[ExI] Archive this! Mark Morford: Science and nature are mocking America's fickle God

Amara Graps amara at amara.com
Thu Jun 21 16:42:26 UTC 2007

Yeah, Yeah, I'm procrastinating something I ought to be doing. But
here is Mark Morford at his best...

** This one deserves to be archived as recommended reading for
our transhumanist literature. **


Who Loves Designer Vaginas?
This just in: Science and nature are mocking America's fickle God.
Please, no screaming

By Mark Morford, SF Gate Columnist
Wednesday, June 20, 2007

A snippet:

What are you gonna do about it?

What are you gonna do about the fact that Mother Nature once again
appears to be thwarting and mocking and then grinning like a wicked
divine trickster at every cute rigid godly idea of how humans and
animals are supposed to move and hump and lick and behave, as loosely
and, yes, rather bitterly delineated in the Bible and by the Bush
administration and Focus on the Family and every other uptight sexually
confounded person you have ever known, et al. and ad nauseam?

What, furthermore, are you gonna do about human knowledge? About how
science insists on marching hell-bent forward with such astonishing
speed and with such incredible dexterity toward some glorious
otherworldly nightmare dreamscape of anima manipulation, a land where we
can effortlessly rescramble our genetic code and reconfigure this
none-too-solid flesh as we "play God" in so many bewildering ways the
Christian right can't even figure out where to aim its hollow, horrified

Here is the thing you must know: It is all changing with incredible,
butt-tingling speed. It is all fast becoming more than we ever imagined,
with ramifications we are only beginning to fully taste. There is no
stopping it. There is little that can slow it down. There is only the
single, looming question: How will you respond? Will you recoil and gag
and spit, or will you gurgle and swallow and smile?

Example: We are on the cusp of being able choose, should you so desire,
the exact size and length and speed and eye color and specific pleasing
fur markings of ... your dog. And your cat. And your baby (well, minus
the fur). And by the way, we have also invented new drugs to eliminate
menstruation and we can now grow designer vaginas in the lab and plastic
surgery is more common than bad sacrum tattoos and it's becoming
increasingly obvious that males of many species -- including our own --
are largely unnecessary for procreation (but not, say, parallel parking,
the lifting of heavy things or buying you a nice postcoital breakfast).


There are only two real options. One is to hold tight to the leaky life
raft of inflexible ideology (hello, organized religion), to rules and
laws and codes of conduct written by the fearful, for the fearful, to
live in constant low-level dread of all the extraordinary changes and
radical rethinkings of what it means to be human or animal or male or
female or hetero or homo or any other swell little label you thought was
solid and trustworthy but which is increasingly proven to be blurry and
unpredictable and just a little dangerous.

There is another option. You can choose nimbleness, lightness, a sly and
knowing grin to go with your wine and your vibrator and your
never-ending thirst for more and deeper information. It's possible.

You can refuse to let your brain, your soul lock down into one way of
looking at the world as you see all the science and genetic manipulation
and designer vaginas, all the insane, incredible possibility as merely
more evidence that we are, in the end, just one big karmic science

Is this latter choice frustrating and brutally difficult and will it
challenge every notion of self you hold dear? Hell yes. Is it the only
way to enjoy this bizarre circus of a planet without grabbing a gun and
cowering in the corner with your homophobia and your flag and your Army
of Christ brochure, dead certain the terrorists and gays and hippies are
coming to eat your soul for breakfast? Well, probably.

Because, baby, the changes are coming, harder and faster than ever, with
all sorts of juicy, terrifying, delightful implications. Really now,
what are you gonna do about it?



Amara Graps, PhD      www.amara.com
Associate Research Scientist, Planetary Science Institute (PSI), Tucson
INAF Istituto di Fisica dello Spazio Interplanetario (IFSI), Roma, Italia

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