Humanity 2.0: The New Normal

Sociologist Steve Fuller says we're headed for a new humanity which will no longer take as given the "normal human body". Our self-enhancements will include 'cosmetic neurology.'

What's the Latest Development?


Sociologist Steve Fuller says we're headed for a new humanity which will no longer take as given the "normal human body". A good example would be cosmetic neurology, which is essentially plastic surgery for the brain. Where you go in every so often and you get a tune-up of your synapses. It's already done at a medical school.

What's the Big Idea?

One implication of all this is that life expectancy won't uniformly go up, Fuller predicts it'll start to be bimodal distribution—some people will live beyond 100 and there'll be a large number of people who die under the age of 70. "That will be because people will definitely take advantage of the enhancements on offer, but others won't have those choices open to them."

Plants have awareness and intelligence, argue scientists

Research in plant neurobiology shows that plants have senses, intelligence and emotions.

Getty Images
Surprising Science
  • The field of plant neurobiology studies the complex behavior of plants.
  • Plants were found to have 15-20 senses, including many like humans.
  • Some argue that plants may have awareness and intelligence, while detractors persist.
Keep reading Show less

Vaping changes blood vessels after one use, even without nicotine

E-cigarettes may be safer than traditional cigarettes, but they come with their own risks.


John Keeble
/GETTY
Surprising Science
  • A new study used an MRI machine to examine how vaping e-cigarettes affects users' cardiovascular systems immediately after inhalation.
  • The results showed that vaping causes impaired circulation, stiffer arteries and less oxygen in their blood.
  • The new study adds to a growing body of research showing that e-cigarettes – while likely safer than traditional cigarettes – are far from harmless.
Keep reading Show less

Space is dead: A challenge to the standard model of quantum mechanics

Since the idea of locality is dead, space itself may not be an aloof vacuum: Something welds things together, even at great distances.

Videos
  • Realists believe that there is an exactly understandable way the world is — one that describes processes independent of our intervention. Anti-realists, however, believe realism is too ambitious — too hard. They believe we pragmatically describe our interactions with nature — not truths that are independent of us.
  • In nature, properties of Particle B may be depend on what we choose to measure or manipulate with Particle A, even at great distances.
  • In quantum mechanics, there is no explanation for this. "It just comes out that way," says Smolin. Realists struggle with this because it would imply certain things can travel faster than light, which still seems improbable.
Keep reading Show less