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Encyclopedia > Superhuman

A superhuman is an entity with intelligence or abilities exceeding normal human standards.


Superhuman can mean an improved human, for example, by genetic modification, cybernetic implants, or as what humans might evolve into, in the distant future. Occasionally, it could mean an otherwise "normal" human with unusual abilities, such as psychic abilities or exceptional proficiency at something, far beyond the norm. Human enhancement describes any attempt, whether temporary or permanent, to overcome the current limitations of human cognitive and physical abilities, whether through natural or artificial means. ... Genetic engineering, genetic modification (GM), and gene splicing (once in widespread use but now deprecated) are terms for the process of manipulating genes in an organism, usually outside of the organisms normal reproductive process. ... Cyberware is a relatively new and unknown field. ... // For the history of humans on Earth, see History of the world. ... Psychic is a term relating to or denoting extra-sensory abilities or phenomena that are apparently inexplicable by known natural laws, since they transcend the confines of our current understanding of what a human being is capable of. ...


Superhuman can also mean something that isn't human, but considered to be "superior" to humans in some ways. A robot that easily passed the Turing test, and could do some things humans can't, could be considered superhuman. A very intelligent or strong alien could be considered superhuman. Doctor Who novel named after the test, see The Turing Test. ... Intelligence is the mental capacity to reason, plan, solve problems, think abstractly, comprehend ideas and language, and learn. ... Physical strength is the ability of a person or animal to exert force on physical objects using muscles. ... “Green people” redirects here. ...


The concept of the superhuman is quite popular in science fiction, where superhumans are often cyborgs, mutants or genetically engineered. The greatest publicity of the concept is, of course, comic book superheroes, such as Superman. The term is often used in discussions of comic book characters because the terms Superman and super hero are registered as trademarks. Superhuman characters in various comics, role-playing games and other entertainment media have also been referred to as metahuman or posthuman. Science fiction is a form of speculative fiction principally dealing with the impact of imagined science and technology, or both, upon society and persons as individuals. ... The term cyborg, a portmanteau of cybernetic organism, is used to designate a creature which is a mixture of organic and mechanical parts. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged into mutation. ... An iconic image of genetic engineering; this autoluminograph from 1986 of a glowing transgenic tobacco plant bearing the luciferase gene, illustrating the possibilities of genetic engineering. ... [[ For the bands, see Superheroes (band) and Super Heroines. ... Superman is a fictional character and comic book superhero , originally created by American writer Jerry Siegel and Canadian artist Joe Shuster and published by DC Comics. ... Superman is a fictional character and comic book superhero , originally created by American writer Jerry Siegel and Canadian artist Joe Shuster and published by DC Comics. ... For other senses of this word, see Trademark (disambiguation). ... Comics (or, less commonly, sequential art) is a form of visual art consisting of images which are commonly combined with text, often in the form of speech balloons or image captions. ... This article is about traditional role-playing games. ... Metahuman is a term to describe superhumans in the DC Universe. ... Posthuman Future by Michael Gibbs A posthuman or post-human is a hypothetical future being whose capabilities so radically exceed those of present humans as to be no longer human by current standards. ...

Contents

Superhuman people: Kiran Wylie

Speculation about human nature and the possibilities of both human enhancement and future human evolution have made superhumans a popular subject of science fiction. This is made possible by taking minute samples of Kiran Wylie's blood and injecting it into the patients arm, thus gaining superpowers. Human enhancement describes any attempt, whether temporary or permanent, to overcome the current limitations of human cognitive and physical abilities, whether through natural or artificial means. ... // For the history of humans on Earth, see History of the world. ...


One type of superhuman described in science fiction stories, particularly during the Atomic Age, derives from the concept of mutation. In such tales, a human being would mutate into or give birth to a being that either has powers as yet not exhibited by humans, or else motivations entirely different from those human beings, or both. In some stories, these beings are either unable to get along with "normal" humanity, or replace them entirely, causing the extinction of present-day humanity. The Atomic Age was a phrase used for a time in the 1950s in which it was believed that all power sources in the future would be atomic in nature. ... It has been suggested that mutant be merged into this article or section. ... The Dodo, shown here in a 1651 illustration by Jan Savery, is an often-cited[1] example of modern extinction. ...


Such superhumans are sometimes referred to as a "new species" (or "successor species") of humanity; in a number of fictional franchises, such as those of the Tomorrow People or the X-Men, these groups are even given the binomial nomenclature Homo superior, to distinguish them from Homo sapiens. The main problem with this concept is that it is dominated by a misunderstanding of the theory of evolution. Mutation takes place, but it is only a summation of the interactions of genes with the environment for many generations which eventually leads to the development of a new species, and then further time has to occur before one species becomes extinct while another, not necessarily the mutated species, survives. It is also possible (indeed, common) for two species from the same ancestry to survive at the same time, under separate environmental conditions, or occupying different niches. And it is only a value-judgement by humans which declares that the different characteristic of new species is "superior". But the notion of progress is inherently built into this genre of stories. In biology, a species is one of the basic units of biodiversity. ... The Tomorrow People was a childrens science fiction television series, devised by Roger Price and produced by Thames Television for Britains ITV network between 1973 and 1979. ... The X-Men are a group of comic book superheroes featured in Marvel Comics. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Homo sapiens (Latin: wise man) is the scientific name for the human species. ... This article is about evolution in biology. ... Charles Darwins first sketch of an evolutionary tree from his First Notebook on Transmutation of Species (1837) Speciation is the evolutionary process by which new biological species arise. ... In biology, a species is one of the basic units of biodiversity. ... Two lichenes species on a rock, in two different ecological niches In ecology, a niche is a term describing the relational position of a species or population in an ecosystem. ... Three billion years ago, life on Earth consisted of single-celled organisms, but now there is a tremendous variety of complex multi-celled creatures. ...


However, other stories turn this notion on its head, showing the disadvantages of a supposedly superior ability or quality; for example, in Briar Patch by Dean Ing, a group of ancient hominids were portrayed as a largely pacifistic, telepathic and highly empathic species who could not stand to inflict pain, even while hunting; they were eventually overwhelmed and exterminated by the less sensitive but more ruthless Homo sapiens. Dean Ing (born 1931) is an American author, who usually writes in the science fiction and techno-thriller genres. ... A hominid is any member of the biological family Hominidae (the great apes), including the extinct and extant humans, chimpanzees, gorillas, and orangutans. ... Pacifism is opposition to the use of force to settle disagreements, specifically the taking up of arms in war. ... Telepathy from the Greek τηλε, tele, distant, and πάθεια, patheia, feeling, is the supposed ability to communicate information from one mind to another, and is one form of extra-sensory perception or anomalous cognition. ... Empathy is awareness of the thoughts, feelings, or states of mind of others, perhaps by means of some degree of vicarious experience of others feelings or mental states. ...


Many other types of superhumans are also portrayed in science fiction. For example, the Dune series contains several varieties of superhumans, ranging from those produced by selective breeding to chemical enhancement or lifelong training in as yet uninvented mental and physical disciplines, and artificial lifeforms such as the Face Dancers. The Dune prequels also describe nearly-immortal brain-in-a-jar cyborgs called Cymeks and advanced artificial intelligence. The CoDominium universe has superhumans produced by artificial and natural selection and by genetic engineering; for example, the alien Moties have been bred for thousands of generations to be far better than humans at their caste's specific job, such as Engineer or Mediator. Many other fictional aliens, such as Vulcans, Kzinti and Mork from Ork have greater than human abilities or powers, sometimes simply for the purpose of making them seem more advanced or more "alien", other times simply for dramatic reasons (particularly if they are the antagonists of the story). The fictional Dune universe, or Duniverse, is the political, scientific, and social setting of author Frank Herberts six-book Dune series of science fiction novels. ... Selective breeding in domesticated animals is the process of developing a cultivated breed over time. ... Nootropics are so-called smart drugs. ... Face Dancers are a type of human in Frank Herberts fictional Dune universe. ... A prequel is a work that portrays events which include the structure, conventions, and/or characters of a previously completed narrative, but occur at an earlier time. ... Look up immortal in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... In philosophy, the brain in a vat is any of a variety of thought experiments intended to draw out certain features of our ideas of knowledge, reality, truth, mind, and meaning. ... In Frank Herberts fictional Dune universe, A cymek is a type of cyborg, a machine-human hybrid. ... The fictional CoDominium universe is a future history (now alternate history) setting for the books in the CoDominium Series by Jerry Pournelle. ... This Chihuahua mix and Great Dane show the wide range of dog breed sizes created using artificial selection. ... Darwins illustrations of beak variation in the finches of the Galápagos Islands, which hold 13 closely related species that differ most markedly in the shape of their beaks. ... An iconic image of genetic engineering; this autoluminograph from 1986 of a glowing transgenic tobacco plant bearing the luciferase gene, illustrating the possibilities of genetic engineering. ... It has been suggested that Horace Bury be merged into this article or section. ... It has been suggested that Tplana-hath be merged into this article or section. ... The Kzin (plural Kzinti) are a fictional, very warlike and bloodthirsty race of Felinoid aliens in Larry Nivens Known Space series. ... Mork & Mindy was a sci-fi-based American sitcom broadcast from 1978 until 1982 on the American Broadcasting Company. ...


Beings with supernatural abilities are also common in fantasy fiction, but are very rarely referred to as superhumans in that genre. Look up Supernatural in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Smaug in his lair: an illustration for the fantasy The Hobbit Fantasy is a genre of art that uses magic and other supernatural forms as a primary element of plot, theme, or setting. ...


Superhuman as a classification

In Marvel Comics the term superhuman is part of a "power classification system" and applies to aptitude (usually physical) far beyond the range attainable by normal human beings. An athlete is a normal human in extraordinary physical condition, such as a weight lifter or boxer. Peak human is applied to physical abilities that are nearly, but not quite, beyond the limits of the best of humans. Enhanced human refers to superhuman abilities some distance beyond the limits of humans, such as being able to lift a small car but not a tank, and is a term for "light" superhuman abilities. Then comes the level of the "superhuman." Characters with a superhuman attribute are far beyond normal human abilities. There is also a range beyond superhuman and this is metahuman, a being with the highest superhuman ability. Marvel Comics is an American comic book line published by Marvel Publishing, Inc. ... Metahuman is a term to describe superhumans in the DC Universe. ...


These categories are very rarely referenced in the actual stories themselves. Instead, they are usually reserved for descriptive articles such as the The Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe. The Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe is a comicbook published by Marvel Comics that attempts to loosely define the characters, places, and events that make up the Marvel fictional comicbook world. ...


Ultimate Marvel

Super-Human is also the title of the first story arc of The Ultimates. The various characters of the Ultimate Marvel Universe, as seen on the cover of Ultimates (v2) #12. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Members of the Ultimates, on the cover of The Ultimates is a comic book published by Marvel Comics, part of the Ultimate Marvel line featuring classic Marvel Universe characters re-imagined for a modern audience. ...


Examples

Odd John is a 1936 science fiction novel by the British author Olaf Stapledon which explores the theme of the superman. ... William Olaf Stapledon (May 10, 1886 – September 6, 1950) was a British philosopher and author of several influential works of science fiction. ... First edition by Arkham House. ... Alfred Elton van Vogt (April 26, 1912 – January 26, 2000) was a Canadian-born science fiction author who was one of the most prolific, yet complex, writers of the mid-twentieth century Golden Age of the genre. ... Ludens, singular - Luden (людены, люден), are a humanoid race in the fictional Noon Universe created by the Boris and Arkady Strugatsky. ... Boris and Arkady Strugatsky The two brothers Arkady (Арка́дий, August 28, 1925 – October 12, 1991) and Boris (Бори́с, born April 14, 1933) Strugatsky (Струга́цкий; alternate spelling: Strugatski) are Russian science fiction authors who collaborated on their fiction. ... The Noon Universe is a fictional future alternate universe that serves as a setting for a book series written by Strugatsky brothers. ... More Than Human is a novel by Theodore Sturgeon. ... Theodore Sturgeon (February 26, 1918 Staten Island, New York – May 8, 1985) was an American science fiction author. ...

See also


  Results from FactBites:
 
Superhuman - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (718 words)
Superhuman can mean an "improved" human, for example, by genetic modification, cybernetic implants, or as what humans might evolve into, in the distant future.
The concept of the superhuman is quite popular in science fiction, where superhumans are often cyborgs, mutants or genetically engineered.
Enhanced human refers to superhuman abilities some distance beyond the limits of humans, such as being able to lift a small car but not a tank, and is a kind of term for "light" superhuman abilities.
superhuman - definition of superhuman in Encyclopedia (208 words)
Superhuman can mean an "improved" human, for example, by genetic modification, or as what humans might evolve into, in the distant future.
The concept of the superhuman is quite popular in science fiction, where superhumans are often mutants or genetically engineered.
Recently, in role-playing games involving superhumans, the superhumans are referred to as metahumans.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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