Everything in the article is true enough in a sense, and kind of misses the really obvious point that most people still use heuristics like “god” and “truth” and “purpose”, rather than accepting complex, stochastic and evolving systems.
Birth rates are easy to control if you give individuals wealth (real freedom and choice) – not many people want to spend twenty years of their life dedicated to looking after children if they have real options to do other interesting things. That is relatively easy to do, once one can stop thinking in terms of money, and start thinking in terms of the vast amounts of energy, mass, and systems that are available to us.
Give women (and men) control over their own fertility and the population issue is solved.
Solving global warming issues is trivial next to the problem of getting people to think for themselves, and think outside of the cultural “boxes” they happened to be born into. It is quite easy to get people out of the habit of questioning, and into the habit of accepting external authority – way over 95% of people do it most of the time. It’s what our educational, employment, political, religious, legal, economic and technical institutions teach in practice (follow the rules, don’t think for yourself).
We are not short of energy.
We are not short of mass.
We are not short of creativity or productive systems.
We have cultural ways of thinking that are entirely inappropriate to our technical skills.
Our economic system – the very idea of doing stuff for exchange value, is now the single greatest threat to each and every one of us.
It forces most individuals to live in a reality of scarcity and servitude, rather one of abundance, freedom and creativity.
We have the technical ability to deliver universal abundance of a large and rapidly growing set of goods and services, but our modes of thinking prevent it happening.
We can have indefinite life, and greatly enhanced security, but not inside any system that is based on exchange values.
Security is only possible inside systems that have individual life and individual liberty as their highest values. Markets cannot do that, in fact they actively work against that for the vast majority.
The food our economic systems deliver to most people is the greatest source of disease – heart disease, diabetes, cancer, suppressed immune systems making us vulnerable to a vast range of things.
Sure we can redesign our genome, I look forward to such developments, but let us focus on getting our cultural and legal and economic systems into a sane state first.
Right now it is them, not any genetic alterations of humanity, that are the greatest threat!!!
That is beyond any shadow of reasonable doubt.
Sapiens is about how we think – not about our genetics.