Man’s nature seems incorrigible. Arthur Koestler (“The ghost in the machine”) and others have speculated about an artificial change of man’s fragmented nature. Now that the genetic code has been deciphered manipulating man physically as well as psychologically is within reach. This century will see whether this advancement will prove to be a blessing or a curse.
On the subject of manipulation on molecular levels nanotechnology is being explored rapidly to develop new applications in all fields of science. There is apprehension of far-reaching dangers, for instance of of out-of-control self-replicating robots. Another drastic change would be the discovery of life on other planets bringing nearer the idea of a contact with an advanced interplanetary civilisation.
This would have a tremendous impact on our view of man in the universe. Yet, again, the outcome of such contact is unpredictable. We have no idea what to expect from other forms of life. Such encounter may even result in a general loss of respect of earthly traditional values (for whatever they are worth!). In history nations who first came into contact with a so-called higher Western civilisation (India, Japan) abandoned their traditional cultural values until they re-discovered their own again at a far later date.
A more gruesome prospect is that of mankind only becoming united because of an acute common danger like that of an impending environmental disaster as a result of changed climatic conditions or the threat of a catastrophe such as an imminent collision with an asteroid calling for an all-out effort to minimize the consequences.