The future of mankind
Human consciousness is the result of natural evolution. Mankind perpetuates this evolution through the artificial means of science and technology. In this carriage, renowned scientists, scholars and philosophers comment on the consequences arising from the rapid progress of science for the further development and identity of us humans.
Genetics, cognition research, nano and information technologies facilitate interventions in the future development of mankind. The acquisition of knowledge and education of both the individual and society will change. Genetic technology will contribute to the clarification of human history and will soon provide knowledge about the human genome. Reproductive medicine helps the childless to produce offspring. Humans are making use of intelligent technical artefacts to extend natural boundaries. What are the possibilities offered by the future, and where do the ethical boundaries lie?
In their personal commentaries, the experts show the possible consequences that may arise for the development and identity of us humans and our thinking.
For example, the neuropsychologist Niels Birbaumer says: "I believe that in the very near future human beings and the human brain and a connected computer will be able to form a kind of symbiosis." The philosopher Thomas Metzinger goes even further: "In future, we will be able to control the content of our conscious experience with greater precision and in far greater detail than in the past, in that we will be able to control and technically influence our brain." And the psychologist Ursula Staudinger holds out the prospect: "Learning is a process that is fundamentally linked with human existence. As long as we live, and do not succumb to any drastic pathological processes, we can learn."
We will all continue to face questions that will remain unresolved and open a view into the future that wants to be researched and explored.