Greenflame

Jottings on science, religion, technology, pop culture and faith from the Antipodes.

Bioethics/Biotech, Cyborg, Nanotech, Transhumanism

Would you like extra fries with your (human) upgrade

A few articles out recently that pick up on the potential of nanotechnology for the purposes of human therapy and enhancement.

Popular Mechanics has an article Redefining The Human: The Upgradable You which covers a range of technological developments relating to nanotechnology among other things.

The forever techno-optimistic Ray Kurzweil has an article in the latest Science and Theology News – Trends hint at a golden era of nanotechnology. Kurzweil see technology as part of the process of evolution, and follows the line of thought that human beings are in effect “nature’s technology.”

Then again working through indirection, biological evolution used one of its creations to usher in the next stage of evolution, which was technology. The enabling factors for technology were a higher cognitive function with an opposable appendage, so we could manipulate and change the environment to reflect our models of what could be. The first stages of technology evolution — fire, the wheel, stone tools — only took a few tens of thousands of years.

Kurzweil cites the synthetic red blood cell research noted in the Popular Mechanics article too.

And lastly, there’s an older article at the British Centre for Bioethics and Public Policy that looks at nanotech from within a Judeo-Christian framework. See CBPP – Going all the way? – cybernetics and nanotechnology (Philippa Taylor, April 2004) (and the closely related PDF “From Fiction to Fact: Christian Perspectives on Future Developments in Bioethics: Nanotechnology and Cybernetics” CBPP briefing series: No. 3, Philippa Taylor, Summer 2003).

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