Questioning the parameters of being human and its relationship with nature has been of philosophical interest before and since Socrates. Questioning the future of the human brings to light moral, religious and philosophical belief systems and, especially, ethical concerns regarding tampering with human nature and what is considered by many, especially in Western culture, to be natural.
The etymology of the term Transhuman goes back to futurist FM-2030 (born Fereidoun M. Esfandiary) who, while teaching new concepts of the human at The New School university in 1966, introduced it as shorthand for “transitory human”. Calling Transhumans the “earliest manifestation of new evolutionary beings,” FM-2030 argued that signs of Transhumanism included physical and mental augmentations including prostheses, reconstructive surgery, intensive use of telecommunications, a cosmopolitan outlook and a globetrotting lifestyle, androgyny, absence of religious beliefs, and a rejection of traditional family values.
Many thinkers today do not consider FM-2030’s characteristics to be essential attributes of a Transhuman. However, analyzing the possible transitional nature of the human species has been and continues to be of primary interest to anthropologists and philosophers within and outside the intellectual movement of Transhumanism.
Jeffrey McKee of the Ohio State University said the new findings of accelerated evolution bear out predictions he made in a 2000 book The Riddled Chain. Based on computer models, he argued that evolution should speed up as a population grows because population growth creates more opportunities for new mutations; and the expanded population occupies new environmental niches, which would drive evolution in new directions. Whatever the implications of the recent findings, McKee concludes that they highlight a ubiquitous point about evolution: every species is a transitional species.