Alan Goldstein’s presentation was not as coherent as his article in Salon entitled Invasion of the High Tech Body Snatchers (you’ll need to endure some ads or else pay to be a Salon Premium member to read it). Here is a brief excerpt to tease you:
Right here, right now, it is virtually impossible to find a human being in the developed world who is not technologically enhanced or modified. Ever been vaccinated? Have a tooth crowned? Wear contact lenses? One does not need a pacemaker to qualify as a bioengineered Homo sapiens. These examples have profound implications. There is no theoretical difference between a dental implant and a mental implant except that we know how a tooth works and can manufacture a functional replacement. Currently, the same cannot be said for the neural network of the brain. But from a bioengineering standpoint, that is only a matter of time.
The big message from Goldstein is that while bioethicists obsess over cloning and stemcell research, bioengineers will soon be able to replace every part of our bodies. Anybody care?