and perhaps it would lead us towards more intuitive scientific ability. It would also make dark alleys safer, since they wouldn’t be dark.
This is just the beginning of a list of the sort of modifications I’d be interested in. I think these sorts of changes would improve not only individual members of the species, but the way we interact as a whole.