Transhumanism is a movement that supports the use of science and technology to radically alter and improve human mental and physical characteristics and capacities. Transhumanists regard mortality as just another technical challenge that will eventually be overcome when scientific advances make immortality possible.
The term “transhumanism” was first coined in 1966 by FM-2030 (formerly known as F.M. Esfandiary), a futurist who taught new concepts of the human at the New School in New York City. The term was aimed at describing the enthusiastic adopters of technology who believe technology and science will eventually have a solution for all humanity's problems. For most transhumanists, the technological singularity is an important goal.
The Big Crunch
Some of the most extreme examples of the idea of technological convergence can be found in the ideas of Dr. Frank Tipler. Extrapolating from the known laws of physics, he points out that if the universe reaches a finite point of expansion and then begins to contract, it is likely to end in a big crunch. This is an almost exact reverse of the big bang. At this point, all of the matter in the universe will have converged on one point and there will be zero available free energy.
Tipler thinks this situation can be redeemed by the possibility of creating a truly giant computer that will model the entire universe. Even though the length of the universe is finite (and the computer is part of that universe), the computer's ability to process increasing quantities of information is theoretically infinite. According to Tipler, this will result in a transcendent omega point, as the computational capacity of the universe will be accelerating exponentially as time runs out.
Transhumanism is sometimes associated with the term “H+,” which stands for “human enhancement.” H+ symbolizes the belief that by using technology, humanity can grow capabilities far beyond what is currently possible. The abilities of H+-designated humans may be extended so far in terms of intelligence, longevity, and even strength that they will be considered posthuman.
The Far Edge of the Eschaton
Kurzweil's vision of the world post singularity is strikingly similar to Tipler's. Kurzweil predicts human-created artificial intelligence will eventually wake up all the matter of the entire universe into sentience. These ideas about the future of humanity are probably only equaled in sheer extremism by those of Terence McKenna, but these are the sorts of concepts that form the far edges of eschatology, the study of the end times. The year 2012 is the archetypal convergence point for all end-times theories. These various ideas are currently now competing for what the philosopher A.N. Whitehead called the formality of actually occurring.