Evolving Beyond Homo Sapien: The Hybrid Age of Super Man

Koinonia Houseby Dr. Thomas Horn

In recent years, astonishing technological developments have pushed the frontiers of humanity toward far-reaching morphological transformation that promises in the very near future to redefine what it means to be human. What science has already done with genetically modifying plants and animals will soon apply to Homo sapiens. An international, intellectual, and fast-growing cultural movement known as transhumanism supports this vision, as does a flourishing list of U.S. military advisors, bioethicists, law professors, and academics, which intend the use of genetics, robotics, artificial intelligence, nanotechnology and synthetic biology (Grins technologies) as tools that will radically redesign our minds, our memories, our physiology, our offspring, and even perhaps—as Joel Garreau, in his bestselling book Radical Evolution, claims—our very souls.

I have personally debated leading transhumanist, Dr. James Hughes, concerning this inevitable posthuman future on his weekly syndicated talk show, Changesurfer Radio. Hughes is executive director of the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies and teaches at Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut. He is the author of Citizen Cyborg: Why Democratic Societies Must Respond to the Redesigned Human of the Future, a sort of bible for transhumanist values. Dr. Hughes joins a growing body of academics, bioethicists, and sociologists who support:

Large-scale genetic and neurological engineering of ourselves…[a] new chapter in evolution [as] the result of accelerating developments in the fields of genomics, stem-cell research, genetic enhancement, germ-line engineering, neuro-pharmacology, artificial intelligence, robotics, pattern recognition technologies, and nanotechnology…at the intersection of science and religion [which has begun to question] what it means to be human.1

Though the transformation of man to this posthuman condition is in its fledgling state, complete integration of the technology necessary to replace existing Homo sapiens as the dominant life-form on earth is approaching an exponential curve with many experts predicting the first substantive steps in Grins human-enhancement starting any time after the year 2012.

National Geographic magazine concurred in 2007, speculating that within ten years, the first “human non-humans” would walk the earth, and retired San Diego State University professor and computer scientist Vernor Vinge (who delivered the now-famous lecture, “The Coming Technological Singularity,” at Vision-21 Symposium sponsored by NASA Lewis Research Center and the Ohio Aerospace Institute in 1993), agreed recently that we are entering that period in history when questions like “What is the meaning of life?” will be nothing more than an engineering question.

Most readers may be surprised to learn that in preparation of this posthuman revolution, the United States government, through the National Institute of Health, recently granted Case Law School in Cleveland $773,000 of taxpayers’ money to begin developing the actual guidelines that will be used for setting government policy regarding the next step in human evolution—“genetic enhancement.” Maxwell Mehlman, Arthur E. Petersilge Professor of Law, director of the Law-Medicine Center at the Case Western Reserve University School of Law and professor of bioethics in the Case School of Medicine, led the team of law professors, physicians, and bioethicists over the two-year project “to develop standards for tests on human subjects in research that involves the use of genetic technologies to enhance ‘normal’ individuals.”2

Read More: http://www.khouse.org/articles/2012/1039/