Thursday, February 19, 2015


In The Hybrid Age, Tom Horn discusses Transhumanism, the creation of enhanced human-animals chimeras. It seems the stuff only seen in science fiction, but the idea of transhumanism has been around for thousands of years, and the technology, while it might seem recent, has roots that go back as far as time.

When did science fiction begin to influence our minds and even, technological endeavors?

"Johannes Kepler's Somnium (1620-1630) may fit, since it describes a trip to the moon and the earth's movement seen from that perspective. One might make a case for Jonathan Swift's Gulliver's Travels of 1728 as an example of science fantasy used as a vehicle for social satire á la H.G. Wells. But the philosophical and the scientifically possible—as well as thrills and chills—get a convincing combination in Mary W. Shelley's 1818 classic Frankenstein, to which she added The Last Man in 1826, dealing with a plague-driven world apocalypse - See more at"[1]

With the story of Frankenstein, Shelley introduces the possibility of a creature reformed from parts of man, but not truly a man. This creature is stronger than a man, and possibly immortal. The seed was sown.

Man has always desired to be greater than he is: smarter, faster, more bionic... Who doesn't love the 6 Million Dollar Man, the Bionic Woman, the X-Men, SuperMan, SpiderMan, etc.

Of course, the entertainment gurus that be have typically fashioned heroes who were kind, intelligent, trustworthy, brave, and possessing super-human integrity to boot. Recently we've seen a shift back to the antihero: "a main character in a book, play, movie, etc., who does not have the usual good qualities that are expected in a hero." [2]

Although the term antihero was first used as a literary term by Dostoevsky, and repeatedly on the stage in Greek drama, greater differences between the characteristics of a hero and and antihero have become apparent in the present age. The antihero can hardly be called a hero in any sense of the word, since he works what we call good, only for his own personaly gain. An example is the character "Red" in the t.v. show Blacklist, played by James Spader. The character works with FBI to catch the worst of the bad guys on the "blacklist" only to bring him closer to a young FBI agent we are led to believe is his daughter.

His only reason for anything good or helpful he does, is to endear himself to the woman, or to further his own illegal and immoral interests. Yet, for all intents and purposes, he is the hero, or antihero of the show. He murders without remorse, uses people to his own ends without concern for their well-being, kidnaps and tortures people, but is also highly intelligent, skilled in fighting, espionage, and manipulation. The viewers eat it up.

In A Genealogy of Antihero, the author states, " In contemporary literature, antiheroes have begun to outnumber heroes as a result of historical, political and sociological facts such as wars, and literary pieces have tended to present themes of failure, inaction, uncertainty and despair rather than heroism and valour. This study argues that Second World War has the crucial impact on the development of the notion of modern antihero. As a consequence of the war, “hero” as the symbol of valour, adventure, change and action in the legends and epic poems has been transformed into “antihero” of failure and despair, especially in realist, absurdist and existentialist works written during/after the Second World War." [3]

I offer a different theory. I believe that if you tell generation after generation that God is dead, that we are worthless specks in the vast universe evolutionally developed from nothing who will return to being nothing after death, that we are likely the genetic experiment of alien creatures who stand aloof and appraise us or even kidnap and experiment on us with no concern or empathy for our it any wonder that we have begun to seek value for ourselves through power and material gain?

If there is no reason to be good, why not be evil? If there is no heavenly treasure, why not cling to life on earth, even eternally, and seek the rewards of this world, not matter the cost? Science fiction, and all literature or entertainment, reflects what is in our hearts, what has been lurking in our hearts since the Serpent seduced the first man and woman. If there is no one greater than I am, I can be the greatest.

1. Guttman, John. Weider History. 2015. Web.
2. "Antihero - Definition and More from the Free Merriam-Webster Dictionary". 2012-08-31. Retrieved 2015-02-19. Web.
3.  KADİROĞLU, Murat. A Genealogy of Antihero. Web.

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