Randal Koene Debates Transhumanism

Thursday, October 18, 2012

In Melbourne Australia this summer, neuroscientist, Dr. Randal Koene, Rev. Dr. Stephen Ames, and Dr. Mike Arnold discussed and debated the topic of transhumanism.
T his summer neuroscientist, Dr. Randal Koene, Rev. Dr. Stephen Ames, and Dr. Mike Arnold discussed and debated the topic of transhumanism.  The trio held their talk at Melbourne's St. Paul's Cathedral.

The program for the evening sought to discuss:
"The vision of a transhuman future affirms the possibility and desirability of fundamentally transforming the human condition by developing and making widely available technologies to greatly enhance human intellectual, physical, and psychological capacities. The transhuman future also projects a cosmic horizon of post-human beings with godlike capacities where super intelligence saturates the whole universe. All this naturally provokes different responses: some eager to pursue, some cautious, some dismissive. 
This encompassing narrative has many parallels (and differences) with a Christian narrative of the cosmos. This cathedral conversation aims at mutual understanding and critical engagement between the transhuman future, the sociology of technology and a Christian perspective." —

According to Koene, "I was surprised at the level to which this discussion progressed, and at the contributions from the public! It left a great impression of that little bit of Australia I was fortunate enough to experience."

Rev. Dr. Stephen Ames – a lecturer in History and Philosophy of Science at The University of Melbourne and a priest at St.Paul’s Cathedral in Melbourne. He has a PhD in physics and a PhD in philosophy of science both from Unimelb. For the last ten years he has been the main lecturer in ‘God and the Natural Sciences’ a second and third year subject at the university. Stephen’s research interests are firstly in exploring the intersection between physics and metaphysic via two routes: Fisher Information and the work of physicist, V.J.Stenger, and secondly, in examining the competing understandings of the human person at the intersection of science, philosophy and theology.

Randal Koene spoke at the Australian Singularity Summit in Melbourne this summer.  Koene is a Dutch neuroscientist and neuroengineer, and co-founder of carboncopies.org, the outreach and roadmapping organization for Advancing Substrate-Independent Minds (ASIM). Between 2008 and 2010, Koene was Director of the Department of Neuroengineering at Tecnalia, the third largest private research organization in Europe. Koene earned his Ph.D. in Computational Neuroscience at the Department of Psychology at McGill University, and his M.Sc. in Electrical Engineering with a specialization in Information Theory at Delft University of Technology.
Dr Michael Arnold‘s current research projects look at the appropriation of technologies in a domestic environments, the implications of communications technologies for communities of various kinds, social networking applications across the Asia-Pacific region, medical applications of information and communication technologies, and educational applications of technologies.

SOURCE  Adam Falcon (Adam Ford)

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