Radical Evolution

Author: Joel Garreau
Publisher: Broadway Books
ISBN: 9780385515764
Format: PDF, Docs
Download Now
In Radical Evolution, bestselling author Joel Garreau, a reporter and editor for the Washington Post, shows us that we are at an inflection point in history. As you read this, we are engineering the next stage of human evolution. Through advances in genetic, robotic, information and nanotechnologies, we are altering our minds, our memories, our metabolisms, our personalities, our progeny–and perhaps our very souls. Taking us behind the scenes with today's foremost researchers and pioneers, Garreau reveals that the super powers of our comic-book heroes already exist, or are in development in hospitals, labs, and research facilities around the country -- from the revved up reflexes and speed of Spider-Man and Superman, to the enhanced mental acuity and memory capabilities of an advanced species. Over the next fifteen years, Garreau makes clear, these enhancements will become part of our everyday lives. Where will they lead us? To heaven–where technology’s promise to make us smarter, vanquish illness and extend our lives is the answer to our prayers? Or will they lead us, as some argue, to hell — where unrestrained technology brings about the ultimate destruction of our entire species? With the help and insights of the gifted thinkers and scientists who are making what has previously been thought of as science fiction a reality, Garreau explores how these developments, in our lifetime, will affect everything from the way we date to the way we work, from how we think and act to how we fall in love. It is a book about what our world is becoming today, not fifty years out. As Garreau cautions, it is only by anticipating the future that we can hope to shape it. From the Hardcover edition.

The Triple Helix The Soul of Bioethics

Author: L. Bellantoni
Publisher: Springer
ISBN: 0230343546
Format: PDF, Docs
Download Now
Lisa Bellantoni argues that contemporary bioethics divides into two logically incommensurable positions: a cult of rights, which identifies the worth of human life with our autonomy, and a cult of life, which identifies human worth with the possession of a soul, and thereby, of human dignity.

What Does it Mean to be Human Life Death Personhood and the Transhumanist Movement

Author: D. John Doyle
Publisher: Springer
ISBN: 3319949500
Format: PDF, Docs
Download Now
This book is a critical examination of the philosophical and moral issues in relation to human enhancement and the various related medical developments that are now rapidly moving from the laboratory into the clinical realm. In the book, the author critically examines technologies such as genetic engineering, neural implants, pharmacologic enhancement, and cryonic suspension from transhumanist and bioconservative positions, focusing primarily on moral issues and what it means to be a human in a setting where technological interventions sometimes impact strongly on our humanity. The author also introduces the notion that death is a process rather than an event, as well as identifies philosophical and clinical limitations in the contemporary determination of brain death as a precursor to organ procurement for transplantation. The discussion on what exactly it means to be dead is later applied to explore philosophical and clinical issues germane to the cryonics movement. Written by a physician/ scientist and heavily referenced to the peer-reviewed medical and scientific literature, the book is aimed at advanced students and academics but should be readable by any intelligent reader willing to carry out some side-reading. No prior knowledge of moral philosophy is assumed, as the various key approaches to moral philosophy are outlined early in the book.

Make Way for the Superhumans

Author: Michael Bess
Publisher: Icon Books
ISBN: 1785781022
Format: PDF, ePub
Download Now
Biomedical research is changing the both the format and the functions of human beings. Very soon the human race will be faced with a choice: do we join in with the enhancement or not? Make Way for the Superhumans looks at how far this technology has come and what aims and ambitions it has. From robotic implants that restore sight to the blind, to performance enhancing drugs that build muscles, improve concentration, and maintain erections, bio-enhancement has already made massive advances. Humans have already developed the technology to transmit thoughts and actions brain-to-brain using only a computer interface. By the time our grandchildren are born, they will be presented with the option to significantly alter and redesign their bodies. Make Way for the Superhumans is the only book that poses the questions that need answering now: suggesting real, practical ways of dealing with this technology before it reaches a point where it can no longer be controlled.

Transhumanist Dreams and Dystopian Nightmares

Author: Maxwell J. Mehlman
Publisher: JHU Press
ISBN: 1421406691
Format: PDF, Mobi
Download Now
Transhumanists advocate for the development and distribution of technologies that will enhance human intellectual, physical, and psychological capacities, even eliminate aging. What if the dystopian futures and transhumanist utopias found in the pages of science journals, Margaret Atwood novels, films like Gattaca, and television shows like Dark Angel are realized? What kind of world would humans have created? Maxwell J. Mehlman considers the promises and perils of using genetic engineering in an effort to direct the future course of human evolution. He addresses scientific and ethical issues without choosing sides in the dispute between transhumanists and their challengers. However, Transhumanist Dreams and Dystopian Nightmares reveals that radical forms of genetic engineering could become a reality much sooner than many people think, and that we need to encourage risk-management efforts. Whether scientists are dubious or optimistic about the prospects for directed evolution, they tend to agree on two things. First, however long it takes to perfect the necessary technology, it is inevitable that humans will attempt to control their evolutionary future, and second, in the process of learning how to direct evolution, we are bound to make mistakes. Our responsibility is to learn how to balance innovation with caution.

Annihilation from Within

Author: Fred Charles Iklé
Publisher: Columbia University Press
ISBN: 023151140X
Format: PDF
Download Now
In this eloquent and impassioned book, defense expert Fred Iklé predicts a revolution in national security that few strategists have grasped; fewer still are mindful of its historic roots. We are preoccupied with suicide bombers, jihadist terrorists, and rogue nations producing nuclear weapons, but these menaces are merely distant thunder that foretells the gathering storm. It is the dark side of technological progress that explains this emerging crisis. Globalization guarantees the spread of new technologies, whether beneficial or destructive, and this proliferation reaches beyond North Korea, Iran, and other rogue states. Our greatest threat is a cunning tyrant gaining possession of a few weapons of mass destruction. His purpose would not be to destroy landmarks, highjack airplanes, or attack railroad stations. He would annihilate a nation's government from within and assume dictatorial power. The twentieth century offers vivid examples of tyrants who have exploited major national disasters by rallying violent followers and intimidating an entire nation. To explain how we have become so vulnerable, Iklé turns to history. Some 250 years ago, science was freed from political and religious constraints, causing a cultural split in which one part of our culture remained animated by religion and politics while the other became guided by science. Since then, technological progress and the evolving political order march to different drummers. Science advances at an accelerating pace while religion and politics move along a zigzag course. This divergence will widen and endanger the survival of all nations. Drawing on his experience as a Washington insider, Iklé outlines practical measures that could readily be implemented to help us avert the worst disaster.

Global Catastrophic Risks

Author: Nick Bostrom
Publisher: OUP Oxford
ISBN: 9780191578496
Format: PDF, Docs
Download Now
A global catastrophic risk is one with the potential to wreak death and destruction on a global scale. In human history, wars and plagues have done so on more than one occasion, and misguided ideologies and totalitarian regimes have darkened an entire era or a region. Advances in technology are adding dangers of a new kind. It could happen again. In Global Catastrophic Risks 25 leading experts look at the gravest risks facing humanity in the 21st century, including asteroid impacts, gamma-ray bursts, Earth-based natural catastrophes, nuclear war, terrorism, global warming, biological weapons, totalitarianism, advanced nanotechnology, general artificial intelligence, and social collapse. The book also addresses over-arching issues - policy responses and methods for predicting and managing catastrophes. This is invaluable reading for anyone interested in the big issues of our time; for students focusing on science, society, technology, and public policy; and for academics, policy-makers, and professionals working in these acutely important fields.

Posthumanism and Educational Research

Author: Nathan Snaza
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1317668618
Format: PDF, Docs
Download Now
Focusing on the interdependence between human, animal, and machine, posthumanism redefines the meaning of the human being previously assumed in knowledge production. This movement challenges some of the most foundational concepts in educational theory and has implications within educational research, curriculum design and pedagogical interactions. In this volume, a group of international contributors use posthumanist theory to present new modes of institutional collaboration and pedagogical practice. They position posthumanism as a comprehensive theoretical project with connections to philosophy, animal studies, environmentalism, feminism, biology, queer theory and cognition. Researchers and scholars in curriculum studies and philosophy of education will benefit from the new research agendas presented by posthumanism.