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

Bioethics/Biotech, Science & Technology, Science, Technology & Religion, Transhumanism

Lee Silver on challenging nature (and religious bio-conservatism)

ChallengingnatureListened to James Hughes’ recent Changersurfer Radio podcast yesterday where he interviews Lee Silver (author of “Remaking Eden: How Genetic Engineering and Cloning will Transform the American Family“, and more lately “Challenging Nature: The clash of science and spirituality at the new frontiers of life“.) It’s an interesting interview because both Hughes and Silver sketch out what each thinks of religious (and quasi-religious) objections to transhumanism. Overall, their articulation of religious positions is limited, and doesn’t take into account the breadth of religious engagement with convergent technologies, but it serves as a useful insight into how some techno-optimists perceive the religious world.

SimonyoungI have a nagging doubt about their optimism about the human spirit too. The argue that many problems in the world could be solved if technological development was allowed to be unhindered – elimination of hunger, suffering and illness etc. However, we currently have technologies that could make a dent in those issues and it is more a matter of human will and of the human “heart” as to whether they will be. Certainly, the human propensities for self-interest, greed and control of resources never seem to feature in these discussions. Anyway, the full interview is available at: ChangeSurfer Radio: Challenging Nature.

Also, seen on the local library bookshelf (and now on loan here) is Simon Young’s recent book “Designer Evolution: A Transhumanist Manifesto“. Too late to put Young’s book in the bibliography but I’ll have skim through it sometime.

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