After theoretical investment in emancipation by cyborg (whose posthumanity, disembodied, deprived of complexity, bloodless, without family ties, turns out to be ominously curative of human awkwardness), provided that we outlive chemical and technical intervention and influence, we are left with the biotic attempts at human alteration. There are genetic mutations, clones and even something (perhaps most) horrible: a complete decomposition and amorphization – for the sake of the possibility of a formless existence. Our resistance to biological remodeling of life is probably fiercer than to episodes of poison induced mania or systematic poisoning by steroids, fiercer even than the technophobic resistance to numerous implants and prostheses we eventually “get used to.” Even though what we consider the limit of the human has been stretched through intoxication or technology, and is now difficult to define or establish, we are still anxious about gene manipulation. Genetic alteration is still placed automatically and unconditionally beyond the acceptable limit, even dealing with soy DNA, no less its human counterpart.
“The chemical or physical inventor is always a Prometheus”. In pointing out a new kind of unprecedented insult, Haldane said, nearly a century ago, that there is no great invention, from fire to flying, which has not been “hailed as an insult to some god”. But if every physical and chemical invention is a blasphemy, every biological invention is a “perversion”. Invariably, an observer of a culture alien to any such novelty would perceive the invention as indecent and unnatural .
Modern terms for this indecency are “artifact” and “artifactual”, in contrast to “nature” and “natural” – at least before the old danger of blurring the lines between them [36, 37]. But it is very likely that the alteration here is also inevitable: we should get used to the loss (at least to a certain degree) of our own autochthony, and resistance is, just as before Borg, futile. There seems to be a point, which we are approaching, at which we will no longer be able to speak about autochthony, modification or cloning of somebody, that is, about that “somebody” as an anchor of personal or species identity, placed in a body, memory, mind or something else. That point is perhaps comparable to the “final frontier” from the prologue of Star Trek. The frontier – now set by the enemy who also symbolizes it – still remains insurmountable and disforming. It is the literal loss of form or of memory of previous form; it is the possibility of assuming any form while at the same time, losing one's own; it would be the transfer to the next level of protobiological existence – paradoxically proving a point in favor of human excellence.
The other name for this enemy is a “shapeshifter” or “metamorph”. The transformations “he” undergoes are by definition here understood completely differently from the ones that have occurred since time immemorial in fairy tales, mythologies, folklore, epic literature, even in sci-fi literature. They are different mostly for being without the very substance needed to talk about “transubstantiation.” It is one thing to change a frog or beast into a prince, or a man into a werewolf; or to change from Zeus and later wizards, evil witches and warlocks into whatever men, women or animals they like (and revert back) [38, 39]. It is a completely different thing to be an “entity” similar to the sea-god Proteus: continuous, elusive and unreenforcable change. In the case of Proteus, change itself is the entity's “nature.” He is the sea as a liquid and flowing quality of unbounded an indeterminable water, inconsistency itself, and the ability to take myriad shapes and mold oneself universally .
Transhumanism, in its original definition offered by Julian Huxley in 1957 – “man remaining man, but transcending himself, by realizing new possibilities of and for his human nature”  – is here definitely thrown out the window to be replaced with one beyond the transitional period, because the former is still oriented toward that which it resists. Metamorph is rather the lemma of a genuine posthumanism that is no longer even affected by humanism. In Terminator 2, the nanomorph T-1000 is the main opponent of the previous generation of terminators, the automated, mechanized T-800, taking the human form of Arnold Schwarzenegger. This older version could even be “humanized,” given that he starts out as a programmed killer in the first Terminator film from 1984 but turns pro-human in the later installments, where he is a repaired, avuncular figure, protecting the innocent from the now much more gruesome danger of (ex)termination at the hands of the T-1000. The evil character made of practically indestructible liquid alloy metal is convincingly portrayed by the actor Robert Patrick. However, it really does not matter who plays the role, except for the figurally and substantially set eyes of the viewers, for whom “he” must have some basic form. Meanwhile, he assumes innumerable forms, doing so to perfection, even being able to direct the flow of his shapeless form. This is actually his character: a character without one character, polycharacter, character of metamorph, one that has no form, essence or structure, and can assume any form from his indeterminate “self.”
Let us imagine now that the point in question is not, fundamentally, almost perfect counterhuman likeness nor reinforcement of endurance to the point of indestructibility. Let us imagine that it is not the inorganic, liquid metal alloy that assumes characteristics of biological life. Let us imagine that there is such a life, such biotics. Unlike the mechanized case of (cy)Borg , the third series of Star Trek, Deep Space 9 features an example of the notion of post-cybernetic metamorphosis  and biologization of the enemy. There are “Changelings,” who are determined to avenge their ancestors and destroy all “Solids,” all non-Changelings, everyone that has a defined form. They are the only biological organisms in the Star Trek universe that can be whatever they want: various “solid” forms of life, but also a fire, fog, inanimate objects, operational computer devices, light reflections, etc. In their “natural” state, they are – a familiar picture indeed – some kind of rippling liquid collective life form, a manifold united into an ocean of calm waves, a biological orbifold. They have a faint feeling of individual identity and like to think of themselves as a drop in the “Great Link,” a direct and overall connectedness with the life of their species, in which they are united. Changelings appear as pure protobiological mixture, a (more) dense (compared to Proteus) liquid or gelatinous mass, whose appearance is as ancient as life itself and a fundamental element of its composition.
It seems as though Changelings represent the final frontier of both the human and its vision of enhancement, the frontier of thinkability of the enhanced human where it still remains human. But at the same time, it looks as though the contemporary “enhancement movement” has done nothing more than taken both humanists and transhumanists seriously by radicalizing the fears of the first and hopes of the second. To wit, the movement has taken both sides' emancipatory promises of abolishing any ideological misleading at face value, even that which places the “human” as the latest ideologeme. Those promises leads us back, in a way threatening to all traditional (sup)positions – this time with full awareness of the consequences of transhumanism – to the initial question of the entire humanist project.Footnote 6
Let us take seriously Pico della Mirandola's notion of the human [43, 44] as a “creature of indeterminate image” and as “the free and extraordinary shaper” of his own image, placed by God outside the world so that it could “fashion” itself in the form it preferred. Further, let us affirm the privileged belief, not in theistic terms, but which nonetheless runs through the history of philosophy and anthropology as a secret code word passed from ear to mouth, that humans are autonomous and self-creating beings, unrestricted by their own condition and in principle free architects of their own destiny [45-51]. But if this is true, why place a limit at all on humanity's quest for new forms and modes of enhancement leading to new forms and modes of existence? On the other hand, if these claims are not true, might there be a line of demarcation, some essential content (even in the “soft sense”), which would render an enhanced existence past a certain point “distinctive,” particular, beyond the human threshold?
Humanism itself, it appears, requires in its advanced stage the relinquishing of the metaphysical and always normative view of “human nature” on behalf of a seemingly more modest, careful, prudent, but also more fruitful consideration of consequences regarding different kinds of foreseeable enhancements. Provided they are not completely arbitrary, but are conditioned by our understanding of the past and the present, projections of humanity's future image through thought experiments in (science) fiction are in this respect unavoidable and extremely valuable . The stories of Smurfs, Cyborgs and Changelings, therefore, should not be read as a warning that technology may rob us of our humanity, but as an invitation to debate the practical effects of some potential lines of enhancement leading towards a humanity which no longer need essencialization.