Most Americans today are focused on how to survive the CoVid 19 coronavirus – the latest in a long line of promised plagues that when the dust had settled took far fewer lives than the panics that accompanied them.

Politicians as prominent as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi tell us that the future of civilization is at stake from this latest virus, whose kill rate to date is maybe 2 percent of those infected – except for the very elderly and infirm, with many also hit by other influenza and pneumonia viruses.

It is highly unlikely that CoVid 19 will come anywhere near infecting 300 million and killing half a million Europeans, Americans, or even Chinese – as malaria does every year in sub-Saharan Africa. CoVid 19 is not likely to be as deadly as its sister viruses, SARS and MERS, which took 10 and 35 percent, respectively of those infected.

Yet, to those with pure green hearts, these viruses are pikers. As noted by Matt Cardin, novelist William Burroughs, in his 1981 novel Cities of the Red Night proclaimed that, “Self-identity is ultimately a symptom of parasitic invasion.… Strands of alien DNA unfurl themselves in our brains, just as tapeworms unfurl themselves in our guts. Not just language, but the whole quality of human consciousness … is basically a virus mechanism.”

Fast forward to 1999, and the world premiere of The Matrix. As Cardin reminds us, the Wachowskis “presented a dazzling vision of a dystopian future in which intelligent machines have enslaved the human race to use them as an energy source.”

In the movie, the sentient computer program known as Agent Smith makes the bold statement: “Every mammal on this planet instinctively develops a natural equilibrium with its surrounding environment, but you humans do not. You move to an area and you multiply and multiply until every natural resource is consumed, and the only way you can survive is to spread to another area. There is another organism on this planet that follows the same pattern. Do you know what it is? A virus. Human beings are a disease, a cancer of this planet. You are a plague. And we are the cure.”

Today’s Far Left is heavily influenced by Deep Green ecology – the foundation of the fear of climate change. In 2007, Paul Watson, founder of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, claimed that, “Humans are presently acting upon [the earth’s ecosystem] in the same manner as an invasive virus with the result that we are eroding the ecological immune system. A virus kills its host and that is exactly what we are doing with our planet’s life support system.”

BUT NOT TO WORRY! There is a solution. A risky one, but with great promise!!

We are, it is said, on the very cusp of a self-learning artificial intelligence – like Piper (and others) in the recent ABC TV series Emergence. And many in our society literally worship technology. As billionaire Michael Bloomberg said in 2016, “The information economy is built around replacing people with technology.”

[Maybe the decarbonization movement really IS about preparing our AI creations for the day when all carbon-based life forms will be designated for extinction? Why else would they call it a “carbon” tax, rather than a carbon dioxide tax?]

On the other hand, humans have long shown a propensity for self-improvement by artificial means, whether it be plastic surgery or even transgenderism. And the quest for immortality is as old as civilization. But now Russian billionaire Dmitry Itskov has created an organization – the 2045 Initiative – in hopes of making immortality a reality.

Itskov recruited several top Russian scientists in the fields of robotics, artificial intelligence, nanotechnology, neural-computer interface, and artificial organ engineering to join his project. The idea is that by 2035, it should be possible to control a robot with an artificial brain modeled after the human brain. This brain will be imprinted with an existing human personality to create perfectly cloned intelligences – a human brain with a body that can be updated infinitely.

Meanwhile, back in the USA, transhumanist proselytizer Zoltan Istvan [Gyurko] ran for President in 2016 on the Transhumanist Party ticket. Istvan promised to end death as he drove across the country in the “immortality bus” designed to look like a coffin. Transhumanism holds to the faith that technology is a means of achieving “the long-held human dream of immortality and the more modern yearning for radical individual bodily self-transformation.”

As Wesley Smith tells us, “Transhumanism predicts that these dreams will come true when a crescendo of unstoppable technological advances — known as ‘the Singularity’ — unleashes the power to transform humanity into a “post-human species.” But what if the artificial intelligence gets smart enough to determine that it does not need the brain of a flawed human?

In Mark de Castrique’s 2016 thriller novel The Singularity Race, billionaire Robert Brentwood builds an artificial intelligence laboratory in North Carolina. Brentwood predicts a potential bad outcome for humans should AI become effectively a new, silicon-based species (replacing carbon-based humans) without a human-shaped moral code. [Remember HAL from 2001: A Space Odyssey?]

Brentwood posits, “If Apollo (the AI) determines on his own that the greatest threat to the Earth is climate change brought about by greenhouse gases and a destroyed ozone layer, and the unbiased conclusion is that the greatest accelerant of these phenomena is humankind, what’s to stop this super intelligent computer from wiping our species off the face of the Earth?”

To which scientist Lisa Li responds – I believe if we create an artificial intelligence with imagination and wisdom, we can’t avoid the development that logically follows – artificial consciousness. And like any conscious entity, he’ll have a desire for self-preservation.”

So there you have it. Our doom and gloom friends from the Deep Ecology movement – who still want to ban natural gas, nuclear energy, internal combustion engines, air travel, high-rise buildings, eating meat, plastics, and a much longer laundry list of “evils” created by that human-shaped virus known as ingenuity — may indeed one day “save” the Earth from humanity, if only by making the planet so unlivable (for creative humans, at least) that we just give up.

But never fear – we may be creating an entirely new species – silicon-based life forms – that will find ways to survive and even thrive in a carbon-free world. On the other hand, while these new sentient beings will be safe from biological viruses, their less developed forebears are already quite susceptible to OTHER viruses.

Author

  • Duggan Flanakin

    Duggan Flanakin is the Director of Policy Research at the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow. A former Senior Fellow with the Texas Public Policy Foundation, Mr. Flanakin authored definitive works on the creation of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality and on environmental education in Texas. A brief history of his multifaceted career appears in his book, "Infinite Galaxies: Poems from the Dugout."