I think that if we are going to alter human genetics, we should get going on it right away and concentrate on giving human beings the gift of photosynthesis. As you most likely know, through photosynthesis plants feed themselves with sunlight.
Chlorophyll, water, carbon dioxide and oxygen are the ingredients, and sunlight activates the cooking action that feeds the plant with sugars. Literally a sweet deal, photosynthesis allows plants to grow and feed themselves, in some cases for thousands of years.
Of course, chlorophyll being green, combining human beings and photosynthesis at the genetic level means people will be green. Most likely people will be various shades of green, perhaps even light green and dark green with optional reddish stripes. I hope the light-greens don’t consider themselves superior to the dark-greens, but I digress.
In bright daylight, our warm green skins will feed us – with sugar, no less. Using our mouths to eat will become an optional enjoyment. Think of the summers, the long warm days and bright Northern California light. Imagine eating sunlight!
More pragmatically, consider how much better it would be for the planet. Even the poorest of green people would be well-fed by the sun. Using the planet for intensive farming would end; damage to the land would lessen.
The question of green, chlorophyll-skinned people naturally raises the question: would we be more plant than animal? The impatient might answer “who cares” but philosophers will ask the question nonetheless. In some sense it’s a non-question, since mitochondria, the energy factory organelles within each human animal cell which convert sugar to energy, was unceremoniously appropriated from plants at the dawn of animal evolution.
Now many of you reading this are thinking I’ve made everything far too simple, that it’s much more complicated than eating sunlight through green skin. You’re absolutely right, of course. To sustain human life requires more than sugar, though the Coca Cola company might not agree. What and when will we need to eat? Will breathing need to change? There’s the minerals we need to build bones; am I proposing we use cellulose instead? Will our mouths be just for drinking water? Will our skin be supple, soft and smooth or are we going to be covered in bark?
Admittedly, what I’m proposing will require a complicated, major re-programming job at the genetic level, but it’s going to happen. Not like next year, of course, but within twenty years? Absolutely. We already have the technology to easily edit human genes, Crispr technology. Future improvements combined with massive computer processing at the quantum level will solve the issues of managing information and instructions. Yeah, we’re talking designer humans.
Again, with a bit more of the philosophy stuff, who is it that will be doing the genetic engineering and how will they get chosen? Should that type of power be held by an individual, a public non-profit, a multinational corporation, the United Nations or a government? And if you’ve answered government, exactly which government do you have in mind? Questions like these make the issues of harnessing the technology simple by comparison, which is exactly why it’s going to happen.
My bet is small groups, some secret, will pursue genetic reprogramming of human beings, if not here in America then in other countries, for sure. It may already be happening. It’s far too tempting and the technology too easily accessible.
Personally, I really wouldn’t want to be covered in green bark; I’d prefer smooth, dark-green skin. With star-shaped, you know, yellow spots.