Homo Sapiens vs Homo Deus (4/52)

Illustration by Susanne Gold/ text by Ted Ganten

A new human race?

Sooner or later one or more new classes of people will emerge. On the one hand, performance-optimized cyborgs will live on earth. There will be individuals whose senses are changed or improved, whose performance is greatly enhanced by chips and direct networking, and those whose reaction speed and power will be increased. An real life example of this are rats that have an infra-red sensor attached to their head. The output of the sensor is fed into the brain via a cable and connector chip. The rats learn to interpret this completely new sensory impression in order to find warm food in the dark. This is only the beginning. Think about the possibilities. For long our instruments and sensors can see and track things that our natural senses are not able to read.

Genetically enhanced persons

In addition, transgenic representatives of our species will also establish themselves. This is widely accepted in farming, but it is also reality in the mammal’s world. Pigs, which have a growth gene sequence of a fly implanted, grow unrivalled fast and produce a surprising amount of meat per feed unit. The game has only just begun and fantastic combinations are conceivable. In China, the first scientist declared in 2018 that he had created genetically optimized children who are said to have resistance to AIDS genetically anchored. The CRISPR scissors technology enables the targeted implantation of specific gene sequences into the genome. The animal world is full of undreamt-of qualities. Better ears, better eyes, better noses, more strength, more speed and freedom from cancer, longevity, better food conversion. Everything seems possible in the long run.

Cyborgs

The combination of cyborg technology with transgenic human offspring is also promising. Anyone seeking inspiration just needs to take a closer look into science fiction literature and corresponding movies. Trans- and posthumanists consider this development to be desirable because it has the potential to solve the problems of humans (up to conquering death) or challenges of the planet with humans. In any case, there are hardly any limits to the imagination.

The world in 100 years

Of course, not everything will be realizable in the next 100 years or at all. The complexity of the problems also exceeds our wildest imaginations. Therefore, these technologies likely are not the solution to all of our challenges. To the contrary, the technology itself can also become part of the problem. Despite all the dangers, I cannot imagine how further development in these areas can be stopped. So far, nobody could give me an example where a technology/application was possible but was not developed for ethical reasons. Already during the development of the crossbow – which for the first time even penetrated strong armored protection – the technology was banned because of its “absolute lethality”. History tells,it did not last for very long. Regardless of your personal attitude towards the above mentioned technologies, the development cannot be stopped. That is why we should start thinking now about how we want to deal with it – rather than fighting the development.

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