Talk:Transhumanism/Archive 13

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Archive 12 Archive 13 Archive 14

Release version of Wikipedia

On November 22, 2006, the Transhumanism page was selected for the release version of Wikipedia and rated FA-Class on the assessment scale. It is in the category Natsci. Does someone know which version of this page will actually be included in the release version of Wikipedia? --Loremaster 22:09, 6 December 2006 (UTC)

Does anyone know? --Loremaster 20:31, 9 January 2007 (UTC)
Not me. I think I might have been the one who set this in train by nominating it for 0.5, but I don't know how decisions like that are made. I'd assume - but it's only an assumption - that they'd use the most recent version they can. Metamagician3000 23:22, 10 January 2007 (UTC)
I've been thinking the same thing. Oh well. --Loremaster 14:58, 11 January 2007 (UTC)

The Fountain?

This conveys absolutely nothing to me. I continue to think that these parenthetical names for arguments were once useful scaffolding when we just had a few such arguments with easy associations with, e.g. Brave New World and The Terminator, but they are now getting too OR-ish and obscure. Metamagician3000 03:43, 12 January 2007 (UTC)

Since we deleted any mention of Peter Pan in the Contempt for Flesh section and we both thought that Peter Pan was a clumsly analogy, I felt the need to find a new title for this argument. I chose The Fountain because of extensive discussion of the film on the wta-list and references made to reviews of the film by bioconservative thinkers. The film captures quite well Mary Midgley's argument. Have you seen it? --Loremaster 03:55, 12 January 2007 (UTC)
No, I haven't seen it. Sigh. I realise that getting rid of these names now would cause problems, but this film is hardly a cultural touchstone like Frankenstein, or Brave New World, or The Terminator. I guess we have no choice but to use something, and from you've said I guess it's as good as anything. Wry smile. Metamagician3000 04:25, 12 January 2007 (UTC)
From what people, who have read the article, told me offline, the names of the argument are a useful and cool gimmick. I say we keep it and move on to more important things. (FYI: I've been working on trying to get Ebionites Featured Article status...) --Loremaster 04:37, 12 January 2007 (UTC)
I'm trying to nudge Second Life towards the FA process, after it had a very premature nomination a few weeks ago. That and some other projects here. Metamagician3000 07:42, 12 January 2007 (UTC)
Keep up the good work since Second Life deserves the publicity that comes with being a Featured Article status. --Loremaster 08:45, 12 January 2007 (UTC)

Transhumanism as subordinate of Posthumanism

An anonymous user added the following text to the Lead section which I move to the History section:

Transhumanism is sometimes erroneously referred to as "Posthumanism," especially in the United States where that term is not as common outside academic sources. In reality, transhumanism is a subordinate of posthumanism, and while all transhumanists are necessarily posthumanists, not all posthumanists are transhumanists

This text obviously needs to cite a source. I've tentatively added Hayles, N. Katherine. (1999) How We Became Posthuman: Virtual Bodies in Cybernetics, Literature, and Informatics. University Of Chicago Press. Is this a fair and accurate source? --Loremaster 06:21, 12 January 2007 (UTC)

Well, 'everyone knows' the transhuman is a milestone on the path towards the posthuman. Shouldn't be hard to find a source for that. --Joffeloff 16:10, 14 January 2007 (UTC)
Joffeloff, you seem to be confusing posthuman with posthumanism, which are entirely two different things. --Loremaster 15:06, 15 January 2007 (UTC)
The point is that posthumanism is used for both meanings. I was presuming the author of the statement meant that transhumanism is subordinate of posthumanism in the same way the transhuman is simply a step to the posthuman. --Joffeloff 20:32, 15 January 2007 (UTC)
I understood the presumption you made but you were mistaken. --Loremaster 22:01, 15 January 2007 (UTC)

Scientology and Raelism

Several controversial belief systems, termed new religious movements, originating in the late twentieth century, share with transhumanism the goals of transcending the human condition by applying technology to the alteration of the mind and body, such as Scientology and Raëlism.

Can Metamagician or anyone else justify removing the statement about Scientology and Raelism, which predates Featured Article designation, from this article? Both movements arose during the same period as transhumanism, both advocate cognitive or somatic modification, in aid of creating improved humans, similar to those espoused by many transhumanists, and each has its own Wikipedia article. Many prominent figures in the U.S. are Scientologists, and Raelian leaders testified at a public conference sponsored by the U.S. National Academy of Sciences. The deleted statement made no non-neutral comparisons, postive or negative, between the two movements and transhumanists. If simply mentioning them in the same article as transhumanism is non-neutral, so is mentioning Luddites and opponents of science in the same passages as modern critics of TH. Maybe those should be removed as well. Transhumanism has more in common with New Age tendencies than with Mormonism and Christianity, and the latter two religions are no better founded in reality than Scientology and Raelism. It is distinctly anti-NPOV to associate transhumanism with longstanding, popular, supernatural movements but not with historically contemporary ones similarly allied with technological renovation. --StN 06:45, 13 January 2007 (UTC)

Personally, I have no problem with the mention of Raelism in light of the fact that Raelians openly embrace transhumanism as a source of inpiration for their views, and this blog post by Guilio Prisco, the current executive director of the WTA, which compares transhumanism and Raelism. However, I don't think the mention of Scientology is appropriate in light of the fact that the E-meter, the sole technology which Scientologists promote, is a pseudoscientifc tool for religious counseling rather than a proven method of modifying cognitive capacities, which some transhumanists promote, such as nootropics. --Loremaster 07:09, 13 January 2007 (UTC)
In light of what I just said, I think the following sentence might be more appropriate:
Several controversial belief systems, termed new religious movements, originating in the late twentieth century, have embraced transhumanist goals of transcending the human condition by applying technology to the alteration of the mind and body, such as Raëlism.
The source for this claim would be one of Rael's book in which he explicitly praises transhumanism. Would this resolve this dispute to everyone's satisfaction? --Loremaster 07:16, 13 January 2007 (UTC)
I've added my proposed sentence and source to the article. --Loremaster 07:33, 13 January 2007 (UTC)
Okay, I'm prepared to leave it like that, though I don't actually think transhumanism has anything to do with Scientology, Christianity, or Mormonism. It also has very little to do with Rael, though I can see some similarity between what Raelism wants to do and the immortality associated with uploading favoured by some transhumanists. If Rael has said something about it, then that's fine. Metamagician3000 07:46, 13 January 2007 (UTC)
I'll go along with this as a compromise, although I think Scientology's methods, scientifically-based or not, actually achieve behavior modification in many of it subjects. The goals of the religion, as well, are to foster a higher form of humanity.--StN 07:50, 13 January 2007 (UTC)
Good. Dispute resolved. :) --Loremaster 07:56, 13 January 2007 (UTC)

Citations needed

Since I'm going to busy for a while, can someone work on citing the following articles in the Frankenstein argument?

Thank you in advance. --Loremaster 22:50, 15 January 2007 (UTC)

StN, can please you work on this? --Loremaster 22:33, 18 January 2007 (UTC)
I have cited one of the above. I think that's sufficient.--StN 02:25, 19 January 2007 (UTC)
I agree. However, I changed the citation for the most relevant one. --Loremaster 15:49, 19 January 2007 (UTC)

Extropy Institute link

I noticed that Extropy Institute was removed so I put it back. Extropy Institute's name and the website are operating, regardless of the non-profit being closed down. Extropy Institue's website it remains a viable site of transhumanism. It is a good idea to keep this name on the external links mainly because it is becoming a library resource. ( Loremaster if you have any problems with this, why don't you discuss it with me and I am sure we can resolve any conflicts that you have with my editing it back in.) Natasha Vita-More 20:38, 14 January 2007 (UTC)

Primo Posthuman

I noticed that my design "Primo Posthuman" was removed. The current images are uneventful and it looked better before. Since Biotech Art is at the forefront and "Primo Posthuman" is an exemplar image for BioTech Art, it seems strange to have removed it. And on that note, it is quite strange that Transhumanist Arts & Culture is not highlighted in this article. Transhumanism ought to be beyond such bias and truly ought to be reflected on this site. Can we discuss this and resolve it? Natasha Vita-More 20:44, 14 January 2007 (UTC

Primo Posthuman was completely deleted from Wikipedia probably due to the fact the person who uploaded it didn't use the appropriate copyrights label. So feel free to upload the image back into the system. "Transhumanist Arts & Culture" is not highlighted in the Fiction and Arts section because the contributor who worked most on this section was unsure as what to include and exclude from the information available online. This has nothing to do with any bias and I find it puzzling that you always assume that it is... Regardless, feel free to to edit the Fiction and Arts section to add an objective and concise mention of "Transhumanist Arts & Culture". --Loremaster 13:18, 15 January 2007 (UTC)
Hi, Natasha. I have no idea how the image came to be deleted, and I doubt that it had anything to do with the people mainly involved in the article. If you could upload it yourself, it would put any copyright issues beyond doubt - and I for one would like to see it put back into the article. Also, I realise that you might feel reticent about editing the article yourself, but you can always make specific suggestions here on the talk page. The main thing that can be difficult for us is that Wikipedia needs to be able to cite references for any statements that are made which are not totally uncontroversial. That might not be such a problem with an article at a raw stage of development, but this is a Featured Article, and we need to meet a high scholarly standard to keep it that way. Metamagician3000 14:11, 15 January 2007 (UTC)
Hello Loremaster and Metamagician3000. I do not know how to put the image back up, as I could not find the history of when it was removed. Your providing directions for me would be excellent. I do remember several people email me for copyright permission and I granted it. I am delighted to know that removing it was not a bias and that you would like to see it returned as well. :-) I shall do this when you advise me how to perform the edits. Best wishes to you both and for your enormous contributions. Natasha Vita-More 21:04, 15 January 2007 (UTC)
Hi, again. I don't think you need to worry about the past history. Just start again. If you see the box on the left of your screen called "toolbox", you'll see that there is an "Upload file" link. If you click on that, the process should then be fairly transparent (I hope ... I know I found it confusing at first). The main thing when you upload the file is to click on an option in the field about copyright making it clear that you are the copyright holder and that you release it under the GFDL or into the public domain (on the rare occasions when I have uploaded images, I have released them to the public domain, but I'm not sure that you would want to go that far; it's obviously up to you). Once it is uploaded, you could either insert it into the article yourself or just let us know that the image is there. Tell us if any of this is unclear or fails to answer your question, or if you encounter any problem. Metamagician3000 22:29, 15 January 2007 (UTC)
Is this not just a bit ironic?--StN 01:24, 19 January 2007 (UTC)
LOL Just because you are a transhumanist or even a transhuman doesn't mean you have to be adept at using every technology especially when they are not user-friendly. :) --Loremaster 01:48, 19 January 2007 (UTC)
LOL! ... LOL!! Natasha Vita-More 17:44, 19 January 2007 (UTC)

I've created an article for Transhumanist Arts & Culture and added a brief mention of it in the Transhumanism article's Fiction and Art section, which others are free to expand upon. --Loremaster 17:47, 19 January 2007 (UTC)

Okay, picture is uploaded. Name is "trans-post-human2.jpg" I'll let you insert into top of article  :-) Natasha Vita-More 18:49, 19 January 2007 (UTC)
Done. --Loremaster 19:11, 19 January 2007 (UTC)

Currents and Criticisms

Current edit: "There is a variety of opinion within transhumanist thought. Many of the leading transhumanist thinkers hold complex and subtle views that are under constant revision and development. Some distinctive currents of transhumanism are identified and listed here in alphabetical order:"

Input from a fresh reader: The article may yield greater utility if the Currents section gave associations and organizations and perhaps even people's names as examples. The categories of criticism have great examples of publications and people. More links to articles advancing the specific arguements could help keep things concise. I, for one, enjoyed the back and forth of the Criticisms section as it currently stands- it isn't too long, yet. As a reader without a vested interest in who got the last word in, I didn't notice a "winner" or "loser" for any of the Criticisms presented. Thanks for all of your collective hard work and the resulting great article. Adelord 22:33, 20 June 2006 (UTC)

Thank you for your comments, Adelord. I've also been thinking of expanding and improving the currents section along those lines. --Loremaster 22:37, 20 June 2006 (UTC)
You have my thanks as well. See, maybe that's what we need: outside perspective. Anville 18:52, 21 June 2006 (UTC)

--Loremaster 10:24, 1 January 2007 (UTC)

Should we work on expanding the Currents section according to the suggestions above or leave it as it is in the current version of the article? --Loremaster 22:38, 20 January 2007 (UTC)

I don't see any need to expand it. If these "currents" are notable enough (as some are), they should have their own articles with appropriate detail there. Metamagician3000 03:24, 21 January 2007 (UTC)
I'm not talking about adding new currents. I was refering to the suggestions made by Adelord above? --Loremaster 03:47, 21 January 2007 (UTC)
That's what I took you to mean. My point was that if there is more material available on these, and if they are sufficiently notable, their own articles would be a better place for the material (and we should merely link, or whatever, to those articles). On reflection, I should add that I'm not inflexible about this. E.g. what if one of the "currents" is not sufficiently important to justify its own article, but there's a well-sourced sentence or two that really should be said about it in Wikipedia? Well, on that scenario, it might well be that the material should go in this article. In short, I'm open to argument on a case by case basis, but my general bias is against expanding the material here on the respective currents. Metamagician3000 07:54, 21 January 2007 (UTC)
And just to try to be totally precise, and at the risk of creating more confusion about what I think, I do of course support continuing to saying something about each of the currents - I'd be opposed to them only being in a "see also" list, but no one is suggesting that. I'd also be pleased with any further citations - as opposed to further main text - to strengthen the section. Metamagician3000 07:59, 21 January 2007 (UTC)
Understood. I guess I will leave the section as is. --Loremaster 08:26, 21 January 2007 (UTC)

Argument names in the Criticisms section

As StN once wrote during the Featured Article nomination discussion:

"I agree with Loremaster that we are not coining new terms, new arguments or counterarguments. I have inserted a specific reference to Leon Kass's use of the 'Brave New World' argument. However, I do not think this is necessary in most of the other cases. As we note in the introduction to the Criticisms section, the various literary works and films *themselves* represent critiques of transhumanism. While these obviously do not take the form of 'arguments', they reflect, and are reflected, in arguments made by others. It is not new research to assert, for example, that the genetically divided world portrayed in Gattaca is the kind of dystopic future contemplated by Bill McKibben and James Hughes (though they come to different conclusions about it). In other contexts, people are said to make 'slippery slope' arguments even though they don't use the actual words 'slippery slope'."

So I urge the casual editor not to delete these phrases because you think they violate Wikipedia's no original research policy or that because it returns few very few Google hits. --Loremaster 19:18, 22 January 2007 (UTC)

As it stands, the section has not even one citation of a notable commentator (whether of films or of transhumanism) professing The Fountain has anything to do with the subject at hand. After a bit of Googling, I cannot find even one professional review that mentions The Fountain and transhumanism in the same article (this article by George Dvorsky was the closest I could find). This is an issue of verifiability, not truth. The paragraph you quoted says these works "reflect, and are reflected, in the arguments made by others." Where are those others, and what evidence do you have that The Fountain properly reflects their arguments? This is just as much OR as describing the United States' Drug Enforcement Administration as invoking "the Requiem for a Dream argument" on the grounds that the movie clearly depicts the negative health effects of illegal drugs, which the DEA emphasizes regularly. -- Schaefer (talk) 10:53, 23 January 2007 (UTC)
The reason I chose The Fountain is, in part, because of an extensive debate about the film on transhumanist mailing lists, in which one militant suggested that the WTA should organize a boycott because of it's anti-transhumanist memes but was voted down. --Loremaster 14:25, 23 January 2007 (UTC)
I've changed the name of the argument to Fountain of Youth to refer to the concept rather than the film. I've also changed the sentence that refers to film to satisfy the demands of verifiability. --Loremaster 16:44, 23 January 2007 (UTC)

Woody Allen ploy

Loremaster, if you produce Hughes one more time to purvey his jejune pseudoscience, I swear I will resurrect Marshall McLuhan to pummel both of you.--StN 02:31, 28 January 2007 (UTC)

Forgive my lack of culture but I am not familiar with the Woody Allen film you must be refering to. That being said, the article already makes quite clear that we stating Hughes's opinion. However, I can edit it to emphazise the point even more. Also, please respond to my comments on your talk page. --Loremaster 02:40, 28 January 2007 (UTC)
Sorry. It's hardly a lack of culture on your part, just evidence that there are no (longer) canonical works or narratives. But for the allusion, see Marshall McLuhan, in the subsection McLuhan's influence: McLuhan in popular culture.--StN 02:57, 28 January 2007 (UTC)
Oh I knew who McLuhan was before you mentioned him. Have you read this essay? It's quite relevant. --Loremaster 02:59, 28 January 2007 (UTC)
I had little doubt you knew McLuhan's work. The citation I gave was to the Woody Allen connection. Thanks for the essay on MM; I hadn't seen it previously. Please also see my talk page.--StN 03:15, 28 January 2007 (UTC)
Thank you for pointing me to the WA connection. That's hilarious! --Loremaster 03:35, 28 January 2007 (UTC)

Recent edits

Loremaster, a lot of what you have just placed in the Hubris section is scientific gibberish, ("the human genome and the proteins and tissue engineering that it codes for." Come again?) It is also ethically challenged: artificial chomosomes safer than existing genetic engineering techniques? Not! Part of the problem is that you are repeating what transhumanists have claimed, so in fact you are Wiki-legit. (By the way, how many years has it been since Gregory Stock has worked as a biophysicist? I know it's not your problem, it's in his Wikipedia entry, but still...) The new material looks very bad. I don't have time to massage your new text, nor do I want to get into inserting additional critiques of these notions; the article is long enough. My suggestion is for you to revert the whole thing, or most of it. If you don't think I'm being objective, run your new text past a biologist who is less than 15 years from the last time they stepped into a laboratory.--StN 22:27, 24 January 2007 (UTC)

One is supposed to repeat what transhumanists claim when one is writing a transhumanist counter-argument. Although the new material may be wrong, I think it looks much better than it use to. That being said, I'm currently searching for non-transhumanist material to support these claims. --Loremaster 22:37, 24 January 2007 (UTC)
If "the human genome and the proteins and tissue engineering that it codes for" is a direct quote from Hughes it should be put in quotation marks, since the notion that the genome codes for tissue engineering is so far out of the realm of contemporary science that it should be denoted as one individual's view.--StN 23:43, 24 January 2007 (UTC)
Let me verify the source. --Loremaster 23:45, 24 January 2007 (UTC)

For the moment, I've altered this because I don't know whether Hughes uses the expression "tissue engineering". Also, it should be made clear that it is Hughes who suggests this possibility - not "transhumanists". Some transhumanists are probably gung-ho enough to go ahead and take risks. Others might say that we should not do anything that is risky and admit that there is no obvious way to overcome the risks for the foreseeable future. So the views of Hughes really are specific to himself. I also think that a lot of different concepts are scrambled together in both the criticism and the response. For example, the criticism seems to have nothing to do with PGD, which is the obvious short-term way of getting desired traits. Procreative beneficence is usually about PGD. So the views described seem to be talking past each other somewhat - though this is not a new problem. Metamagician3000 00:58, 25 January 2007 (UTC)

I've restored "tissue engineering" since Hughes does use the expression and it has its own article. As for the PGD issue, this isn't what most people are up in arms about. It's the prospect of germline engineering that is freaking people out and that's what this argument and counter-argument is all about. --Loremaster 01:06, 25 January 2007 (UTC)
If Hughes uses the expression that's fine. We can tweak as necessary when we all look up the passage.
As far as I know, the term "procreative beneficence" was coined by Julian Savulescu in the context of PGD. I'd be very surprised if Julian thought we should modify embryos when there is a significant risk of causing deformities. The idea of procreative beneficence seems misapplied in a context like that. I'm not suggesting that anything specific be changed in the article, but I do think that there's confusion around. I just don't see a way of getting it all clear. I'll let my subconscious work on this rather than addressing it now, but it seems to be something very specific that is being criticised under this argument. Metamagician3000 01:39, 25 January 2007 (UTC)
We all know that Savulescu coined the term "procreative beneficence" in the context of PGD. However, many supporters of germline genetic engineering, including transhumanists such as James Hughes, use it to support their argument. Also, no one is suggesting that Savulescu thinks we should modify embryos when there is a significant risk of causing deformities. This is why the article states:
Transhumanists therefore argue that parents have a moral responsibility called procreative beneficence to make use of these methods, once they are shown to be reasonably safe and effective, to have the healthiest children possible.
So I don't see the confusion you seem to see. --Loremaster 15:05, 25 January 2007 (UTC)
Tissue engineering is something people do in culture dishes and sometimes in damaged organs. It's not something the genome codes for. It has nothing whatsoever to do with manipulation of human embryos at early developmental stages, except perhaps in Hughes's fevered imagination. The only mention of "embryo" in the tissue engineering article is in relation to embryonic stem cells, which no sane scientists are proposing as a route to manipulate humans at early developmental stages. Rather, they are being proposed as a source of reparative tissues for existing people. I don't have a particular interest in preventing transhumanism from looking ridiculous, but perhaps Loremaster or Metamagician does. Another consideration: it is a disservice to the public to quote irresponsible fanatasies as if they were scientifically based proposals, even if the precepts of Wikipedia are not technically violated by doing so.--StN 05:32, 25 January 2007 (UTC)
Well, the comments about living people's "fevered imaginations" and so on don't really help. You are also getting very close to assuming bad faith towards the end of what you just wrote. Open speculations about other editors' motives or interests tempt retaliation in kind, which would not be to the benefit of cooperative editing encyclopedia. I suggest we all refrain from them. Metamagician3000 08:32, 25 January 2007 (UTC)
I agree with Meta. Regarding the other consideration: Since the dawn of the scientific age many scientists have, are and will promote "irresponsible fantasies" as if they were scientifically based proposals so I don't think we are doing a disservice to the public by mentioning them. On the contrary, we are informing on the public of the actual dreams that some people are promoting regardless of how irresponsible they might be. --Loremaster 15:09, 25 January 2007 (UTC)
I believe Metamagician misunderstood my comment above. I was not questioning the motives of the other editors. I was indicating my willingness to work with Loremaster and Metamagician, against my own views of the movement, to keep some of the more unsound and irresponsible proposals of transhumanists out of the article.--StN 17:27, 25 January 2007 (UTC)
If they are properly contextualized, I would think you would like the article to expose the "unsound and irresponsible" proposals of transhumanists. ;) --Loremaster 17:39, 25 January 2007 (UTC)
That's true.--StN 17:47, 25 January 2007 (UTC)

The following are links to some articles which fuel Hughes' "fevered imaginations":

  1. Accelerating drug discovery
  2. FDA's Informatics and Computational Safety Analysis Staff (ICSAS)
  3. MCASE program to evaluate drug design
  4. European Virtual Human Immune System Project
  5. In Silico Biology
  6. In Silico Toxicology: Integration into Current FDA Policies
  7. DrugBank: a comprehensive resource for in silico drug discovery
  8. The challenge of predicting drug toxicity in silico
  9. Increasing Adoption of Computational Biology Tools in Drug Discovery Industry
  10. Israeli 'virtual patient engine' designs safe clinical trials, and saves lives
  11. Clinical Modeling hits prime time
  12. Scientists complete human metabalome

--Loremaster 15:59, 25 January 2007 (UTC)

In silico biology is very good for designing drugs, just not for designing humans. I have put nothing in the Wikipedia article itself of an ad hominem nature. I don't believe that the talk pages are off limits for issues like those I have raised: my comments are directed toward improvement of the main article and introduce information perhaps not readily availlable to the other main editors. However, if anyone can find anything at all in the biological or medical literature (e.g., at [1]) concerning proposed uses of in silico biology or artificial chromosomes to design altered humans, or asserting that the human genome encodes tissue engineering, I will refrain from any additional comments on the validity of the recently added text. I have no problem with the crackpot ideas of some transhumanists finding their way into the article. I am just concerned that they don't mislead readers by appearing to be scientifically based.--StN 17:01, 25 January 2007 (UTC)
Fair enough. I'll edit the article to ensure more accuracy and neutrality. --Loremaster 17:16, 25 January 2007 (UTC)

Hughes' response:

The following is the content of an email forwarded to me by a colleague who is in constant contact with James Hughes:

"Uh, OK. I guess I don't understand StN's objection then. No, we aren't using in silico methods to test human genetic engineering yet. But I didn't say we were in the book Citizen Cyborg. I said that the in silico research models that are rapidly advancing will eventually allow in silico trials of human genetic modification, just as they are currently facilitating drug discovery and in silico clinical trials.

As to StN balking at:

> the human genome encodes tissue engineering

Perhaps we have a terminological issue. Does he not believe that the genome codes for phenotype? Is there no relationship between genetic code and the proteins and tissues of the resulting organism? I doubt that's the nature of the objection. Is it that some phenotypic variation is coded in mitochondrial DNA? Granted. Is the objection that the relationship is not one-gene-to-one-tissue? I don't think I implied that it was.

Perhaps StN is thinking of the hierarchical nature of genetic control, which means that my comparison of the complexity of coding for the human body to coding for e. coli is faulty, since hierachical structures make genome->phenotype complexity more than linear. If that is the complaint then I grant the argument. But the complexity of coding the genome->human phenotype is finite and ultimately engineerable whether it is one order of magnitude or ten orders of magnitude bigger than the e. coli."

-- Loremaster 16:19, 26 January 2007 (UTC)

Actually the genome does not encode the phenotype. This is not a matter of what I believe; it is a matter of science that frequently gets distorted by popularizers. See phenotypic plasticity, for example, or West-Eberhard MJ (2003) Developmental Plasticity and Evolution. Oxford University Press. So even though the genome is finite, attempts to engineer new phenotypes via genetic changes would be unreliable unless the genetic background, egg maternal factors, and uterine + postnatal + social environments were also precisely controlled. Furthermore, the genome itself encodes proteins and RNAs, not anthropomorphic practices like "engineering." --StN 19:50, 26 January 2007 (UTC)
Hughes' response: "OK, this is a pointless argument then. What StN is saying is that genes don't make bodies by themselves. They need certain kinds of food, air, etc., or they will just turn back into dust. Granted. Strangely that has not stopped human from manipulating genotypic variation into thousands of varieties of animal and plant species, wherein the progeny of a poodle still looks pretty much like a poddle. And it doesn't stop most kids from inheriting bad eyes or flat feet from their parents, instead of spontaneously generating flippers because you left them in the bathtub too long. Nor is it any kind of argument against genetic engineering. Its like saying that trying to build a car to drive down a road is pointless because the endeavour is dependent on the persistence of gravity, on the earth continuing to revolve, and on the sun not going supernova." --Loremaster 23:41, 27 January 2007 (UTC)
"Pointless argument" is typical dismissive Hughes rhetoric in lieu of engagement with the actual science. Thanks, Loremaster, for providing this vouchsafe that you are indeed channeling the author of "Citizen Cyborg". The new passage shows that the confusion between engineering and biology indeed goes quite deep. No one would think of engineering a car by manipulating iron atoms. It's a question of doing the construction at the appropriate level and knowing the relevant principles. We know the appropriate levels and principles for cars and bridges. Concerning organisms, scientists are very far from knowing the principles, as almost all would admit (despite what "scientists" know, according to popularizers like Hughes), and genes are certainly not the level that biological engineering, if at all possible, would occur on. Fine-tuning, yes, but engineering, no. If it were, we should be able to create new species, classes, phyla, by manipulating genes, but no one has been able to do this. In any case, Loremaster, put any of Hughes's opinions you want in the article, but please label them as such. If you want to know about genotypes and phenotypes, however, rather than receiving blandishments concerning what "scientists" will be able to accomplish in 10 or 50 years, it would be better to consult Mary Jane West-Eberhard's book or other writings on evolutionary developmental biology.--StN 02:16, 28 January 2007 (UTC)
The article already makes quite clear that we stating Hughes's opinion. However, I can edit it to emphazise the point even more. --Loremaster 02:31, 29 January 2007 (UTC)
Hughes' response:
"> typical dismissive Hughes rhetoric
Well, at least StN's paid close enough attention to note my typical rhetorics.
Ordinarily, as a social scientist, I wouldn't argue about genetics with an expert on evolutionary biology if this is what StN claims to be. But I happen to have heard a talk in which Dr. Stuart Newman professed that tests of drugs on animals can teach us nothing about their effects on humans, which was so completely absurd that I felt emboldened to profess right back. A first observation is that critics can't both insist that genetic engineering is impossible *and* that human genetic engineering is going to create a new super-human ruling caste. OK, that's not fair, since at bioethical conferences Stuart gets up and says that its impossible, and then Marcy Darnovsky gets up and says we're going to make genetic aristocracies that eat human babies. So they are just an ambigiously logical duo.
> we should be able to create new species, classes, phyla, by manipulating genes
Yes, well, I still believe we will be able to.
> consult Mary Jane West-Eberhard's book or other writings on evolutionary developmental biology
OK. Maybe I'm not reading the same things you are StN. But I haven't seen anybody but you say that phenotypic plasticity means that genetic engineering is *impossible*, since that is obviously nonsensical. Be as dismissive of me as you like, but I'm not going to argue with you about whether we can effect phenotypes by engineering genomes. We've done it, we're doing it, and we'll use it to create both somatic and germline genetic enhancements in human beings."
--Loremaster 01:27, 29 January 2007 (UTC)
How did this discussion go from a questioning of the soundness of James Hughes's published statements on the potential of genetic engineering that are cited in the Transhumanism article to a purported linkage between comments by others on drug testing in animals and eating human babies that may or may not have been made at public meetings that Hughes attended? Loremaster, you normally respect the talk page guidelines in your own comments. This should also apply to material by others that you place on these pages.--StN 17:29, 29 January 2007 (UTC)
After thanking me for channeling Hughes, I'm not sure what violation of the talk page guidelines you are refering to. If Hughes chose to go off on a tangent when responding to your comments, I can't be blamed for that. --Loremaster 17:38, 29 January 2007 (UTC)

Mark Alan Walker's response

The following is the content of an email forwarded to me by a colleague who is in contact with Mark Alan Walker:

"The limits to phenotype plasticity can be demostrated by sending a chimp to Cambridge on a full scholarship. All the educational resources in the world won't get a chimp to the point of what humans typically achieve by the end of grade 1. Chimps and bonobos differ from us in about 500 genes. Bonobos and and chimps, which are often not distinguished by the untrained eye, differ from each other in about 250 genes. So, very few genetic changes can have a dramatic effect on phenotype. For example, chimps brain volume is about 400cc, ours is about 1300cc. I have talked about the "homo bigheadus" experiment with a number of scientists to double or so human brain volume. (This is the idea that we can target one or a few homeobox genes that control the large scale features of the brain. Details can be found in my JET paper). Typically they recoil in horror precisely because they realize that, all ethical questions aside, we could perform the homo bigheadus experiment today. Perhaps the critics point is that we do not know what the outcome of such experiments will be. At least in the case of homo bigheadus, this is true enough. But we could in principle try and have some chance at creating something that was so much smarter than us that it deserved a different species category. So, if the critic's point is that we don't have the knowledge or expertise at this point to precisely predict the outcome of such genetic engineering experiments, then she is right. But then again, if this is her position then she is attacking a strawperson."

--Loremaster 05:25, 29 January 2007 (UTC)

Posthumanism article

Can and does anyone want to help to expand the Posthumanism article? --Loremaster 04:56, 29 January 2007 (UTC)

Human enhancement article

I've improved the Human enhancement article. Can someone help me finish the technologies section? Please read the talk page before you do. --Loremaster 03:31, 3 February 2007 (UTC)


What is this all about? I'm sure that some transhumanists are rule-utilitarians, but others may be act utilitarians, Kantians, neo-Aristotelean virtue theorists, contractarians, Randian libertarians, moral sceptics, Nietzschean perfectionists, or even divine command theorists of some unusual kind ... or something else. We must try to avoid typecasting what transhumanists think beyond the basic optimism about enhancing human capabilities that they share. Some ethical theories may form a bad mix with transhumanism (e.g. some vulgarisations of Kantian theory), but a wide range of views may attract different people in the broader transhumanist camp. Metamagician3000 06:52, 19 February 2007 (UTC)

My apologies. I was basing this claim on a generalization made by political scientist Klaus-Gerd Giesen in his critical survey of the beliefs of transhumanists. I'll delete it in light of your objection. --Loremaster 07:31, 19 February 2007 (UTC)
I've replaced the sentence “from a rule utilitarian perspective” with “mainly from a secular posthumanist perspective”. --Loremaster 09:02, 19 February 2007 (UTC)

IMPORTANT: New Contributors

Having invested a lot of time and energy in editing the Transhumanism article, the primary contributors insist that all claims for and against transhumanism, or otherwise, be accurate, properly attributed, and well-referenced. We want the article to be the best possible resource for anyone (e.g. students, journalists, cultural critics) who is interested in the subject. Despite having conflicting views, we all cooperated in an effort to make the article comprehensive, rigorous and stable enough for Featured Article status. Therefore, we recommend that you take the time to discuss any major addition or deletion of article content in this talk page before proceeding otherwise the article may be reverted to an older version. --Loremaster 00:50, 15 May 2006 (UTC)

While it is indeed an excellent article, I don't think any special procedures for handling future edits are warranted. I would worry about setting a precedent for other Featured Articles, some of which fall far below the quality standards set here (see the May 31 Nostradamus article for an example).--Chris 01:17, 2 June 2006 (UTC)
I wasn't proposing any special procedure. I was simply pointing out something that is common sense on Wikipedia. --Loremaster 18:01, 2 June 2006 (UTC)
How's the view from that high horse? Wiki welcomes any and all useful, properly formatted edits. There's no need to check with the "primary contributors" (ie, you and you alone) to get permission before editing. Don't threaten blanket reversion to any future edit you may disagree with. Alvis 16:35, 6 April 2007 (UTC)
If you look through the talk archives, you will quickly see that the primary contributors to the Transhumanism article have been User:Metamagician3000 (who is a Wikipedia administrator), User:StN and myself. Regardless, I have "never threaten blanket reversion to any future edit I may disagree". I have warned a new editor that his undiscussed, unsubstantive and clumsly edits, many of which go against the consensus surrounding this article will be reverted or, at the very least, reworded. So the view from that high horse is quite good. --Loremaster 19:26, 6 April 2007 (UTC)
I've read through the archives after coming across this page through the Wikiquette alerts. I have to say, though your edits are by and large sound, your attitude towards others' edits is highly disturbing. Saying that you "recommend that you take the time to discuss any major addition or deletion of article content in this talk page before proceeding otherwise the article may be reverted to an older version" is a bald-faced threat to OK edits with you (and these other "primary contributors") or you'll remove them at your whim. Alvis 05:15, 7 April 2007 (UTC)
You can obviously choose to misinterpret what I said anyway you want. The primary contributors (which are User:Metamagician3000, User:StN and myself) have always discussed major (and sometimes minor) changes to the article before editing the article to avoid a dispute or a revert war. This is just common sense. --Loremaster 16:26, 7 April 2007 (UTC)
I don't think Alvis misinterpreted what you said: the criticism is of your (apparent) attitude, not of your actions. And I agree -- for example, I've never before come across the words "the primary contributors insist" on Wikipedia. I assume your motives are pure, but your words do come across as unnecessarily heavy handed. atakdoug 17:01, 8 April 2007 (UTC)
Well, I obviously don't care of people's perception of my attitude since the real issue is the legitimacy of my actions. As far the words you have a problem with, they were actually written by Wikipedia adminstrator User:Metamagician3000. --Loremaster 18:35, 10 April 2007 (UTC)
If people's perceptions of your attitude -- correct or incorrect -- dissuade them from making potentially valuable contributions, then that's an issue, too. atakdoug 01:01, 16 April 2007 (UTC)
Since only one user (whose contributions have mostly been undiscussed, unsubstantive and clumsly) has complained, I don't think it's much of an issue. The number of people who have praised both my work and atttitude is countless. --Loremaster 18:03, 16 April 2007 (UTC)
Wow, countless people have praised your attitude? I'm betting we could count them pretty easily. And notice, that people haven't complained about what's going on here doesn't mean you aren't scaring them off. What if some are newcomers to Wikipedia, and get the impression from looking at the history and the top of this talk page that this is how it's supposed to be done? They'll leave thinking that when an article is considered by the primary contributors to be reasonably complete and stable, then others should not add content without clearing it with the primary contributors first. This seems to be your view of how the system works; I submit that it is a minority view. atakdoug 02:45, 17 April 2007 (UTC)
Although I won't back up all of Noclevername's edits, some seem to be reverted by you for no good reason - what was wrong with [2]? Looking through the talk page archive, I see nothing about a problem with including mention of Harrison Bergeron - no argument regarding the consensus you claim gives you cause to make reverts - other than you didn't write it? Alvis 05:15, 7 April 2007 (UTC)
The arguments in the criticism section is not intentend to be a repository of every novel or film which depicts elements of these arguments, especially when many have commented that this section is quite long. The Gattaca argument was named after the film Gattaca not Harrison Bergeron. This is an issue that has been discussed in the past. --Loremaster 16:26, 7 April 2007 (UTC)
The category is the "genetic divide" - the Gattaca mention is secondary. This work is in regards to that category. The fact that an editor felt the need to augment the entry means that it is NOT complete. And no, this example has NOT been discussed on any archived talk page, unless you can cite otherwise. Alvis 06:24, 8 April 2007 (UTC)
The arguments in the criticism section only mentions books or films which have been cited by critics in their case against a a particular consequence of transhumanism. We've discussed the importance of this in relation to the Foutain of Youth argument was previously named after the film The Fountain until someone pointed out that it has never been cited by critics. --Loremaster 02:30, 10 April 2007 (UTC)

Minor prob with Fiction and Art

"manga and anime (Appleseed, 1985; Ghost in the Shell, 1995)"

Okay, Appleseed the manga was 1985 and the anime was 2004, Ghost in the Shell manga was 1989 and anime was 1995. Right now we are quoting one manga, one anime, any reason? I would go either with all 4 dates or whatever came first.Disco 07:46, 17 April 2007 (UTC)

I'll make the minor correction. --Loremaster 23:32, 17 April 2007 (UTC)

Last words?

Despite continuing to tweak the article from time to time, I don't think there is anything major left to do beyond improving articles that are related to Transhumanism. --Loremaster 15:32, 26 February 2007 (UTC)


Chicago Manual Style (CMS): aging. The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition. Houghton Mifflin Company, 2004. (accessed: February 19, 2007).

is there a reason to prefer the more unusual style? Whateley23 11:54, 19 February 2007 (UTC)

The Wikipedia article has an article on this topic using the so-called unusual style. See Ageing. --Loremaster 12:44, 19 February 2007 (UTC)
so long as you have a reason. it still looks wrong. Whateley23 09:29, 23 February 2007 (UTC)
Why don't you make your case on the Talk:Ageing that the title of that article should be “aging” rather than “ageing”. If you succeed in convincing people to do it, I would immediately change the spelling here. --Loremaster 10:22, 23 February 2007 (UTC)


You have a right to be proud of and to have a vested interest in this article However, I strongly recommend you have a good long look at Wikipedia policy about article ownership. It is the nature of this Wikipedian beast to have articles, even the ones you love and have nurtured, to be edited and changed. It's one of your responsibilities as a good Wikipedian editor to let that happen. This is the case even if the article is featured or celebrated in any official or unofficial way. --MalcolmGin 21:50, 8 April 2007 (UTC)

Thank for the compliment and the recommendation. However, I have no problem with the article being edited or changed by new or old contributors as long as they respect the standard of a featured article I and others have sthrived to attain and maintain. --Loremaster 02:37, 10 April 2007 (UTC)
Then you may wish to be more verbose about your reversions and edits, because, as should be clear to you by now, some of your reversions and edits seem unnecessary and ownership-behavior-related, so better explanations may help us all understand your editorial direction. --MalcolmGin 14:32, 10 April 2007 (UTC)
As I have explained several times, all my reversions and edits were necessary and were not related to ownership-behavior. Futhermore, I have put a editorial direction guideline (which was actually written by Wikipedia administrator User:Metamagician3000) at the top this talk page and refered people to it when I made my reverts and edits. That being said, I will try to be more verbose since people since it seems that some new contributors don't seem to understand such a simple guideline. --Loremaster 17:30, 10 April 2007 (UTC)
I think we understand the guideline as written; I, and apparently others, interpret your edits and the explanations thereof to mean something rather different, though. I know I will never edit this page, lest you summarily revert because "the primary contributors" don't like what I've done. And that seems to be what you want. If that isn't in fact what you want, then you might examine your words and actions to find why I could come to such an erroneous conclusion. atakdoug 00:55, 16 April 2007 (UTC)
I don't care how one clumsly contributor, and two critics responding to an unnecessary netiquette alert, choose to misintepret my edits and explanations. As I said before, I don't summarily revert edits simply because I don't like them or because they don't come from me. Transhumanism is a well-written, comprehensive, factually accurate, neutral and stable article, which has been peer-reviewed, and received both Good Article and Featured Article status due to its logic and quality. As long as new contributors respect that logic and quality, they will no problem from me. --Loremaster 18:06, 16 April 2007 (UTC)

I'm seeing the same thing Atakdoug is describing, myself. Loremaster, you reverted my re-addition of the information on Bergeron to the Gattaca section on the basis of what appears to be a double standard. Your edit summary said "removing content that has not been cited by critics in their argument against the genetic divide that transhumanism could contribute to",[3] but the claim that Gattaca is used by critics is itself completely uncited and has been since you added it in May last year: [4]. Furthermore, when you added the original mention of Gattaca it was in a form even less explicitly relevant than the Bergeron stuff: [5] The impression I get is that you are holding new additions to this harsher standard simply because they're from someone else, I don't see how your own additions would pass the same test otherwise. Bryan Derksen 01:37, 16 April 2007 (UTC)

The lack of a source for the claim that the film Gattaca has been cited by critics is an oversight and I thank you for pointing that out. But if you look carefully, all the other additions pass the test. That being said, the article has evolved since I first added the original mention of the film Gattaca. My research has led me to discover that in fact the film has been cited by critics in their argument against the genetic divide that transhumanism could contribute to. Correct me if I am wrong but the same cannot be said of Harris Bergeron. Regardless, the criticisms section has a structure and style that should be taken into account when making new contributions, which you have failed to do. --Loremaster 18:09, 16 April 2007 (UTC)
Perhaps, but when the Gattaca reference was first put in it didn't mention any critics citing it either so why must the Bergeron reference? I find it to be an interesting counterexample in fiction, whether it's been cited by critics or not is beside the point. And really, the basic point I'm trying to make here is not this one specific little bit of text but rather how it appears you responded to its addition. You didn't request a citation, reword the addition to try making it fit better, or address the issue on talk, you just blipped it away. It's not a very collaborative approach. I'll reword it and reincorporate it as an example of the sort of thing I'm suggesting doing instead. Bryan Derksen 04:32, 17 April 2007 (UTC)
It doesn't matter that when the Gattaca reference was first put in it didn't mention any critics citing it! At the time, Transhumanism was neither a good or featured article. The reason it become one is, in part, because we improved it so that criticism section came to have a logic, structure and style. The criticisms section is about arguments against transhumanism (some of which are named after books or films which provide such arguments, and mention books or films which have been cited by critics making these arguments) while the Gattaca argument is specifically about an argument against libertarian transhumanism. Therefore, it is original research to mention Harris Bergeron as a counter-point to Gattaca when no critic of transhumanism has done so; and no transhumanist would mention it either in a counter-argument since it would obviously undermine it. Ultimately, the criticsms section isn't a showcase for books or films which depict anti-transhumanist or transhumanist scenarios. It's, in part, about the sources for arguments against transhumanism made by citable critics. In other words, not only should you provide a source which cites Harris Bergeron as a counter-point to Gattaca but you have to explain how Harris Bergeron supports a *transhumanist* counter-argument to the Gattaca argument. --Loremaster 23:49, 17 April 2007 (UTC)
But who says that the criticisms section isn't a "showcase for books or films which depict anti-transhumanist or transhumanist scenarios"? The reason folks are complaining about Wikipedia:Ownership of articles issues here appears to be that you seem to have set yourself up as the gatekeeper who decides what should or should not be included in this article, and have stated outright (in #Last words? above) that you don't believe any major new additions should be made. Well, I happen to think that describing examples of various anti-transhumanist or transhumanist scenarios in fiction is an interesting and useful thing to do in an article such as this, and evidently so did User:Noclevername who originally added the Bergeron example. From my perspective you're the one who's harming the quality of the article by insisting on its removal like this. An article's "featured" status should not become an obstacle to continued evolution and improvement. Bryan Derksen 06:01, 18 April 2007 (UTC)
The reason why a tiny minority of people think that I have set myself up as the sole gatekeepeer of the Transhumanism article is because the other main contributors to this article have left when they felt the article was comprehensive. Futhermore, the reason why I put up those "last words" is because (Wikipedia administrator) Metamagician3000 asked me several times whether or not we should consider our work "complete" before he left. I was simply providing him with an answer despite the fact that I have continued to improve the article since then (thereby contradicting myself). That being said, see his own comments below. --Loremaster 19:31, 19 April 2007 (UTC)

The criticisms section is a space to report criticisms, and to some extent, to report transhumanist responses to criticisms. If someone has said that a world where transhumanists got their way would be like Gattaca (and therefore horrible), that is a basis for referring to Gattaca. I've seen this said so many times that it seems to me to be a trite point, and it is certainly not a novel claim about Gattaca. Still, there really should be a reference. I'm sure I can find one if needed. If someone has said, "Au contraire, it will be like 'Harrison Bergeron' if we don't let the transhumanists get their way," then that can also go into the article if it is attributable to a source of some significance. Note, though, that there is a big difference - Gattaca really is, quite literally, about the use of PGD to select supposedly superior human genotypes and it directly criticises this practice. That's not controversial, though ideally we should find a film critic or a philosopher/bioethicist who aays it. By contrast, "Harrison Bergeron" and the Church of God the Utterly Indifferent in the same author's The Sirens of Titan are not about any such thing. They are about handicapping people for perfectly natural talents, and were published long before the current bioethical controversies - way back in the 1950s, in the case of the novel, and possibly the short story, too (I can't, offhand, remember its publication date). To claim, ourselves, that these works by Vonnegut somehow illuminate debates about transhumanism, human enhancement, etc., is crossing way over the line into original research. Metamagician3000 10:15, 18 April 2007 (UTC)

I agree. By the way, Citizen Cyborg is the almost word-for-word source for the claim regarding the film Gattaca. --Loremaster 17:31, 18 April 2007 (UTC)
You're right, using Harrison Bergeron as a counterexample was OR on my part and should have been removed on that basis. Unfortunately, that point was not raised; the item was simply deleted and then I was insulted for having added it, which told me nothing about what was wrong with my edit. Noclevername 18:27, 28 April 2007 (UTC)
When I deleted the mention of Harrisson Bergeron, I recommended that you discuss and justify it on this talk page. Had you done this, I would have then raised all the points against it. My so-called insults, which were fair and accurate criticisms, came much later and in a different context. --Loremaster 20:55, 29 April 2007 (UTC)

UNICE image

I am reverting the addition of links and an image relating to UNICE: Universal Network of Intelligent Conscious Energy, a recreation of an article that was speedy deleted a year ago. Further reasons are described here, in a discussion regarding my reversion of UNICE information in the article Technological singularity. -- Schaefer (talk) 22:02, 29 May 2007 (UTC)

Fukuyama's criticism

Fukuyama's article criticize, among other things, Transhumanism on the basis that what "a better human" is, is far from self-evident. He points to a similarity with behaviour-modifying drugs being administered to children. It seems as if this criticism is not presented clearly in the criticism section. It would be beneficial to include this criticism somehow, as it plays into a "here-and-now" debate that does not hinge on future technology, yet questions the transhumanist agenda.

A short summary: While his article dosn't go into details, it is known that the percentage diagnosed with ADHD is higher in the US than in Europe and has risen in later years, both pointing to a cultural basis for the liklyhood of an ADHD diagnosis. Stopping unwanted behaviour in the child is a major motivation for treating ADHD, "unwanted" being, to some degree, specific to culture and the setting the child is placed in. This is an example of an alteration of the human body or mind away from evolution's "proven to work in practice" towards an engineered "human as it ought to be". That what "ought to be" is an ethical and aestethical choice is, I believe, a major point for Fukuyama. His claim appears to be that modifications that are self-evidently good, like "fewer diseases", are more the exception than the norm and even these may involve ethical tradeoffs, as in the "ADHD disease" case. EverGreg 11:10, 5 June 2007 (UTC)

Although this is a good point, the article tries to present a general summary of the arguments for and against transhumanism. However, I am always open to it being improved so I would like to know what others contributors to the article, such as User:Metamagician3000, think before coming to a decision. --Loremaster 17:44, 6 June 2007 (UTC)
I've come to the conclusion that the best place to put this information is in the Human enhancement article rather than the Transhumanism article. --Loremaster 20:05, 8 June 2007 (UTC)
I'm not sure I quite understand the point that is being made. Fukuyama has a lot to say about this sort of thing in both Our Posthuman Future and Beyond Bioethics. But the point is mainly that it is possible to draw a practical line between therapy and enhancement, despite the fact that it is very difficult to make the distinction with ADHD. Fukuyama is thus not in the social constructivist camp with the therapy/enhancement disitinction but in the camp that says a line can be drawn on a mix of biological and pragmatic grounds. That is an interesting claim, but it is not really what he criticises transhumanism for - which is the possibility of creating genetic masters and slaves. Metamagician3000 06:55, 11 June 2007 (UTC)
Thanks for the feedback. I realize there's a risk of me using Fukuyama as a strawman for my own Transhumanism-criticism, which would be very un-lexical. However, focusing on his essay in foreign policy, he raises several of the criticisms, of which the master-slave scenario is only one. In the last paragraph, he summarize what for lack of a better name may be called "the Prometheus argument" or perhaps the icarus argument:
Nobody knows what technological possibilities will emerge for human self-modification. But we can already see the stirrings of Promethean desires in how we prescribe drugs to alter the behavior and personalities of our children. The environmental movement has taught us humility and respect for the integrity of nonhuman nature. We need a similar humility concerning our human nature. If we do not develop it soon, we may unwittingly invite the transhumanists to deface humanity with their genetic bulldozers and psychotropic shopping malls.
This is most similar to the second form of the playing god argument, but do not focus on "technical glitches" in embryo development. The unforeseen consequences appear on the timescale of lifetimes and on individual, social and societal levels. Additionally, some of the consequences are not self-evidently good or bad. I'll have a stab at including this in the text about the second playing god argument and we'll see if it makes sense.
EverGreg 20:19, 11 June 2007 (UTC)

Criticism of transhumanism

Why does almost half of the article discuss various arguments against transhumanism? There is a lot of important content there, but it seems wildly excessive considering the Humanism, Rationalism, Dualism, Empiricism, Skepticism, Nihilism, Pessimism, Optimism and Monism articles all have no criticism section. Perhaps we could create a "Criticism of Transhumanism" page, with a short synopsis and a link on this page? 00:52, 16 June 2007 (UTC)

The reason why almost half of the article discuss various arguments against transhumanism is because transhumanism has attracted more outspoken critics than outspoken supporters. That being said, the transhumanist counter-arguments are ultimately arguments for transhumanism and therefore neutralize the POV factor of this section. Regardless, the comprehensiveness and style of the Criticism section is part of the reason why Transhumanism was considered one of the best articles produced by the Wikipedia community. --Loremaster 09:12, 17 June 2007 (UTC)
Every single article I listed above has a long list of critics (including myself, for some of them), yet none of them have any "criticism" section at all. I agree that the section in question is well-written; however, I don't see why it can't be split off. Transhumanism is certainly long enough at 83 kb. 19:37, 18 June 2007 (UTC)
I don't care for the header of "Criticism" in an FA and think it should be retitled or removed if possible. If such sections contain both the criticism and counter arguments (which they should for a high quality article), then such should not be labeled as crticism. Each section can stand on its own as a section of Transhumanism with integrated criticism and rebuttal. Such a section of arguments might have a title to group them but perhaps a better term could be used then "criticism" as this automaticly presents a POV. See Wikipedia:Neutral_point_of_view#Article_structure, Wikipedia:Words_to_avoid#Article_structure, and Wikipedia:Criticism. As far as the list of critics (and I'm speaking without knowing them and without really reading through the material so forgive me if I off base), if they are significant enough to be mentioned here, then they should probably have thier own article, where their criticism and the rebuttal of the topic can be expanded and linked back to the main article. If many critics make the same argument, then such is justified in having a section in this article with possible reference to the critics that make the argument. See WP:WEIGHT. Morphh (talk) 20:01, 18 June 2007 (UTC)
I have no problem with the header of the criticisms section being changed to something more approppriate. However, I would strongly object to the section being split off for reasons I explained above but also because User:StN, one of the main contributors to the article, would have permanently disputed the neutrality of this article if such a split-off was done... --Loremaster 19:46, 19 June 2007 (UTC)
I've changed the header to "Controversy". Does anyone object? --Loremaster 20:53, 19 June 2007 (UTC)
Better, Thanks :-) Morphh (talk) 2:41, 20 June 2007 (UTC)

Okay. I've always had a problem with the huge "criticism" section, as Loremaster knows, but there was a reason at the time. "Controversy" may be better. Metamagician3000 09:28, 29 June 2007 (UTC)

IMPORTANT: Friendly advice to new contributors

ANY constructive edits are welcome on Wikipedia. There is no need to verify edits with self-appointed "keepers" of articles. Just provide citations, keep it NPOV, and you're fine. Don't worry about any threats of reverting your edits, as other editors are watching for unwarranted reverts. Alvis 05:14, 20 April 2007 (UTC)
I agree that new contributors don't need to verify minor edits with the primary contributors to this article. I was only refering to major edits. That being said, the original version of the advice was written by Wikipedia administrator, Metamagician3000, the other so-called self-appointed "keeper" of the Transhumanism article. There are no threats of edit reversion in either version of this advice. Furthermore, none of my previous reverts were unwarranted as the conclusion to the debate regarding this issue has shown. --Loremaster 23:19, 20 April 2007 (UTC)


It was suggested to me that Micheal Gibb's Genetic Destiny: Future DNA testing capabilities may lead to difficult personal and societal decisions ( would be perfect for the Gattaca argument section. However, we would need to find the appropriate rationale to justify its use in an article on transhumanism. As for Peter Pan, using an ad that epitomizes our culture's obsession with youth would be quite appropriate ( --Loremaster 23:55, 29 July 2006 (UTC)

[...]The Genetic Destiny image is nice, but as an artistic metaphor is less likely to qualify for fair use than book covers [...]. The Ahava ad is great, but I doubt whether an ad would qualify for fair use.--StN 00:30, 30 July 2006 (UTC)
The Foreign Policy magazine cover for the issue on the world's most dangerous ideas which nominated transhumanism would be ideal for the Brave New World section. --Loremaster 22:06, 13 December 2006 (UTC)
Since this Wikipedia article is not about Foreign Policy magazine, nor about the WMDI feature in that magazine, but just refers to what one contributor placed in that category, I think this doesn't come under fair use.--StN 23:00, 13 December 2006 (UTC)
*sigh* I know but can someone confirm this? --Loremaster 00:13, 14 December 2006 (UTC)
I doubt it can be "confirmed" without an actual court case (fair use is nebulous that way), but I can offer agreement with the opinion. I don't think a valid claim of fair use can be made here for using magazine covers to illustrate the concept of transhumanism in general, these covers should only be used when they're actually the subject of the article they're used in. I'm removing Image:Posthuman Future.jpg and Image:Holy Tech.jpg. Bryan 09:55, 3 January 2007 (UTC)
I can accept the removal of the Holy Tech image but I think we can find a way to keep the Posthuman Future image by discussing Peter Monaghan's 2002 article "Francis Fukuyama on the Posthuman Future" for the Chronicle of Higher Education magazine. --Loremaster 10:19, 3 January 2007 (UTC)
Perhaps. But as things stand the article doesn't, so it's definitely not fair use. I'm taking it back out again, please don't put it back without establishing the claim to fair use more clearly. Bryan 00:51, 4 January 2007 (UTC)
Oooops! I knew I forgot to do something. Thank you for reminding me. --Loremaster 01:01, 4 January 2007 (UTC)
Can someone please work on clarifying the fair use rationale in order to put back the much-loved Posthuman Future image? --Loremaster 06:33, 13 January 2007 (UTC)
Since we've added the Primo Posthuman image, we don't need the Posthuman Future image anymore. --Loremaster 19:13, 19 January 2007 (UTC)
As the conservasation in the sub-section below indicates, we've decided to relocate the Primo Posthuman image to the Fiction and Art section and restore the Poshuman Future image with a new caption and fair use rationale. --Loremaster 18:30, 13 August 2007 (UTC)
I also removed Image:Transhuman Space Cover.jpg. Its fair use rationale is "to illustrate an article discussing the book in question", which this is not. Bryan 10:01, 3 January 2007 (UTC)
The Fiction and Art section does discuss the Transhuman Space sourcebook. --Loremaster 10:19, 3 January 2007 (UTC)
The Fiction and Art section mentions the Transhuman Space sourcebook. This is the sum total of the content I could find here: "Transhuman Space is an RPG, set in the year 2100 when humanity has begun to colonize the Solar System, where the pursuit of transhumanism is now in full swing, as more and more people struggle to reach a fully posthuman state." This article is 74 kilobytes long, a single line can't possibly make it into "an article discussing the book in question." Bryan 00:51, 4 January 2007 (UTC)
OK. I am willing to let go of the Transhuman Space Cover image. --Loremaster 06:30, 13 January 2007 (UTC)

The whole direction of Wikipedia policy is to get tougher and tougher about fair use images. I don't necessarily like this from an aesthetic point of view, but I think we should all acknowledge it and that there are reasons for it. Based on that understanding, I'm not going to be dying in a ditch about keeping particular images. We might have to sacrifice something in aesthetics for the greater good. Metamagician3000 02:32, 4 January 2007 (UTC)

Primo Posthuman

Re: the illustration at the top of the article ([6]), where did this version come from? It appears to be a modified version of the original "Primo Posthuman" image, labeled "Trans-Post-Human" and "Primo Posthuman HUMAN 2." Yet it's not obvious on the credited artist's site; is this really a new version or some sort of hacked copy? The text isn't clear enough to read, either. --Kris Schnee 11:19, 6 February 2007 (UTC)

It's a version created and uploaded by Natasha Vita-More herself. --Loremaster 16:21, 6 February 2007 (UTC)
It seems that the original was restored. --Loremaster 13:37, 8 February 2007 (UTC)
Weird. Was anyone able to figure out what the difference was? I couldn't read the text on the second version to tell. --Kris Schnee 00:04, 15 February 2007 (UTC)
No I haven't bothered to look into it. --Loremaster 00:33, 15 February 2007 (UTC)

In my opinion, this image doesn't belong in the article. It's not encyclopedic. It's more like science fiction. The labels on the figure presumably just represent some ideas the artist came up with, i.e., it's original research.-- 01:44, 20 May 2007 (UTC)

That isn't what NOR is about. Metamagician3000 03:15, 20 May 2007 (UTC)
It's O.R, and science fiction IS transhumanism. --Procrastinating@talk2me 17:14, 21 May 2007 (UTC)
How is placing an image of a well-known transhumanist artwork in the article on transhumanism engaging in original research? Answer, it isn't. It is verifiable that Natasha Vita-More is a transhumanist artist and that this is a well-known work by her. No one, by this action, is engaging in some research program of their own, either by adding unverifiable information or through a tendentious synthesis of cherry-picked bits of veriable information. Doing that is engaging in original research. Putting an image of an artwork by Natasha Vita-More in this article is nothing of the sort. Metamagician3000 04:46, 22 May 2007 (UTC)
I agree with Metamagician3000. The image stays until someone can come up with a valid objection. --Loremaster 21:24, 22 May 2007 (UTC)
The image should be removed because of its amateurish quality. If it stays it certainly should NOT be the first image anyone sees upon visiting this page. It inherently makes the article less credible: "Smart skin" and "replacement organs" are uselessly vague terms, and "turbocharged" is an excruciatingly unscientific word. "Error correction device?" "Biosensors?" This image would seem more at home in a primary school creative writing class than in an encyclopedia article, regardless of how speculative the article's subject may be. Plus, it's not even punctuated properly! Unless someone can fix it to be more professional or argue in its favor with something less logically fallacious than "transhumanism IS science fiction," I'm going to remove it or switch it with something further down. Bumhoolery 06:09, 8 August 2007 (UTC)
I agree. The Primo Posthuman image should be in the Fiction and Art section but I've moved back Image:Converging technologies.png to the Theory and practice section. Let's find a way to resolve the copyright issues regarding the use of Image:Posthuman Future.jpg in the Transhumanism article since it has become one of many icons symbolizing transhumanism. --Loremaster 17:31, 8 August 2007 (UTC)
Done. --Loremaster 18:26, 13 August 2007 (UTC)

The Young Family

Image:The Young Family

The following is a statement by Patricia Piccinini about the work:

The Young Family (2002-3) presents a transgenic creature. The inspiration behind this work is the expectation that we have of growing human organs in other species, especially pigs. Rather than make a didactic image that argues for or against these technologies, I want to address the reality of these possible creatures in a very compassionate way. The question I raise, that I am interested in, relates to the distinction between human and animal characteristics: Not so much her humanity, but the 'animalness' in us. Genetically, we share traits with her, but also we share the fundamental trait of looking after offspring. In am interested in the kinds of ways that we look at the many ethical issues that surround medical technologies. There are two kinds of people who are thinking about these issues; those who are objective observers, and those that are actually affected by the issues, such as somebody who has a family member who is affected by a disease. These two viewpoints are often very different. It is impossible to be objective about these issues when you are emotionally involved, but I don't think that is a bad thing. These are not simple issues with easy answers: It is one thing to talk about an idea and another to be confronted by the emotional reality of a creature, and yet another to be in need of what that creature might provide.

I've edited the image caption accordingly. --Loremaster 01:22, 13 February 2007 (UTC)

This image seems to contradict it's own Wikipedia:Fair use tage. It is not:
  • Used in an article to illustrate the three-dimensional work of art in question,
  • Used in an article to discuss the artistic genre or technique of the work of art
  • Used in an article to discuss the artist or the school to which the artist belongs.
(The above range for the "Statue" tage)
It may need a better tage (if there is one). Fountains of Bryn Mawr 04:56, 13 February 2007 (UTC)
I've changed the tag. --Loremaster 06:22, 13 February 2007 (UTC)
The new tag suffers from the same problem as the old one. It does seem not match any Fair Use rational to allow that image to be used in this article. That image is copyrighted; it should only (maybe) be used in an article about the artist and only to illustrate something specific about that artists work. If the artist is releasing the copyright to that derivative image then it needs some kind of tag that states that (I am not even sure if there is a "release" tag, last time I checked there wasn't one, but that was a while ago). Fountains of Bryn Mawr 19:33, 13 February 2007 (UTC)
Although I've changed the tag yet again, if an approppriate tag is so important for you, why don't you work with us to find it? The author has made it clear that she doesn't mind this promotional image being used by Wikipedia in articles that are not about her or the art in question. --Loremaster 22:06, 13 February 2007 (UTC)

An appropriate tag is not so much "important to me" as it is Wikipedia policy. I can help depending on the amount of free time I have... and at this point my help is limited to pointing out a problem and not immediately tagging the image for deletion (something I may still do since the current tag demands it). It’s up to an editor such as your self to make the decision (and find the appropriate tag) as to weather a copyrighted image even belongs on Wikipedia. Most times (and this may be a case in point) they do not belong. Again there is a problem because the "Rationale" at this point conflicts with the tags notice "NOTE: The following conditions must not include terms which restrict usage to educational or not-for-profit purposes or prohibit derivatives. Please list this image for deletion if they do." Fountains of Bryn Mawr 19:35, 14 February 2007 (UTC)

I am aware of Wikipedia policy and what my responsabilities are as an image uploader. I just get slightly annoyed by people who have enough time to go around nitpicking articles rather than rolling up their sleeves and improving them. That being said, please explain to us how the new tag conflicts with the rationale provided. --Loremaster 19:54, 14 February 2007 (UTC)
I just get slightly annoyed by people who have enough time to go around nitpicking articles rather than rolling up their sleeves and improving them. That’s why they invented talk pages and notice tags... some of us may have other stuff on our plates so we leave a notice as to a problem.
  • Tag: conditions must not include terms which restrict usage to educational or not-for-profit purposes or prohibit derivatives. i.e image must be totally free for everything including commercial and derivative artwork. The addition to the tag immediately conflicts with the tag.
  • Rationale #2 The material should not be used in a manner that would likely replace the original market role of the original copyrighted media. This blocks derivatives and again conflicts with the tag. Fountains of Bryn Mawr 19:13, 15 February 2007 (UTC)
Thank you for pointing this out. I understood the tag backwards and will therefore correct it. --Loremaster 00:45, 16 February 2007 (UTC)

Image removed due to offensiveness

-- Please do not post this picture to this article again. It is irrelevant to the discussion and offensive. I realize you spent a lot of time on the picture, but please display it somewhere more appropriate. Thx.

Anonymous user, you have not provided a legitimate reason for removing The Young Family image from the Transhumanism article. First of all, the caption under the image clearly suggest the reasons why this image is relevant to a discussion of the transhumanist view of parahumans such as the ones depicted in this image. Second, although Wikipedia may have a policy against the display of images from shock sites, this image of an intentionally thought-provoking work of art (a version of which has been widely circulated in the media and also been used on street billboards) is tolerable regardless of how offensive you feel it is since it isn't pornographic, scatological or extremely violent in nature. Ultimately, if you continue removing this image from the Tranhumanism article, you will be reported to Wikipedia administrators. --Loremaster 11:39, 21 February 2007 (UTC)

--I have given you a legitimate reason, as have others. Do not threaten me. I understand that you need attention, but please seek it elsewhere. I have reported your abuse to the Wikipedia administrators.

LOL. I have explained why your reason is not legitimate. You have not refuted my explanation. I am restoring the image and will continue to do so indefinitely and, as always, I welcome the judgement of Wikipedia administrators. --Loremaster 12:29, 22 February 2007 (UTC)
The offensiveness issue is irrelevant. There is nothing so extreme about the image as to raise a legitimate issue about it being hidden or whatever.
My concern is solely with the copyvio/fair use issue. I can't immediately see a basis for a workable fair use justification under the very strict standards that Wikipedia is trying to apply these days.
It's not just a question of relevance to the article (yes, it does have at least some relevance). Something more is required. The problem is that the article is not (even partly) about this art work or its creator. Nor is there a necessity to make it so in order to cover what the article needs to cover. Her work is related to transhumanism rather peripherally. Unless the copyright holder is prepared to release the image into the public domain or under an appropriate licence (covering derivative works as well as Wikipedia itself), I think the image will have to be removed from this article. Where there is an issue of this kind, the view from Jimbo in recent times, on my understanding, has been very much that we err on the side of deletion. It might be different if the article were the one about the artist. Metamagician3000 11:43, 23 February 2007 (UTC)
Since the artist has released the image so that we can use it on any Wikipedia article, the dispute is settled in my humble opinion. --Loremaster 12:32, 23 February 2007 (UTC)
But has she released it under the GFDL? By all means let's get someone who is more expert about copyright policy, but my understanding is that we need the copyright owner not just to give permission for use in Wikipedia itself but in any derivative works that use Wikipedia (with appropriate attribution) under the GFDL. That's the point of the GFDL. I'm not especially interested in removing it, because it is not an area that I like to get involved in, but I'm pretty sure that's what the admins who do involve themselves in copyright issues will be saying. Metamagician3000 11:23, 25 February 2007 (UTC)
I'll try to contact her to resolve the issue once and for all. --Loremaster 18:29, 25 February 2007 (UTC)

--I agree this picture is gross and has nothing to do with transhumanism. Please do not put this picture back in this article.

Your opinion would have more weight if you had posted it while logged in Wikipedia. Regardless, as explained above, the grossness of the image is not a legitimate reason to remove it from the article. Many transhumanists advocate the biological uplift of animals, which includes the creation of self-aware human-animal hybrids like the ones in that image. Since the relevancy of this image to transhumanism is clear, it will be restored every time you or someone else tries to remove it. --Loremaster 20:38, 7 March 2007 (UTC)
Your opinion would have more weight if you used your real name "Loremaster". Since this image has nothing to do with transhumanism, it will be removed every time you or one of your sockpuppets tries to post it.
Wikipedia does not require that people use their real name in order for them to be able to preserve their privacy. However, a Wikipedia user account, regardless of the name you use, does contribute to a culture of accountability. Regarless, you leave me no choice but to request tha the article be semi-protected to prevent you from removing this image without just cause as you have done. --Loremaster 21:12, 7 March 2007 (UTC)

--We HAVE given you just cause for removing this picture Loremaster, you just don't like the reason. This is not your personal webpage, please do not post offensive material here. Personally I don't have a problem with your other criticisms on Transhumanism in general and I don't care about those posts, but this picture is just disgusting and has nothing to do with Transhumanism. Please leave it out of your posts. Thank you.

I don't plan to jump in the discussion but I did want to point out this policy: Wikipedia is not censored. Morphh (talk) 16:53, 26 March 2007 (UTC)
Thank you for pointing this out. --Loremaster 19:31, 26 March 2007 (UTC)

Resident Evil example

Hi, I wonder if we could add a little reference to Resident Evil in the Transhumanism#Dehumanization_.28Frankenstein_argument.29 section. --Andersmusician VOTE 04:18, 1 July 2007 (UTC)

Hi, Andersmusician. Since we are trying to limit the size of the Controversy section, we should prefer only mentionning relatively great works of science fiction which academic critics of transhumanism have mentioned in their critique. --Loremaster 20:22, 1 July 2007 (UTC)

Fukuyama section under "playing god"

With reference to our debate in Talk archive 13, I tried to include more of the reasoning by Fukuyama from his Foreign Policy comment. This part of his reasoning is more down-to-earth than the fear of master-slave races. It also lends itself more easily to a present-day informed debate, which must precede the "moral choice" in procreative liberty, referred to in the paragraph above my edit.

As I and others have pointed out, the Controversy section (which has a structure and style which should be taken into account when adding or deleting content) tries to be a general overview of the arguments against and for transhumanism rather than an exhaustive debate which tries to settle an issue once and for all. Furthermore, this section is already unusually long by Wikipedian standards. It is for these reasons that I suggest that the content you want to add should be moved to the Human enhancement article, some of which already has. --Loremaster 22:02, 9 July 2007 (UTC)


I wonder if the graphic novel Transmetropolitan should be referenced in this article. Fredsmith2 03:25, 25 July 2007 (UTC)

Since we are trying to avoid expanding an article which is already too long, feel free to reference Transmetropolitan in the Transhumanism in fiction article. --Loremaster 16:51, 25 July 2007 (UTC)

Buchanan et al

I think we make the Buchanan et al book sound more transhumanist that it really is. My understanding is that the authors would support what is ascribed to them in only a limited class of quite speculative cases. I want to think about this before making any changes, but just wanted to signal that it's on my mind. I notice that we don't give any page references for the fairly strong claim that we make about the book's content. Metamagician3000 13:02, 26 July 2007 (UTC)

I did think that some people might interpret this sentence in the way you have when I first wrote it but keep in mind I was practically quoting James Hughes' review of the book. --Loremaster 15:20, 26 July 2007 (UTC)

Removal of "frivoulous content"

"The first self-described transhumanists met formally in the early 1980..."

I don't see exactly why this content was removed (called frivolous). If it is inaccurate, that is if the meeting should for some reason not be considered a part of a more serious transhumanist movement, then I guess it could be frivolous. But I don't really see that as being the argument. Why, exactly, should the material be removed? Smmurphy(Talk) 19:36, 30 July 2007 (UTC)

I agree. User:Amonloki keeps deleting content from the history section of the Transhumanism article which was a product of the collaborative work that was done to make Transhumanism not only a well written, comprehensive, factually accurate, neutral and stable article but ensure that it was identified as one of the best articles produced by the Wikipedia community and therefore featured on the main page of Wikipedia.
Arguing that this content is frivilous in one's view is not enough to justify deleting it. --Loremaster 21:18, 30 July 2007 (UTC)
I don't know what the problem is about describing the first steps in organising a cultural and intellectual movement. Metamagician3000 01:26, 31 July 2007 (UTC)
I don't know either. However, if you look at the edit history of the article, Amonloki seems unwilling to listen to reason. As a Wikipedia administrator, can you please intervene if he "strikes" again? --Loremaster 02:26, 31 July 2007 (UTC)
amonloki is obviously a sockpuppet, with less than a month old edit history of just two articles, both of those undiscussed and POV. Yet somehow amonloki knows all about wiki policy, or thinks it does. Sockpuppet, and should be labeled as such. Chris 03:08, 31 July 2007 (UTC)
I think the consensus is clear enough. Metamagician3000 03:21, 5 August 2007 (UTC)

Who are these 'transhumanists'?

This article comes across as an advertisement of transhumanism (similar to the articles on things such as polyamory), with the use of weasel words to manipulate the perception of how widespread the interest in such an idea really is. Who are these supposed 'many transhumanists'? Peoplesunionpro 19:10, 2 August 2007 (UTC)

In light of the extensive Controversy section, which many pro-transhumanist users have complained about, the notion that this article is an "advertisement of transhumanism" is neither fair nor accurate. Regardless, I suggest you do research on the subject before dismissing it. --Loremaster 21:00, 2 August 2007 (UTC)
See my comment below. An article which is this long gives the subject matter the impression of importance even if it contains substantial criticisms. (Indeed, long lists of criticisms enhance the impression that transhumanism is widely discussed.) Ben Finn 16:20, 27 August 2007 (UTC)
See my comment below. That being said, although transhumanism is not always explicity mentioned when transhumanist issues are discussed, transhumanist issues are in fact widely discussed. --Loremaster 01:34, 28 August 2007 (UTC)
See below. Metamagician3000 03:27, 31 August 2007 (UTC)

Format and style could use some work

I appreciate the massive undertaking this article must have been, but as a pedestrian just passing by this page I have to say that the article seems a bit too dense. It's very rich with neologisms and jargon and requires an enormous amount of hyperlinks to explain those, these in my opinion make the article less accesible then it could be. I think it would be a more informative as well as enjoyable article if it would be somewhat more succinct. Janbart 22:18, 11 August 2007 (UTC)

The format and style of the Transhumanism article is a major part of the reason why it was identified as one of the best articles produced by the Wikipedia community and therefore featured on the main page of Wikipedia. --Loremaster 23:19, 11 August 2007 (UTC)

Tokugawa-era Japan was technophobic?

Insofar as the cultural references go under the "Trivialization of human identity (Enough argument)" section, this may be a nitpick, but being more than well-versed in Japanese history, Tokugawa-era Japan was not technophobic at all, and should not be included alongside the Amish in this list (even if it is a citation from a book and not a supposition-based example to the wiki article itself). During the reign of Tokugawa Ieyasu, English sailor William Adams ended up as the only foreigner allowed inside the court, and was the Shogun's personal advisor for a time. In this period, he introduced many new technologies including spyglasses and shipbuilding into Japan, of which Tokugawa himself took great interest (Samurai William, 2002, Giles Milton, Penguin). The impetus of the Meiji Restoration, the Boshin War, etc, was largely a political thing, but also a bid for preservation of indigenous culture and national pride. Little, if any of it had to do with invention or augmentation of the nation due to technological advancement; with the exception of weapons (e.g. - the Howitzer). But again, a lot of this had to do with hard cultural traditions. A sword was believed to be the soul of the samurai, and with the revolution and prohibition of carrying swords, men that were once vital to the nation's stability and virility were now virtually an anachronism.

In the counter-argument, it states: "Bailey also claims that McKibben's historical examples are flawed, and support different conclusions when studied more closely." --Loremaster 18:14, 14 August 2007 (UTC)


The name 'Michael Anissimov' redirects to 'Transhumanism.' This seems odd; what's the connection? Somebody trying to make a point? Just curious. F4effort 00:05, 17 October 2007 (UTC)

Although Michael Anissimov is a self-described transhumanist advocate well-know in some circles (You can learn more about him at, such a redirect is inappropriate so it should be redirected to List of transhumanists instead. --Loremaster 15:47, 17 October 2007 (UTC)