Six years ago I published the short science fiction story “De Paris, sin amor” (From Paris without love) on the question of ectogenesis and beyond (spoiler in the image above). Even thought I adopted a deliberate light and humorous tone, it is one of the tales in my collection Extrapolación 2029 which has been more openly critizised:

In “From Paris, without love”, a woman decides that it is time to be a mother and she resorts to ectogenesis. In the theoretical review of the (extrapolated) history of eugenics, criticism of this practice is described as a quasi-superstitious aversion related to the genocide that occurred during the Holocaust. The account completely ignores the ethical issues related to ableism which are at the heart of the eugenics debate discussed, for example, by Nancy Kress. Deciding unilaterally and individually what physical and neurological characteristics the future members of society should have is not a trivial task and the risk that such genetic uniformity in the population would entail, probably dictated by fashions and prejudices, is being ignored.

Here is another recent vision of what this future history of a naïve technophile‘s idea might look like. The world’s first artificial womb facility, EctoLife, could incubate up to 30,000 babies a year, according to Hashem Al-Ghaili.

Let me be very clear. I am not making the case about the future of human reproduction and evolution. I agree that there are a lot of critical issues we should consider and discuss. Unfortunately, in our democratic society we do not have the means to have this debate in an open and informed way. I wish we had!

Innovation happens in a competitive and to a large extent chaotic way, and if I had to bet, I would say that in a society that aims to conquer the solar system and beyond, Ectolife will play a role.

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