Monday, February 8, 2010

This has bad idea written all over it.

Pentagon Looks to Breed Immortal ‘Synthetic Organisms,’ Molecular Kill-Switch Included

The good boys and girls at the Defense Advanced Projects Agency (DARPA) are often wizards that have produced innovations and inventions that have been a benefit to all humanity. One of these advancements is the Internet which allows us to surf for porn 24/7. Another is the global positioning system which has been a particular boon to men since we absolutely refuse to ask for directions when we are lost and women who after receiving directions feel that they can find a better way get even more turned around. One innovation that is in the works showing real promise is using some sort of hyped-up algae to produce jet fuel. Now that is something that will really curl the toes of the high ranking fly boys and girls whose training is often curtailed by the high cost of fuel.

But this time the eggheads might have been in the lab a little too long sniffing far too many exotic fumes. Don't get me wrong, with close to seven billion people on the planet genetic engineering is a vital tool that will have to used to provide medicine and food for humanity. It's just that in this case trying to create immortal organisms and the even insaner idea of even thinking about trying to "rewrite the laws of evolution" is asking for all sorts of nasty science fiction scenarios. Somehow I see an army of biological terminators where quality control in the factory might not have been really paying attention one morning letting a batch of bad models get through. (Damn that evolutionary randomness) Sometime later on some faraway battlefield the generals sitting safely behind enemy lines drinking martinis and complaining about their golf game get word of some of our biologically engineered weapons going rogue and when they go for the kill switch, it does not work. After that somewhere in the great beyond I picture God and Charles Darwin rolling around on the clouds looking down on us having a belly laugh.

Now I know enough about how the defense agencies work that this could be a nice diversion so the people in the Five Sided Funny Farm (Pentagon) could throw several million dollars at some conventional black operation they want to be extra careful in concealing. But we are a society now that takes considerable interest in imposing our will on other countries when they have something we want. However, the thought of drafting all the precious offspring of the placid and oblivious middle class with the resulting return of filled body bags doesn't really float the boat of the powerful people hiding in the shadows. Filled body bags have a way of upsetting those that the rich and powerful want to keep blissfully ignorant. So I don't discount this being a real project, I just hope it falls by the wayside like the Hafnium bomb and Telepathic spies.


Jack Jodell said...

This sounds like a possibly very ominous development. I don't know why the Pentagon is wasting so much time and money on this development, when we have millions of perfectly usable - Republicans - who could be employed for the very same purpose!

Holte Ender said...

The Pentagon must have been reading every mad scientist book out there to come up with this little gem. I just had a vision of created creatures escaping from the "secure" lab and finding out how much they like the taste of concrete and cement.

SJ said...

Well Beach, now they've gone and done it.
A few years ago, I did a phone interview with Anton LaVey's eldest daughter for a screenplay I was writing (Anton LaVey for those who don't remember was the founder of the Church of Satan in the 1960s) in any case it was a real good interview but the one big take away that I'll never forget from that talk was that, like all religions they also have an actual political platform. She was flattered that I even asked about it. She said it was only one item long: She told me that The Church of Satan supports the creation of "artifical companions," so that whatever anyone is into, they can do it with what amounts to an inanimate object without harming anyone.
I then asked her about cloning humans and bioengineering companions instead -which would be of course not be life-like but actually a live being, and she said it was "disgusting and unethical."
It was hard to believe that Christian fundamentalists and the Church of Satan are just as inflexible on cloning and bioengineering...

In any case like it or not, "Bladerunner" here we come.

Randal Graves said...

So does this mean I'm finally getting my flying car, or not?

Colonel Colonel said...

Oh, c'mon Beach, what could possibly go wron... OH MY GAWD, GIANT MUTANT UNKILLABLE MAN-EATING TARANTULAS!!!!!!!

oh wait, it's just John McCain. Never mind.

Beach Bum said...

Jack: Yeah, you are right. I've wondered many times about all the health sons of these very patriotic republicans that surround me and why they are not lined up at the recruiting office.

Holte: The thought that passed through my head was the acid blood aliens from "Alien" and "Aliens"; I hated the ones after that. None of this will go that far but what I can see happening is some synthetic bug getting loose that the biosphere has no ability to cope with resulting in a nightmare because the top brass, weasel politicians, the rich and powerful want an easy way to make war.

SJ: Bible thumpers and Devil worshippers on the same page? That is freaky. You know if this should work out like they think and want, resulting in humanoid forms that look and act human but with that question of whether they were actually sentient I can see a form of slavery being easily accepted. Bladerunner it could very well be and the next step in evolution.

Randal: Not unless it can be engineered into a flying tank. Don't feel bad looks like I ain't going to get my weekend on the moon either unless the Chinese do it.

Colonel: McCain, joined by Coulter, Malkin, Hannity, Limbaugh, and Beck. You know they could already be Cylons.

Rhiannon said...

I know things are getting so scary might as well call the Pentagon "the Pent up agon"...pent up with rage, anger, fear, and strange ways to deal with these feelings..oh I just don't know anymore! Time for the one's that haven't gone amok or "insane" to buy a vowel and get a darn clue! Help!

Also dropped by to wish you and your family a lovely "Valentines Day, Chinese New Year of the Golden Tiger, and Happy New Moon" all on Sunday Feb. 14th! Should be for an interesting Sunday this weekend! I'm looking forward to it.

Love and Blessings,


Beach Bum said...

Rhia: Yeah, they have long since gone over the edge. We are having a Chinese New Year party for my daughter this Saturday to celebrate her Chinese heritage. I'll post pictures, if I survive.

MRMacrum said...

I wonder if Jean Claude has been consulting on this project. Without the whackos thinking up the impossible I guess we'd all still be using stone tools. Seems the odds get shorter though that one day one of these "projects" will screw up and scew the rest of us in the process.

Will "take no prisoners" Hart said...

They should have stopped at the porn thing. What's that old expression, always leave the room on a high note?

Suzan said...

Nicely done, BB.

I was working on this one too, and bow to your prose.

but what I can see happening is some synthetic bug getting loose that the biosphere has no ability to cope with resulting in a nightmare because the top brass, weasel politicians, the rich and powerful want an easy way to make war.

I think it's already loose - look at the financial catastrophe. And who it benefits. Could this have been created by sentient creatures?

I rest my case.


Beach Bum said...

MRMacrum: Good point about pushing the envelope or we would be still living in caves. Still though, can't help but think that when you really reach the point that you could screw up the world, but still need to go down unknown avenues for the sake of science, might it not be best to take that research off planet?

The big partical collider in Europe and this stuff could be placed on some moon or asteroid and if we blow it up or let loose genetically engineered monsters it would be no big deal. Just thinking out loud.

Will: I agree but you know the engineers, they can't leave nothing alone.

Suzan: You know I have sort of figured that if actual sentinet aliens believed the human race wouldn't at some point kill themselves off they would pull a "The Day the Earth Stood Still". Not the old black and white version but the new one were the earth was going to be cleaned up with flesh eating nanobots.