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Graphical slides for presentation at Humanity+ Summit, Harvard University, June 12-13. See full video online to hear the story (approx 10 minutes).
Carbon is abundant, versatile, and the chemical foundation of all living creatures. Moreover, new forms of carbon are speeding advances in materials science, nanotechnology, and computing, with paradigm-busting ramifications. It is even poised to become the first truly global currency as industries transition away from carbon emitting processes to carbon-capturing ones in the expanding effort to stabilize our climate. And that’s just the beginning. Living creatures aren’t only made of carbon: they are versatile and efficient carbon processors. The ease by which life can be programmed to do our bidding opens the door to new, altered carbon forms no longer bounded by the need simply to survive long enough to replicate and pass on genes. The days of natural selection, then, are drawing to a close, to be replaced by an evolution Darwin never saw coming, one directed, for better or worse, by human enterprise, creative expression, or folly.