Re: Defining Transhumanism

Max More (
Mon, 19 Oct 1998 16:59:17 -0700

At 11:49 AM 10/19/98 -0700, Robin wrote:
>Phil goetz writes:
>>> Transhumanism is the idea that new technologies are likely
>>> to change the world so much in the next century or two that
>>> our descendants will in many ways no longer be "human."
>>The use of the word "descendants" is problematical.
>Why? Don't you think we will have descendants?

Perhaps what Phil meant (at least what I would mean had I said this!) is that transhumanists do not merely say that our descendents will no longer be human, but that, if we're lucky, *we* ourselves may be no longer human. By putting "descendants" into the definition, you're unnecessarily restricting it.

>>I know lots of people who believe that a big technology-induced change
>>is coming, and that technology is a terrible thing.
>Where are their web pages? Where are their thoughtful articles?

They might exist, yet not have web pages and thoughtful articles. There certainly are plenty of such people. One writer who comes to mind is the Christian fundamentalist Texe Marrs. In his book Mega Forces he seems to expect many of the technologies we talk about, but it's certainly not a good thing from his point of view, except in so far as it's a sign of the End Times that will provoke God to return to Earth... Also, I have found plenty of people who, when I explain transhumanist expectations for the future, seem to accept that they are possible and likely and yet who find the idea repellant. I must have come across hundreds of these responses when giving talks and in classes I teach.

I do think that there is a strong positive correlation between confidence that these transhuman changes will happen, and a favorable attitude towards them. But this is far from a perfect correlation.


Max More, Ph.D. (soon also: <>)
Consulting services on the impact of advanced technologies President, Extropy Institute:,