FEBRUARY 13, 2012
TRANSFORMATION OF BIOLOGICAL EVOLUTION AS WE KNOW IT

Sergey Pereslegin, researcher, historian, sci-fi writer: "The question is as transhumanists pointed out is the fact that human beings, as a biological species, and human being as a social community, or a sociosystem as I define it, are starting to tangibly change. And we should really start to monitor those changes".

 

The Global Future 2045 is kicking off in Moscow on February 17, 2012. Despite the fact that I have complicated relationships with the tranhumanist movement, I am planning to participate. There are two basic reasons for that, maybe even two and a half. My first reason is largely influenced by what is happening in the country today. Russian economy and politics are already being affected by the demands of the future and technological developments. Groups of scientists and researchers studying the history, theory and practices of the future are scattered and without a unified direction, so a one connecting platform to continue this discussion is necessary.

 

The second reason is more interesting to me. In the end, the question is not simply about the longevity of human life. It is not even about constructing human robots or cyborgs. Human beings already have relatively long life span and cyborgs have already appeared to a certain extent through medical procedures. Implanting artificial components into the human body, starting from cardiac rhythm drivers to artificial extremities and prosthetic devices for eyesight recovery has become a common practice that will continue to evolve and sophisticate. The question is as transhumanists pointed out is the fact that human beings, as a biological species, and human being as a social community, or a sociosystem as I define it, are starting to tangibly change. And we should really start to monitor those changes.

 

Why is the discussion of immortality so essential and important? Our whole civilization has been built around the interplay of life and death, the understanding that the death is inevitable. Mortality has never been questioned or challenged, because every single construct in our lives has been built on the premise of human mortality. A simple seed of doubt in the construct will threaten to eliminate all existing social structures. Our language is tied to life and inevitable death, our culture is tied to life and inevitable death, all forms of creation are tied to life and inevitable death. So is war and every single armed conflict on the face of the Earth...

 

In my opinion the whole pathos of transhumanists’ work should be about choosing the direction and stating the right questions. When does exactly a human life end? Is it the last beat of heart, the last breath, the last time there was a brain activity? All are controversial questions, but questions that could no longer be avoided or prohibited. Closing down cloning experiments, or creating obstacles to hybridization experiments doesn’t change the fact that  biological evolution is being transformed by the the developments in cognitive sciences. It can’t be stoppe, juts like Earth couldn’t be stopped from being populated by mammals. And in this sense Trans Homo, Homo Super, Homo Ludens will come to change Homo Sapiens upon any conditions. 

 

We are speaking about the fact that extremely important stage, socio-system in the human history and in the history of life on Earth can become a closed chapter. It will be very interesting to discuss it at the congress, which is why I am attending it.

 

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