Human Purpose and Transhuman Potential: A Cosmic Vision of Our Future Evolution

By Ted Chu

For millennia, nice thinkers have pondered the which means and function of human life; yet whereas such a lot assumed that humanity used to be the top element of production or the head of evolution, Ted Chu makes the provocative declare that the human race might actually be a method instead of an end--that humankind will supply upward push to evolutionary successors. during this wide-ranging and authoritative paintings, Chu reexamines the query of human objective in mild of the extreme advancements of technology and expertise. Arguing deep figuring out of our position within the universe is needed to navigate the value of the alternatives that lie forward, he surveys human knowledge from either East and West, lines the evolutionary trajectory that has resulted in this aspect, and explores the potentials rising at the clinical frontier. The publication addresses the valid fears and matters of "playing God" yet embraces the potential for transcending organic varieties and turning into or developing fullyyt new life-forms.

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Five billion years in the past, on the time while the to be had uncomplicated natural nutrients was once being depleted, and a few micro organism proposed a brand new way of life of feeding on sun via photosynthesis. The notion may by no means were followed. From the individual’s personal “long-term” standpoint, this polluting lifestyle might were seen as unnatural and irresponsible. The offenders will be thought of egocentric, risky criminals to be locked up and prosecuted. that call could were the tip of innovative evolution and the tip of wish for animals, together with us. Going again to the human situation, doomsday prophecies of previous many years, corresponding to the 1972 membership of Rome file, have grew to become out to be largely off the mark, simply because they generally extrapolated temporary advancements to foretell long term outcomes. A longer-term research exhibits an inverted U-shaped courting among source of revenue (GDP) and environmental symptoms comparable to air caliber, with the turning aspect at approximately $8,000 according to capita. 37 there's now overwhelming facts for the so-called Kuznets Curve: emerging source of revenue raises the call for for a purifier atmosphere, and higher applied sciences allow low-priced measures to satisfy this call for. 38 nonetheless, for plenty of humans, it's nearly most unlikely to fathom that long term growth is mostly outfitted on energetic responses to momentary setbacks. allow us to examine one other case toward domestic and our hearts. all of us wish our kids to be than us. If a potential genetic switch is far likely to do damage than reliable to our offspring, then we might fairly no longer introduce it. This makes excellent experience, or turns out to—but weigh that opposed to Paul Seabright’s remark about the improvement of human intelligence: it's notoriously difficult to make scientifically powerful statements approximately anything as complicated and multifaceted as human intelligence, or even extra in an effort to evaluate the intelligence of other teams. yet listed below are statements we will be able to be kind of convinced are precise. First, over the process human evolution within the 6 or 7 million years because our final universal ancestor with chimpanzees and bonobos, youngsters were, on standard, very just a little much less clever than their mom and dad. Secondly, over that very same interval, grandchildren were, back on common, very a little extra clever than their grandparents. 39 How can either statements be precise? the simple clarification is that for all genetic mutations in the course of the copy technique, just a tiny fraction might increase intelligence that aids the bearer’s survival and replica, and the grandchildren are the youngsters of these who survived and reproduced. None of our direct ancestors died childless. the overpowering majority of novel mutations are “copying error” which are damaging to the bearer. yet with out the involuntary “sacrifices” of these contributors bearing the dangerous mutations, we'd no longer be right here at the present time to appreciate it! with out exception, an analogous precept applies to all adaptive qualities in genetic and memetic mutation on the earth.

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