Human-Directed Evolution

A Christian Perspective

Authored by: Noreen Herzfeld

The Routledge Companion to Religion and Science

Print publication date:  October  2011
Online publication date:  March  2012

Print ISBN: 9780415492447
eBook ISBN: 9780203803516
Adobe ISBN: 9781136634178

10.4324/9780203803516.ch54

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Abstract

Genesis 1 notes that on the sixth day of creation, after God created human beings, He pronounced his creation “very good.” Could modern technologies such as genetic engineering, cloning, pharmaceuticals, robotics, and nanotechnology – technologies that hold the prospect of not just temporarily alleviating human ills, but of altering our very nature as a species – make us better than “very good”? Transhumanists believe they can. Though defined in a number of different ways, most transhumanists share a belief in the power of technology to enhance our mental and physical abilities. While some take a minimalist approach, looking for relief from the enemies of pain, sickness, and aging, others hope to overcome the ultimate enemy, death itself. They see the primary goal of technology not in terms of immediate therapy or enhancement, but as an instrument through which we humans can deliberately direct the evolution of our species, transcending our fallible bodily platform for a new one of our own design.

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