Homo Sapiens is on tbe brink of becoming master of its own biology, and perhaps therefore of controlling its own evolution. Natural selection, the process that drives evolution, may be about to come to an end. However, one important mode of natural selection – sexual selection – might prove more enduring. Over the course of the next century humans might conquer aging, disease, and become Gods – ‘Homo Deus’. But while man might master his biology, it remains to be seen whether he can ever master his cock. The future of Humanity+ will not be shaped by natural selection, but it might still be determined largely by its core remnant – sexual selection.
In the last couple of years or so, two historically important individuals have become the first human beings to attempt to genetically modify themselves. One of them is male, and the other female. These progenitors of a new kind of human are not named Adam and Eve, but Josiah and Liz.
This year Josiah Zayner, a scrawny geek tech nerd used a home CRISPR gene editing kit to inject himself with DNA viruses that potentially will give him bigger muscles (no doubt if there had been a gene that could have given him a bigger penis he would have started with that).
Before him, Liz Parrish had already become the first ‘bio-hacker’ we know of when she publicly used gene editing therapy to lengthen her telomeres. Although Liz has the truly noble goal of ending aging, and ostensibly underwent the treatment to promote her own company which hopes to open up the use of such treatments, it cannot be denied that the first attempt in history by a human to alter its own DNA was made by a female entering middle-age hoping to be turned back into a young sexually attractive woman.
Humans will never ‘control’ evolution. They can end natural selection and ensure that evolution becomes human guided through the direct manipulation of our biology, but the fundamental processes determining the outcomes are likely to be even more primitive and animalistic. Sexual selection has always been limited by natural selection, that’s why phenomenon such as the peacocks tail have been so difficult to explain in evolutionary terms. Sex needs to be at the heart of the transhumanist discussion, because like it or not, sex is more than ever going to determine the future of our species.