If vigorous exercise is not your thing [it turns out most Americans shun it] you like me will wonder about what’s going on in the Scripps Research Institute in Jupiter, Florida. They’ve come up with a compound they say may someday replace physical exercise. You know — pop a pill and grow a muscle!
I hate exercise so I would be a likely customer. However because there’s a price to everything in life, you have to wonder about the inevitable side effects. Not simply physical or chemical, but psychological and social. We know now that whenever something looks too good to be true — yada yada yada!
One downside would be the millions of dollars, gyms, training centers, health meds, and PT jobs lost over night. Not to mention the millions of opportunities for athletes to use the compound for doping and black marketing. You could also be sure the military, here and around the world, would be interested in figuring out how this could help them win the next war.
A new Workout Pill just might become the next Wheel or Fire in the history humanity.
OK, maybe that’s pushing the point. And yet this whole idea is hardly one-of-a-kind. Isn’t this simply one more step in our species’ long march — in body, mind and spirit — toward what the Enlightenment Philosophers of the 18th C called ‘the perfectibility of man?’ The march continues daily in new how-to books, PBS health lectures, TV infomercials, chirpy morning network shows, chatty afternoon interview shows and then there’s next Sunday’s televangelist pitching the dogma god wants everyone to get healthy and happy.
Hey, it’s a new day, a new dawn. Gone is the 16-hour work schedule, and long gone is that outdated no-sweat-no-gain stuff. What’s not to like? But here’s what to worry. Following the immutable patterns of evolution, does this mean in another several generations you and I will be growing bigger heads and brains, but smaller hands and arms? Lounging there on our 1000-channel digital throne as we punch-button our way through this and other worlds?
If so, if we begin to realize that promised perfectibility, do we then become gods? Lets see, then what’s next? What’s left? Surely more pills….
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