Man in the Middle: Animals, Humans and Robots
by Joel Marks
Humans used to be thought of as occupying an existential space between animals and gods. Clearly our bodies display our affinity to animals, while our minds possess intellectual and moral capacities seemingly beyond the reach of physical objects. This even led some to identify us with either animals (we are mammals) or gods (we are immortal, immaterial souls). But today, technology has replaced the divine, and computerized robots have replaced gods as one of the extremes between which we humans may represent the mean. Today it seems plausible to postulate that we are material mechanisms of a high order, who have evolved from common ancestors with the other animals (and plants) and may eventually merge with our digital creations to become ‘transhuman’ cyborgs.