Christianity and Transhumanism May Be the Next Big Science vs. Church Battle

(PHOTO: SAMFORD UNIVERSITY) Participants in Samford University's Transhumanism conference, held September 24-26, 2015 and funded by The John Templeton Foundation and The Issachar Fund.
Participants in Samford University’s Transhumanism conference, held September 24-26, 2015 and funded by The John Templeton Foundation and The Issachar Fund.

Can churches engage transhumanism, which may very well be the next big science vs. religion battle, positively or should they absolutely resist this movement, an academic institution in Alabama asked during a multi-day event focused on whether Christianity and Transhumanism could co-exist.

Samford University’s Center for Science and Religion held the event, titled “Transhumanism and the Church,” which took place from Sept. 24-26 and featured 27 presentations with approximately 120 attendees for the opening lecture alone.

Transhumanism is the theory that science and technology can be used to advance the evolution of human beings beyond current physical and mental limitations.

A spokesperson for Samford directed The Christian Post to statements made by Professor Steve Donaldson, program director in the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science and a senior fellow in Samford’s Center for Science and Religion.

“[Transhumanism’s] potential ramifications for the church are substantial. Can a climate be created in which churches and people of religious faith engage a transhumanist future positively or must the church resist? Is resistance futile?” stated Donaldson.

“Recognizing that differences of opinion on the merits of technological enhancement do not necessarily depend upon religious orientation, can the church actually lead the way toward common and beneficial perspectives?”

Donaldson also stated that he and the Center believed that “this is quite possibly the next big science and religion issue to face the church.”

” … this conference was meant to constitute an early step in developing a coherent and forward-looking Christian approach to the relationship between transhumanist endeavors and the church,” continued Donaldson.

Keynote speakers for the event included Donaldson; the Rev. Dr. Ron Cole-Turner of Pittsburgh Theological Seminary; Christina Bieber Lake, Ph.D. of Wheaton College; and Arizona State University Professor Joel Garreau.

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SOURCE: The Christian Post
Michael Gryboski