Re: Posthumans in Nature

Extro Taoist (
Fri, 12 Nov 1999 21:34:13 GMT

>Subject: Re: Posthumans in Nature
>Date: Fri, 12 Nov 1999 08:04:37 -0800
>Robin Hanson, <>, writes:
> >
> > Nature
> >
> > Sterling, B. (1999). Homo sapiens declared extinct. Nature, 402, 125.
> >
> > Yes, human beings have finally gone, but the 24-hour global party
> > AD 2380: After a painstaking ten-year search, from the Tibetan highlands
> > the
> > Brazilian rainforests, it's official - there are no more human beings.
> > "I suppose I have to consider this a personal setback," said
>anthropologist Dr
> > Marcia Raymo, of the Institute for Retrograde Study in Berlin. "Of
>course we
> > still have human tissue in the lab, and we could clone as many specimens
> > Homo sapiens as we like. But that species was always known primarily for
> > unique cultural activity."...
>Very refreshing, if I am interpreting it right. The moral is that we
>not be so concerned that our descendants carry on our genetic code, but
>they carry on our culture. Here we have a presumed posthuman acting in a
>manner which we find understandable and familiar. He cares about extinct
>species just as we do.
>Even in this forum we often succumb to a form of chauvinism, in which any
>future which isn't dominated by humans is seen as a failure. Particularly
>with regard to predicted human vs machine wars, we automatically side
>with the humans, without asking which group is more deserving morally.
>We need to start thinking in broader terms and not identifying so closely
>with our genetics and metabolism.

We needn't worry ourselves with extinction any more than we should worry about
a simple bug in a program. Thanks to genetic engineering, we can bring back the
Dodo bird, some dinosuars maybe, stool pigeons, etc.(getting a tad ahead of myself). If this is what fundamentalist reactionary creationists are fearing - "Frankinscience" - then, as far as I can tell, they aren't too keen on focusing
on environmental issues which warrant more attention than useless "science-bashing".

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