We are all fascinated by superheroes movies where the main character (such as Captain America or The Incredible Hulk) has all kinds of superpowers abilities. Hollywood has a new hero, the main character of the new Dune movie Paul Atreides has superman powers (such as precognition and omniscience), a result of genetic engineering across many generations.
The question is: how do you fancy having superhuman abilities like those portrayed in the movies? Would you like to be a real-life avenger and use your superpowers to save the world for the most ambitious or just to save yourself and a few souls for the less ambitious?
You will find out if you watch this video till the end that it is actually possible for humans to have superpowers, and don’t forget to support our new channel by sharing, commenting, and subscribing.
Enhancing human capabilities has been on the mind of people for ages; science has made tremendous progress in that area making this prospect of us becoming superhumans a not-so-far-away-reality.
Governments, including the United States, China, and Russia, have been particularly interested in gene mutation technology to enhance human abilities to create super-soldiers. These soldiers would have to be immune to pain, need no sleep, have super-intellect, strength, stamina, and exhibit superpowers like extra-fast reflexes.
But before we get too excited about the prospect of having a go at being a superhero or a super-soldier we should pause for a minute or two and reflect on the possible consequences of going down that road. Enhancing our abilities, be it permanently or temporarily is a tempting but risky business.
First, we need to ask ourselves what ‘enhancement’ exactly is. Biological enhancement started as a restoration of a certain human function, such as eyesight, hearing, or the replacement of a missing limb. Technologies like CRISPR (gene editing), nanotechnology, and even the revolution of wearables and sensors brought new possibilities to human enhancement.
On a vertical level starting with the least controversial to the most controversial, this process of restoration of certain human functions can go in 3 possible directions:
- Removable cyborg extensions – whereby the tools enhancing the individual can easily be put away at the end of use.
- Cyborg-humans – technologies causing lasting, but not irreversible transformation like prosthetic limbs, digital tattoos, and biopic implants.
- Technologies changing humans forever – genetic editing (such as CRISPR). This is the one that raises the most ethical and moral questions.
On a horizontal level, we can categorize the possibilities of enhancements for a human being in 5 fields:
- Brainpower. Our cognitive functions can be enhanced by inserting a microchip into our brain. The concept was first raised in 1968 by architect Nicholas Negroponte at MIT. The idea is to have a chip implanted in one’s brain; that neural implant will let you control a computer or mobile device anywhere you go, allowing you to control an app directly with your thoughts. Elon Musk’s company Neuralink aims to do just that. I don’t know how you feel about that, but personally having a neural implant in my brain somehow gives me the creeps – even if it could give me superpowers and allow me to ace all my exams!
- Brain-computer interfaces or BCI are tools that provide constant monitoring of the brain’s electrical activity; this could support a wide range of applications from monitoring epilepsy or ADHD to pain management and sleep assessment. The concept was also thought to be a solution for paralyzed people to move and control things around them with only thoughts. It could also be used to reduce the cognitive effects of aging. I don’t know how you feel about this, but the prospect of giving paralyzed people the ability to move and control things around them with only thoughts gives me hope.
- Muscle strength and robotic exoskeletons allow paralyzed people or those who lost a limb to move again. The next step will be A.I. powered prosthesisand the step after that will be to go full Robocop-mode where body, senses, and machine will be mixed together into some kind of AI-Fleshy-Frankenstein. I don’t know how you feel about that, but personally turning into an AI-Fleshy-Frankenstein gives me the creeps – even if it gives me superpowers. And what if the machines take over your body and your senses completely and make you lose all your humanness?
- Enhancing the senses. Joint replacements routinely restore mobility, but what if they could provide superhuman speed? Laser eye surgery returns peoples’ vision to 20/20, but what if it could let them see for miles? What if technology could aid humans to have better hearing than bats? Or what if implants could let us see microscopic objects? These temporary or long-term sensory enhancement proposals are not limited to people with certain disabilities, the technology can go beyond that, leading us to take you straight into the futuristic world of augmented reality. I don’t know how you feel about that, but personally having a neural implant in my brain to augment my reality somehow gives me the creeps – even if it could give me ‘bats-power!’
- Genetic Engineering – a brave new world? CRISPR stands for Clustered Regularly Interspaces Short Palindromic Repeats, otherwise known as gene therapy. It is a genome editing technology that allows scientists to cut DNA with incredible precision and insert or delete DNA to correct unwanted mutations. This method was discovered by two women biologists: Emmanuelle Charpentier and Jennifer A Doudna. They received the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 2012 for this gene-editing tool. Scientists discovered that this CRISPR pattern coded for a defense mechanism in the bacteria’s cells. When it is attacked, by a virus, for example, the bacteria are able to copy and paste a section of the virus’ DNA into its own genome. Then the bacteria could develop a pair of genetic scissors – an enzyme names Cas_ specific to that virus so that any further attacks could be defended by a single snip.
This concept of human enhancement is also known as ‘transhumanism’; a movement that advocates for the transformation of the human condition by developing and making widely available sophisticated technologies able to greatly modify or enhance human intellect and physiology. The concept states that humankind will evolve into a new intelligent species.
So, what do you think? Do you like the idea of us mortals becoming superhumans in the not-to-distant future? Well, someone took it upon himself to ask that question to a whole bunch of people and wrote the results in a study. It transpires from that study that there is a huge cultural acceptance with technological solutions for restoration vs. tech for boosting performance.
According to this study, the public almost unanimously agrees with technological enhancement if it is used for restorative purposes: 95% support physical restorative applications, and 88% support cognitive restorative applications. But when it comes to the enhancement of human capabilities for the reason of boosting performance – well that’s a big no-no. Only 35% agree with the concept.
Transhumanism is a scary concept. It is critical for people to really understand who we are as human beings before we think about giving away our humanity. Those new technologies are being developed to replace our natural biological functions but the danger of these wires, chips and devices that are implanted in our body is that they can comprise the unique qualities that make us humans. The unintended consequence of biological enhancement is that our natural biology begins to atrophy.
We are still discovering what we are and what it means to be human. Researchers recently discovered a neuron that surprised the medical world. A new scan of the human brain revealed a new kind of neurons that are unique to humans that regulate our consciousness and the state of our awareness. This new discovery was announced in the prestigious publication ’Nature’ in 2018.
Some scientists believe that we need to re-think this idea that human biology is limited, with us being powerless victims of our circumstances. The better we know ourselves the less we need external technology because we are the technology. The human body is a technically advanced, highly sophisticated, soft technology. And we have the ability to self-regulate all the energy that runs through this soft biology in our affirmations, thoughts and belief.
The human body contains 50 trillion cells; every cell has about 0.7 volts of electrical potential. We are the only form of life that can harness on demand that electrical potential in our body and we can harness it towards our own healing and in order to create resilience. Tesla famously said: “If you want to find out the secrets of the universe, think in terms of energy, frequency and vibration.”
The problem we have these days is that technology is pushing morality out of the equation; just because we have the technology doesn’t mean that we have to use it. We are at a critical crossroad, we must determine where we want to go with that technology because once we go down the path of replacing human biology with artificial chips, wires and devices we can’t go back. So, we need to make that choice right now.
May the road you choose be the right road.
Thanks for watching and don’t forget to like, share and subscribe to our channel because this is where you will get to enhance your human potential by one or two notches!
Yours Truly, Scriptwriter, Joanne Reed
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