Transhumanism seeks to strengthen characteristics, such as youth, creativity, and intelligence, by using medical technology to develop or eliminate certain genes, and other scientific innovations, such as robotics, to enable an enhanced human race. Transhumanists believe in altering the human genome to eliminate disease, weakness, and aging, thus sculpting later generations. These advanced humans, or posthumans, will be capable of achievements of which we can only dream.
Transhumanism philosophy employs technology we've developed for other means to enhance people's health, ability, life span, memory, happiness, and intelligence, using artificial techniques. They conceive of a category of transhuman along the path to becoming posthuman. A posthuman peacefully coexists with other humans, but reaps benefits ranging from altered DNA, selective reproduction, prosthetic limbs, nanorobotics, synthetic organs, sensory magnification, anti-aging regimens, portable telecommunication devices, and drug therapy. In its most extreme conception, the posthuman exists as an array of information in a memory bank.
One model of a posthuman might take weekly injections of an anti-aging serum that replenishes cells. The posthuman might also have a sophisticated telecommunication system that allows him to send text, voice, video, and large files quickly to any location. His eye may be fitted with an artificial oculus that measures not just color and depth, but heat and distance, and identifies objects and people. His DNA has been altered with gene therapy so he's protected from developing heart disease. His emotions are regulated by receptors implanted in his brain to free him from stress, paranoia, or depression.
In 1998, different branches of transhumanism united in the World Transhumanist Association to discuss their goals and debate their means. They welcome questions on ethics, eugenics, personal risk, threats to the wider ecosystem, dystopian scenarios, and strains on resources. They want to empower individuals to achieve their greatest potential by accessing all science has to offer. Technology can improve their productivity, quality of life, and possibly boost them to further levels of consciousness.
Critics of transhumanism question both the potentially dangerous technology and the associated value judgments. Nanorobots and gene therapy might pose hazards to humans, plants, and animals. Some traits will be labeled as desirable and others as undesirable in a way that may privilege ethnicity and wealth. Most people agree that certain conditions, such as diabetes, are undesirable. But should all disabilities be ideally eliminated? Other criticisms include the potential for creating a powerful, biologically superior species that controls unenhanced humans.