I agree that genetic manipulation isn't evolution. I also think that it is extremely critical that science fully understands how protein assembly occurs in the first place. The fact that they are multifunctional proteins is going to make alternating difficult to accomplish.
If we do accomplish this it will affect not only humans but it may affect other species in nature, after all protein assemblies are shared across many different species and we do not know the true mechanism (we think we do) that is underlying this fact.
Playing "God" is going to cause many obstacles for science by religion/politics and perhaps nature itself. if science can succeed in gene manipulation that creates immortal super beings than they must solve the environmental issues first.
Without the environment that supplies our energy needs, we become extinct anyway.
The principle behind evolution is that it is undirected. The religious/evolutionist debate is argued because religion believes it is directed while evolutionists believe it is the complete opposite.
Genetic engineering performed by scientists is directing its outcome. The effects of it may or may not directly effect other life forms including us. If it does effect them, it is still directed because scientists initiated the process through genetic engineering.
Do you believe that pollution created by humans is evolution? The peppered moth that turned from white to black is labeled as evolution. This situation was a response to its polluted environment by humans.
We can fool ourselves into thinking that the moth evolved by natural selection but was this natural? No!
It is directed (human caused) evolution by unnatural selection. On the other hand, all evolutionary changes result from a changing environment. The difference is humans evolved with a conscious and the awareness to understand the consequences of their actions. Prior to us, no other life form could be held accountable for their actions. Which is why evolution could remain firm in the belief that life is undirected.
If and when genetic engineering becomes successful in manipulating lifeforms it will become directed and you can no longer call it evolution in its current definition.
What I am concerned about is by labeling the moth as evolution even though it fits the criteria, it was still a reaction to pollution. Evolution in its definition is a non directed process and no entity of life is responsible for its actions or the reactions it produces in other entities of life.
Until now, can humans really afford to use this as an excuse to avoid taking responsibility in the environmental damage that is obviously affecting the rate of evolution in many species. call it what you what but we are directly responsible for our actions (because we evolved that way) and we are directly creating chemical reactions that is radiating throughout the planet affecting all species of life. Genetic manipulation requires strict ethical guidelines in that science accepts full financial responsibility and can reverse the affects it will create from it. Seriously, This whole genetic manipulation is dangerous to all life. You might think you know a lot about the intricate details of life but until science resolves the issues of origin, the whole story of life's history may be false.
On the positive side of acceleration of evolution, is it possible that species can be inspired from other species to evolve by whatever driving force that allows change?
There is so many species that form partnerships with other species in a mutual relationship based on what special quality each had that made it work well for both of them.
I have 3 cats and one of those cats was abandoned by her mother at a day old so I raised her. Her behavior is not like the other 2 cats. She acts like a dog in that she loves people (especially men) and will meow her head off to them and demand their attention. She uses her paws to pick up pens or anything else she finds. When the other cats are eating from the bowl of food and she wants it she will take her paw and slide the bowl over to her.
She doesn't want to act like a cat and she is more interested in what I am doing. She makes a point to slump over the back of my chair and moan like she is bored and wants me to play with her.
Everyone that meets her loves you but think the way she acts is not typical cat behavior. I wanted to breed her to see if she would past any knowledge on to her kittens. Unfortunately, she didn't want to mate with another cat but a human male. She made it quite obvious that was her intention. Took her to the vet to get her spayed and when I picked her up there was a note attached to her carrier that read "this is one pissed off cat."
Evolution apparently wasn't ready for a cat human yet.