Transhumanism: Mormons and scientists unite for life-extension

Church of Mormon, transhumanism
Mormons walk past the historic Mormon Salt Lake Temple.
Credit: Getty Images

Science mixes with religion like oil and water but Carl Youngblood, head of the Mormon Transhumanist Association, wants to bridge the gap. Youngblood is disliked by many traditional Christians and transhumanists – who believe technology will make us superhuman – but Youngblood told Metro that if everyone can stop squabbling, there will be fabulous rewards.

Metro: What are the main points of unity between your faith and transhumanism?

Youngblood: I’m a Mormon and it is close to a scientific naturalist point of view, in that we ultimately believe there are physical explanations for everything, including miracles. We believe humans can progress from their current state to something more advanced.

What aspects of transhumanism are you most keen on?

I’ve always been a tech enthusiast since I played with computers as a kid. Ten years ago, I read Ray Kurzweil’s book on the Singularity, and started to become aware of the rate of change and progress. I began to think things could happen much sooner, and transhumanism has made mainstream the awareness of exponential change.

They want to resurrect the dead. Are you playing God?

There is a tension in entering some domains traditionally left to God. The prospect of indefinite life is threatening to people with a more traditional view, but I see it as reconcilable because of my collective view of a God that works through us and does not impose upon us.

So, who hates you more – the traditional Christians or the science geeks?

We’re misunderstood by both sides: a lot of transhumanists are highly secular and cannot reconcile their ideas with religion and see it as a desecration of their goal. Traditional believers see us as heretics. But we’re trying to bridge the gap and both sides stand to benefit. Also, transhumanists display religious behavior in their culture.

Do you take part in the research and experiments? Would you be happy to be part mechanized?

There is not enough of this but we try to make inroads; fundraising for scientific research. We’re supporting an exciting protein development project and another for DNA mixing.

Is it a sin not to evolve?

It’s hurting ourselves. If we don’t take hints from the universe we are punishing ourselves, rather than God.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Girl, 10, dies after being pulled from water…

A 10-year-old girl died after being pulled from the waters off Coney Island Beach in Brooklyn on Tuesday night, police said.

News

NY judge throws out lawsuit by Empire State…

A New York state judge has thrown out a lawsuit in which longtime investors in the Empire State Building claimed they were shortchanged out of hundreds of millions of dollars…

Local

Mysterious white flags appear over Brooklyn Bridge

Two white flags mysteriously appeared over the towers of the Brooklyn Bridge yesterday in place of the American flags that are a traditional fixture.

National

Judge sets January start for murder trial of…

By Elizabeth BarberBOSTON (Reuters) - Former New England Patriots player Aaron Hernandez will be tried in January for the murder of semi-professional football player Odin…

Arts

Don't miss 'Charles James: Beyond Fashion' at the…

Have you been meaning to see "Charles James: Beyond Fashion"? There are only two weeks left to get to the Met and catch this amazing American fashion designer's collection.

Television

Zac Posen talks 'Project Runway' and what it…

We talked to Zac Posen, judge and designer extraordinaire, about the new season of "Project Runway" and what keeps him coming back after three seasons.

Television

'Face Off' contestant David 'DOC' O'Connell sounds off…

David "DOC" O'Connell tells us about getting cast on Season 7 of Syfy's "Face Off," premiering tonight at 9.

Arts

PHOTO: Wildlife photographer Marc Mol captures amazing aerial…

This aerial image was taken by photographer Marc Mol who spotted the animals during an air safari in Zambia.

NFL

David Tyree hiring has gay rights advocates angry

Former Giants Super Bowl hero David Tyree will re-join the franchise as its new director of player development.

NFL

Ben McAdoo's new offense has Giants excited to…

Even Tom Coughlin feels he has a lot to learn about offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo’s new offense, which makes the veteran coach very excited.

MLB

MLB Power Rankings: A's, Angels, Dodgers, Brewers lead…

MLB Power Rankings: A's, Angels, Dodgers, Brewers lead pack

NFL

2014 NFL season betting odds: Which team will…

2014 NFL season betting odds: Which team will win Super Bowl?

Tech

Learn Braille with these gloves

U.S. scientists have designed high-tech gloves to help users understand Braille in a matter of minutes.

Home

5 New Ikea products that will change your…

We round-up the latest must-have products.

Food

Recipe: Wolfgang Puck's Buttermilk French Toast

We recently spent some time chatting with restauranteur/celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck at his Wolfgang Puck American Grille in the Borgata in Atlantic City. Puck wanted…

Style

Go retro with your sneakers

The best of wacky new sneakers.