Every species is new and unique. Humans have some unusual specializations, but it doesn’t warrant his misplaced enthusiasm. Every species also takes control over its own evolution, in a sense; individuals make choices of all sorts that influence what will happen in the next generation. You could rightly argue that they don’t do it with planning and intent, but I have seen nothing that suggests that our attempts to modify our species, low tech and high tech together, are any wiser or better informed about the long-term consequences than those of any rat fighting for an opportunity to mate. We do what we do; don’t pretend it’s part of a long term plan that is actually prepared for all of the unexpected eventualities.
And then, of course, what does he talk about? Phenotypic patchwork! That isn’t evolution at all. That girl’s children will have whatever tendons her genetics grant them, without regard for the surgeon’s tinkering. Then he has the gall to claim that this warrants the designation of a new species? Hah. I wear eyeglasses. I declare that I am a member of Homo oculis! I read and communicate with text, so I’m now a member of Homo literatus! I’ve had my appendix removed, therefore I am part of the bold vanguard of Homo sanscecum!
(via Steven Walling)