Transhumanism a possibility or just science fiction

Discussion about scientific issues as they relate to God and Christianity including archaeology, origins of life, the universe, intelligent design, evolution, etc.
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melanie
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Transhumanism a possibility or just science fiction

#1

Post by melanie » Wed Aug 13, 2014 6:54 am

I read a really interesting article about radical human evolution aided by technology, by means of an entirely new species emerging when revolutionary technologies are applied to the human race. Sounds like science fiction to me but when I think about how far and relatively quickly technology has evolved even in my life time maybe it's not so far fetched. Do others think that not necessarily the implications but the reality of a new human species evolving by applying technology is possible?
The guy in the 50 second video attached to the article is ultra creepy;
http://www.blacklistednews.com/The_Road ... qus_thread

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Re: Transhumanism a possibility or just science fiction

#2

Post by PaulSacramento » Wed Aug 13, 2014 7:05 am

I guess that is always possible, I mean, we know that we CAN effect change on living organisms leading to evolution of some kind ( though evolutionary biologists may not call it evolution because it is guided as opposed to random...).
I guess that does also lend a certain validity to the view that evolution MAY have been a guided process...
I mean, if WE can do it, why not God?

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Re: Transhumanism a possibility or just science fiction

#3

Post by melanie » Wed Aug 13, 2014 7:16 am

I find it quite a scary concept, messing with humans like that. Although I'm not really sure about the consequences put forward in the article but there would have to be massive implications and consequences to society as a whole.

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Re: Transhumanism a possibility or just science fiction

#4

Post by neo-x » Wed Aug 13, 2014 8:32 am

I don't think its possible, no such tech exists, it is science fiction. Technology implants can't aid evolution, unless you understand how the cell shuffling in between the genes happen...and somehow you can completely control it, and not only that but control the mutations. Humans evolved and are evolving but not in the same sense as the article tries to portray. I would not give it much thought.
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Re: Transhumanism a possibility or just science fiction

#5

Post by Byblos » Wed Aug 13, 2014 11:27 am

If anything, technology will serve to "suppress" evolution by extending the human status quo. I see a point where androids (human/machine hybrids) will become the norm (except perhaps in the areas of brain functions). But it will all be in an effort to enhance the way we live. We like the way we are, no need to evolve into the unknown :wink:.
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Re: Transhumanism a possibility or just science fiction

#6

Post by melanie » Thu Aug 14, 2014 6:59 am

Thanks guys. Do you think artificial intelligence could ever progress to the point that machines are actually completely, independently thinking for themselves?

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Re: Transhumanism a possibility or just science fiction

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Post by PaulSacramento » Thu Aug 14, 2014 7:38 am

melanie wrote:Thanks guys. Do you think artificial intelligence could ever progress to the point that machines are actually completely, independently thinking for themselves?
Yes, and no.
Independent thinking yes BUT not the ability to "improvise", to think "outside the box", ie: to be instinctive rather than analytical.

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Re: Transhumanism a possibility or just science fiction

#8

Post by FlawedIntellect » Thu Aug 14, 2014 4:37 pm

Byblos's statement is pretty close to the transhumanist concept of evolution. It's less a matter of the biological concept and more a matter of augmenting the human body with technology. Especially to transcend normal physical human limitations. This has been a staple of the cyberpunk genre and derivative genres.

A number of video games, comic books (including manga), tabletop RPGs, and other forms of media play around with these themes.

Needless to say, there have been advancements in prosthetics and brain-machine interactions.

The questions as to whether technology will reach that point are as follows:
Is such technology capable of advancing to the point of replacing body parts?
And,
Will the body accept these replacements?

For the former question, it's already possible, but there are some challenges. For the latter question, that's a bit more difficult to answer, since the human body reacts to foreign substances depending on what the substance is and where it is. The body could react negatively to mechanical implants. (I'm definitely no expert on this subject matter, though.)

Technology is also advancing in another direction, though, where it may be possible to clone organs, whether genetically modifying animals for hosting them (a controversial option), or whether instead going the route of a 3D printer (a far more likely option that is already being experimented with.)

Edit: Byblos, Cyborgs are man-machine hybrids. Androids are just machines that look like humans.

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Re: Transhumanism a possibility or just science fiction

#9

Post by Byblos » Thu Aug 14, 2014 4:54 pm

FlawedIntellect wrote: Edit: Byblos, Cyborgs are man-machine hybrids. Androids are just machines that look like humans.
I stand corrected. Thank you.
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Re: Transhumanism a possibility or just science fiction

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Post by Ivellious » Thu Aug 14, 2014 5:06 pm

I have no doubt that we will soon have numerous technologies capable of "improving" our physical bodies in any number of ways. Prosthetic body parts are already in existence, and are getting more useful each year. Human exoskeletons (think Iron Man but with less armor and weapons) could give humans who are disabled or injured a way to walk and perform everyday tasks with relative ease. In biology/medicine, tons of research is being done on growing organs and bones from your own cells, which could do wonders for people born with missing or dysfunctional body parts or those who have their bodies damaged by disease or injury later in life. Plus, advances in gene therapy could potentially help us eradicate or greatly reduce the effects of a variety of genetic diseases.

As for artificial intelligence, we have already created machines capable of learning and adapting at a remarkable rate. A few decades ago, the biggest problem when it came to AI was computing power, but today, with how rapidly the field of computing has improved, that seems to be the least of the problems associated with AI. I would not be surprised at all if we were able to create an independently learning and thinking machine with human-like qualities in the next 10-20 years. The step beyond that is probably the more challenging one, as that would be finding a way to create an AI that not only could adapt itself, but also one that developed its own identity...Essentially, a machine that develops its own personality and individuality.

It's funny that a lot of people seem to write off science fiction as something akin to fantasy stories, when many great science fiction authors have been remarkably accurate at predicting future technologies and societal problems.

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Re: Transhumanism a possibility or just science fiction

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Post by FlawedIntellect » Thu Aug 14, 2014 5:31 pm

Ivellious wrote: It's funny that a lot of people seem to write off science fiction as something akin to fantasy stories, when many great science fiction authors have been remarkably accurate at predicting future technologies and societal problems.
T_T I'm still heartbroken that nothing of Patlabor has become a reality yet. Where the hell are my giant mechs? T_T They could've made mechs for construction work! T_T


But more seriously, I haven't seen anyone in this thread entirely discount the possibility of this sort of technology.

Though, some sci-fi ideas haven't aged well. If the technology were to come around for brains to transmit information to a computer directly and vice versa, I have some doubt that wires would be used for the process, considering the emphasis these days on machines connecting wirelessly. (Then again, USB cords are still in use.)

Also, floppy discs are an obsolete storage medium these days. Backwards compatibility with cds and cd-roms is only kept around these days because of music cds and nostalgia (and operating similarly to the more contemporary forms, like DVDs, DVD-roms, and blu-ray.)

Even then, digital distribution is likely to make physical storage obsolete once future generations have less nostalgia and habitual inclinations toward physical media.

Sci-fi is a mixed bag in terms of predictions. Some predictions have been spot on, yet others have been way off.

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Re: Transhumanism a possibility or just science fiction

#12

Post by Rob » Wed Sep 24, 2014 7:13 am

If you're interested in Transhumanism and how it could potentially relate to the end times, there's a great documentary by Gonz Shimura called Age of Deceit 2: Alchemy and the Rise of the Beast Image.
I would highly recommend it. Here: http://youtu.be/gfRzUI8hkwo

I don't really know where I stand on it other than that I'm against Transhumanism in general. I'm not going to go blow up a cryo-plant or anything, but I will keep my body as close to God's image as possible.

His first film, Age of Deceit, is more related to the UFO/Fallen Angel connection. I think his beliefs about that have changed if I recall correctly, but it's still an interesting watch anyway.

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Re: Transhumanism a possibility or just science fiction

#13

Post by FlawedIntellect » Thu Sep 25, 2014 7:46 am

Um, it's not the body that's made in God's image. It's the spirit that is. God is Spirit.

As far as the topic of transhumanism goes, it's rather arrogant that people think that they can immortalize themselves in metal, and while there's a lot of growth in technology's usefulness and in creation and development of machinery that interphaces with the brain, things are more likely to play out like a cyberpunk novel than the utopia that some of these advocates are spouting. Sure, this tech has many practical applications, but there are also many possible (and likely) abuses.

Couple that with developments in genetic engineering and in 3D bioprinting technology, and the world has turned into a Cyberpunk tabletop role playing game.

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Re: Transhumanism a possibility or just science fiction

#14

Post by Rob » Thu Sep 25, 2014 2:52 pm

FlawedIntellect wrote:Um, it's not the body that's made in God's image. It's the spirit that is. God is Spirit.
You're correct, I misspoke.

I think the thing that I would fear most is the whole idea of uploading my consciousness into a machine.

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Re: Transhumanism a possibility or just science fiction

#15

Post by FlawedIntellect » Thu Sep 25, 2014 3:29 pm

I see. Well, it'd be difficult to upload a consciousness to a machine since not only would the information need to be converted into binary, but also, it would require a very powerful form of data transfer. One can only move so much information at a time, and who knows how fast the data transfer would have to be for that to even be viable for human consciousness? Let alone, how much information would it take up to store in the first place? Thing is, you don't need to upload your consciousness to some machine. Just steer clear of getting any braincases (or other neuro-connective hardware for similar functions) to plug your head into machines. Technology isn't even at that point yet! At most (presently), you can share nerve signals across the internet.

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