In the world of Star Trek, Augments or super-soldiers were introduced to the galaxy in the late 20th century with advances to DNA resequencing
Fans who watched Star Trek are all too familiar Khan Noonien Sing, his animosity towards Captain Kirk, and the damage he caused, including Spock’s (albeit temporary) death. In Star Trek: Enterprise, Dr. Arik Soong was a “father” to some of these genetically engineered humans and almost died as a result of his connection to them. They were stronger, faster, resistant to illness, more intelligent, and boasted a longer lifespan, practically double that of the average human. And they also didn’t want to be controlled which caused major issues. Basically nothing good ever came from these enhanced humans. And now, supposedly, both France and China are building super soldiers much like Khan.
Weeks after the news broke that China’s plan to create these soldiers, France received the “ethical go ahead” to develop bionic soldiers. And while that seems pretty amazing considering how far we’ve come as humans, Star Trek fans also know that it sounds scary as well because we’ve already seen what has happened when DNA gets enhanced and humans are given more than what they are supposed to have.
While we know Star Trek is fiction, parts are grounded in reality as we want to explore the galaxy. We want to know more about the space around us. And scientists have made amazing strides in fashioning some of the same or similar technology that was seen on Star Trek, but if there is one thing we fans have learned it’s that super soldiers (Augments anyone?) with supreme intelligence and superhuman strength can, quite literally, take over the world. Or, at the very least, attempt to do so, and that’s a war that’ll have a lot of casualties.
If there is one thing that Star Trek has taught us, it’s this. Just because we can do something doesn’t mean we should. There are some technologies that are best left undeveloped and some advances that shouldn’t be made. Of course, I’m not a scientist, and I don’t know much about DNA resequencing, but I do know that creating super soldiers sounds like a really bad idea.
I know it may sound like a dream, but perhaps instead of planning for war by building better soldiers, we can take a page from Gene Roddenberry’s playbook and work a little harder at diplomacy in an effort to achieve piece.