In the blink of an eye on the evolutionary timescale, humans climbed down the trees, changed the landscape of this planet like no species before, and

Transhumanism: Savior of humanity or false prophecy?

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2022-08-06 10:30:04

In the blink of an eye on the evolutionary timescale, humans climbed down the trees, changed the landscape of this planet like no species before, and left their footprint in space. At each stage in the evolution of modern humans, we have strived to break free from the limits imposed upon us by biology. A major part of the human journey has been the development of new technologies, a phenomenon that has grown exponentially over the last century.

Transhumanism is an intellectual and technological paradigm that seeks to leverage this progress to further enhance the human condition. It cultivates a belief wherein by freeing the human body and mind of their biological limitations, humanity will transcend into a future unconstrained by death.

What does transhumanism look like? Its proponents promise a world where lifespan-extending breakthroughs allow us to live longer. Transhumanism will push research toward anti-aging treatments that let us stay healthy for a greater proportion of our longer lives. Mind-controlled prosthetics will offer disabled people the opportunity to regain control of their limbs. 

Indeed, much of this is already happening. For instance, cochlear implants restore a sense of hearing, and pacemakers can add decades to patients’ lifespans. Recently, surgeons at the University of Maryland Medical Center transplanted a pig heart into a patient. Through genetic engineering, the scientists subdued the immune responses that would have otherwise made the patient’s body reject the organ. (Unfortunately, he later died.) In the future, transhumanists claim, we may be able to regenerate our organs, including hearts and brains, such that they never grow old.

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