National Geographic | Beyond Human: how we shape our own evolution

A cover story including Ray Kurzweil on the future of human evolution.
April 5, 2017

publication: National Geographic
content: cover story

story title: Beyond Human: how humans are shaping our own evolution
story author: by DT Max
date: April 2017 issue
issue: The Next Human: taking evolution into our own hands

story excerpts from cover story with Ray Kurzweil:

1. | Jump starting Ray Kurzweil’s vision is the first official cyborg

Like any other species, we are the product of millions of years of evolution. Now we’re taking matters into our own hands. A first step toward the goal that visionary futurists have, what Ray Kurzweil in his well-known book The Singularity Is Near calls “the vast expansion of human potential.”

Jump starting Kurzweil’s dream, is the world’s first official cyborg. “We will transcend all of the limitations of our biology,” Kurzweil said. “That is what it means to be human —- to extend who we are.”

2. | The evolution of evolution

Our bodies, our brains, and the machines around us may all one day merge, as Ray Kurzweil predicts, into a single massive communal intelligence. But if there’s one thing natural evolution has shown, it’s that there are many paths to the same goal. We are the animal that tinkers ceaselessly with our own limitations. The evolution of evolution travels multiple parallel roads.

graphic feature from the story:

National Geographic | Beyond Human: a visual time-line of our evolution

1.  12,500 years ago — evolved to live at high altitudes
2.  8,000 years ago — adapted to a desert climate
3.  present day — technology vs. natural selection
4.  present day & near future — do-it-yourself evolution
5.  near future — science fiction becomes reality
6.  distant future — can humans adapt to the red planet?

illustrations: by Owen Freeman