I think that the missing link between the apes and civilized humanity is Us (definitely including me.)
OK, I admit it: I'm a religious fanatic of the Post-Humanist faith. I think that humanity should become as gods or die trying, because the alternative is to die without trying. I don't think that being or being trapped in (I am also ontologically incorrect, drawing the mind/body distinction) doomed, raging, demanding Meat is enough. And while I am nowhere near silly enough to confuse acceptance of this view with literary excellence, I want to define science fiction as my kind of stuff...
This rather Wilsonian statement is excerpted from Hlavaty's Nice Distinctions 19 zine.
A couple of examples of the kind of SF which Arthur may be talking about: The Iain Banks Culture novels, and The Last Trumpet Project by Kevin MacArdry, the book I mentioned in my Jan. 30 posting.