A posthuman species is one descended from humanity through the use of biological and genetic engineering. Other technological species have their own equivalents.


Old human legends tell of creatures eerily similar to modern posthumans: centaurs, fairies, leprechauns, and gods in animal forms, most likely the product of mankind's primitive state, interpreting dinosaur fossils as bones of dragons and attributing hideous birth defects to evil spirits.
  The concept grew from the earlier idea of "transhumanism", which originated during the Nuclear Dark Days of the twentieth century and was well-developed by the end of the millennium, but it was not until the mid-twenty-first century that technology caught up with the dreams and created the first transhumans. As bioengineering technology improved, the first posthuman species began to be created.
  The overarching idea is a posthuman person has some capability that exceeds or transcends (hence the name) the limitations of ordinary humanity. This raises concerns about humanity's future. While science resurrected Neanderthals even before the first posthumans, they were originally rendered extinct after humans outcompeted them, being better suited to live in their native environment. Thus, from an evolutionary standpoint it would certainly be possible for posthumans to outcompete and marginalize their creators, a concern which becomes more serious when one realizes most posthumans have been deliberately engineered without humanity's weaknesses.
  Note that though most posthuman races were created centuries ago, they are still much fewer in numbers than humans, as even with high growth rates it takes centuries or even a millennium or more to get a population in the hundreds of millions to billions. Any new posthuman species will be rare outside its major population centers.

Cover image: by Arek Socha


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