Dr. Richard Land Warns of a Transhumanism 'Frankenstein' Future

Dr. Richard Land warns of a transhumanism 'Frankenstein' future.
Dr. Richard Land warns of a transhumanism 'Frankenstein' future. (Flickr)

Thousands of years ago, the biblical prophet Daniel predicted that knowledge would increase in the end of days.

While only God knows the timing of prophetic events, there is no doubt that the modern world has experienced an explosion in knowledge and information.

Amid all the scientific advances in recent years none is as curious as "Transhumanism"—a growing movement devoted to promoting the research and development of human-enhancement technologies that could augment or increase human senses, cognitive capacity, as well as improve health and extend life spans.

"Despite its growing popularity, many people around the world still don't know what 'transhuman' means," wrote Zoltan Istvan in his article in The Huffington Post titled, "A New Generation of Transhumanists is Emerging."

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"Transhuman literally means beyond human. Transhumanists consist of life extensionists, techno-optimists, Singularitarians, biohackers, roboticists, AI (Artifical Intelligence) proponents, and futurists who embrace radical science and technology to improve the human condition. The most important aim for many transhumanists is to overcome human mortality, a goal some believe is achievable by 2045."

Now, Dr. Richard Land, president of the Southern Evangelical Seminary in Charlotte, North Carolina, says he has serious concerns about a movement that seeks to artificially enhance human beings.

"The fact that we're trying to do this is, to me, really high-tech eugenics," says Land, who was recently named among the top 100 most influential Christian leaders in America. 

One of the most troubling aspects of the movement involves predictions that within the next few decades that nanobots—or tiny robots—would be placed in the brains of people to enhance their intelligence.

Land says this is suggestive of an effort to "artificially evolve" humans into a higher state.

"And we're flawed human beings," Land says, "so we have no infallibility like God does as to what's a good trait and what's a bad trait."

Land likens the movement to what occurred at the Tower of Babel in the book of Genesis.

"When we start permanently altering the genetics of the people involved that's going to have catastrophic consequences," Land says. "You can see where that goes, it leads to Frankenstein monsters."

Land has addressed the Transhumanism movement in some recent articles.

"If, as Christians assume, man is the special creation of God with a soul and a spirit, bearing the image of God, no matter how flawed and warped it may be by sin, then human beings cannot be reconstructed by other humans as mere machines—virtual or otherwise. There is indeed a divine spark in human beings that no man-created machine or technology can reproduce."

In an open letter to pastors and Christian leaders, Dr. Tom Horn, the chief executive officer of SkyWatch TV and a bestselling author and publisher, wrote Christian leaders must be actively engaged in "ideological warfare for the mind of a generation especially in an age where people are seeking reasons to believe, despite everything they are being told, that the church remains relevant."

"To fail this responsibility would be to abdicate to a frightening transhuman vision of the future such as was predicted by theologian and Christian apologist C. S. Lewis in The Abolition of Man," Horn wrote. "Lewis foresaw the day when transhumanist and scientific reasoning would win out, permanently undoing mankind through altering the species, ultimately reducing Homo sapiens to utilitarian products."

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