Homo Sapiens and Humanity

What came first: the chicken or the egg? Don’t be foolish, the egg (a cell) will always come first. It is not necessary for a complex multi-cellular creature to discard a single cell in hopes of procreation. It is reasonable for one cell to undergo asexual reproduction or to mutate all together into a new and different structure. Commonly used as an argument to stir debate over creationism vs. evolution, the chicken and the egg, as any logical example favors evolution. The fact that the egg begins as a single cell and becomes a chicken, or that a seed begins as a single cell and becomes a tree, does not necessitate the need for the chicken or the tree to precede its’ seed. We can observe daily instance where something does not replicate as it should and becomes something else. Also we can observe in short time frames how one small cell continues to divide into a complex organism. How then can we ignore those observations and assume something complex must have created something simple? To fall on the tired argument of creationism is to deprive the glory of the creator. The intricate processes of life’s growth, the desire to survive and compete, is far more astounding a creation than the nonsensical magic of spontaneous existence.

It may surprise you to learn that you are not (necessarily) human. No, in fact you are Homo sapiens sapiens. Human is just a nickname we have given ourselves to elevate us above all other animals. Even more surprising is that you may not actually even be a Homo sapiens! Yes, in fact there are still some Homo sapiens cohabitating this planet with us, but many of us have evolved into Homo sapiens fata. This initial fork will see further splits in our subspecies; Homo sapiens futurum technicae, Homo sapiens sidereal and possibly even Homo sapiens oceanus, of course they may all just call themselves human too. As not to let their egos confuse them with apes. All of this opens an interesting question, if human does not describe what we are, then what is humanity? By definition, which I find a bit vague, it is everything that is the human condition.

By definition, Humans, being all extant subspecies of Homo sapiens, then our current transitioning cousins and their offspring are by definition as human as we are now (only so much as they and we act the part.) In fact by a strict definition, the more evolved cousins may be more human. Any new psychological phenomenon commonly adopted is then inherently human as well. The literal term “human” is fairly new, as is the knowledge of our species in comparison to the deep evolutionary history of our ancestry. Human can be attributed to wherever the current evolutionary date fell when that hominid spoke in general terms about all others like itself. The same is equally true for future timelines. In the near future we may openly acknowledge the divide between the Homo sapiens pertinax and Homo sapiens transcenderunt. Either of the two would have equal right to call themselves human and their conditions humanity, at least for sometime. As time progresses the term human will follow the surviving subspecies; hence it can be assumed to one day transcend the Homo sapiens subspecies all together.

The term Transhuman then also needs closer analysis. It seems that with a closer look at the true definition of human and its common misinterpretation, that transhuman by association is also commonly misinterpreted. The common perception of Transhumanism being a process of mechanizing/robotizing the body and mind of the homo sapiens. This more suitably being labeled as transbiological rather than transhumanic. The inherent goals, motivations and condition of those adapting to a technological future do not differ but extend from their hominid ancestry. Therefore they are no less human, although at some point may no longer be biological are wholly representative of a bipedal mammals (i.e. prosthetic enhancements that outperform traditional limbs.)

Will we someday ask the question: what came first the structure or the nanobot? Of course not, as humanity evolves ignorance will cease to be one of its characteristics. Being a Homo Sapiens Sapiens is no more a sufficient justification for something to be human than is being a Homo Sapiens transcenderunt. The key to being human lays in your choice actions not your biology, we often refer to people whose behavior falls outside of expected norms to be inhumanly good or bad, correctly speaking they are. It is not what we are born as, or what we become through enhancement that defines our humanity. At a certain point where we attributed the point of consciousness and determination over actions is when we started to and continue to attribute the term human. However not just exclusively to any self-determination but those who use it to continually better themselves and acknowledge their need to do so. The term transhuman does not properly define the perfectly human intent of the movement, a more apt description is transbiological as “transhumanist” do not aim to become unhuman in condition just transbiological in design, a move to better themselves and their known flaws.

Advertisements

2 thoughts on “Homo Sapiens and Humanity

  1. The word “human” is used by far too many as if it were reasonable to expect that you (the listener) and everyone else within hearing distance knew what it meant, not only to the speaker, but to everyone else. The same is true for words like “soul” and “spirit”, and “consciousness”, to the end that in far too many ways no one really knows what the others’ think, and disagreements arise and kindle conflicts on the basis of perceived ill will, intentions to coerce or dominate, etc.

    In this light, your (above) discussion is helpful in “clarifying the confusions that can exist”, taking these limitations in our use of words to an even higher level, We can’t dispense with these critically important words. All we can do is to :”walk around them” as carefully as possible, saying what we mean as well as we can, even if it’s too often taken as being overcautious, and hope that this will help.

    Common grounds even among species who seem genetically near-identical are marked by vast gaps in cognitive capacities, as well as physical appearance. Some species of apes are so like ourselves in genetic code that it is (as yet) a great mystery that we can make use of comparatively huge vocabularies (thousands or tens of thousands of words), while they are considered highly intelligent if they can master and make use of even a few dozen (words or symbols).

    We puzzle over how the Romans accomplished as much as they did with a mathematics of such a primitive kind, and we marvel over how many human strains in South and Middle America maintained a trading civilization across thousands of miles of wild terrain in most cases without the benefit of written language. Even within the very limited definitions we currently assign to the word “human”, there are so many variations that we we have to leap over these limitations of language, as if they were fallen branches on a hiking trail.

    Perhaps we might think of each living creature as existing along a dynamic continuoum of consciousness, piecewise-continuous scales of capacites in many dimensions, Perhaps we can best help each of them (in whatever priority we can give them in view of the Singularity’s Tsunami-like rate of approach), by offering them stairsteps of managable size and encouraging them to move forward, upward, and outward, endlessly, if they have or can develop the will to do so.

    If we wish to cast words like “human”, “humanlike”, humanity”, and others of their kind in the most positive way, perhaps we can say that we have chosen to set aside all stereotypical practices of discrimitive exclusion, applying the term “human” as widely as we can conceive. We could say that we don’t even use the word “animal” anymore, but use “human” to refer to any living entity with whom we think there is enough potential for common ground that we might someday all be part of a “universal community”, and that it is our destiny to build this as quickly as we can, not just on Earth but throughout the Multiverse.

    Few would understand or take us seriously, but few could dispute that in our thinking we have moved far beyond simply doing away with those things we now think of as being “discriminatory”, whether on the grounds of gender, physical or mental handicaps, national origins, “race” (physical differences in how eyes appear, skin color, or other differences due to inconsequential variations in genetic code), present or past religions, of any of the other ways of breaking us up into groups where mutual hatred is taken to be perfectly natural.

    We must rid ourselves of *all* this baggage, extending the term “human” beyond all the current limits of that term, if we are to truly become “Citizens of the Cosmos” (as Carl Sagan so well expressed it). Lacking that, it is all too likely that we will not even survive the next century, much less move systematically toward our longest-range visions of what we conceive to be our ultimate “Destiny”.

    Boundless Life,

    Fred & Linda

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s