Now, after some three billion years, the Darwinian era is over.
In the post-Darwinian era, biotechnology will be domesticated. There will be do-it-yourself kits for gardeners, who will use gene transfer to breed new varieties of roses and orchids. Also, biotech games for children, played with real eggs and seeds rather than with images on a screen. Genetic engineering, once it gets into the hands of the general public, will give us an explosion of biodiversity. Designing genomes will be a new art form, as creative as painting or sculpture. Few of the new creations will be masterpieces, but all will bring joy to their creators and diversity to our fauna and flora.
This article is older and much shorter than the essay in New Scientist, but there is overlap between them.
The journal article Dyson mentions was covered here last year.
[ Very interesting, if not surprising. Reminds me that all y'all need to check out Rudy Rucker's book Frek and the Elixir, which is set in a future where biodiversity has been quelled and strictly limited (through patents, as much as anything). It's a good read. -k]
Biotech is for Toddlers, by Freeman Dyson