Einstein’s “spukhafte Fernwirkung” and Bridges between the Classical and the Quantum World
“It may not be necessary, though, to understand how life began to use an understanding of how life operates today at the quantum level to build completely artificial living organisms from the bottom up. Such a process would require… ‘living technology’ to manufacture from scratch organisms such as microbes that could produce antibiotics tailored to human requirements. […] The bottom-up approach would result in… ’a brave new world of quantum synthetic living organisms that could free their natural-born relatives from the drudgery of providing humanity with most of its needs.’ “
–John Gribbin, “Physics for Bird Brains,” The Wall Street Journal, 1-2 August 2015
Crispr-Cas9: Gene-Editing Drug to Rewrite the DNA Code
“A new technology for ‘editing’ defective genes has raised hopes for a future generation of medicines treating intractable diseases like cancer, cystic fibrosis, and sickle-cell anemia. […] Among the unresolved technical challenges is figuring out the best way to deliver the drug to the cells it is targeting. […] And the first drugs based on Crispr-Cas9 will probably target diseases that can be treated by simply knocking out a defective gene, because it isn’t yet feasible to easily replace it with a new segment of DNA, according to Editas’s Ms. Bosley.”
–Jonathan Rockoff, “Why Gene-Editing Technology Has Scientists Excited: Researchers are exploring the idea of treating disease by replacing the defective gene causing the trouble,” The Wall Street Journal, 29 July 2015
Science vs. Nature: Schism or Synergy?
Man has advanced forward significant strides, thanks to electronic technology. Indeed, he has mediated a very real transcendence over classical limitations of time, space, and geography. More than ever, he is enabled with effective agency at the singular level to make a meaningfully positive difference.
E-technology can mediate a multitude of trajectories. The past fifteen years have shown us the triumphs and pitfalls of those trajectories. The key is to leverage those triumphs to continue forward and avoid the pitfalls so as not to repeat them.
The articles from Gribbin and Rockoff illustrate a scientific trend to utilize our e-technologies for the understanding, advancement, and improvement of man. As Rockoff points out, the Crispr-Cas9 gene-editing drug is where biological research is increasingly focused. The next challenge is cellular-targeting of those drugs to specific segments of mutated DNA.
Although the Crispr-Cas9 rightfully gives scientists ample reason for excitement, there is a call for studied caution before they proceed full-force. Case in point: it was confirmed that a mutation in the gene for receptor CCR5 – a mutation present in roughly ten percent of Caucasians – may provide HIV-1 immunity (Elisabeth Pernicone, “Presence of Gene Mutation May Provide HIV Immunity and Resistance,” The AIDS Beacon, 27 October 2009). The same mutation was found in ‘exposed-uninfected’ commercial sex workers as well as ‘long-term non-progressors’ (M.Marmor, K.Hertzmark, SM Thomas, PN Halkitis, and M.Vogler, “Resistance to HIV Infection,” The New York Academy of Medicine Journal of Urban Health, 2006).
Mutation does not necessarily mean pathology. In some cases – as with the CCR5 mutation – it means survival. It is imperative not to lose sight of this fact.
The So What Factor Addressed
Electronic technology offers a double-edged sword. At one side, it mediates our transcendence over classical limitations and delivers a globalized world to the individual’s fingertips. At the other side, it mediates an automatic recklessness qua ‘automatic meaninglessness-automated frivolity’ over disciplined intentionality.
Without disciplined focus of concentration, it becomes all too easy – automatic – to hone in on the dot rather than the circle the dot sits on. With gene-editing and with quantum synthetic living microbes, looking at the issue in isolation and at the exclusion of a 360-degree view of all possible effects of that issue becomes dangerous. Ironically, instead of improving man, we may be on the trajectory of destroying him if we do not step back and explore all aspects of that circle.
Infinite Potentiality Theory (IPT) has one ultimate goal: igniting the individual to make a meaningfully positive and lasting difference and by so doing, inspire others by example. Through ultimate freedom of and from the self, he occupies the space of other and is better able to effect that difference. More to the point: in that space of other, his perspective is 360-degrees at all times, taking into account the impact of his actions, behaviors, and decisions on others.
Accordingly, he will have immediate clarity to recognize the ‘brave new world’ is one where classical and quantum collaborate as effortlessly as his position within his self in the other. He will recognize it is not a question of science in duality with nature. Instead, he will see the natural synergy between the two and the creative potentiality within that powerful collaborative interrelationship.
And that is a brave new world, indeed!