“God is dead…and we have killed him.”
“God is dead. God remains dead. And we have killed him. How shall we comfort ourselves, the murderers of all murderers? What was holiest and mightiest of all that the world has yet owned has bled to death under our knives: who will wipe this blood off us? What water is there for us to clean ourselves? What festivals of atonement, what sacred games shall we have to invent? Is not the greatness of this deed too great for us? Must we ourselves not become gods simply to appear worthy of it? There has never been a greater deed; and whoever is born after us—for the sake of this deed he will belong to a higher history than all history hitherto.”
Frederich Nietzsche, through his famous work The Parable of the Madman, expresses the moral and philosophical catastrophe brought with the age of enlightenment. As logic and science began to overthrow religion as the dominant authority of knowledge, objective morality became impossible when detached from the divine. The loss of an external source of universal moral authority then requires humanity to search for the source of ethics within themselves. Without a deity to adjudicate, humanity must assume the role of moral arbiter.
One implication which emanates from the The Windup Girl is that there is no guidebook, no instructions on how to proceed with the evolution of humanity. Humanity must make decisions about how to ensure that the life of the species continues, and whether it is a life worth living.
More to the point, we should remain cognoscente of the dangers of deferring to scientists who try to occupy the role of god. What is possible through science is not always desirable. The character Gibson is one such scientist who overtly refers to himself as a god, “We are nature. Our every tinkering is nature, our every biological striving. We are what we are, and the world is ours. We are its gods. Your only difficulty is your unwillingness to unleash your potential fully upon it.” However, he does not represent the righteous deity of human aspiration. Instead, Gibson nihilistically mocks the contemplation of ethical obligation and considers it an arbitrarily relative matter.
Furthermore, all of the dystopian elements that Bacigalupi cautions against (the Cheshire as invasive species; the rising sea levels from climate change; plague and famine from genetically mutated disease) could arguably be the result of such pure hedonistic pursuits lacking any transcendental constraint.
 Friedrich Nietzsche, The Gay Science (1882, 1887) para. 125; Walter Kaufmann ed. (New York: Vintage, 1974), pp.181-82.] in Modern History Sourcebook: Nietzsche: Parable of the Madman. http://sourcebooks.fordham.edu/mod/nietzsche-madman.asp
 Paolo Bacigalupi, The Windup Girl, (San Francisco: Night Shade Books, 2009)
 Paolo Bacigalupi, The Windup Girl, Kindle Edition, (San Francisco: Night Shade Books, 2009), 393
 Trent Reznor – Nine Inch Nails, “Heresy,” Paul Huston, Youtube.com. https://youtu.be/tzlc-KsIUIU