Society in the Age of Infinite Knowledge

Moore's Law postulates that the number of transistors on integrated circuits doubles every two years; this has held out to be true since the 1960s. In the early 2000s, I remember how impressive it felt to expand my computer's RAM capacity from 64 megabytes to 1 gigabyte. Today, however, any cheap laptop can do more than I could do on my top-of-the-line desktop just 10 yeas ago. At some point, it was no longer fun to keep track of the next upgrade, as it did not noticeably improve performance.

In the history of human civilization, technological improvements have arrived at a more arithmetic rate, a rate at which humans can more conveniently keep pace. We are now, however, in a world of geometric technological improvement. The instant speed at which unedited, uninterpreted information can be disseminated to a global audience makes it such that entire cultural narratives and myths can come undone in a matter of hours.

What was a Mormon belief about the origin of Native Americans and a religious theory for many was eventually proven incorrect by advents in our knowledge of DNA. Though the internet and computers will change the people of the 21st century on a more drastic level than anyone could have previously imagined, it is DNA that promises to most alter the consciousness of the coming epoch.

The coming years will likely provide definitive evidence that transgenderism and homosexuality are genetic in nature. Biblical beliefs concerning the evils of homosexuality are being undone, and with it many of the old walls of hate. However, DNA also promises to increase the size of some of this century's walls.

Already the state of Israel requires DNA evidence of Jewish ancestry before it allows the immigration of certain individuals. In the same way that Israel will exclude individuals without Jewish genetic markers, will Saudi Arabia one day exclude individuals with gay genes? Will the Vatican make an exception for abortion if a fetus is determined to be gay? Is there a gene for pedophilia? Will the state obligate an individual to abort a baby who carries such an undesirable trait?

Only time will tell how the Vatican, Saudi Arabia, Israel, and other religious theocracies choose to discriminate based on genetics. Recent DNA revelations have taught us that only Sub-Saharan Africans are fully human, with the rest of us being partly Neanderthal and/or Denisovan. Will some churches one day argue that Neanderthals were also people, or deny the science of DNA in the same way that many churches reject the theory of evolution?

Just recently, scientists tracked down the reason why so many Hispanics suffer from diabetes: an inherited gene from interbreeding with Neanderthals. Many Hispanics that I know believe the Earth was created over the course of several days, and that humans are God's pure creation. At the rate things are going, the 21st century promises to divide humanity into two camps: those who accept scientific discoveries, and those who reject them. One can only hope that the differences are maintained peacefully, but human compassion has not improved at a geometric rate; we're just as cruel as we used to be.