I remember reading (or rather, listening to an mp3 at work) about this idea in one of Stephen Hawking's books, I think it was "A brief history of time".
Basically, you can break down DNA in to bit's and bytes, and that when we developed writing, through the brain that evolution created, we found a way to pass down much much more then what our DNA ever could.
It all reminds me of this clip from waking life:
(the new evolution part is after the girl's talk on language, which is also very interesting and damn I wish I could meet a smart chick and hear her talk like that, gets me all excited if you know what I'm saying)
I posted this clip a long time ago, but I keep coming back to it. If you haven't seen this movie, here's the link, yea it's a torrent, but it's the fastest easiest way to transfer this valuable information (that I'm aware of), and it's good information. It's the kind of movie that makes you think, again and again. Get's the gears turning...
Please, if you agree and enjoy it as much as I do, send the creators of the original content some money and ask that he write some more.
Back to the article:
Meanwhile, Hawking observes, our human brains "with which we process this information have evolved only on the Darwinian time scale, of hundreds of thousands of years. This is beginning to cause problems. In the 18th century, there was said to be a man who had read every book written. But nowadays, if you read one book a day, it would take you about 15,000 years to read through the books in a national Library. By which time, many more books would have been written."
But we are now entering a new phase, of what Hawking calls "self designed evolution," in which we will be able to change and improve our DNA. "At first," he continues "these changes will be confined to the repair of genetic defects, like cystic fibrosis, and muscular dystrophy. These are controlled by single genes, and so are fairly easy to identify, and correct. Other qualities, such as intelligence, are probably controlled by a large number of genes. It will be much more difficult to find them, and work out the relations between them. Nevertheless, I am sure that during the next century, people will discover how to modify both intelligence, and instincts like aggression."
At around 3:30 in the clip above, the crazy professor states: "Before in the old evolutionary paradigm, one would die and the other would grow and dominate, but in the new paradigm they would exist as a mutually supportive, non-competitive grouping, independent from the external."
The part I want to focus on is non-competitive grouping.
Now, on the large scale, it would be very nice if we could get rid of war altogether, but competition and aggression are always put in a negative light. If it wasn't for competition, we wouldn't be advanced, we wouldn't be where we are today.
I've been playing a lot of video games lately and listening to these lectures on game theory and have been thinking about this for quite a bit.
When I play my games, and for me, my obsession has always been multiplayer, human vs. human type of games, I often ask, "why do I enjoy this so much?"
What is it inside our bodies that says, "let's butt heads, let's compete, let's see who's better."
This applies to every game we play, even "games" in business and relationships.
We're always fighting, our bodies will not let us drop competition and aggression. In my opinion, if it would have benefited us as a species, we would have evolved to be passive by now.
When we get to the stage of "self designed evolution", we're going to have to ask ourselves some very serious questions, like "what do we want?", and "what can we do that evolution hasn't already done?"