The 21st century could be humanity’s last, according a leading scientific thinker – and what replaces us could be very strange indeed. Seth Shostak of the SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) Institute in Mountain View, California argues that three big scientific advances are on the cusp of changing humans forever. Shostak says, ‘We can eventually produce offspring that are as different from us as dogs are from gray wolves.

‘The haphazard, bottom-up alterations to our species occasioned by Darwinian evolution will yield to the directed improvements of future engineers. Shostak believes that three technologies – genetic engineering, artificial intelligence and space travel – are about to change the human race forever. In a piece on the SETI website, Shostak argues that technologies such as ‘designer babies’ and computers which connect directly to human minds will soon change us profoundly. FULL REPORT