Abstract

Embryo space colonization is one of the solutions that have been proposed to minimize the existential risk that, in the coming centuries, the human species will undergo irreversible extinction. This type of solution involves sending cryopreserved human embryos into space on board a spaceship entirely guided by intelligent machines tasked with identifying and finding the most suitable planet for human colonization within the solar system or another stellar system. The goal is not to assess the feasibility of this project, but rather to consider whether the use of human gametes would constitute a more ethical solution. It will be argued that, all else being equal, sending gametes instead of embryos into space presents at least three advantages. First, it makes it possible to have a more genetically diverse range of human embryos available, facilitating the selection of genetically better embryos for colonizing the new planet. In addition, producing embryos ad hoc from gametes allows improving the genetic characteristics of embryos without resorting to genome editing, which could present safety issues. Finally, gamete space colonization does not eliminate but reduces the possibility that the designers’ biases influence the selection of embryos.

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