Consider the abilities of the deities of myth and legend: Raining fire from the sky to reduce cities to ash, calling forth thunder and lightning, creating life. All these things are now in our grasp. What, then, are gods? What, then, are we?
I write this not as an apology, or a plea for forgiveness. It is simply an account of the truth. I have little time. I gaze upon a planet transformed, and I am running out of air.
“Intelligent evolution” was going to be the next big thing. Random mutation was inelegant and slow; we could do better. We could optimize it.
What if the reproductive mechanisms of a life-form could choose, based on its environment, the most well-adapted offspring out of billions of possibilities? We sought to give natural selection nothing less than the power of foresight.
We should have given some to ourselves.
Our experiments were wildly successful. The best of our test organisms managed to outcompete all the others, faster than anyone imagined.
Then they got out, and outcompeted us.