Super Soldiers. Augments. Transhumans. Call your pet project what you will, but the endgame is the same: to create a variety of human that surpasses our natural limitations. I won’t bore such a… “forward thinking” scientist such as yourself with trifling arguments like ethical and moral concerns about playing god or fostering ideas of supremacy. But for someone who seems to be so enamored with your own understanding Nietzche’s ideals, you might be interested in some advice on self-preservation, at least. Because if there’s one thing an engineer of a new race should be aware of, it’s the Hazards of the Ubermensch.

4. Unshaped Power

No matter how you’re creating these beings, one thing’s for sure–they won’t be ready fresh out of the box, so to speak. Even if you were to, say, create a fully grown clone army, they’d still need time to learn, to practice and grow. And this is a lot more dangerous than it sounds, because these aren’t your ordinary babies. All it takes is one super-powered temper tantrum or an ultra strong swing of a rattle and you, Dr. Eugenics R. Great, are down for good. Those are just the unintentional dangers; there’s a reason they say children are cruel, and a child that’s already as powerful as a full grown man is quite possibly one of the most deadly things you could encounter.

Getting around this is tricky. Implanting memories or some form of knowledge or training might help, but that’s rarely an option, and may not solve it entirely depending on how you go about creating your Ubermensch. The best way to avoid it is to apply whatever genetic or physiological changes you intend to make to an existing adult, but then you’re dealing with all their lifetime of issues….

3. Unpredictable Experiences

Which brings us to the next point–you can’t control every aspect of your Ubermensch’s personality. Sure, with enough genetics knowledge, you might be able to set their basic temperament, but a docile supersoldier won’t exactly be living up to the “soldier” part. It’d be an oversimplification to say that one’s personality is purely genetic, though. Obedience is brought about through training, for example, but it’s farther than that–will your Ubermensch truly be able to understand ideas of loyalty or honor in the isolated environment you’re likely raising them in? Will their lack of familiarity with ideas like love and friendship cause them to react in unexpected ways in the field? Heck, a being that springs forth from a vat, fully matured, will have no clue about what it is to grow and age at all, and in many regards may actually turn out to be inferior to those grown from infants over time as a result.

A Superman-style approach of letting the Ubermensch live a normal life may be best here, but it comes with a lot of risks, particularly if you’re trying to keep your next step in the evolution of humanity a secret. For the most elaborate of plans, you could always “fake” a normal life by offering up some tightly scripted virtual reality or Holodeck-style experiences for them.

2. Rebellion

You can count on any developing human(oid) to question everything you tell them. Why must they be kept secret? What makes them better than others? Mix that in with a little teenage rebelliousness and, well… you might have a full blown revolution on your hands. Because if there’s one thing a master race always questions, it’s why they should be led by someone who isn’t one of them. Sure, they might take pity on you, and respect you enough to keep you around as essentially a pampered pet, but that’s a best case scenario (and not all that great–ask Davros). Far more likely is a coup, leaving you without any control over the situation and with good odds of being the ironic first victim of these dangerous new specimens.

Instilling loyalty to yourself, or your nation, is basically your only hope for averting this step, and even that’s a long shot. After all, what’s to stop them from deciding that the best way to protect their nation is to get all totalitarian and take it over?

1. Replacement

Nothing, that’s what. Even if it’s not an aggressive, Khan Noonien Singh-style takeover of a country, there’s going to be conflict between ordinary humans and your Ubermensch. Directly, through wars, of course, but it goes beyond that–over a long enough period of time, there’s a Darwinian effect to account for, too. You made them to be Better. Stronger. Faster…. and heck, they’re probably smarter and more beautiful, too. Even in a situation where they’re comfortably interbreeding with regular people, these engineered genes are the ones that are going to be most likely to be passed down. After a few generations, perhaps without even realizing it, your run-of-the-mill Homo Sapiens may be a thing of the past.

But then, that’s what you wanted all along, wasn’t it? Maybe not your preferred method of accomplishing it, and there might have been some rather high costs along the way, but such is the road to perfection. Let’s just hope that there are no debilitating weaknesses you forgot to take into account–like poor temperature regulation.

Guess that’s it for this week. Sorry it’s been a while; things… haven’t been easy for me lately. I hope you enjoyed the article, and if so, be sure to share it!