Christianity & Transhumanism: Should We Evolve Ourselves?

In recent years, transhumanism has ascended from a novelty on the fringes of popular science to a serious topic demanding thoughtful attention. Samford University, a private Christian institution, recently hosted a conference on the topic. The Christian Post asks, “Can Transhumanism and Christianity Co-Exist?“:

Transhumanism is the theory that science and technology can be used to advance the evolution of human beings beyond current physical and mental limitations.

A spokesperson for Samford directed The Christian Post to statements made by Professor Steve Donaldson, program director in the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science and a senior fellow in Samford’s Center for Science and Religion.

“[Transhumanism’s] potential ramifications for the church are substantial. Can a climate be created in which churches and people of religious faith engage a transhumanist future positively or must the church resist? Is resistance futile?” stated Donaldson.

It’s a question we’ve tackled here before. Transhumanism covers a wide range of technological possibilities, far too many to support or condemn with a blanket generalization.

Perhaps clarity on the matter comes by distinguishing between technological advancement and evolution as such. Has the recipient of a heart transplant “evolved”? Or has he simply used technology to improve his life, like a farmer cross-pollinating crops or a pilot using GPS? If transhumanistic notions are somehow un-Christian, what’s the technological threshold demarcating good science from blasphemy?