Linking science and humanity!


This Website contains references to God. The concept of a god, or of any underlying supernatural identity such as a spirit, is scientifically unproven; and, indeed has no scientific basis whatsoever. Reference to such an entity should be approached from the viewpoint of cultural myths and legends, and critically considered, within the framework of humankind's current stage of development

The future of the social gamodeme that embraces Earth's societies lies on a foundation of understanding science and the scientific method. At the beginning of the 21st century religious fanaticism and ignorant political leadership are undermining this future.

Present and future scientific discoveries will direct the future of humankind: both of our species Homo sapiens; and, of the accumulated evolutionary traits we call humanity. Part of these scientific discoveries concern those developments in human engineering that will allow Homo sapiens to be deliberately evolved into a galactic species; and, another part is concerned with the evolution of humankind's social structure. Coincidentally both of these areas of development will allow expansion beyond the near-earth environment.

The similarities between physical and cultural evolution are highly comparable. Physical evolution concerns the interbreeding population [the physical gamodeme]. Cultural evolution concerns the interacting population [the cultural gamodeme]. In physical evolution, the 'survival of the fittest' rule applies; and, in cultural evolution, the 'meritocracy' rule applies. Just as in physical evolution the carnivores, parasites and pathogens developed, alongside semi-stable species, so in cultural evolution the criminals, the manipulators and the murderers developed alongside semi-stable populations.

A future for humanity for the next thousand years can be quite clearly seen in broad outline even though the details may not be resolvable. Human engineering is set to modify our species and the very social fabric of which we are a part. We are destined for a post-human future that will involve the incorporation of genetic modifications into our genome, such that we evolve chimera as adaptations to the variety of conditions existing within our Solar System. Moreover, to become a galactic species, humankind must evolve into a robotic entity; and, to do this we must understand what our humanity derives from, and what of it needs to be perpetuated.

The future of our species

Today both the structure and consciousness of Homo sapiens are natural. We are heading towards becoming an organism that has a natural consciousness but a designed structure: a truly bionic human. We may commence with artificial hearts and limbs, and germinal choice technology [Stock, 2002] but in time a set of common characteristics will allow scientists to define at least one new species which will be a combination of designed, manufactured structure and natural consciousness. As biological and mechanical changes are incorporated into the structure of our species [Homo sapiens], a biological variety Homo sapiens var roboticus will be definable. Eventually, this will be the bases of a new biological species Homo roboticus [the technical definition of a biological species is provided elsewhere]. Homo roboticus may coexist in the Solar System with Homo sapiens but evolutionary theory indicates that if the physical gamodeme [defined as the interbreeding population] of either species become geographically isolated in Space a further species Homo cosmos will evolve. This is because the gene pool of the isolated gamodeme eventually will drift far enough to create the new biological species. The biological definition of a species may become a moot point because with spatial and temporal separation from the parent species neither Homo roboticus nor Homo cosmos will be able to interbreed with Homo sapiens. I believe that within less than 300 years Homo roboticus will exist.

The real thrill of examining the future evolution of humankind is that some time after the development of Homo roboticus the introduction of a creation with both a designed structure and a designed consciousness will occur . This I call Robotico earthensis [the robot from earth] in the belief that a new genus grouping will be necessary to encompass this novel kind of 'organism' [Robotico], and a new species name [earthensis] will be appropriate for these very different kinds of individuals that belong to the genus. In this way, I see the Hominid phylogeny [an evolutionary line] extending from the ancestral genus Australopithecus, through our genus Homo to the descendent genus Robotico.

The key feature of Robotico earthensis is not simply a manufactured body but, most importantly, a manufactured consciousness. The need for thought about how, as creators of the genus Robotico, we want to design its consciousness is paramount. The design of that consciousness is possibly the greatest task that humankind will ever undertake for it will be the basis of a galactic species. What of humanity, do we want to preserve? What are the mechanisms that have made life such an adaptive development that we need to preserve in our robotic descendent to provide an ability to evolve and survive in new environments? What is it about the evolution of humankind's social organization [the cultural gamodeme] that can provide an ability in humankind to survive as a galactic community?

One can see a potential danger for our species if Robotico ever regards itself in competition with Homo. However, the real danger lies in creating an entity that is not rooted in our nature and one that lacks those characteristics I call humanity. It is our humanity, encompassing a series of biological traits, which makes humankind different from all other known life forms. We must commence to address the design issues of our descendents now, because it will require much time and effort before implementation. Urgency is needed not because Robotico earthensis may turn around and destroy us and our society, but because of a belief that the essence of humanity is good for the universe. We would be remiss to send sentient beings beyond our Solar System that did not embody our humanity. Even if we are ultimately completely superseded by our creation, common sense reason tells us that the goodness of humankind is a valued asset to the Universe as a whole. The Universe, of course, is neutral about our humanity and our contribution to the future. However, life on Earth has evolved along logical pathways using natural laws to determine the success or failure of adaptation . The results of all this natural experimentation and selection were the development of Homo sapiens. The present peak of evolution on Earth is the emergent phenomena of consciousness in Homo sapiens, and the essence of that consciousness is logic and the host of human traits we call humanity. It is precisely because the universe is neutral to our consciousness that it is open to our expansion beyond our present borders.


Preserving our humanity

Defining humanity vexes philosophers, for the concept is permeated with the ideas associated with the changing social conditions [the evolution of the cultural gamodeme or ethno-social interbreeding population]. For a humanist a good part of what makes humankind human pertains to myth, legend and religious belief. The humanities in general accept numerous incidental and irrelevant moral parameters of this kind. The sciences, using reductive reasoning, attempt to extract fundamental attributes of humanity that are embraced by the consciousness of Homo sapiens. Science does not deny some essential core to humanity that has to do with man-the-myth-maker, but science attests that myth making is part of emergent organization leading through religiosity to political systems. Because this is so, humanity is intimately related to cultural gamodemes driven by evolutionary processes; and it is necessary to understand the phenomena of humanity and developments in the cultural gamodeme as manifestations of those processes.

Developing a robotic future for humankind will have major social consequences and intimately affect our definition of our humanity. Certainly, the rhetorical battles will be vicious, for science and religion are again on a collision course that will impinge far more on our social condition, than the ideas of Copernicus or Darwin ever did. Throughout the world, people are embarking on an agenda that can make science dominant as the force that directs the social condition; and, at the same time others are determined to place the social condition more in the realm of myth and legend with charismatic leaders at the helm. Many of those encouraging science recognize it is time to place humankind clearly within a scientific culture in which science education is at the core of understanding the Earth System and our Universe. This belief extends to one in which scientific knowledge must play a pivotal role in decision making within the political, cultural and social framework.