10. Alternative Biologies

  1. Max More and
  2. Natasha Vita-More
  1. Rachel Armstrong

Published Online: 11 MAR 2013

DOI: 10.1002/9781118555927.ch10

The Transhumanist Reader: Classical and Contemporary Essays on the Science, Technology, and Philosophy of the Human Future

The Transhumanist Reader: Classical and Contemporary Essays on the Science, Technology, and Philosophy of the Human Future

How to Cite

Armstrong, R. (2013) Alternative Biologies, in The Transhumanist Reader: Classical and Contemporary Essays on the Science, Technology, and Philosophy of the Human Future (eds M. More and N. Vita-More), John Wiley & Sons, Oxford. doi: 10.1002/9781118555927.ch10

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 11 MAR 2013
  2. Published Print: 29 APR 2013

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781118334294

Online ISBN: 9781118555927

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Keywords:

  • human enhancement;
  • protocells;
  • science;
  • synthetic biology;
  • technology;
  • transhumanism

Summary

Human enhancement can be achieved by direct interventions where the body hosts the technology, such as in the case of neural implants. However, indirect methods in human enhancement are possible, although seldom considered in transhumanist discussions. Synthetic biology embodies the principles of complex systems using real-world technologies. Synthetic biology can be created using direct top-down interventions where existing systems are modified through instrumentation or using bottom-up approaches that engage with chemical self-assembly. The chapter talks about the new living technologies such as protocells, which help us imagine how it may be possible to change the relationship that exists at the heart of human development, the negative impact that our industrialized approaches have on the environment.