The Descent of Man
By Pete Garcia
“We will transcend all of the limitations of our biology. That is what it means to be human—to extend who we are.” – Ray Kurzweil
The ideas of transhumanism are not all that dissimilar from Adolph Hitler’s racial ideations laid out in his book Mein Kampf, and with the policies of the Third Reich. First and foremost, this is not to say that all proponents of transhumanism are Nazi’s, I am simply comparing these ideas of creating a master race to that of an upgraded race. The idea of becoming more than human is as old as the human race itself, therefore, I don’t credit Hitler with an abundance of original ideas.
Then the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” Gen. 3:4-5
But Hitler’s ideas of racial purity were not developed in a vacuum. The three main influencers who impacted his philosophy the most were: German composer Richard Wagner, biologist Charles Darwin, and philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche. Hitler envisioned a world where the Aryan (white) race would become the dominant race on the planet and go on to rule for a thousand years. Along with the aforementioned influencers, Hitler looked to Martin Luther (focusing not on his Christianity, but on his anti-Semitic beliefs), Teutonic history, the American and British eugenics movement, and the occult. He borrowed heavily from previous secular and religious theories to concoct one for his time and his place. Aside from the idea that man is not beholden to a Creator, the most significant idea Hitler borrowed from Darwin was what eventually developed out of Darwinian evolution, Social Darwinism.
Social Darwinism, the theory that persons, groups, and races are subject to the same laws of natural selection as Charles Darwin had perceived in plants and animals in nature. According to the theory, which was popular in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the weak were diminished and their cultures delimited, while the strong grew in power and in cultural influence over the weak. Social Darwinists held that the life of humans in society was a struggle for existence ruled by “survival of the fittest,” a phrase proposed by the British philosopher and scientist Herbert Spencer. (Source)
Hitler also borrowed or leaned on concepts from German nihilist philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche. These concepts were the Übermensch, which is an idea of a “superman or overman,” and the will to power. The former, through eugenics and superior breeding, could weed out the weaker or inferior ethnicities via euthanasia, forced sterilization, abortions, etc. The latter, (will to power) was less defined but certainly more open to interpretation (of which the Nazi’s did liberally), and determined that self-conservation was the number one factor in the human condition. They applied this will to power at the national level. Hence the combination resulted in the cultural, political, and legal justification for anti-Semitism and ultimately, the Final Solution.
Where the pre-WWII American and European eugenics movements failed, the Nazis succeeded. What the eugenics movement lacked, was the proper crisis. The Nazis, however, used the Treaty of Versailles as justification to rally the embittered German people against Western Europe and created a useful scapegoat in the Jews.
With around 1,200 concentration and death camps scattered across Europe, the Third Reich had all the test subjects they would ever need. Nazi SS scientists like Joseph Mengele conducted all manners of disturbing and abhorrent medical experiments for years. Even more disturbing was that the West took the data from these experiments and brought much of that research back to the States. But not only were the Germans guilty in these endeavors but the Japanese as well. They carried out brutal attacks and medical experiments (Unit 731) on the citizens of Nanking, China where an estimated 200-300,000 Chinese died horribly.
But the Lord came down to see the city and the tower which the sons of men had built. And the Lord said, “Indeed the people are one and they all have one language, and this is what they begin to do; now nothing that they propose to do will be withheld from them.” – Genesis 11:5-6
For the uninitiated, there are two significant factions in the technological world fighting over the future of mankind. One is promoting and developing artificial intelligence (AI) as a means to enhance life for man on this planet; the other is promoting and developing transhumanism as a counter to AI. The singularity is the point in time in which AI becomes self-aware. The scary development within AI is that even at this embryonic stage, the creators of AI (such as NVidia), are having difficulty understanding the algorithms that AI creates. If we are having a hard time now, imagine how much more challenging it will become once AI matures?
But it was not until the start of this decade, after several clever tweaks and refinements, that very large—or “deep”—neural networks demonstrated dramatic improvements in automated perception. Deep learning is responsible for today’s explosion of AI. It has given computers extraordinary powers, like the ability to recognize spoken words almost as well as a person could, a skill too complex to code into the machine by hand. Deep learning has transformed computer vision and dramatically improved machine translation. It is now being used to guide all sorts of key decisions in medicine, finance, manufacturing—and beyond. (Source)
Transhumanism on the other hand (think cyborgs) then exists to serve as a counterbalance to artificial intelligence by upgrading mankind so that man doesn’t create a genie it can’t ever put back in the bottle. While groups like DARPA, Google, IBM, and others are working on AI, individuals such as Elon Musk, Ray Kurzweil, and others, are working to upgrade mankind via transhumanism.
Transhumanism (abbreviated as H+ or h+) is an international and intellectual movement that aims to transform the human condition by developing and making widely available sophisticated technologies to greatly enhance human intellectual, physical, and psychological capacities. (Source)
Now imagine a world that promises to improve mankind by installing bio-technological upgrades, all of which would make men and women superior to any other who does not possess them. These upgrades include superior intellect, instant learning, enhanced vision and hearing, super strength, and to be biologically superior and free from genetic diseases or flaws. Sounds good right? Who wouldn’t want to have some super-human abilities? Hollywood has been heavily invested in the superhero franchise which in a way has desensitized the population to the coming reality.
In 1953, the molecular structure of DNA was discovered, giving mankind the ability to study it in greater and greater detail. That, along with the development and continual improvement to the transistor computer, rapidly enhanced man’s ability to leapfrog his learning. This is part of the reason why the US Department of Defense heavily invests in making this a reality. They want to create soldiers who have the same capabilities that a Captain America has. The Nazis failed to achieve their goals mostly due to when they lived, rather than in their rudimentary aspirations. They were simply victims of the limited technology and knowledge available in their day. This newer generation, however, has all the technology they need to make both AI and true Transhumanism a reality. Imagine a new Nazi-like regime with all the computing power and technological advancements we have today. Scary indeed.
At the outset, mankind will justify these endeavors as a humanitarian effort meant to improve life on the planet. Whether he is trying to create artificial intelligence to aid mankind, or trying to insert that same technology into mankind to prevent man from being left behind, either way, noble reasons are put forth as justification for its pursuit. It’s for the betterment of mankind they say. But like everything else, technology always falls into the wrong hands and what was meant for good, will be used to fuel evil men’s agendas.
If you’ve ever navigated by ground or air using just a magnetic compass, you will know that the first step in successfully getting to where you want to go, is first knowing where you are. The same can be applied to logic. If you begin with an erroneous premise, you’re likely to end with an erroneous conclusion. So if you believe that the world is billions of years old and that man has evolved over that same time to become what we are today, then that particular logic would naturally lead you to believe that mankind is still destined to evolve. This is called a False Premise.
For proponents of Darwinian evolution (and the like), man began as a single-celled organism and then over the course of billions of years evolved into a highly complex, multi-celled, multi-membered organism capable of a wide range of emotions, higher reasoning skills and critical thought, morality, and spirituality. This idea of progressive evolution is the underlying moral foundation for those who support the idea of putting technology into man. For them, it is the next logical step in our evolutionary process.
National Geographic’s article entitled How Humans Are Shaping Our Own Evolution is one that begins with the idea of Darwinian evolution. From Darwin until the 1950’s, bioengineering mankind was more of a theoretical endeavor than a scientific one…that is until we discovered DNA. From then until now, we have moved to mapping the DNA genome, IVF, and now, CRISPR-Cas9.
First tried out in 2013, CRISPR is a procedure to snip out a section of DNA sequence from a gene and put a different one in, quickly and accurately. What used to take researchers years now takes a fraction of the time. (Source above)
CRISPR places an entirely new kind of power into human hands. For the first time, scientists can quickly and precisely alter, delete, and rearrange the DNA of nearly any living organism, including us. (Source)
Descent: the act, process, or fact of moving from a higher to a lower position. A downward inclination or slope.
The Descent of Man (as Darwin so aptly titled it) is not about man’s long trek upwards from the primordial soup to homo sapien, but rather, to his spiritual descent from perfection (Gen. 1:26-28) into perdition. We know that mankind is capable of very awful things. The saving grace for mankind in the past was that we didn’t have the technology to carry out our most debased desires. Today we do, and the very object mankind thinks will complete this final evolution into becoming more than human, e.g.…godlike, will be the very instrument of their damnation.
Jesus stated in Luke 17:26 and as it was in the days of Noah, so it will be also in the days of the Son of Man. We know that from Scripture (Genesis 6:1-4, 12; 2 Peter 2:4-5, Jude 1:6-7) that Satan has already attempted to genetically corrupt mankind before. He did that because of the prophecy God told to him in Genesis 3:15-i.e…the protoevangelium. We know that God stated in Genesis 11:4-5, that if man were united in language and purpose, nothing, would be withheld from them. While many argue whether fallen angels actually mingled with human women or not is irrelevant to our day and age.
We know that right now, at this very moment, we have the ability to genetically alter ourselves and our unborn. We know right now, at this very moment, that technology can be implanted into the human body without rejection (pacemakers, cochlear implants, RFID chips, mind-controlled prosthetic limbs, etc.). These things aren’t even science fiction anymore. These technologies aren’t 20-30 years into the future; they are here and now.
Two events hang over the future of mankind like a dark storm cloud. These two falls directly in line with what the Bible predicted would happen almost 2,000 years ago. The first is the perfect global crisis which will cause mankind to rush into accepting this kind of technology without hesitation. This author believes that crisis to be the Rapture of the Church.
The second thing is still a known-unknown, which is, perfecting and introducing the right technology (at that appointed time) into a chip (or like device) which would be implanted (charagma) into the hand or the forehead. All we know now is that the technology exists today.
“He causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads, and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. Here is wisdom. Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man: His number is 666.” – Revelation 13:16-18
If you do not know Jesus Christ and have not received the free gift of eternal life, then today is the day. (John 3:16; Romans 10:9-10) It would be more preferable for you to be a European Jew living under the auspices of the Third Reich in the 1930s then for you to miss the Rapture and enter into the time known as the Tribulation (Daniel’s 70th Week; Matthew 24:20-21). About this time the Bible says…
“Then a third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, “If anyone worships the beast and his image, and receives his mark on his forehead or on his hand, he himself shall also drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out full strength into the cup of His indignation. He shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. And the smoke of their torment ascends forever and ever; and they have no rest day or night, who worship the beast and his image, and whoever receives the mark of his name.” – Revelation 14:9-11
Even So, Maranatha!