In a thousand years, assuming humans survive, it looks as if we might know how to make a human embryo using nothing but a 3D printer. Scientists can already grow ears, print blood and print teeth. I don't see why future humans won't someday be printing DNA.

In order to print DNA, you'd need to translate the entire human genome into zeroes and ones. That seems doable.

Now comes the interesting part.

Once you have the designs for 3D printers that can print anything organic, and you have the zero-and-one code for human DNA, you can transmit human life at the speed of light to other advanced civilizations. All you need to do is send out the plans for both the 3D printer and the human genome using pulses of lasers in every direction.

Any civilization advanced enough to decode the message would be advanced enough to build the 3D printer and start churning out humans. You'd want to send some extra instructions on the care and feeding of humans just to keep things safe. Perhaps the 3D printer can print whatever the human needs for food and healthcare as time goes by.

The only real risk is that the printed humans would become pets, slaves, or foods for the aliens. But hey, landing on the moon had risks too.

And there's also the risk that an advanced race of peaceful, tiny aliens will print a soulless monster of a human that grows up and wipes out their entire civilization like Godzilla on bath salts. That feels like a decent possibility on at least some of the planets that pick up the message from Earth.

Okay, SciFi fans, tell me the name of the printed human that wipes out the peaceful alien civilization.

Answer: Adam

What's the first thing Adam does after he kills all of the aliens?

Answer: Adam prints Eve

What's the next thing that happens?

The 3D printer breaks.


Scott Adams

Co-founder of CalendarTree.com

People keep telling me this book changed their lives.



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Jun 4, 2014
Who's to say another civilisation has already done this , and we have heard their signal .....
Jun 4, 2014
"The 3D printer breaks."

Most likely, it just runs out of ink. Adam decides to make his own. Hilarity ensues.
+12 Rank Up Rank Down
Jun 4, 2014
Its 500 years in the future. We have these organic 3D printers you're talking about. We receive instructions from aliens on how to make a sentient alien. We make an alien.

What do we do with it?

Even if we make a few more of them for company they'll be living in a world designed by humans for humans. What place will they have here?

What place would manufactured humans have on an alien planet?
+11 Rank Up Rank Down
Jun 4, 2014

...and then Adam says to Eve, 'I don't have the right tools to fix it.'

It's risky sending live samples.
Ignoring the whole time and distance thing, one could also send the printers out on the probes to the stars and planets we know about. Avoids the whole search the ocean issue.
Once there, it could study the environment, and make adjustments to the DNA, and print life that has the best chance of survival on that world.

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