Some might think Transhumanism sounds like science fiction. Is it even possible? Should we consider it to be a threat? Let’s discuss a couple of ideas and ways of thinking about this more abstractly and theoretically to better project what is possible.
All the technologies (neural interfaces, mind uploading, superintelligence, etc.) and “progress” envisioned by Transhumanists hinge on the continuation of Moore’s Law. Moore’s Law is the observation that the number of transistors on a computing chip doubles every 18 to 24 months, and it looks like it might continue until at least 2029 (the 1 nm node). After this, companies like Intel will have no choice but to scale up. In other words, chips will be stacked like a deck of cards – first 2, then 4, then 8, and so on (doubling every 18 to 24 months). There is a lot of work being done in the area of 3-dimensional computing chips already, but I won’t cover those details here. I’m more interested in what it theoretically possible, so let’s discuss that.
Stacking chip layers like cards scales at first but not in the long run. Think about how much time it would take to fabricate layers one by one when there are 1000 layers in a single processor by the year 2039. One would also need to scale out the production 1000 times to keep up with demand. That’s unlikely to happen. A much better approach is to grow transistors by imitating biology. Picture a liquid with all the atoms and molecules necessary for transistor “life” poured into a tank and then activated somehow so that the transistors begin to form and connect with one another.
Abstract Theoretical Limits
Now, I’m going to discuss the future of transistors more abstractly. If 3-dimensional transistors take up a minimum of 1 cubic nanometer of space, then we will reach the limits of 2-dimensional chips by about 2029 (the 1 nm node). If we then scale into 3-dimensions at the slightly-faster-than-Moore’s-Law rate of doubling once per year, we reach heights of 1 micrometer by 2039, 1 millimeter by 2049, 1 meter by 2059, and 100 meters by 2066. Because of this, I propose that by the early second half of this century (around the 100-year anniversary of the first working silicon transistor), we are likely to witness vast computing reservoirs somewhere on the order of 100 meters deep each containing over 1 trillion gallons of computing liquid. That is what is theoretically possible if Moore’s Law is to continue.
So, are the goals of Transhumanism even possible? I think that in theory at least, yes they are, and we should start taking the threats of Transhumanism seriously. We cannot know for sure if the prophecies in the bible reference Transhumanist technologies, but we can seek wisdom from his word to guide us in these mysterious times ahead.