I’d like to add a discussion to my short story. At some point in the story, I would like Thomas and Ann to discuss the importance and role of humans in evolution. Thomas is trying to create a new intelligence. In some ways, he is altering an evolutionary path.
Thomas believes that Humanity has reached a point where evolution is no longer a suitable process of improving Humanity. His argument is that Human evolution has reached a point where the slow, random nature of evolving no longer keeps up with developments in technology.
(Thomas talking to Ann) “For all of our history, we have been at the mercy of Nature to decide what our mental and physical capabilities are. Now that Science can intelligently manipulate the Human mind and body, we have taken responsibility away from Nature. That leaves us with the burden of ‘thinking for God’. Are you ready for that responsibility? Am I?”
(Thomas) “…think about it for a minute. We were completely at the mercy of Evolution for all our history. Today, we have the scientific knowledge to grow a prehensile tail on a person who wants one. Mankind has to take responsibility for Evolution. The power to cure disease using genetics is the same power that creates new diseases. That’s why natural evolution takes so long. Mistakes work themselves out before the fault can spread to the rest of the population. It is now our responsibility to find the rational path through evolution. Things are about to start moving much more quickly than ever before.”
I think I can use this discussion throughout the story, varying the emphasis with the scene. Ann will usually take the natural side over technology. It’s not technophobia with her, she wants to take the long path towards managed evolution. Thomas sees the technical possibilities before the moral implications. He talks about taking responsibility for human evolution, but isn’t thinking about the negative implications of his research. I’ll have to think more about how their interchange unfolds, but I think this discussion will key in nicely with the conflict between Thomas and Ann over his research.