by Judyth Vary Baker
August 2006

from Scribd Website

Spanish version




Judith Vary Baker is a artist, poet, writer, a holder of degrees in Anthropology and English. She has been a witness in an American historic event (the Kennedy assassination).

She has done cancer and viral/bacteriophage research, written on ethics, robotics and ethics, guide and service dog breeding, and pedagogy.

Her principle concern is the fight for cancer cures, human rights and the rights of political prisoners.



There are many challenges and problems facing humanity today, and in the generations to come, but of them all, two factors will be paramount: the definition of what is human (implying the impact of the concept, and the full quiver of human rights thereof), and - secondly - the right to be (and to create) the offspring of a freely-generated and unregulated feral (naturally-occurring) human genome.


In other words, the right to exist without deliberately manipulated genes.


The time is approaching when it may be considered barbaric, unpatriotic or even evil to allow the propagation of certain genetic characteristics which today are considered normal, natural, and utterly human in nature.

We err if we are led to believe that humans properly analyze and regulate the ultimate outcomes regarding these two supreme issues.


Financial and political pressure will have their unfortunate and historically predictable effect, perhaps for the last time, as cybernetic versions of humanity will emerge from the inevitable crises and chaos that will precede the demise of the human being as we know it, and of the human body, with all its genetically embedded frailties, in order to be engineered and designed into something more predictable, durable, pleasing and tractable.

We risk becoming known as the ancestors of something that may not even resemble what we think of as 'human' today: just as apes are scarcely considered primates to be cherished, though they contain up to 99% or greater of the same genetic materials that human beings call their own, similarly, those "enhanced" beings who shall come after us will neither regret the loss of, nor recognize as precious, their primeval and essential connection to ourselves as representatives of genuine humanity: we shall be their primitive, coarse and inferior ancestors.

I suspect that the richness of our Pandora's box of genetic gifts will lose its texture, flexibility and uniqueness as those "specimens inconvenient" - those feral qualities that we currently cannot well control - become regulated, and, finally, extinguished in favor of prevailing fashions, political climates, social and physical efficiency, and (inevitably) economics, though it might be politically incorrect to even mention our extinction as anything but an unfortunate consequence of the factors causing our ultimately needing to be discarded: genuine human beings as we know them will be as alien to our descendents as monkeys are to us.

Only if the definition of "What Is Human" is very carefully crafted, and the genetic manifestations of our race guarded as the treasures that they are - that we dare not allow to be lost to us - can we hope to retain the slightest link to something so tender and fragile as human flesh in the millennia to come.

It is possible that clinging to such a past would only continue to proliferate a strain or streak of evil or destructiveness in our current species, but it might also prove to be the fighting force that keeps our life-form wanting to stay alive.


It just might be that experiencing the broad rainbow and bright spectrum of the fullness of our 'primitive' existence supplies that essence that means life is worth living, that the range of emotions existing within us that can make us act in ways that are not human, or, shall we say, are destructive to what is around us to a greater or lesser extent, are also the roots of what grows and flowers to produce the best in us: our sense of soul, of love, of conscience, of self-value, of struggling toward a higher selfhood.


Such would be eliminated, most likely, because of such stuff revolutions are made, and without such stuff, I'm afraid, the very will to live could be extinguished.

It would take a long time for the human being to descend to that smaller, more efficient, less-feeling, more loyal robot, but the result would resemble what the social insect kingdoms have developed. What begins as a 'crowd' (herd) mentality devolves to a 'hive' mentality.


We have the capacity and the proclivity to evolve in that direction, for individuality is not valuable compared to mass effort, insofar as economies are run.


And the bottom line in modern society is not society itself, but its financial state.

Where stability reigns, things tend to stay comfortingly the same. If we dare generalize a bit about it, harnessing the wind and harnessing the human will are equally rewarding to the economy. Stability, smoothness, harmony, good work ethic, guaranteed jobs, everybody's lives guaranteed to be productive and useful to the very end - it sounds like Paradise.


But what we are really describing is life in the Hive.

Bees in beehives are all alike, and tremendously efficient, giving up their lives entirely to the routines for which they were created, for the queen, for the hive. They work themselves to death, living a mere 35 days. If money continues to be our God, our future overlords will punish individuality, for the sake of efficiency, predictability, long life, and the economy.


At the same time, the feral human genome, which may be the only reservoir that will be able to preserve the unpredictable - necessary to meet the stressors of a universe that is unforgivingly diverse in its challenges to self-aware existence - may be most unwelcome. Standardization means "one size fits all" - or else.

But we should want to preserve the excitement of human BE-ing: if this essence is eliminated, we may also eliminate that quality of unique self-awareness that so often is overwhelming within our breast - those galloping emotions, bursts of ideas, dreams of pleasure and success, and the power of incandescent love.


If all is known and forced to be predictable, the result may be a sameness best represented by the clone-looking figures of 'aliens' we now so easily can picture: big, staring eyes, big-brained heads, expressionless mouths and faces, hairlessness, ultra-smooth skins - look-alike creatures who walk about naked, thin, and disciplined.


Efficiently the same, such 'creatures' represent our imagination's nightmares - but we may be looking at "what is human" two centuries from now.


Will we be 'human' then?


We'll more likely be aliens, I fear - perhaps without any flesh at all with which to burden our economy, capable of 'living' for millennia and traveling to the stars. For greed, corruption and power drive people to take dominion over others, to create submissive flocks of sheep. Sheep go where they are herded, and we love to be herded.


It feels good: we don't have to think. Who wants to be a black sheep, anyway?

Will a spark of "what is human" remain within the genetically engineered creatures of the next century?


It's time to address the very definition of just what is human - what this means concerning Human Rights, and what our definition will mean as to the future of the feral human genome and the human race.