Look, nobody expected Mississippi to be this shining bastion of liberalism, lovingly welcoming every transhumanist-animal-hybrid-Singulatarian to cross its borders. But unfortunately, in its quest to further criminalize and stigmatize abortion by explicitly defining personhood, Mississippi may have gone one step too far: House Bill 819, the Protection of the Human Person Act (PDF), would outlaw human-animal hybrids like animorphs, which should strike outrage in the heart of every ’90s kid who loved the sci fi series.
The Clarion Ledger reports that the bill, introduced by Republican Senator William Tracy Arnold, would outlaw the following:
Embryos that contain human and nonhuman cells, nuclei or chromosomes.
Embryos that were created by fertilizing a human egg with animal sperm, or vice versa.
A nonhuman life form “engineered” with a human brain.
This is terrible news for Animorphs and also Team Jacob. But since the bill in its current form defines non-humans in such broad terms, it has also caught the attention of transhumanists, who believe that the bill could criminalize their technological attempts at immortality.
“A nonhuman life form ‘engineered’ with a human brain,” for example, could include a robot who uses any form of human cells to augment its artificial intelligence. It also calls to question the definition of “human.” A strict definition of human could bar people who augment themselves with technology from possessing basic rights. “Would providing future embryos with intelligence or strength modifications be considered ‘nonhuman’?” wondered one Redditor.
We’re a long way off from this become a real issue, but bills like this can give us an interesting insight into future legal battles surrounding transhumanity and artificial intelligence. Plus, it’s another excuse to never go to Mississippi.