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


Transhumanism in the mainstream

One of the introductory points I make in my research is that the term “transhumanism” is now moving into usage by mainstream media and no longer just being used by the self-identified transhumanist community. The technologies being linked to it have been discussed in the public arena but the term is now in general use. So in a recent Fox News story ( – Nanotech Policy Faces No Small Hurdles ) we get this sort of thing happening,

And like the genetically modified food discussion and genetics as a whole, nanotech developments raise deep philosophical questions over what it means to be human, and the change of the human condition.

“That conversation haunts every discussion about nanotechnology,” Cameron said.

Cameron said one frightening development is so-called “transhumanism,” where people might create things to replace human functions like thinking with nanotechnology.

While a technology could be used for a good purpose, like recovering from a stroke, “the same technology could allow you to have Google in your brain,” Cameron said, which “raises huge questions for public policy.”

Cameron said he also can foresee the use of nanotechnology further widening class divisions. With expensive nanotech solutions for cancer or other health problems, it’s likely that those with the best health care would be able to get the new care and live longer whereas the poor would be left behind.

I guess the term entering into this wider usage does support the comments earlier РGreenflame: Is transhumanism pass̩?

Related links:

Andy Clark’s EDGE: NATURAL BORN CYBORGS?. A short paper with the same name as his book which includes a chapter at the end on the negative potentials contained within cyborg technologies.

Center on Nanotechnology & Society director of Nigel M. de S. Cameron quoted in the Fox News article above.

%d bloggers like this: