Sunday, September 28, 2008

The Singularity: Transcending Our Biology

What is it to be a human being today? Well we know that our biology is governed by hereditary units called genes that are located on chromosomes that are coded by our DNA, a molecular structure. Ultimately, we are biological systems or machines that hold and protect our genetic information so that we may survive over thousands of generations through our offspring. In a sense, our genes can survive forever but at the expense of biological survival machines like human beings. In order for our genes to survive we must pass them on to our offspring since we survival machines can only survive for a limited period of time. Survival was very important thousands of years ago when the human life span was shorter due to environmental and biological limitations. Today humans have been able to lengthen our lives by learning more about our biological strengths and weaknesses. We have overcome our biological nature by simply utilizing our thoughts from our senses.

Since we know so much about human biology today is there something more we can do to live even longer and healthier lives? Can we discover ways to transcend our biological nature so that we can live forever, like genes? Humans today are heavily focused on anti-aging methods to look and feel young and ways to live longer within the realm of human biology. We do on-going research about how to prevent and fight against fatal diseases and how to protect ourselves from contracting bacterial and viral infections that can harm our health. We ultimately strive to end pain and suffering of humans so that we may live long and healthy lives. But, one thing that we cannot combat so easily is aging.

Aging is a part of being a survival machine. Human evolution is interconnected with time, the spacial dimension that human beings cannot control. As time passes, living things grow and age. Our complex bodies undergo wear and tear over time from continuously operating at the biological level and communicating with the outside environment. The result is aging of the survival machine both physically and mentally.

Humans have come so far as to being capable of living for almost 100 years. Many other living organisms have not attained such a giant feat in biological evolution. Does this have to be the end for humans? Do we have to subject ourselves to mechanically and medically changing our physical and biological appearance in order to counteract aging? Are there alternatives to this method? Our research over time has given rise to many discoveries that may help us to live forever but there is one catch: Humans must accept that in order to live forever we cannot survive as solely survival machines housing our 'precious genes', but we must transcend our biological nature in order to overcome our limitations of aging and disease.

To transcend our biology is to go beyond evolution and space and utilize our technological creations in order to do so. Technology today is based on our biological nature, specifically the human brain, but what is different is that the technological dimension is ever-lasting. The hardware, like biological survival machines, is at risk of failing but the difference is that it can be repaired or replaced without damaging the software. Although software can be infected, preventative measures can be developed in order to counteract the virus without permanently damaging the software. Hardware and software can be repaired at a small cost but a sick biological machine can be permanently damaged even after being treated by medical or natural methods.

In our near future, human beings will have to make the choice of either living as a survival machine or transcending their biology by becoming one with the new and innovative technological dimension or virtual reality. Our genes have come so far by exploiting biological systems in order to survive but it is our turn now. We do not need our genes any longer nor do we need future generations of biological machines carrying our genes. Instead we have new and better information that can help us to understand the complexities of the universe. Genes have helped human beings to evolve through natural selection but at a large cost, our lives. But now we can exploit our own genes by utilizing our bodies, that have been governed by our genes, to create a means to live forever without our genes. Human evolution has driven us in this direction-- we cannot sit idly by when there is a means of harnessing our own technological creations so that we may live virtually forever. Now it is our turn to outwit, outplay, and outlast our genetic driver. Human beings are the new drivers and technology is our vehicle!

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