Animal metamorphosis is nowadays defined in the field of biology as an esemble of transformations in which the individual transitions from a juvenile to an adult form, expressing the transformation power of life channeling biological processes.
But this concept cannot only be reduced to its biological aspect since is also a literary construct (BRUGUIÈRE et al., 2018). For Nietzsche for example in his book “Ecce Homo: How One Becomes What One Is” (1908) the important task of transcending the all-too-hum requires nothing genuinely inhuman or supernatural, nothing beyond the reach of flesh-and-blood humans.
The human desire to acquire new capacities is as ancient as our species itself. We have always sought to expand the boundaries of our existence, be it socially, geographically, or mentally. After the publication of Darwin’s “On the Origin of Species” (1859), it became increasingly plausible to view the current version of humanity not as the endpoint of evolution but rather as an early phase.
Today’s advances in science and technology will profoundly change what we understand as human, and the Transhumanist movement envisions a future full of possibilities by broadening our potential as species by overcoming aging, cognitive shortcomings, involuntary suffering, and our confinement to planet Earth (BOSTROM, 2005).
According to transhumanist philosophy humanity until this point has been a story of development for the survival and reproduction, but today thanks to advances in science we are entering a new phase where human beings are masters of their destiny (SAVULESCU, 2003). For example in his book “Are you a transhuman?” (1989) pioneer transhumanist philosopher Fereidoun M. Esfandiary aka FM-2030 described a transhuman as someone who by virtue of their technology usage, cultural values, and lifestyle constitutes an evolutionary link to the coming era of posthumanity. Signs indicative of transhuman status include: prostheses, plastic surgery, use of telecommunications, a cosmopolitan lifestyle, androgyny, mediated reproduction (such as in vitro fertilization), absence of religious belief, and a rejection of traditional family values (FM-2030, 1989).
Although we might argue if the suggestion that the evolutionary transhumanist project problematic -because the enhancements countenanced by transhumanism do not track the models and processes of evolution- the real agenda here is to undertake an entirely self-engineered future. Since we might consider that homosapiens are immersed in a transformative process transhumanism pretends a radical break with evolutionary accounts of development- whereby human growth in the near future will depend upon the aspirations and technologies of a species that is changing, rather than natural selection or other relatively haphazard drivers of change (ASKLAND, 2011). There are no alternatives to evolution as history that can withstand critical examination. Yet we are constantly learning new and important facts about evolutionary mechanisms (DOBZHANSKY, 1973).
Until today nothing in biology made sense except in the light of evolution, but maybe it’s time to reconsider that in a near future nothing in evolution might make sense except under the influence of biotechnologies and the design of self-augmentated bodies.
- Askland, A. (2011) “The Misnomer of Transhumanism as Directed Evolution”. International Journal of Emerging Technologies and Society Vol. 9, No. 1, 2011, pp: 71 – 78.
- Bostrom, N. (2005) “A History of Transhumanist Thought”. Journal of Evolution and Technology – Vol. 14 Issue 1 – April 2005.
- Bruguière, C. & Perru, O. & Charles F. (2018) “The Concept of Metamorphosis and its Metaphors. Possible and Impossible Transformations of Life; Metamorphosis in Children’s Liteature”. Spinger Nature.
- Dobzhansky, T. (1973) “Nothing in Biology Makes Sense except in the Light of Evolution”. The American Biology Teacher, Vol. 35, No. 3 (Mar., 1973), pp. 125-129.
- FM-2030 (1989) “Are You a Transhuman?: Monitoring and Stimulating Your Personal Rate of Growth in a Rapidly Changing World”. Warner Books, New York.
- Savulescu, J. (2003) “Human-Animal Transgenesis and Chimeras Might Be an Expression of Our Humanity”. Journal of Bioethics. 3: 22–24.
*(Picture: Aimee Mullins is an example of biological augmentation for personal freedom. She is an american athlete, model, analyst and actress despite having both legs amputated when she was a child. She was born with fibular hemimelia (missing fibula bones) and as a result, had both of he legs amputated below the knee when she was one year old).