I was first interested on the Intelligent Design buzz while working on a science-fiction novel dealing with the idea that Homo sapiens was preparing itself to take a giant leap, freeing itself from ‘darwinian’ evolution; if not freeing, at least radically changing its place in the process.
The first step of this journey was language, just another tool. Resulted the building of a new information transmission system, independent from DNA and thus radically and, definitively changing the inherited to acquired balance.
The second step was writing, a language improving tool. It improved the way the external information transmission system was working, making possible transmission of knowledge without the physical contiguity of the teacher and the student, even through generations.
The third step was delegation of some of the parts of this information transmission system to machines (i.e. computers), making possible the transmission, and even the processing, of knowledge without human presence at all, except maybe at the far end, when retrieval is necessary.
During these three stages, information accumulated and was analyzed, more and more rapidly, increasing, at least the partial, understanding of the mechanisms of life, universe and everything else.
And during this period humans never stopped trying to change themselves, through two different but parallel paths: building tools to replace adaptation to natural selection pressure and modifying their physiology to palliate inherited or acquired defects.
Despite the moral and ethics barriers we will have to overcome, genetic adjustments of our genome will be the next step.
Homo sapiens partially freed its species from natural selection. It is time to hardwire its vision of what the species should be at the genetic level, replacing random mutations by chosen ones, to acquire resistance to pathogens, eradicate genetic diseases, or even acquire new physiological traits.
Genes produced Minds, Minds produce Genes.
If there are any Intelligent Designers around acting on evolution, it seems that we are the ones. On our way to use species’ free will to shape our path of evolution, handling mutations and being the selecting factor for ourselves as we already done for other species.
Becoming an actor of evolution.
And evolution will still be a natural process, as we are a natural product.