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 10, 2014
The thing I cannot grasp with all these ideas is why anybody would want more humans. We have plenty of humans as-is, and in many ways we're a harmful species. Why would any advanced civilizations want to have humans?
Jun 5, 2014
Does anyone else think that "Panspermia" sounds like a great Cirque Du Soleil‎ title? Would it be rated G or X?
+2 Rank Up Rank Down
Jun 5, 2014
[So they instead decide to send us an expletive-laden laser message, taunting us with their wealth and calling our race horrible names such as "grxxckths" and "hccythcs".]

These messages are apparently channelled by Scott's blogging software.
Jun 5, 2014
Congratulations. You have built an Interosseter. At least, if you watched The Outer Limits as a kid you have.
Jun 5, 2014
Check out Arrayit.com Printing the Human genome on a single chip is what they do. I've already asked them if I could get a Cindy Crawford out of them, they said no. But I'm a shareholder, so, you never know.

BTW - Scott, if you want to throw money and back a winning horse, their technology is so groundbreaking and human influencing, it'd be like throwing a few bucks at Gutenberg back in the day.
Jun 5, 2014
Silly question but what if you wanted to print almost humans instead? Like elves, dwarves, hobbits, orcs, goblins, nekomimi, or anything else in that vein.

Also, what about sports stars? You just reprint your favorite ones from the past if you current crop of "real" players sucks. I'm a miami fan, we haven't had much competence in going on 14 years.

This also brings up question of things like gladitorial combat, soldiers, and the like. What to see gladiators fight to the death? Print some up. Need a new army that doesn't get PSTD or defect to the other side? Print them up.

And you can't rule out using 3d human printers for sex-related uses. Why wait for nature to spawn a mate you can settle for when you can go to Vixen-shack and have one made for you. Like blonde, brunettes, or redheads? Not a problem. Want big breasts or small? Not a problem. Want someone who wants to breed like bunnies or would rather not have kids? Not a problem. Want someone who'll never leave you and take half your stuff? Definitely not a problem.
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Jun 4, 2014
David Brin had a similar idea in Existence where aliens who could not travel them selves due to the time requires, sent machines which then made baby aliens.
+16 Rank Up Rank Down
Jun 4, 2014
Eve prints a divorce lawyer, wins the planet and makes Adam move to a small crater on the bad side of the moon.
Jun 4, 2014
I would very much like to see this movie.

That, and the one about how Hitler was convinced an alien portal was buried beneath the Antarctic ice (true) and had troops there digging.
Jun 4, 2014
This post reminds me of a thought posed by Hofstadter in Godel Escher Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid. Hofstadter is open to the possibility that an intelligent species could potentially discover DNA and understand it- but questions the premise that any sufficiently intelligent species should be capable of decoding its mysteries.

True, any "sufficiently" intelligent species would by definition be able to decode it- but his point is rather that there may be intelligences which are so radically different than our own that neither would recognize the other as intelligent- or possibly at all. (Consider the possibility of some creature made of dark matter that interacts with matter in a way which necessarily prohibits its observation of matter- a possibility raised by Hofstadter). Coincidentally, this last point also closely relates to a comic posted TODAY by another brilliant dude who makes comics. (It's almost like consciousness is really collective and identity is an illusion)


Jun 4, 2014
After we've shot our load of panspermia out in various directions, and the Earth has shuddered with quakes, and after 1st world governments have issued cigarette credits to the masses, there is one nasty scenario to consider - the intergalactic love triangle.

Say that there's a pair of inhabited planets 10 light-years out that, for whatever historical reasons, have had to segregate their females onto one planet, and males to the other. Say their method of reproduction is very advanced, and consists of sending a laser beam of DNA information to the partner planet, where the new baby is then constructed, or "born".

But say the female/mother planet accidentally accepts OUR laser signal and 9 days later they've got a kid who looks nothing like anyone on the father planet. Of course the father planet goes ballistic, accuses the female planet of being a slu t, etc. In other words, a whole big scene.

Eventually their male scientists backtrack the traces of our laser path, and a retaliation plan is hatched. They feel it would take too long to send a dark-matter bomb into our Sun, and besides, why risk intergalactic war over an ugly kid? So they instead decide to send us an expletive-laden laser message, taunting us with their wealth and calling our race horrible names such as "grxxckths" and "hccythcs".

We receive that message 10 years later -- a day that will change Rap Music forever.

+4 Rank Up Rank Down
Jun 4, 2014
Once we can print any human with any ability, memory or appearance, ooohh boy...

Human printers will be predominantly used for entertainment purposes. I can think of a million other things that people would find more fun then watching stuff evolve on a distant planet.

Its hard to imagine why, when we encounter an advanced alien race, we wouldn't immediately get slayed.
Jun 4, 2014
Aw, c'mon, Scott. Level with us. That's the REAL reason you haven't had any 'biological children,' isn't it? (Which begs the question: how many NON-biological children have you had? But I digress.)

You figure you'll just capture your DNA somehow, and your genome will become the pattern for the laser-guided pseudo-sperm insemination of the universe. The mind boggles at the thought of a universe of printed Scott Adams duplicates (didn't I see that on an episode of 'Eureka?'). Hopefully they won't screw up the genome, or we'll have Bizarro Superscott #1.

Now if we can just develop a genome for a talking dog to keep you company. . .
+5 Rank Up Rank Down
Jun 4, 2014
Eve broke the printer to scoop the competition.
Jun 4, 2014
[Sometimes reading your blog just makes me depressed. Intelligent Design, Adam & Eve, and Free Energy? You should do blogs on Feng Shui, crystals, and aromatherapy...]

Suspect the process is to take another look at the familiar with new eyes. Stated another way, many of the assumptions you made long ago would not be the decisions that the more mature you would make now. The essence of technological progress is to continuously re-examine our solutions to old problems in light of current knowledge. Of course, I could be wrong ... ask my wife.
Jun 4, 2014
Sometimes reading your blog just makes me depressed. Intelligent Design, Adam & Eve, and Free Energy? You should do blogs on Feng Shui, crystals, and aromatherapy. Then you could hit the New York Times Best Sellers list with a collection called "Dilbert's Thoughts on the Pseudo-Science that Celebrities Love." You could have a CD insert with lessons on how to breath, and bundle it with a magnetic bracelet.
Jun 4, 2014
This could also be used as a way to survive extinction of the human race provided the first humans you print have some basic knowledge, language, and survival skills so they can see that generation 2 lives long enough to successfully breed.
+8 Rank Up Rank Down
Jun 4, 2014
What's the next thing after that?

Eve complains
Jun 4, 2014
This is pretty much the premise of the terrible 'Species' movies. Signal from Alien civilization tells humans how to print an alien - alien escapes lab, runs amok and tries to reproduce so as to conquer the planet.

I like the role reversal angle though.
Jun 4, 2014
@MTbob , there not so much live samples as flat pack humans , with some assembly required :)
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