Are Transhumanists Pushing Us into the Next Stage in Evolution?


Still wearing your tech devices? Just implant them already. Or is that taking things a little too far?

Technology has always extended human ability, making primitive people stronger or better somehow – weapons and tools, beasts of burden, writing, mathematics, etc. And what we now call “wearable tech” – everything from eye glasses, watches, and headlamps to Bluetooth earpieces, smartwatches, and even biometric devices – extend those abilities radically further. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Just ask a transhuman.

Simply put, Transhumanism means becoming more than merely human by implanting hi-tech devices into your body.  It means you become a human-android hybrid as you integrate an ability-enhancing synthetic creation with your naturally-born bag of meat. It’s not a totally new thing, strictly speaking, in human history. It’s just that it has become unbelievably more hi-tech in a profoundly short period of time.

Tim Cannon, a sort of pioneer in this field, had a device implanted into his arm that sends heart rate, temperature, and other data from his body to a local mobile device.  Compare that with implanted RFID chips and hearing aid devices, not to mention ID chips that are already common in pets.

For years now we’ve been using pins and rods to repair broken bones, why not improve bone-strength for athletes and warriors? Would you improve your abilities, if you could? What if it meant surgery? So far in the medical field, the focus typically is either reparative – like prosthetics and pacemakers – or aesthetic – like dental or breast implants. Now, “Transhumanists” want to take it to the next step, voluntarily adding some synthetic device or system to enhance or transcend their natural potential.

Grind House Wet Ware  is committed to exploring new ways of enriching the human experience with implant technology, and is fostering an online community where partakers can share insights, ideas, experiences, and suggestions.

The mere presence of the term Transhuman invites questions to the discussion about what it means to be human in our technology-immersed culture. What will it mean to be human in this coming age? Are we losing our humanity, or adding to it? Tim Cannon and others would say we are improving on what evolution has left us with. But with new developments in “wetware,” who needs evolution anymore?

27 Responses to Are Transhumanists Pushing Us into the Next Stage in Evolution?

  1. j June 12, 2014 at 3:04 pm #

    ‘…improving on what evolution has left us with.’
    Only a fool would assume that we’re done evolving.

    • Blane June 13, 2014 at 7:56 am #

      Only a fool would believe natural selection still has a significant impact on a technologically dependent species. It would take an even bigger fool to think it could keep pace with the exponential growth of technology.

      • Jacob June 13, 2014 at 7:27 pm #

        Nature will always find a way, when the world decides when humans have lived long enough we will be exterminated, just look at the past with things like the ice age. Do you really think we could survive one? I don’t

      • Thor Barrett June 14, 2014 at 10:34 am #

        And it would take a bigger fool to fail to realize that evolution will continue long after technology falls.

        • Blane June 14, 2014 at 6:56 pm #

          Watch the documentary Transcendent Man. Evolution will continue in other species. Biological evolution for homo sapiens doesn’t have a serious effect on us any more. People with serious diseases, lower intelligence, obesity problems, or numbers of other issues are all able to procreate at roughly the same rate as people who are perfect mental and physical specimens. Technology is increasing at an exponential rate. It’s very short-sighted to think we won’t allow it to augment our society and our capabilities as a species.

          • peter June 27, 2014 at 1:03 pm #

            if humans weren’t being destroyed by the same people pushing the “next step of evolution” aka life extension we could grow and evolve spiritually and actually build a advanced civilization that could take us to where our imagination takes us. but of course that isnt going to be possible when everyone has a calcified pineal gland and hundreds of other health complications. all of you who think this is what we need think that you will be getting this artificial immortality when in reality it will be reserved for a select few at the top… we are [expletive} unless you sheep wake up and realize that unless we do something humanity will be destroyed for good. that is a true waste of potential, not a big what if we don’t take advantage of artificial life

  2. Z June 12, 2014 at 5:03 pm #

    The next step does need to have tech integration, but it also needs genetics work, too. Who we are, came to be over a very long time of evolution adapting to what worked best at the time. Everything from our desires, emotions, longevity, and literally everything else is because of genetics. How we think is just as much because of hormones and how our brains are wired, as it is from conscious decisions we make. Tech is needed to augment, but it cannot do much more than that. To breed out the tendencies for unhealthy levels of stress, health conditions, or breed in more peaceful wise traits will take genetics. This work will take many thousands of years of guided genetic research to do right, but what we have because of that would be amazing. Of course, it could be Island of Dr Moreau freaky, if we fail to take the right precautions, too.

  3. jacob June 13, 2014 at 7:04 am #

    Human-android? Just say cyborg because that is what it is. And we all ready have plenty of science fiction warning of potential downsides to things like this. The Cybermen from the British show Doctor Who or the Borg from Star Trek for examples. Thou this isn’t to say the idea itself is bad just more of warning signs.

  4. Kathryn Baird June 13, 2014 at 7:07 am #

    MOMO

    This is not man evolving, it is man adding devices that will help us function. Evolution requires nature to change us. The big bang theory is just a theory. God said, “let there be light,” and there was light. I know some people think the Earth is millions of years old, but that just isn’t true, God made the Earth just the way it is so man could have oil and whatever they need to survive. Man’s carbon dating may prove that the Earth is millions of years old, but like I said, God made the Earth that way on purpose. If you trace back every study of evolution you will find that nobody has anything new, they all go back to Darwin’s theory. He saw an ape standing upright and decided that was where we came from. There may have been a big bang when God said let there be light, so I’m not saying the big bang is not possible.

    • Nathan Jones June 13, 2014 at 9:15 am #

      You’re really going to site a 5000+ year old book that has been edited and translated hundreds of times to explain how things got the way they are? There is no evidence that god even exists or that a “being” created the universe. I would argue that all YOU have is a theory.

      You can interpret what ever you want as evidence, but unless you can actually prove that evidence leads to the existence of God, then you really don’t have anything. Science disproves SO many of the bible’s claims that it seems ridiculous that anyone could follow a book which makes so many claims that are completely, and demonstrably, false.

      • Jim Sutton June 13, 2014 at 11:13 am #

        And where are your citations for all your sweeping claims, since you are taking a position of authority on the credentials of this book?

        Mainstream mathematicians (not dubious “Creationist” ones) have challenged the statistics of evolutionary biologists since the 1960s (see the Wistar conference). Still happening. There’s *zero* conclusive evidence for evolution *or* the typical current “Creationist” explanation. Which leaves the field wide open. A biblically-consistent scientific explanation is still possible, given the metaphoric nature of the book.

        And all your claims about the Bible being disproven? Wishful thinking. I tried to do so for years, and every such argument I could find leaked water. You can’t prove that the book is right, but there are many more evidences that it is right than claims (that fail to prove) it is wrong. Fulfilled prophecies, verification of contemporaries, recent archaeological finds are only some of them. Study the facts and let them lead you to the truth…starting with preconceptions or preferences like I did won’t get you anywhere useful.

        • Arrhenius June 14, 2014 at 12:52 am #

          Any high school science textbook should have enough facts to disprove at least 3 or 4 assertions that the bible makes.

          Creationism is impossible to prove, because it can’t be proven or disproven. If it can’t be tested or observed, then it’s not science.

          The Wistar conference has to do with the Theory of Abiogenisis, not Evolution.

          A book having geographical fidelity proves absolutely nothing. The Harry Potter series has geographical fidelity, Spiderman has geographical fidelity, ancient Greek Mythology even has geographic fidelity.

          Let’s also note the fact that you claim the bible is metaphorical, then try to prove its truth hood by grounding the book in reality. If the Bible is metaphorical, then all parts of the Bible are metaphorical. If the Bible is historically correct, then all parts of the Bible must be historically correct. If you accept both conditions to be true, then both conditions must be correct and you can’t you one to confirm the other.

      • Kathryn Baird June 13, 2014 at 2:11 pm #

        I can say the same about evolution, there is absolutely no proof of evolution it’s all theories, and as I said if you study most theories, they all go back to Darwin. By the way Jason I’m sorry I turned this into pitting evolution against creation. You are absolutely right, this isn’t about the origin of humanity. It is humans changing the way we are, not nature.

        • Dan June 13, 2014 at 3:35 pm #

          You cannot prove anything, you can either support it or DISPROVE it. Evolution has so much scientific support, and has no scientific evidence to disprove it. Unlike religion. But I assume you’re just trolling

          • Tom June 14, 2014 at 1:02 pm #

            Everyone in this conversation needs to go look up the meaning of a scientific theory. You keep using the word theory as a negative connotation despite the actual meaning of the word as it pertains to science.

    • Blane June 13, 2014 at 12:12 pm #

      Why would God give us reason and intellect, then set the world up with false evidence for us to find, and then expect us to go off a book passed down for hundreds of years through word of mouth before it was ever written down BY MEN rather than what we can see, feel, and measure with science and our God-given brains? Religion was created by men and is not perfect. It needs to be flexible in the same way science is to account for new information if it going to allow us to progress as a species and not hold us back.

    • John smith June 14, 2014 at 1:19 am #

      This is the main part of organized religion that bothers me. The say had made earth and a day with god is a thousand years to us. If god, however, is a being completely beyon of power of comprehension who are we to say what a day with god is like. It could be a thousand, a million, a billion, or even a trillion years. He is beyond our comprehension in power if you believe so seriously stop trying to understand him and his “infinite wisdom”, as it says. You are not god nor close to it, you could not comprehend what he’s has or hasn’t done.

  5. Dan Bowman June 13, 2014 at 11:25 am #

    I just want laser beams attached to my head.

    • Milton Bradley June 15, 2014 at 8:57 am #

      Thanks you for staying on topic Dan. I was enjoying this classic religion atheism flame wars, but I’m glad you read the article and posted accordingly.

  6. Jason B. June 13, 2014 at 12:40 pm #

    What was meant by the term “Evolution” here was intended more to refer to the evolution of our understanding of the human self/soul, not necessarily to affirm Darwinian Evolution as the origin of humanity. Whether God created the world or it came about otherwise, our self-concept as a species has evolved over time, especially in recent history. I feel the Transhumanists and wetware pioneers are challenging that self-understanding in a new way, and that was the point of the post, oblique though it was.
    ~Jason B

  7. Dorsey Kelley III June 13, 2014 at 2:31 pm #

    We are the Borg. You will be assimilated. We will add your biological and technological distinctiveness to our own. Resistance is futile.

  8. Anthony June 14, 2014 at 12:58 pm #

    Creation theory or evolution theory. Pick one and shut up. Don’t try and push your opinions/faith/”facts” on anyone because everybody is to stubborn and ignorant to change their thought process.

  9. Brennan June 16, 2014 at 8:51 am #

    This does sound interesting but I won’t count it as evolution until we are truly changed by it. We could already do must of what we are allowed to do using wetware so I will hold out until we find truly new experience through it.

  10. kitty June 16, 2014 at 1:22 pm #

    I really like the idea and hope it moves quickly, just think we won’t have to carry a dang cell phone any more or car keys. Those things get expensive when you lose them all the time. The sooner the better.

  11. forsakencrown June 16, 2014 at 1:24 pm #

    All I want is to be able to watch Netflix in my head. I don’t care about making myself faster, stronger, etc. All I care about is an internet enabled neural interface.

  12. Eros June 17, 2014 at 11:42 pm #

    Evolution is change. Look at cars for instance. If you check out an original for and then look at the mustang, it has evolved. I don’t know why everyone is trying to disprove evolution when it’s obvious we have had to change to survive. To adapt.

    We have already started getting implants for decades now. Breast implants are used to make oneself more attractive (to some) while other people are getting pace makers to keep themselves living. Stop thinking sci-fi and start thinking reality.

    A person who has undergone lap band surgery is no less of a person than someone who hasn’t. Technology has evolved from a basic calculator that took up an entire room to being able to access the entire knowledge data bank of a species in the palm of your hand.

    Evolve or die.

  13. NotMyProblem July 13, 2014 at 3:27 pm #

    Pathetic.. Humans. Haha..

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