Theologian: Transhumanism ‘inevitable’

The Rev. Mark Douglas, a Presbyterian minister, theologian, ethicist, and professor at Columbia Theological Seminary in Decatur, Ga., said in a lecture in Sylvania that transhumanism is “inevitable,” as long as humanity continues to exist.  He also said that one can find support in the Bible for transhumanism (Source: toledoBlade).

In extrapolating natural evolution as described by Darwin, and given enough time, the human race will undergo significant genetic and biological changes, he said.

According to this theory, evolution will lead to a long-term progression from humans to transhumans to posthumans — “a hypothetical future being whose capabilities and features are so different from ours that the term ‘human’ would seemingly no longer apply,” Mr. Douglas said in a lecture Monday night at Sylvania United Church of Christ, the fourth installment in the church’s “Scientists in Congregations” series.

Mr. Douglas, in his talk titled “What does it mean to be a human person? What the Bible says and what modern biology and medicine tell us,” crammed a semester’s worth of college-level material into an hour lecture, reviewing a number of theories about the future of the human race, from scientific, theological, and ethical perspectives.

Theologically, one can find support in the Bible for transhumanism, he said, citing Scriptures that describe a future change or transformation. For example, I John 3:2 states that we “will be like him, for we will see him as he is.”… Biological transhumanism involves the intentional modification of the human genome, not just to cure disease but also to enhance natural, desirable traits such as intelligence, height, and good looks, Mr. Douglas said.

Not surprisingly, anti-transhumanist Wesley J. Smith has been among the first to criticize Rev. Douglas and said that ‘Christian Transhumanism’ is an Oxymoron.

  • buraianto

    Giulio, this sounds like such an interesting talk. Thanks for bringing it to my attention. I see the news article on the talk. Do you know if it was recorded and posted anywhere?

  • Giulio Prisco

    Not that I have seen (just searched Youtube and other video sharing sites). Too bad, this looks like a very interesting talk. Perhaps in time the organizers will put a recording online (I doubt it though).

  • The website above will take you to the page of the videos from the Faith and Science series that were given at Sylvania United Church of Christ in 2012. The direct link to the video of Rev. Mark Douglas is below. Not the best, but you can hear the lecture.

  • Giulio Prisco

    Thanks Sheila!