The American people have worked hard to ensure equality for all citizens. So now science has advanced to where a new hybrid super breed of people can be created with enhanced genetics and digital intelligence, and many danger signs are ahead. In the long term, transhumanism could threaten to upend the world's personal, familial, and cultural foundations. Hollywood has portrayed these futuristic scenarios in many SiFi thrillers. But this time, the script is real life and could play out as a slow-motion horror show.
Transhumanism seeks to change people into superhumans by merging biology and advanced technology. Do not confuse transhumanists with transsexuals. Transhumanism is about surpassing the natural state of one's race, genetics, or unique aptitudes as if life has no limits.
The Declaration of Independence says that "all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of happiness." This nation has lived by this ideal (imperfectly) since its Founding, and it has been the reason for our tranquility and prosperity over the years. But transhumanism may end these self-evident truths once it becomes a reality – and all men are no longer equal.
We have seen what happens when one race considers itself superior to others in America and Europe, leading up to the Holocaust. Imagine what a superior race of cyborg beings would be tempted to do to ordinary, unenhanced individuals who do not measure up in their eyes. It makes for an explosive situation.
Transhumanism begins with Artificial intelligence or AI. AI is concerned with building computers and machines that can reason, learn, and act in a way that would typically require human intelligence or involve data whose scale exceeds what humans can analyze. AI can solve many problems by intelligently searching through many possible solutions. AI now works in many real-world applications, ranging from facial recognition to language translators and personal helpers such as Google Assistant, Apple's Siri, and Amazon's Alexa. AI's impact on all aspects of the human condition will continue to grow in the years ahead, especially when paired with robotics and other technologies.
And one of those technologies is the Brain-Computer Interface or BCI. Wealthy tech moguls are bankrolling the development of BCI research that may soon receive FDA approval to place it in the human brain. The BCI device operates as a touchpad for the mind. Developers promise the sightless will see and the disabled will walk. To some degree, that's already occurring, and now the objective has moved from rehabilitation to “enhancement.”
It's the fusion of mind and machine, allowing the user to control digital activity with his thoughts alone. The BCI is a micro-electrode array placed on top of the brain, requiring doctors to cut through bone for installation. The processor is a quarter-sized skull plug with a thousand hair-thin wires spreading into the brain tissue below. It scans brain waves for the intent of the individual. This data is sent through a wire to an antenna implanted in the chest. That signal is then sent to external devices, most likely a PC, laptop, tablet, or smartphone, for connection to the internet.
It gives scientists and Artificial Intelligence access directly into an individual's mind. Theoretically, this would allow a BCI-equipped individual to instantly recall all information on the internet and, with the help of AI, the ability to scroll immediately through all records with just their thoughts. His intelligence would multiply a thousandfold. For many working on this technology, the prospect of this intellectual enhancement through a man-machine merger is intoxicating. A transhuman being would be brilliant beyond measure. But imagine the hubris that it would bring about. Incredible intelligence without wisdom is the likely result.
Biological and digital techniques are starting to connect in ways that will disrupt the foundations of our economy, society, family, and bodies. We could reach a point where genetic engineering technologies will program human cells like we program computers and read and rewrite the mind like a RAM drive. In the next 20 years, this technology could advance toward a biodigital confluence, or what they are already calling "Human 2.0." It could be an inflection point in history.
Meanwhile, technological advances in nanotechnology may soon have microrobots running through your veins to carry out medical treatments. They are used in cell imaging, research as DNA probes, and cell-specific distribution devices. Theoretically, they can repair the human body at a cellular level and extend life forever.
Hold on to your hat. In the coming years, with the help of Artificial Intelligence, we could hit the Singularity, which is when technology has advanced beyond human reason or control. Transhumanist souls may exist between the physical and digital worlds, and the Singularity will be the full realization of the merger of biology and technology.
Transhumanists are reaching deeper for virgin births from artificial wombs and deified artificial intelligence. Soon they believe they may be able to upload their consciousness into digital form, fulfilling what they think is immortality.
This is potent stuff. From Silicon Valley to the corridors of Washington, privileged elites are financing the effort to enhance their lives in a transhumanist way. They intend to remake themselves into an AI-symbiotic, gene-edited, neuro-enhanced Homo techno race. The World Economic Forum Chairman, Klaus Schwab, calls this biodigital convergence the "Fourth Industrial Revolution." Schwab and his associates see themselves emerging from this scientific advance as "Homo Deus," or human gods.
As unimaginable as it sounds, some speculate after the Singularity, and after many generations have passed, the genetic composition of the "haves" and "have nots" could spiral off in two very different directions. Evolution will be altered, and it wouldn't be long before Homo sapiens and Homo techno can no longer interbreed. Now, imagine the inequality that would result. Natural selection will preserve the dominant group's cultural ways and, by extension, their genes, while the weaker group of Homo sapiens may die out – or be eliminated.
Every person and every community today is responsible for drawing cultural boundaries against the dangers that transhumanism could bring. The sanctity of human life is forever essential, and especially now as we enter the dawn of the Transhumanist Age.
Those so eager to become transhumanists are making a Faustian bargain with the Devil by giving up their souls to make themselves into gods. They overlook that God made Himself a man in Jesus Christ. Transhumanists want to conquer death while forgetting the truth of Christ doing precisely that, and through Him, so too can anyone who repents and believes.
Transhumanism is coming, and we must be prepared morally and socially for what may happen. We know from world history and American history that when two groups viewed as unequal to each other occupy the same land, something horrific is bound to happen. One group will become slaves to the other or perhaps exterminated altogether. Let's hope we can avoid this peril.
Jeff Lukens is a West Point graduate, U.S. Army veteran, and conservative activist. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.© Jeff Lukens
The views expressed by RenewAmerica columnists are their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of RenewAmerica or its affiliates.