Well no, I'm sorry but if those tribesmen were born today and ate the same food and learned the same knowledge they'd be just capable as anyone living today. Take an orphan from some tribe in the rainforest, nurture them and put them to school in London and are they going to be less capable than a Londoner who was born there and whose family has lived there for 5 generations? No.
Ah, I think you're finally coming towards the light!
The introduction of culture
, which includes technology, represented a fundamental shift in human development. Natural selection became largely obsolete. We now undergo technological selection: those with the best tech, survive. Agriculture is a great example.
This is why the transhumanist movement does not largely feel the need to 'advocate' anything, as you seem to suggest. Nor is it afraid of side effects - because, indeed, you are correct, drugs have side effects. So will any modification to the human condition. Many of the side effects will be awful, even atrocious.
You apparently have something against genetic modification of the human germ line, except in conditions where you approve of it. *shrug* That's fine. You won't have to avail yourself of it.
Genetic modification of that sort is certainly full of extraordinary ramifications. And yet it is only a natural extension of what we already do.
That's why external technology will always be superior to any biological enhancement. Because you can use whatever you need depending on the circumstance, you can take those drawbacks for a short period of time rather than having to live with them for the rest of your life.
Er, right, but in no way is that an argument against genetic engineering.
For example, right now you lack a cognitive trait called 'calibration' - you cannot perform basic judgments of probability reliably. If that was genetically corrected, say by the elimination of base rate neglect, what do you feel the drawbacks would be?
Ahem. Now, for a different matter.
You are being shockingly rude. You have stated that you believe people in this thread are being 'one-sided and irresponsible.' Yet I don't think that either The_E or myself (or any other educated individual) believes that genetic engineering is not
staggeringly complex, extremely finicky, and full of dangerous social implications.
Why you would believe that we've all got a hard-on for genemodding is beyond me. From left field a few pages back you said that I thought genetic engineering was the solution to all problems, and from then on forward you've been on some kind of mad crusade against a problem that doesn't exist.
I'll say it again: humping a straw man gets you nothing but weird looks.
Let me restate my position: I believe that genetic engineering will, at some point in the future, be a useful tool for improving the human condition, and I believe that with work (and, inevitably, through failures) its risks will be understood and avoided.