Companies today are strategizing about future investments and technologies such as artificial intelligence, the internet of things, or growth around new business models. While many of these trends will make for solid investments for the next 5-10 years, fewer companies are considering the revolutionary convergence of disparate trends pulled from technology, behavioral and societal changes, and medical advances to understand how they will converge to transform society. This transformation will be messy, complex, and sometimes scary, but signals already point to a future of humanity that will blur our identities into “transhumanism.” (READ MORE)
David Sinclair has been reverse-engineering the aging process for two decades. As the co-director of the Paul F. Glenn Center for the Biology of Aging at Harvard Medical School, Sinclair and his colleagues have identified several key enzymes and interactions inside cells that cause them to “lose their identity” over time, making our bodies more susceptible to diseases like cancer, heart disease, and dementia. But what if aging itself is the real disease? “Aging is the one disease that we all get if we live long enough,” Sinclair told Seeker. “I define it as a disease. Most doctors are trained that aging is something separate from disease. But the only difference in the medical textbooks is that if the majority of people get an age-associated disorder, we call it aging. If less than half of people get something over time, it’s a disease.” Sinclair is part of a growing movement of “geroscientists” who believe that aging is not inevitable. (READ MORE)
Those that are currently coming against the Christian are not currently wielding swords and guns, but rather are wielding lies, indoctrination, media, corruption, and convenience. According to an article posted by the Guardian titled God in the machine: my strange journey into transhumanism, authored by Meghan O’Gieblyn; “The greatest threat to humanity’s continuing evolution,” writes the transhumanist Simon Young, “is theistic opposition to Superbiology in the name of a belief system based on blind faith in the absence of evidence.” The greatest threat to their agenda of singularity, hive mind machinery, and artificial intelligence isn’t the guy wielding the worlds most powerful weapons, it’s the church that’s rooted in foundational Christian scripture, it’s the pastor that spits fire, it’s the child whose moral compass is pointed at God, and it’s the husband and wife whose relationship is based on the rock that is Jesus Christ. (READ MORE)
Do transhumanists believe in the soul, or in materialistic reductionism? Or could it be both at the same time?
The Cartesian idea of the spirit or soul as a disembodied presence merely using or occupying a body, rather than the two being integrally connected, is a cardinal principle in transhumanism, the ultimate goal of which is to transcend the limitations of corporeal existence through technology.
So I wrote in my recent review of the transhumanist fantasy Ghost in the Shell, starring Scarlett Johansson. In the combox a longtime reader who goes by Pachyderminator challenged this:
Modern transhumanists tend to hold a scientific materialist worldview, which is often concerned specifically to refute Cartesian dualism and replace it with physical reductionism, which holds that any system can in principle be modeled without loss solely with reference to its lowest-level parts.
This is quite true of many (not all) transhumanists — a point I would have noted myself in a piece on transhumanism. Since I didn’t, I thank Pachyderminator for highlighting this point.
This is precisely what makes it so odd that, juxtaposed with this penchant for reductionistic materialism, transhumanist imagination also embraces, at least in its more quasi-religious or existential forms, a Cartesian notion of the self as not bound or defined by the material reality supporting the self — a “ghost” in a “shell,” as the Japanese franchise, unambiguously an expression of transhumanist imagination, proposes… (READ MORE)
A self-proclaimed “transhumanist,” Thiel already takes human growth hormone to prolong his life, and says he hopes to achieve immortality by “uploading” his consciousness into a computer. And last year, Jeff Bercovici of Inc. magazine published an interview in which Thiel described a new plan to extend his life: injecting himself with the blood of young people to reverse the aging process. The procedure is called “parabiosis.” And yes, of course many have already made the obvious comparison to vampires. Referring to death, Thiel remarked that “You can accept it, you can deny it, or you can fight it. I think our society is dominated by people who are in denial or acceptance, and I prefer to fight it.” He’s not alone. In 2015, BBC Future reported on research to identify the slowest-aging animals to discover the secret to their longevity. So far bowhead whales, which may live over 200 years, along with naked mole rats and certain bats, show the most promise. (READ MORE)
History tells us that when victorious generals in ancient Rome returned home, they would hold triumphal processions through the streets. Singers, dancers, and adoring citizens would shower the general with effusive praises. But to guard him against getting a big head, a slave stood behind him to whisper in his ear, “Remember, thou art mortal.” It’s a reminder each of us could use every day. But some entrepreneurs on the cutting edge of the tech world see their mortality and humanity not as realities to accept, but as hurdles to overcome. Take billionaire SpaceX and Tesla founder, Elon Musk. As I told you back in October, Musk puts the odds that we’re not living in a Matrix-like computer simulation at one in a billion. Now he says it’s time for humans to merge with machines, or risk becoming irrelevant in the age of artificial intelligence. (READ MORE)