|A wolf-dog hybrid|
What if a group of people have the technology to alter their bodies in a way that they can no longer have reproduce with un-altered humans? If they have the means to do that, then they can certainly find a way to enable what the techies call "backward compatibility". Use artificial sperm or external gestation chambers if they have to.
So what makes someone post-human?
Will enhancements make us post-human? No. Go through the list of comic book superheroes. Which one is post-human? None of them! If you can describe someone as "human with this special ability" then he or she is still human. Even Superman.
|This is a man with superpowers.|
What is human anyway? Describe to an alien what it's like to be human. Tell them what their medical sensors can not detect: the human experience. We see in colors and shapes and shades, hear sounds and tones and words, touch hot and cold and textures; we feel pain and pleasure, smell coffee and the rain. We can love and hate and be sad or happy. We can remember things that happened in third grade English class. We forget to water the plants. We make terrible mistakes and regret them. We can learn and think and imagine, and we can express ourselves in so many ways. That's what makes us human. It doesn't matter if we are made of cells and DNA, or if we are bits of code in the Matrix. The human experience is platform-independent.
|This is a post-human. Not her, the blue one.|
Being post-human is about having experiences that can not be shared by regular humans. Try describing Picasso's paintings to someone who has always been blind. Tell a deaf person what a piano sonata sounds like. Futile! Every time we talk, we assume the other person is hearing, thinking, feeling; we just take for granted that they see life mostly in the same way we do. From a slightly different perspective, sure, but most of it is the same. A blind person can still hear, and taste, and get lonely. What happens if a huge part of your experiences can not be communicated to others, because they simply can't comprehend it? You'd be a post-human.
It doesn't mean that you have to give up any human senses or emotions. They would just be a small fraction of your life. Compare a dog's life with mine: we can both run around and get tired; we can both feel hungry or full. I didn't give up any of those animal urges. But I spend my time working, and thinking, and planning. And I can laugh at jokes. If a dog can laugh at jokes, it will be a post-dog.