Evolution Isn’t What It Used to Be: The Augmented Animal and the Whole Wired World. Walter Truett Anderson. W. H. Freeman & Company.

Evolution Isn't What It Used to Be: The Augmented Animal and the Whole Wired World Book Cover Evolution Isn't What It Used to Be: The Augmented Animal and the Whole Wired World
Walter Truett Anderson
W. H. Freeman & Company
March 1996

“What if everything changed and nobody noticed?” Walter Truett Anderson muses in his energetic, intelligent, and strikingly original book, examining the convergence of the biosciences with electronic technologies and the evolutionary impact these developments will have on human life and society.

Anderson’s task, he maintains, is to convince us that this “bionic convergence” is already happening – to us and the world we inhabit. While science enhances and even sustains our bodies, information technology augments our minds. From genetic engineering to biological production systems in the workplace, human life will be confronted with the greatest challenges and opportunities yet in its evolutionary history, characterized by our active participation in the changes to come. We have not fully integrated this transition into our public vocabulary, but it is a natural extension of human progress, filled with power and possibility.

In revealing the capacity of genetic research, environmental management, industrial processes, and information resources that will augment human life, Andersen asks us to consider the questions of ethics and equity that undoubtedly accompany this transition. As new resources emerge, how will we distribute them equally? And what new structures, skills, and values must we develop in order to thrive amidst a staggering range of options?

Evolution Isn’t What It Used to Be is a thought-provoking lens focused on our technology-driven world: where we are and where we may be going. Anderson’s questions about the future of human life are sharp and provocative, and the answers, he points out, are up to us – as individuals and as a society.

Walter Truett Anderson is the author of Reality Isn’t What It Used to Be, To Govern Evolution, Rethinking Liberalism, and most recently, The Truth about the Truth: De-confusing and Reconstructing the Postmodern World. In his various books and other writings he has succeeded notably in taking difficult subjects – from biotechnology to Tibetan Buddhism to postmodern philosophy – and making them accessible and understandable to the general reader. He writes columns and op-ed pieces on world affairs for the Pacific News Service in San Francisco and is a fellow of the Meridian Institute, an international network of scholars and activists concerned with governance and leadership. He currently serves as president of the American Division of the World Academy of Art and Science. He travels widely, lecturing and participating in symposia on current global and national issues.