the making of a sentient species from a non-sentient one, esp. by genetic engineering
And from now on the work here at the Center for Uplift would be evenmore routine.
Galactic civilization spreads life through terraforming, colonization, and (especially) the process of uplift, the creation of new sentient species from animal stock.
The Korozhet also had slowshields, and the wondrous soft-cyber implants which had uplifted the rats and bats. The genetic engineers of the colony had ‘built’ the rats and latterly the bats, to flesh out the ranks of the pitifully small human army. Instant genetic uplift was beyond them—but the implants solved that.
The device secretes microfilaments into the brain to obtain raw data, whereafter it acts as an enhancement and logic coprocessor, enabling instant ‘uplift’ of various nonsentient animals.
Nimbus spoke of diverse alien races—Earthlings and Divians and Cashlings and several other species whose names did not stick in my mind—but they all had two qualities in common. First, they had been ‘uplifted’ by the Shaddill: approached in their native star systems, given new homes elsewhere in the galaxy, and presented with sophisticated Science Gifts as a welcome to the League of Peoples. Second, ever since their uplift, these species had all grown more decadent, temperamental, and culturally sterile…particularly those uplifted for the longest period.
That much of what the Devil had said was true—but as for the rest of it…well, he seemed to know about her little excursion to Altair, but he hadn’t said a word about the impending uplift of humankind by the greys' psychotropic viruses.
Although the word uplift by its nature implies good intentions on the part of the uplifter, which is not in evidence here. From what I can get from the Obin, the Consu one day wondered what would happen if you made some species smart. So they came to Obinur, found an omnivore in a minor ecological niche, and gave it intelligence. You know, just to see what would happen next.
David Brin 'Sundiver'
The term appears to have originated with David Brin: we would be interested in evidence of earlier use by Brin, or any other author.
Last modified 2021-01-04 12:01:43
In the compilation of some entries, HDSF has drawn extensively on corresponding entries in OED.