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Transhumanists: The scientists who want to become gods

by Katarina Bradford | The Blaze

I did not expect to encounter questions like this when writing a bioethics brief on gene manipulation back in 2015. When researching the ethically questionable uses of gene manipulation, I encountered a collection of scientists hell-bent on the quest for immortality, determined to use every tool in their arsenal to transcend mankind’s current limitations.

You would expect to find such sci-fi-worthy aspirations espoused by pseudo-scientists and fan fiction bloggers not by minds affiliated with the world’s elite academic institutions — Oxford, Cambridge, Harvard, and MIT, to name a few. These scientists called themselves “transhumanists” and were spearheading what was, at the time, a fringe movement despite their prestigious academic affiliations. Their chief aim is to facilitate humanity’s evolution through modern technology into a “post-human” species, one that is unhinged from current human limitations, like weakness, ignorance, and, especially, death.

At the time, Humanity+, the world’s largest transhumanist organization, adopted Oxford professor Max Moore’s definition of transhumanism as: The continuation and acceleration of the evolution of intelligent life beyond its currently human form and human limitations by means of science and technology.

To mitigate the public backlash against Moore’s eugenics-encroaching definition, Humanity+ has since qualified its aims to ensure that it, in fact, does not “advocate for the concept of immortality for elitists” but rather “for all humanity.” Some may “rest assured,” but I certainly don’t. The historical and philosophical connection to eugenics is too close to ignore.

Science as religion

Similar to their 20th-century eugenicist predecessors, transhumanists are the latest iteration of Neo-Darwinists. The term “transhuman” was coined by the Darwinist and early transhumanist Julian Huxley, the brother of the “Brave New World” author Aldous Huxley. After World War II, Julian was appointed as UNESCO’s first director-general. During his post, he partnered with Charles Galton Darwin, the cousin of the father of evolution himself, to explore how the new technology developed during the war to elevate humanity’s evolutionary trajectory. Read Full Article >

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