Sport, Hope and Enhancement Technologies: A New Book with Questions

I will soon have a book published with Mercer University Press on the human enhancement question in sport. This book has been in the works for quite a few years. It took me a while before I considered pulling together my interests in human enhancement and how sport functions as a religion. Of course, once I started down that path it seemed like an obvious intersection.
Should high-tech prosthetic limbs be permissible in elite sports competitions? Continue reading

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Human Germline Modification: Coming Soon

A sharp debate has raged in recent months about human germline modification and so-called Three Parent babies. This is a new technique that the UK government is allowing reproductive clinics to offer would-be parents who want to have a child free of serious mitochondrial disorders.  Continue reading

Posted in germline modification, human enhancement, theology and science. Tagged with .

Genetic Modification of Human Embryos: A First

Researchers in China are reporting that they have used the latest generation of gene editing techniques–CRISPR/Cas9–to modify DNA in human embryos.  The paper was published moments ago by the online journal, Protein & Cell.  It is entitled “CRISPR/Cas9-mediated gene editing in human tripronuclear zygotes” and is freely available to the public.

This publication follows weeks of speculation about whether some lab somewhere Continue reading

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Catholics Are Transhumanists? Another Surprise

A few days ago I wrote about a news report in the Catholic News Agency. I was surprised at how positive a view the writer took about Transhumanism.

So imagine my amazement when I came across a blog post today in which the author, Eugene Gan, pretty much flat out says that Continue reading

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Spirituality, Smoking, and Psychedelics

Can a drug bring about a mystical or spiritual experience of such significance that it helps relieve addiction to smoking?

"Zigaretten" by S. Schmidt (Benutzer: lonestar84, eigenes Foto)

“Zigaretten” by S. Schmidt (Benutzer: lonestar84, eigenes Foto)

The answer appears to be a resounding YES. Recently the journal Current Drug Abuse Reviews published a follow-up analysis of a pilot study conducted at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. The drug in question—psilocybin, derived from “sacred mushrooms”—was administered orally to a small group of 15 volunteers in a comfortably but carefully monitored setting.

What followed next is consistent Continue reading

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Catholics and Transhumanism: A Surprisingly Positive View

Earlier today the Catholic News Agency posted a story about Catholic responses to human enhancement technology and transhumanism.

The story, Can We Delete Death? Transhumanism’s Lofty Goal Meets a Catholic Response, tends to emphasize caution.  Read carefully, however, it is clear that the story is offers a nuanced, even positive view of human enhancement through technology, starting with a quote from Pope Benedict: “Technology is highly attractive because it draws us out of our physical limitations and broadens our horizon.” Continue reading

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Human Enhancement: How Far Is too Far?

Wilson postMy daughter is very bright. Let’s say your son is too. In a different world, they would be chums; in this world, they are competitors.

Here’s why: Both of them – my daughter and your son – want the only opening at the world’s very best university.  Their competition has come down to one final test. I encourage my daughter to study, rest enough and eat appropriately; you do the same with your son. We are, after all, good parents. Continue reading

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New Book Series on Human Enhancement

“Palgrave Studies in the Future of Humanity and Its Successors” is a new series devoted to addressing human enhancement from various humanistic and social science perspectives, two areas that are strengths of Palgrave Macmillan. The series is co-edited by UK Professor of Sociology Steve Fuller (University of Warwick) and myself.

It is prudent to carefully consider economic, ethical, legal, political, psychological, religious, social, and other implications of cutting-edge science and technology of human enhancement. The time is ripe for forwarding this conversation among academics, public Continue reading

Posted in enhancement, transhumanism.

Designer Babies: Why the Sudden Alarm?

A flurry of articles over the past week point to the fact that the day of designer babies may at last be here. Because of recent advances in gene editing technology, it may now be possible to modify humans genetically at conception. In theory, any such change could be passed on indefinitely from generation to generation. Continue reading

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Two Forms of the Free Process Defense

One of the more interesting proposals for understanding God’s relation to evil in the natural world is the “free process defense.” Not many realize, however, this proposal comes in two forms. I affirm one but not the other. Continue reading

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