January 9, 2016 2 Comments
Before I start my rant, I recognize that the Transhumanism movement is chock full of cool ideas, many of which make complete sense, even though they are perhaps obvious and inevitable. The application of science and technology to the betterment of the human body ranges from current practices like prosthetics and Lasik to genetic modification and curing diseases through nanotech. It is happening and there’s nothing anyone can to to stop it, so enjoy the ride as you uplift your biology to posthumanism.
However, part of the Transhumanist dogma is the idea that we can “live long enough to live forever.” Live long enough to be able to take advantage of future technologies like genetic manipulation which could end the aging process and YOU TOO can be immortal!
The problem with this mentality is that we are already immortal! And there is a reason why our corporeal bodies die. Simply put, we live our lives in this reality in order to evolve our consciousness, one life instance at a time. If we didn’t die, our consciousness evolution would come to a grinding halt, as we spend the rest of eternity playing solitaire and standing in line at the buffet. The “Universe” or “All That There Is” appears to evolve through our collective individuated consciousnesses. Therefore, deciding to be physically immortal could be the end of the evolution of the Universe itself. Underlying this unfortunate and misguided direction of Transhumanism is the belief (and, I can’t stress this enough, it is ONLY that – a belief) that it is lights out when we die. Following the train of logic, if this were true, consciousness only emerges from brain function, we have zero free will, the entire universe is a deterministic machine, and even investigative science doesn’t make sense any more. So why even bother with Transhumanism if everything is predetermined? It is logically inconsistent. Materialism, the denial of the duality of mind and body, is a dogmatic Religion. Its more vocal adherents (just head on over to the JREF Forum to find these knuckleheads) are as ignorant to the evidence and as blind to what true science is as the most bass-ackward fundamentalist religious zealots.
OK, to be fair, no one can be 100% certain of anything. But, there is FAR more evidence for consciousness driven reality than for deterministic materialism. This blog contains a lot of it, as does my first book, “The Universe-Solved!“, with much more in my upcoming book.
The spokesman for transhumanistic immortality is the self-professed “Transcendent Man“, Ray Kurzweil. Really Ray? Did you seriously NOT fight the producers of this movie about you to change the title to something a little less self-aggrandizing, like “Modern Messiah”? #LRonHubbard
So I came across this article about the 77 supplements that Ray takes every day. From the accompanying video clip, he believes that they are already reversing his aging process: “I’m 65. On many biological aging tests I come out a lot younger. I expect to be in my 40s 15 years from now.”
He has been on this regimen for years. So let’s see how well those supplements are doing. Picking an objective tool from one of Ray’s own favorite technologies – Artificial Intelligence – the website how-old.net has an AI bot that automatically estimates your age from an uploaded photo. I took a screen shot from the video clip (Ray is 65 in the clip) and uploaded it:
85! Uh oh. Hmmm, maybe the bot overestimates everyone’s age. I’m 10 years younger than Ray. Let’s see how I fare, using a shot taken the same year at a ski resort – you know, one of those sports Ray says to avoid (Ray also claims that his kids will probably be immortal as long as they don’t take up extreme sports):
I don’t know if it is the supplements that make Ray look 20 years older than he is, or the extreme skiing that makes me look 13 years younger than I am. But I’m thinking maybe I’m onto something. [Note: I do realize that the choice of pictures could result in different outcomes. I just thought it was ironic that the first two that I tried had these results]
Yes, I’m fairly confident that these supplements have some value in improving the function of various organs and benefiting a person’s overall health and well being. I’m also fairly certain that much of traditional medical community would disagree and point to the lack of rigorous scientific studies supporting these supposed benefits as they always do. On the whole, I suspect that, on the average, supplements might extend one’s lifetime somewhat. But I doubt that they will reverse aging. The human body is far too complex to hope that adding a few organic compounds would be sufficient to modify and synchronize all of the complex cellular and systemic metabolic chemical reactions toward a reversal of the aging process. Kurzweil is obviously a very bright man who has had a significant entrepreneurial legacy in the high tech world. However I think he and the rest of the materialist transhumanists are way over their heads on the topic of immortality and our place and purpose in the Universe.
My suggestion, Ray… skip the supplements, skip the self-promotion, skip the Google plugs, drive your goddamn car, and don’t be afraid to be active. Stick with high tech, leave the evolution of the universe to its own devices, and enjoy the rest of this life.