Transhumanism: Eugenics & Ethics
➤Evolution. Eugenics. Transhumanism. How has science been weaponized and where are the ethical concerns?
From Darwin and Hitler to Churchill and F. Scott Fitzgerald, the timeline of transhumanism covers a huge history that’s never discussed. Why are so many powerful people interested in transhumanism? What are its connections to eugenics? And how does it affect you and me?
We’ve all heard about Darwin being the father of evolution. His theory that species develop through competing and adapting became the foundation of all of modern science today. But transhumanists heard Darwin’s theory, and they tried to figure out if they could deliberately cause evolution in us.
That’s what transhumanism is all about: forced “progress.” But how DO you deliberately speed up evolution? Transhumanists have done everything from genetic engineering, genetic modification, eugenics, and advanced robotics to infiltrating education and … manufacturing an army of ape-men?
➤If genetic engineering is good enough for corn, then it’s good enough for people, right? Or maybe it’s not good for corn, either. Check out Edge of Wonder’s episode on The Gmo Debate: What Are You Really Eating? to learn more about genetic engineering.
Yes, you read that right. In 1926, the Soviet government funded a secret, scientific expedition to Africa—if you can really call it “scientific.” Ilya Ivanov was in charge because he was an expert in artificial insemination. But people now call him the “Red Frankenstein.”
You don’t get that name for nothing! The whole goal of Ivanov’s trip was to make a part-ape, part-human hybrid by artificially inseminating a chimpanzee with human sperm. Socialism had taken over Russia and was trying to stamp down the people by whatever means it could, so it grabbed onto the ideas of evolution and then transhumanism. The socialists claimed that as quickly as possible, in order to get rid of “inequality,” they should destroy the old society’s culture. And that included its taboos.
Cambridge University’s journal, Science in Context, had an article about how the socialists branched into transhumanism to get more power:
“It was perhaps easier to address hybridization as a scientific problem in Bolshevik Russia where social barriers and hierarchies no longer appeared as ‘natural’ and/or inevitable. The public resonance of the experiment would have been extraordinarily strong at the time of Scopes trial in the United States and the Bolsheviks’ war against religion in the Soviet Union.”
In the United States, the Scopes Trial had lit a fire under the scientific community. A teacher was sued for teaching human evolution from monkeys in a state-funded school, which was illegal at the time.
Studying history or how our world works isn’t a bad thing, but some evil governments use these ideas as weapons against their own people. The CCP tried to do the same thing when in the ‘40s and ‘50s, they hyped up the skull of a Homo erectus called the Peking Man.
The Peking Man was introduced to Chinese people to get them used to Marxism and science over religious or traditional culture.
➤Progress sounds like a good thing, but if we have to live on a Planet of the Apes in order to get there, maybe we should start by progressing in another direction. Check out Edge of Wonder’s Communism series to find out more about some of the craziest ways Communist leaders have tried to “improve” their societies.
Origin of Transhumanism
All humans are “wretched” and “rooted in ignorance,” according to Julian Huxley, the man who first coined the term “transhumanism.” In his book, he also said that humankind needed to “transcend” itself. At first, his words didn’t sound too bad: “man remaining man, but transcending himself, by realizing new possibilities of and for his human nature.”
But Huxley’s words quickly devolved. He said, “‘I believe in transhumanism’: once there are enough people who can truly say that, the human species will be on the threshold of a new kind of existence, as different from ours as ours is from that of Pekin [sic] man. It will at last be consciously fulfilling its real destiny.”
In order to speed up this transformation of humanity, some transhumanists are fans of weeding out people with less “desirable traits,” or what’s called eugenics.
Did you know that H. G. Wells, George Bernard Shaw, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Virginia Woolf, T. S. Eliot, and W. B. Yeats were all authors who reportedly supported eugenics?
We always hear about Hitler wanting to “cleanse” the human race. But so did Winston Churchill and lots of other famous figures.
Transhumanism & Eugenics
The Nazis wanted to have a superior human race. They obviously did this in one way by eliminating the Jews, and whoever they thought were weak or enemies. But the Nazis also did this in another way: using genetic engineering.
The Nazi scientist Josef Mengele was especially known for his transhumanist eugenics. He experimented on twins in concentration camps. He infected people with diseases, put them under intense torture, and experimented on organs. He was trying to find the secret to genetics.
The public would be against the Nazis’ eugenics methods. But remember the British transhumanist, Julian Huxley? He saw that if it was rebranded as “evolutionary humanism,” eugenics would be seen as humane. (More like evolutionary posthumanism, right?)
He also wanted to use government groups like the UN and UNESCO to implement birth control policies. But did it go anywhere? Well, transhumanism had a profound impact on the United States, which sterilized upwards of 70,000 people after a pro-eugenics ruling. In 1927, the Supreme Court case Buck v. Bell made way for the forced sterilization of thousands of mentally deficient, deaf, blind, diseased, poor, and minority individuals.
➤Want to know more about how transhumanism is affecting our world? Check out Transhumanism: Eugenics & Ethics to find out how Huxley’s eugenics tendencies have a deeper impact on the world today than you ever knew.
➤Don’t forget to check out the whole Edge of Wonder series here: Transhumanism
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