The usually unflappable Vladimir Putin recently seemed concerned as he addressed a group of students at a youth festival in Sochi. The topic? The rise of super-soldiers who can fight without fear, pain, or compassion.
“What I have just described might be worse than a nuclear bomb,” Putin told the crowd.
His focus seems to be genetic engineering, warning that scientists are playing God and have come close to “a human with pre-designed characteristics”:
A man has the opportunity to get into the genetic code created by either nature, or as religious people would say, by the God. He can be a genius mathematician, a brilliant musician or a soldier, a man who can fight without fear, compassion, regret or pain. All kinds of practical consequences may follow. One may imagine that a man can create a man not only theoretically but also practically. As you understand, humanity can enter, and most likely it will in the near future, a very difficult and very responsible period of its existence.
Last month, Putin had warned of advanced robots who would one day eat humans alive. Is this all a bunch of anti-science, anti-technology Luddite paranoia? Are these hints of stuff he knows are already coming down the pike? Did his cyborg rat experiments go horribly awry? Will Bucky and Cap ever get back together again?
So many questions.
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