Jeffrey Epstein reportedly wanted to 'seed the human race with his DNA' as part of his fascination with transhumanism

Jeffrey Epstein, who was charged earlier this month with trafficking dozens of underage girls, reportedly told various scientists in the early 2000s that he wanted to "seed the human race" with his DNA, according to The New York Times.

Epstein said he'd do this, The Times reports, by impregnating 20 women at a time at his ranch in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

There is no evidence to suggest that Epstein took any steps toward making this vision a reality. But the idea reportedly stemmed from Epstein's interest in tge philosophy of transhumanism: The belief that people can (and should) artificially enhance the human body using modern technology.

Transhumanists herald genetic engineering and artificial intelligence as promising ways to improve human performance. They advocate, essentially, for the use of technology — including nanomedicine, robotics, brain-computer integration, and more — that alters typical human physiology in order to better our body and brain.

Epstein was fascinated with transhumanism

According to The Times, Jaron Lanier, a pioneer of virtual reality, remembers talking to a NASA scientist who said Epstein's New Mexico baby ranch idea was inspired by the Repository for Germinal Choice, a sperm bank in Escondido, California. The sperm bank operated from 1979 to 1999 and was incorrectly rumored to contain only the sperm of Nobel laureates.

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NEW YORK, NY - JULY 08: US Attorney for the Southern District of New York Geoffrey Berman announces charges against Jeffery Epstein on July 8, 2019 in New York City. Epstein will be charged with one count of sex trafficking of minors and one count of conspiracy to engage in sex trafficking of minors. (Photo by Stephanie Keith/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JULY 08: US Attorney for the Southern District of New York Geoffrey Berman announces charges against billionaire financier Jeffery Epstein on July 8, 2019 in New York City. Epstein will be charged with one count of sex trafficking of minors and one count of conspiracy to engage in sex trafficking of minors. (Photo by Stephanie Keith/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - JULY 08: Two of the purported victims of multi-millionaire Jeffrey Epstein, Michelle Licata (L) and Courtney Wild leave a Manhattan court house after a hearing on sex trafficking charges for financier Jeffrey Epstein on July 08, 2019 in New York City. Epstein is charged with having operated a sex trafficking ring in which he sexually abused dozens of underage girls. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JULY 08: Two of Jeffrey Epstein's alleged victims, Michelle Licata (L) and Courtney Wild (R), exit the courthouse after the billionaire financier appeared for a hearing on July 8, 2019 in New York City. According to reports, Epstein will be charged with one count of sex trafficking of minors and one count of conspiracy to engage in sex trafficking of minors. (Photo by Stephanie Keith/Getty Images)
In this courtroom artist's sketch, defendant Jeffrey Epstein, center, sits with attorneys Martin Weinberg, left, and Marc Fernich during his arraignment in New York federal court, Monday, July 8, 2019. Epstein pleaded not guilty to federal sex trafficking charges. The 66-year-old is accused of creating and maintaining a network that allowed him to sexually exploit and abuse dozens of underage girls from 2002 to 2005. (Elizabeth Williams via AP)
NEW YORK, US - JULY 08: David Boies, attorney for the alleged sex victims of the US financier Jeffreey Epstein case, delivers a speech to the media outside the United States Federal Court on July 08, 2019 in New York, United States. (Photo by Atilgan Ozdil/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JULY 08: A residence belonging to Jeffrey Epstein at East 71st street is seen on the Upper East Side of Manhattan on July 8, 2019 in New York City. According to reports, Epstein is charged with running a sex-trafficking operation out of his opulent mansion. (Photo by Kevin Hagen/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JULY 08: Prosecutors exit the room after US Attorney for the Southern District of New York Geoffrey Berman announces charges against Jeffery Epstein on July 8, 2019 in New York City. Epstein will be charged with one count of sex trafficking of minors and one count of conspiracy to engage in sex trafficking of minors. (Photo by Stephanie Keith/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JULY 08: Member of the press listen as US Attorney for the Southern District of New York Geoffrey Berman announces charges against Jeffery Epstein on July 8, 2019 in New York City. Epstein will be charged with one count of sex trafficking of minors and one count of conspiracy to engage in sex trafficking of minors. (Photo by Stephanie Keith/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JULY 08: A protest group called "Hot Mess" hold up signs of Jeffrey Epstein and President Donald Trump in front of the Federal courthouse on July 8, 2019 in New York City. According to reports, Epstein will be charged with one count of sex trafficking of minors and one count of conspiracy to engage in sex trafficking of minors. (Photo by Stephanie Keith/Getty Images)
United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York Geoffrey Berman speaks during a news conference, in New York, Monday, July 8, 2019. Federal prosecutors announced sex trafficking and conspiracy charges against wealthy financier Jeffrey Epstein. Court documents unsealed Monday show Epstein is charged with creating and maintaining a network that allowed him to sexually exploit and abuse dozens of underage girls.(AP Photo/Richard Drew)
In this courtroom sketch, defendant Jeffrey Epstein, second from right, listens along with defense attorneys, from left, Marc Fernich, Michael Miller, and Martin Weinberg as Judge Richard M. Berman denies him bail during a hearing in federal court, Thursday, July 18, 2019 in New York. Judge Berman denied bail for the jailed financier on sex trafficking charges, saying the danger to the community that would result if the jet-setting defendant was free formed the "heart of this decision." (Aggie Kenny via AP)
FILE - This March 28, 2017, file photo, provided by the New York State Sex Offender Registry shows Jeffrey Epstein. A judge denied bail for jailed financier Jeffrey Epstein on sex trafficking charges Thursday, July 18, 2019, saying the danger to the community that would result if the jet-setting defendant was free formed the "heart of this decision." (New York State Sex Offender Registry via AP)
In this courtroom sketch, Judge Richard M. Berman speaking as he denies Jeffrey Epstein bail during a hearing in federal court, Thursday, July 18, 2019 in New York. Judge Berman denied bail for the jailed financier on sex trafficking charges, saying the danger to the community that would result if the jet-setting defendant was free formed the "heart of this decision." (Aggie Kenny via AP)
In this courtroom artist's sketch, defendant Jeffrey Epstein, left, and his attorney Martin Weinberg listen during a bail hearing in federal court, Monday, July 15, 2019 in New York. Epstein's lawyers want him released on house arrest to his Manhattan home while he awaits trial. (Elizabeth Williams via AP)
This courtroom sketch shows Judge Richard Berman as he speaks during the Jeffrey Epstein bail hearing in federal court, Monday July 15, 2019. (Elizabeth Williams via AP)
In this courtroom artist's sketch, defendant Jeffrey Epstein, left, listens as accuser Annie Farmer, second from right, speaks during a bail hearing in federal court, Monday, July 15, 2019 in New York. Farmer says she was 16 when she "had the misfortune" of meeting Epstein and later went to spend time with him in New Mexico. Accuser Courtney Wild, right, said in the hearing that she was abused by the wealthy financier in Palm Beach, Florida, starting at age 14. Epstein's lawyers want him released on house arrest to his Manhattan home while he awaits trial. (Elizabeth Williams via AP)
In this courtroom artist's sketch, defendant Jeffrey Epstein, left, and attorney Reid Weingarten, second from right, listen as attorney Martin Weinberg, right, speaks during a bail hearing in federal court, Monday, July 15, 2019 in New York. Epstein's lawyers have insisted he will not run. They want him released on house arrest to his Manhattan home while he awaits trial. Courtney Wild, third from left, said in the hearing that she was abused by the wealthy financier in Palm Beach, Florida, starting at age 14. She called him a "scary person" and urged detention "for the safety of any other girls" out there. (Elizabeth Williams via AP)
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Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz also told The Times that Epstein once brought up the topic of how humans could be improved genetically at a lunch that Epstein sponsored.

Epstein's dual interest in furthering his own DNA and "improving" the human gene pool plays into the biggest criticism of the transhumanist ideology: that it's on par with eugenics.

Eugenics is the science of deliberately breeding human beings to increase the likelihood of certain characteristics. It's associated with Nazi ideology — the party favored blond, blue-eyed, Aryan people and used the idea of eugenics to justify genocide.

Transhumanism's political legacy

Many transhumanists, however, are interested in other ways to improve human performance that don't have to do with altering the gene pool.

Prior to the 2016 election, for example, presidential candidate Zoltan Istvan promised to work towards halting aging and death by merging technology with human biology. Istvan founded the Transhumanist Party, a political party focused on using science and tech to solve major problems facing humanity.

Istvan sees aging and death as the biggest plagues of our time, and thinks technology offers a cure. He supports, for example, the use of bionic organs as transplants when natural organs fail.

electrodes on brainFlorian Voggeneder/Guger Technologies/Reuters

"I think people have just been conditioned to believe that this is just a natural part of existence, that that's the program," Istvan previously told Business Insider. "And so our job is to uncondition that. To tell them actually it was the program until we reached the 21st century and now all of a sudden we realize that with genetics and bionics and robotics that we have a real chance of stopping death and treating it as something much more similar to a disease than some natural phenomenon."

Cryonics, the controversial process of freezing a body with the goal of bringing it back to life later, also has a place in transhumanist thinking. Currently, it only works for human embryos. But according to The Times, one unnamed transhumanist said he and Epstein once chatted about cryonics, and Epstein said he'd want his head and penis frozen.

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