Transhumanism is a cultural and intellectual movement that believes we can and should improve the human condition by using advanced technology. One of the core concept of Trans humanism is life extension. Trans humanists are interested in ever-increasing number of technologies that can boost our physical, intellectual, and psychological capabilities beyond what humans are naturally endowed with.
Examples of Trans-Humanism in SocietyEdit
• Cryonics: the high-fidelity preservation of the human body, particularly the brain. It is in anticipation of possible future revival after death.
• Gene therapy/RNA Interference: Gene therapy replaces bad genes with good genes, while RNA interference can selectively knock out gene expression. Together, they give us an unprecedented ability to manipulate our own genetic code. For instance, by knocking out genes that code for certain metabolic proteins, scientists have been able to make mice that stay slim no matter how much junk food they eat.
• Nikolai Fyodorov, a 19th-century Russian philosopher, advocated radical life extension, physical immortality, and even resurrection of the dead using scientific method.
• In the 20th century, a direct precursor to Trans-Humanism concepts was geneticist J.B.S. Haldane’s 1923 essay “Deadalus: Science and the Future” which predicted that great benefits would come from applications of advanced sciences to human biology.
Short for “Cybernetic Organism”, a cyborg is a being with both organic and artificial parts.
Cyborgs were mostly just an idea that appeared in novels or comics until the early 90s when the technology was on the rise. As early as 1843, Edgar Allan Poe described a man with extensive prostheses in the short story "The Man That Was Used Up".
Real Life Examples:
• Kevin Warwick, a professor of Cybernetics at the University of Reading in the UK, and the founder of “Project Cyborg,” used himself as a guinea pig, “installing” a microchip in his arm that allows him to operate doors, lights, heaters and other computers remotely.
• Jesse Sullivan effectively became one of the world’s first cyborgs when he was equipped with a bionic limb, connected through a nerve-muscle graft. Not only can he control his “new” limb with his mind, he can also feel hot and cold like a normal arm.
• Jens Naumann lost both of his eye during a car accident, and in 2002, became the first person in the world to receive an artificial vision system. His electronic eye is connected directly to his visual cortex through brain implants, thought is has its limits, and he can only vaguely see lines and shapes.