Why is Elon Musk Scared of #Bioengineering?

Just for the record, I admire Elon Musk deeply, he’s someone that’s accelerated the development of online payments, solar power, electric cars and the space industry, when others said it was impossible or failed, he managed to succeed out of sheer will and gumption, very impressive but recently I read his interview by Tim Urban from Wait but Why (an awesome online comic for the nerdy set) and I was a little surprised and disappointed, even though it’s a great read on Wait but Why.

Elon, at a young age, decided on 5 areas that will most effect the future of humanity, these were areas he wanted to devote his life to, he included reprogramming the human genome as one of those top 5 (the others were the internet, sustainable energy, space and AI, which he’s kicking ass in!)

Yet, in his recent interview, he seemed to be saying that #bioengineering was too hard and it wasn’t even worth trying, I re-read that transcript over and over again, surely, Elon isn’t flinching in the face of a hard challenge? But appears he was.

Too Hard?



Biology is Technology Elon

So why is a legendary pioneer and innovator, like Elon Musk shying away from Biotech? Is it because it’s just too hard?

Nope.

Is it because it’s impossible to #bioengineer the human genome?

Nope.

Chinese Scientists shared their results this month, they bioengineered a human embryo.

So not only is it real, it’s possible today, so why is Elon Musk shying away from #Bioengineering , technology we need to make multi-planetary societies possible?

Human eyes will likely never gaze on Olympus Mons without advances in #biotech to help us survive in an otherwise hostile environment. So what’s up?

My guess and it’s only a guess is that he got burned, badly by one of his first biotech investments, Halcyon Molecular. The original founding team of Halcyon Molecular were young and idealistic but not experienced and very few had technical backgrounds to deeply understand the technology they had to build.

Biotech is different, it isn’t tech and Elon and a few other tech investors made what’s now a classic mistake, in biotech, it pays to be on experimentalists not theorists and they bet on theory. Biology is the most complicated technology on this planet and often beyond our current understanding, no matter how you try to rationalize it, you can’t model it in silico, you have to test it in the lab.

So Elon, I challenge you, come back to Biotech, we want your brilliance (even if just a shard), don’t leave one of the crucial one out of fives out in the cold! We’re with you on this mission and would love to help accelerate our journey to being a multi-planetary species (or perhaps many species derived from H.Sapiens).