I hear that the villain in Dan Brown’s new novel, Inferno, is a Malthusian transhumanist. Brown isn’t the first to use fiction to explore the potential downside of the transhumanist movement. The Frankenstein series by my pal Dean Koontz, for example, is all about transhumanism — as indeed, when you think about it, was Mary Shelly’s original. The great Star Trek villain Kahn was the creation of transhumanist genetic engineering gone bad. And of course, Huxley’s immortal (pun intended) Brave New World is the classic of the genre.

Transhumanists aren’t malignly motivated. But the movement’s ideological heart is vividly Utopian and its theories steeped in eugenic anti-human exceptionalism. That kind of thinking always leads to trouble, which is why transhumanists makes great fiction fodder.

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Wesley J. Smith, J.D., Special Consultant to the CBC