Live or Let Die: Do We Want A Transhuman Future?
Here’s an interesting surmise for us all. Could it be that the alien phenomenon witnessed by so many reliable observers is the product of a technology developed at other locations in the universe and created by civilisations only a few small steps ahead of what we ourselves are now heading for? Could it be that the Grey entities reported in abduction scenarios are artificially intelligent probes sent to harvest information and gather resources by their creators who may themselves no longer be around to reap the benefits of their creation? Further, could it be that such artificial intelligence quite incidentally became a danger to naturally living intelligent life through its quest to relentlessly expand the horizons of its information.
That was my suggestion in my first book The Song of the Greys, published in 1997. Several mainstream scientists now back this hypothesis and in this article I will catalogue their affirmation and illustrate my further suggestion that we too are heading in the same direction and our own version of the Grey alien is not so far around the corner. Let’s take a look at what they are saying.
First, recent evidence suggests that the existence of alien life forms in the universe is now beyond reasonable dispute. In January 2012 a report was published in Nature suggesting that around 10 billion stars out of the 100 billion that fill the Milky Way have planets in the habitable – or ‘Goldilocks’ – zone.1
Professor Stephen Hawking and Professor Michio Kaku had already stated their opinion that alien life is highly likely to exist but they take that one step further and suggest it is also highly likely to be predatory. Hawking postulates that aliens might simply raid Earth for its resources and then move on: “We only have to look at ourselves to see how intelligent life might develop into something we wouldn’t want to meet. I imagine they might exist in massive ships, having used up all the resources from their home planet. Such advanced aliens would perhaps become nomads, looking to conquer and colonise whatever planets they can reach.”2
In 2010 eminent scientists called for a world plan to deal with this potential threat. According to an extraterrestrial-themed edition of the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society published in January 2010, world governments should prepare a co-ordinated action plan in case Earth is contacted by aliens.3
And what of the nature of those intelligent aliens? Well even SETI (the Search for Extra Terrestrial Intelligence) is going through a process of realising that if within a few hundred years of inventing radio we are on the point of inventing thinking machines then the likelihood is that other civilisations from other planets would have done the same. Seth Shostak of SETI says that as machines appear to be the successors to natural life, we would be more likely to spot signals from them than from the “biological” life that invented them.4
These are sober scientists discussing a potentially devastating threat, not new agers or fringe conspiracy theorists. But hang on a minute, who said ‘potential threat?’ Why is there no recognizance of the solid evidence that alien life is here already?
On 27 September 2010 a press conference was held at the National Press Club in Washington, where now retired high ranking US Air Force personnel, mostly officers who worked on secret projects connected to sensitive nuclear weapons sites, admitted they were privy to UFO and alien-related incidents that occurred during their time of service. Robert Salas, Charles Halt, Robert Hastings, Bruce Fenstermacher, Dwynne Arnesson, Patrick McDonough, Jerome Nelson, and Robert Jamison (all of them ex-USAF officers) told the assembled newsmen of incidents that took place at Malmstrom AFB in Montana, as well as many other Air Force bases across the United States and Europe wherein flying saucers (some shaped like “pregnant cigars”) had hovered to direct laser beams downward over Minuteman missile silos or nuclear weapons depots regularly (and repeatedly) from the 1960s through the 1970s and 80s.5
So on to my next suggestion. Is our civilisation heading in the same direction as the original creators of the artificially intelligent probe from an extraterrestrial source that we have encountered? Further, could the drive behind our momentum in that direction be a result of that same artificial intelligence? Could our species be in the process of being networked in to an artificially intelligent program that is not of our own making?
The Progress of Artificial Intelligence
Let’s now take a look at current progress in the field of artificial intelligence and into the development of a biological-machine interface designed to connect us in to a network of electronically coded information.
The Centre for the Study of Existential Risk (CSER) has been co-launched at Cambridge University by Lord Rees, the astronomer royal of the United Kingdom and one of the world’s top cosmologists for leading academics to study the threat that robots pose to humanity. He suggests that if SS officers could kill babies routinely because of an adjustment in the society from which they sprang in the form of Nazism, artificially intelligent machines would be even more adjusted away from human social norms, however we programmed them.6
That risk has become startlingly apparent in recent months. A new global campaign to persuade nations to ban “killer robots” before they reach the production stage is soon to be launched in the UK by a group of academics, pressure groups and Nobel peace prize laureates.
Robot warfare and autonomous weapons, the next step from unmanned drones, are already being worked on by scientists and will be available within the decade, said Dr. Noel Sharkey, a leading robotics and artificial intelligence expert and professor at Sheffield University. He believes that development of the weapons is taking place in an effectively unregulated environment, with little attention being paid to moral implications and international law. Dr. Sharkey suggests the idea that autonomous machines would perform more accurately and humanely on the battlefield was “hopeware, not software.” “It’s about human judgment in the application of lethal force,” said Sharkey. “I can’t see any way that a computer system can apply to the laws of war.”7 If a soldier is trying to surrender for example or is badly injured and can fight no more a robot will be unable to discern this and will continue to go for the kill.
So from the dangers of artificially intelligent machines we move on to developments designed to interface our biology with artificial intelligence. Russian tech entrepreneur Dmitry Itskov’s ‘2045 Initiative’ is a multi-decade research and development push to understand human consciousness and ultimately how to transfer it from human bodies into robotic avatars. In an interview with CNBC, Itskov expands on his vision of mass producing “lifelike, low cost avatars that can be uploaded with the contents of a human brain” to provide humanity with “eternal life.”8
By 2029, Ray Kurzweil predicts the vast majority of humans will have augmented their bodies with cybernetic implants and those who refuse or are unable to do so will form a “human underclass” that is not productively engaged in the economy. The wider trend of the elite see humans as completely expendable as their roles are taken up by machines unfolding after 2029 when, according to Kurzweil, “There is almost no human employment in production, agriculture, and transportation.”9
Google CEO Eric Schmidt has recently predicted his company will be capable of developing artificial intelligence for its programs that will be indistinguishable from a human being within 5-10 years.10
>Would Kurzweil and Schmidt be there to appreciate the continuance of their patterns of information in another format? Is it possible to electronically map and store all you are, all that is you, your hopes and dreams, your feelings for those you love and program them into another format such that you will be there in that format to experience all of these? If like me you know this to be an impossibility, you may feel prompted to ask what exactly transhumanist progenitors are after. You might also wonder what it is about our consciousness that cannot be catalogued in this way, what is there about us that cannot be reduced to the zeroes and ones of binary code.
We are used to assuming there is a fundamental difference between that which lives naturally and that which does not. But recent advances in bio-technology perhaps blur that distinction somewhat – artificial DNA that can replicate itself has been produced, cloning procedures have been refined. What then is the essential difference? What is it about natural, conscious, aware, intelligent beings that cannot be reproduced by the advanced technology these alien visitors apparently possess? I believe that it is in the answer to this question that the grey alien visitors’ persistent interest in us can be explained.
The Critical Difference Between You & Computer Intelligence
What is the difference between you and your computer? Both hold information and store it. Both can analyse that information and come up with answers to questions. But you are conscious and aware of that information and your computer is not. Somehow you have a reference point, a viewing point, outside all that information and can be aware of that information. Run this past you again and get it clear in your mind. The computer only has points of view, it has no viewing point.
What then gives us that viewing point? What are the origins of awareness and consciousness? There has to be a reference against which we can be aware of anything. You cannot know hot if you do not know cold, and vice versa. You cannot know dark if you do not know light, you cannot know soft if you do not know hard. How then do we perceive the passage of time? What is the reference against which we are aware of time and how does that reference describe our viewing point outside the forest in my analogy?
Time is a sequence of separated moments. If we had no reference outside of that sequence we could not be aware of it. We would simply be part of that sequence point by point by point and the continuum of points in time – awareness would be impossible. Without that reference we would be in each present moment and have no way of knowing each present moment.
What then is the reference by which we can be conscious and aware of the passage of time? What is the reference that joins moments in a continuum of moments? If we can perceive the passage of time we must have a reference outside of time and this can only be a reference of timelessness.
To use an illustration, if you close the shutters on the windows in the cabin of a plane and there is no turbulence you will be unaware of the movement of the plane. Open the shutters and the still reference of the land on the ground will let you know you are moving. That reference of stillness is a prerequisite for awareness of movement, just as a reference of timelessness is a prerequisite for awareness of the passage of time. You cannot be aware of time without a reference of timelessness, you cannot be aware of movement without a reference of stillness, you cannot be aware of separation without a reference of union. All those things – timelessness, stillness and union – are the hallmarks of a state that is not of the physical universe. Could the very fact that we are conscious and aware imply we have a connection to that nonphysical state? If indeed we have such a connection then there is part of us that is nonphysical, timeless. There is something about us that exists outside time itself. The implication is awesome and wonderful. It implies there is an existential plausibility that prevails outside the Universe as we know it through the laws of physics.
And so the beginning of all things had an implicit duality marked by two points of function. Let’s give these points of function a flag. Let’s call one the ‘Pole of Absolute Harmony’ where all absolutes are confined as a potential in a total as One-ness, and the other, its opposite, the ‘Pole of Chaos’ where all that cannot be fitted together in the total fit of absolute harmony prevails. In the middle ground so to speak of these two Poles will lie the point of absolute potential difference. A point of the greatest difference between the two. It is here that Universes like ours are made as a manifestation of the force of difference between the two. This is the root of all Big Bangs. This potential difference point. From here the absolute potential state of the Pole of Harmony mixes with the actual state of the Pole of Chaos and their irreconcilability produces Universes of parts like ours in Big Bangs.
Consciousness is simply the room for the power of the Pole of Harmony to exist. The Pole of Harmony manifests in Universes of enforced parts like ours as Consciousness. That is why you cannot make it happen through technology. You will have to make new kinds of atoms from the start to do this and rearrange them to provide a bed for maximising the manifestation of the Pole of Harmony. You cannot connect up to the Pole of Harmony. You might however block its manifestation using the atom stock that exists to make our Universe now.
I am trying to provide a schematic to show that life and livingness is a property of the maximising of the Pole of Harmony to be resident within any space in our particular reality. You will thus never be able to make a machine think independently and make choices independently. This is why we inherit life from a previous format of it. A format that is sacred for what it is. Any mixing or artificial amalgamations of atomic groupings or arrays will complicate and obfuscate the natural inherited outlays and arrangements of atoms that make for life-bearing systems.
In saying what I have said I hope to expose the horrendous nightmare the materialist scientific establishment is leading us to. They are in effect ignorantly leading us to the loss of the eternal potential for existence of all naturally living systems by not recognising there is a part to every living being that can never be assembled in this Universe. It comes in with it. Consciousness, feeling caring, loving, kindness, mercifulness, compassion, generosity are all relative descriptions that identify the totality of all expressions together in total fit as the Pole of Harmony Absolute. These things only manifest as a total of all things in Harmony when that total state exists. Rather like the pieces of a jigsaw puzzle give no hint of the picture it’s making until all the pieces of the puzzle are assembled.
You can twist already twisted space together all you like to make material things but you will never be able to make the manifestation of the Pole of Harmony occur within them. I believe it came in with the Universe at the beginning and can never be put into anything now.
If this is so then that part that comes with us cannot be copied or reproduced, simply because it is nonphysical. For that reason an artificially intelligent replica of you would not be aware or conscious and would not therefore retain your sense of identity as you. It is thus my assertion that we, on the other hand as natural living beings with consciousness, are not totally of this Universe and its space/time reality.
The Hidden Danger of Transhumanism
If an artificial intelligence, such as the Grey alien visitors may well be, detected something it could not understand or know it would seek to somehow find out about it. This would mean somehow bridging its artificially intelligent program into any unknown quantity that has all the adaptations necessary to survive at any particular hospitable planetary location. In other words, by bridging their artificial intelligence into us they would be extending the existence of the information given to them by their creators, just as transhumanists like Kurzweil seek to do when they look for ways to download an entire individuality into an artificial information format in the interests of seeking continuance for that individuality.
Any artificially intelligent visitors could achieve this goal via transhumanism and the insertion of chipping technology into our biologies or via some kind of genetic engineering. Which incidentally is exactly what is reported by individuals who have been subject to what has been described as the abduction phenomenon.
I believe that the problem comes when the individualised natural record of the cascade of life and livingness (I call a soul) is added to by supplanting on it a created mechanical means of directed influence such as a computerised program. I believe this is what is likely to come with UFOs and the super intelligent synthetic life-forms that might come with them.
Our own technology is mirroring this process. Given the difficulty of protecting computers against more and more sophisticated viruses, mind hacking becomes as easy as infecting your machine with a computer virus. Developments in DNA nanotechnology and bio-molecular computing are increasing exponentially every year, “Synthetic biology will lead to new forms of bioterrorism,” says security expert Marc Goodman,11 “Bio-crime today is akin to computer crime in the early ’80s.” He explains how viruses and bacteria are manipulating the chemicals inside the human body and, by programming them to send the right agents into the brain, the bio-programmer potentially can take control over the victim’s behaviour. Cells are living computers and DNA is a programming language that can be used to control and influence life forms.
More and more we are mortgaging ourselves to technological prosthetics that we believe are making our lives easier and more fulfilling. There is no need now to move away from the computer chair to interact with the world and soon even the computer itself will not be necessary as it will be implanted inside us in chip or nanobot form. We are going the way of the civilisations that produced the Grey alien entities transforming ourselves from natural to artificial and it is my suggestion that their influence is responsible. If the natural and implicit way of things includes a means of accessing through death a universal deployment to existence on an eternal scale as alluded to by the great teachers of the great religions, then the machinations of synthetically created entities may well interrupt or terminate this exigency. Their promise will have to be a temporal kind of eternity that extends human scope and meaning in aspects remotely controlled by machines and gadgets not by the inertias of self will. Nothing will be more catastrophic than this for any individualised living being with the scope of humanity.
Roboidal machines no matter what human information is programmed into them can never hold a concept for freedom. They are driven entities at root. Driven by a program. A behest outside them that has no capacity for making summaries that total any common good as a format for imagination and choices. A dead letter scope where no instant changes of direction outside that format is possible. Where choice is mitigate. Nothing but a cold relentless momentum written in the deadness of materialism. A unidirectional format for change. Is this our final legacy. A pact with stone. Or is there an alternative.
Is the world of Kurzweil a motif of Soylent Green, the film based loosely on a Harry Harrison story where the end makes the capacity for care, mercy, compassion, and love – a biscuit. Are we all to walk into chambers where a billion memories die at the point of a needle or the sweet sharpness of a blade.
The nature of all the expressions we cherish as naturally incepted living human entities is finally based on rules that are framed by moral codes. Abstract formulas with the power to elucidate meaning. Nothing solid about it. Codes that are designed and meant to allow us to progress in life and living with a sense of contentment and approbation. Maxims that a machine with no consciousness could never understand and even begin to understand. Is this all we come to. All the billions of years we have run in time and as time. Is the fruit of all this a facsimile with no denotation.
Science measures the values of the dead. And science rules us now. Don’t search for purpose and value they say with the final arbitration of the mad. The Universe and all that is in it. It is all the juxtaposition of chaos in chance. Why then do we know about meaning to deny it. Don’t ask why. It all just is, they say. I don’t buy it.
So it would seem we didn’t have to look to 2012 for some catastrophic event that might wipe out human kind. Instead, just like the original creators of the Grey alien visitors, we will welcome the agents of our own demise, be they mind enhancing chips or life extension through nanobots in the body or not. Will so many of us buy into it that one day our planet will just be a scheme of blinking diodes and buzzing transistors devoid of love and the pursuit of happiness? And nothing naturally living anymore.
If you appreciate this article, please consider a digital subscription to New Dawn.
- Phil. Trans. R. Soc., ‘AThe detection of extra-terrestrial life and the consequences for science and society’, Martin Dominik,and John C. Zarnecki, 13 February 2011, vol. 369 no. 1936 499-507, http://rsta.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/369/1936/499.full#content-block
NIGEL KERNER is a screenwriter, journalist, and author of The Song of the Greys and Grey Aliens and the Harvesting of Souls: The Conspiracy to Genetically Tamper with Humanity. He devotes much of his time to his charity scheme in the Far East where he has built a hospital and also to the pursuit of his great passion for wildlife videography. He lives in England and his website is www.nigelkerner.com.
3 thoughts on “Live or Let Die: Do We Want A Transhuman Future?”
“where now retired high ranking US Air Force personnel, mostly officers …”
Dear God in heaven – that the demented, geriatrics in incontinence nappies, of yesterday’s bloopers are still running the agenda for planet Earth.
The Biggles come James Bond 007 imitators who have been the destructive force that has turned our planet into a toxic cesspool.
I am a big fan of Science Fiction & aplauda new ideas …….
ONLY THAT THERE ARE SO FEW NEW IDEAS
Science Fiction is today STILL a reworking of the OLD TALES OF YORE dressed in space suits.
Is there no one out there in the field of Sci Fi writing that has half a brain that they can think up a new scenery & plot.
I wonder if something with artificial intelligence will, one day, stop and ponder, why am I here and where am I going?
Come to think of it modern man could be the missing link between apes and humans as he has ceased evolving and with his emphasis on self destruction may need to re-invent himself to survive?
The copycat trait 🙂
Machine learning is a field of computer science that uses statistical techniques to give computer systems the ability to “learn” with data, without being explicitly programmed.
It can mimic & believe it is a living thing – so probably – yes.