[ExI] Stem cell breakthrough

Anders Sandberg anders at aleph.se
Sat Feb 1 03:03:12 UTC 2014

William Flynn Wallace <foozler83 at gmail.com> , 31/1/2014 2:52 PM:
Agreed - but it's all theoretically possible now.  My view of engineers and other tech people is that is they know it can be done they will eventually find a way.  I don't have to tell this crowd that  human beings are tinkers, endlessly worrying at something until they get what they want. 

As a society, we seem to take a dim view of people tinkering with each other's organs. Maybe wrongly - I do think medicine would advance far faster if people were allowed to experiment more. But we better gather all the data to learn from the mistakes.
Getting cells to do cool things in the lab is one thing. Getting them to do it in animals - living, breathing, idiosyncratic animals that are moral patients - is another thing. Getting the data and figuring out how to do it better is tricky. And getting this to work safely enough in humans even worse. There is a reason we can move forward so quickly in software and inorganic making, while medicine is stickier. 

Anders Sandberg, Future of Humanity Institute Philosophy Faculty of Oxford University
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