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In The News
   
 
 

 

In The News
 

 

January 8 - Human Genetic Modification: Are We Destroying Ourselves?

Article: Cloning And Genetic Engineering

Human genetic modification might sound like a science fiction fantasy, but it’s increasingly becoming part of our reality. The topic was touched upon in more ways than one in the recent film Transcendence. While it proved a disappointment at the box office and attracted many negative reviews for its ropey characters, dialogue and structure, the thought-provoking themes in the film exceeded its narrative grasp and may well have dealt with reality much more than we realize.
 
The movie, released in 2014, tells the story of a dying scientist called Will (played by Johnny Depp) whose drive for artificial intelligence takes on dangerous implications when his consciousness is uploaded into a quantum computer. When Will’s ‘soul’ survives his body’s death, he asks to be connected to the Internet so he can grow in capability and knowledge.
 
It may sound far-fetched and little more than science fiction fluff. But there is actually a growing army of people worldwide who not only believe a scenario like this may one day be a possibility, but that it is the only way to progress and save the human race.
They are called Transhumanists and their predictions would outrage most religious or spiritual people; namely because they call upon us all to question what exactly it is to be human.
 
Followers of the Transhumanist movement think we can, and should, improve the human condition through the use of advanced technologies like cloning, nanotech and genetic engineering. They believe not only that eternal life may be possible this way, but that we can boost our intellectual, physical and psychological abilities far beyond what we’re naturally capable of. Transhumanist thinkers look at the potential benefits of emerging technologies and how they might help us overcome fundamental human limitations, as well as the ethics of developing and using them. The most common idea they present is that people may eventually be able to transform themselves into beings with such greatly expanded abilities they will be deemed ‘posthuman’.
 
It sounds like a thrilling prospect. After all, who wouldn’t want to be able to perform like a genius at work, run like Superman, never have to suffer from any illness or disease – and all just by putting a computer chip in their brain or uploading their mind online? Who wouldn’t want to live in a technological utopia where everyone is perfect, without physical or psychological flaws? Want to search for something on Google? Never mind using a tablet, use a brain implant instead that pops the answer straight into your head. It may sound extreme but this is just where we seem to be heading.
 
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