Christian Long

Juan Enriquez: Mind Boggling Science

In TED Talks on May 2, 2010 at 9:36 pm

Reflection by JENNA K.

Original TED page w/ speaker bio, links, comments, etc:

Juan Enriquez: Mind boggling science

Halfway through listening to Juan Enriquez talk, I was already thinking about how I was going to write a blog for this project about how this talk didn’t really appeal to me. I was going to write about how he spent too much time making jokes and trying to be funny. I was going to write about how, unlike the other TED talks I’ve watched, this one didn’t really seem to have a big picture idea that was worth spreading. I was also going to write about how I didn’t like how Enriquez talked about a wide variety of subjects that didn’t really seem to connect to each other.

But, by the end of the video, I had a lot of respect for this talk and I knew that my blog wasn’t going to be about how disappointed I was.

Enriquez said, “There will come a time when you believe everything is finished. That will be the beginning.”

In ways, his TED talk exemplifies this statement. He starts out with random ‘mind boggling’ facts and interesting ideas, but nothing really unique. But by the end of his talk, these random, insignificant facts lead to a really important concept. Everyday we invent new technology, new machines, new lifestyles. But does it ever seem that we could never possibly come up with something intensely more altering? It does to me. Sometimes it feels like we could never come up with technology that is more life-altering than the ones we have already created. But I’m sure people thought the same thing about televisions, cars, and cellphones. But, look at us now.

Anytime you think we’ve reached the limit of our technological advancement, think again, because really this is all just the beginning. Enriquez mentioned a new species called “Homo Evolutis”. He predicts we will evolve into a species of hominids that take direct control over our own evolution and the evolution of other species. He supports this prediction with the facts of stem cell research, tissue and bone reconstruction, and other medical advancements we are making that are strengthening humanity. Enriquez believes that our new methods of helping the weak, like the blind and deaf, will help us strengthen them to a point where they are stronger than we could ever be without technological help. During the process of helping those that are suffering we are discovering ways to strengthen our species, and in that way we are gaining more and more control over our own evolution.

My first thought was, what’s to stop us from developing into what we consider a superhuman race?

What if eventually we are able to combine the technology we’ve developed with our medical advancements to create a species superior to what we describe now as superheroes? Right now we’re working to develop ways to fix the problems of the weak, but once we’ve fixed all those problems why shouldn’t we start working towards strengthening our species? By describing our world now as the beginning, Enriquez has really got me thinking about the future.

Now I’m really wondering, will life in thirty or fifty years be completely different from life right now?

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