An NPR Blogger and professor at Dartmouth, Dr. Marcelo Gleiser, recently wrote that “we are already in the transhuman era.”
What is transhumanism? According to the dictionary used by Dr. Gleiser, transhumanism is “the belief or theory that the human race can evolve beyond its current physical and mental limitations, especially by means of science and technology.” Dr. Gleiser takes a largely positive take on transhumanism and says we are already engaged in it. In fact, he writes that:
If you have a purist definition of what it means to be human, without any intervention from outside gadgets, it’s time to come to terms with reality: almost no one in modern society is purely human.
Our integration with technology is evolving us into something else.
Dr. Gleiser uses multiple examples of ways he believes we have gone beyond human, including such things as medication, supplements, and cellphones as things that have caused people to transcend their humanity.
Things such as genetic engineering and cybernetics (human and technological integration- like Star Trek’s Borg race) are also possibilities that transhumanists see when they plot the future.
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What do you think? Is the transhumanist movement a positive thing where things like disabilities, disease, and even death will be erased? Or is it an arrogant movement, more likely to bring about a dark, dystopian future (like the film “Gattaca”) rather than the perfect, utopian one transhumanists envision?
Photo Credit: San Diego Shooter (Creative Commons)