The Future of Man

We are not alien to evolution. We can still experience changes that allow us to continue adapting to the environment. That yes, our species is the only one that enhances the process with implants and genetic adjustments. For example, in his already classic work The Mutant Man, the science popularizer Robert Clarke ensures that in the future we will all be macrocephalic. The size of our head will be larger because, as he warns, “we will have a larger brain, with a broader forehead and cortical layers.” And it will not be the only anatomical change that will be observed in at least part of our descendants. Many researchers agree that future humans probably lack certain body structures that have lost their function or that, today, cause more health problems. those who solve them. This could be the case of the tonsils which, according to Clarke conjectures, will share a destiny with the so-called vestigial structures of our organism: the wisdom teeth, the coccyx –last legacy of a primitive tail– and the appendix, a peculiarity more typical of the herbivores, they will pass on to a better life. The biological clock of Homo sapiens is not immune to adaptations either, and in a few decades it will probably undergo radical transformations. The evolutionary anthropologist Cadell Last, of the Global Brain Institute, has it clear. In a study published in the journal Current Aging Science, this researcher maintains that by 2050, humans will live some forty years longer than today and we will have fewer children and at much older ages, a process that will go hand in hand with an increase in However, some experts disdain this natural evolutionary process, since, as they indicate, it will be significantly interfered with by technology, which will allow the birth of designer supermen built in the laboratory. We will be masters of our own evolution. Moreover, we have been manipulating it for a very long time. With this in mind, the idea that in the not so distant future the Earth will be populated by bionic men does not seem so chimerical. In fact, pacemakers, various types of prostheses and even eye and brain implants are already part of many people’s lives. The philosopher Nick Bostrom, director of the Institute for the Future of Humanity at the University of Oxford, has no doubts: transhumanism, a phenomenon that contemplates the increase of our physical and intellectual capacities, is already underway. Artificial selection has left natural selection behind. The process, in theory, will culminate in posthumans, manifestly superior in every way to any current genius. From this point of view, the future of man will be characterized by techniques such as cloning, genetic manipulation and the implantation of electronic devices in our body. Kevin Warwick, Professor of Cybernetics at the University of Reading, went from words to deeds and had a device inserted under the skin with which he could interact with computers. 

Precisely my comment today has to do with man’s interest in improving humanity in two ways, first of all, seeing man as a being capable of improving his abilities through technology, this is known as transhumanism, and implies considering that man is a superior being and that he can be even better with the necessary tools for it. In this sense, regenerative medicine, life extension, mental load, etc., can enhance abilities and help to do things better. In a second place, there is a more radical vision in which man is seen as a limited being, who can no longer give more than he has done, he is an imperfect being that needs to be overcome by technology.

In this line, there are several examples of people who have tried to improve themselves by inserting some technology, do you know them? Here are some examples: Moon Ribas, Spanish born in 1985, interested in art and who in 2008 placed a sensor seismic on your arm to perceive each earthquake in real time through vibrations on your device; any earthquake, even miles away, is captured by Ribas, she is known as the first cyborg artist in history. We also have Neil Harbisson, who in 2004 had an antenna inserted into his head. This device allows you to see and perceive invisible colors such as infrared and ultraviolet. It also allows you to receive images, videos, music and phone calls from external devices – even satellites – directly to your head. He is the co-founder, along with Moon Ribas, of the Cyborg Foundation, an international organization dedicated to helping humans become cyborgs, promoting cyborg art, and defending the rights of cyborgs.

Posthumanism is a product of the modern age, in which man seeks to get rid of the chains that bind him; his customs, his values, even his ancestors to make room for the new, the superman who will build everything from scratch, this is modern man, a being who deconstructs reality to reassemble it, but it is not only reality that reinvents, but also his biology, he is a man capable of dividing his parts to rebuild them through technology. In this sense, there is a hybrid vision of man, of humanity itself. If the past does not work, if history repeats itself, if moral values ​​do not fit what I want, then I will seek, as a rational being, an explanation that fulfills me and makes me more perfect according to my perception of being.

The current era has led us to turn our gaze towards man, technology has shown itself to be a useful tool but, compared to humanity, human contact, the warmth of a family member, a loved one, is in second place. immediately replace any artificial resource. We would have to ask ourselves if man has reached his limit, if it is no longer possible to go further with the capacities that one naturally has.

Is technology the answer to our survival?, and beyond this, is it the answer to our continuous search for happiness? I personally think not, living in confinement, some with their families, others alone and with the need to listen to a voice, to feel the presence of another person, they show us the truth, the human being needs other men to live and to be happy.