Well, rightly or wrongly, it is inevitable, the potential rewards to the people who come up with superior and useful new life forms will just do it, regulators be damned.
And David’s scenario of a microbe becoming tire-eating and unstoppable is really not too far-fetched at all.
And someone is going to come up with stuff that is analogous to steroids, exept it increases intellectual potential, that too is inevitable.
Imagine if Hitler or someone like him had access to this technology, the Master Race would surely be upon us, in the name of God and Mankind, of course. (Remember, Hitler saw himself as avenging the crucifiction, he was fighting for God, at least in his own demonic viewpoint.)
Maybe not today or tomorrow, or in one-hundred years, but sooner or later, because the rewards are just too great and alluring, especially if you are a dictatorial madman with a large budget at your disposal, and insulated from interference by outsiders, such as a Hitlerian dictator would be.
For better or worse, it will happen.
Two wonderful stories on the subject (ficitonal, of course) are the original Star Trek TV episode involving Kahn, the character the second movie ‘The Wrath Of Kahn’ illustrated; the second story is an absolutely fascinating short story, ‘Flowers For Algernon’, made much later into the movie ‘Charlie’ about a dim-witted moronic factory janitor who gets his IQ elevated to stratospheric heights, he does lots of brilliant things, then loses his brilliance and reverts back to his former self. It is a human-interest story, quite well done.
It would not surprise me at all to find that our own government is running experiments in this direction; why shouldn’t it? After all, to repeat myself the third time, it is truly inevitable, so perhaps we should be first on the block with the new toy, you know?
Dan, obviously somehow on that down-hill curve without ever having enjoyed the brilliant part…...dang!