By Angela Rose
Neil L. York, BYU professor of history, will speak today in a forum titled ?We, Robots?? at 11:05 a.m. in the de Jong Concert Hall, followed by a question and answer session.
?People have dreamed of improving humans since recorded history,? York said. ?We are one constant improvement project. One of the ironies of that is in the quest for improvement, we redefine ourselves.?
York is the chair of the history department and has taught at BYU for 28 years. He was awarded the Karl G. Maeser General Education Professorship Award and has served twice as coordinator of the American Studies program.
?What is the living creature?? York said. ?Is it simply our thought process, or is there more to the body than that? We used to take a life cycle as a given — we are born we mature we die — that?s not the case anymore. What we once accepted as natural isn?t the case anymore. We can define what is natural.?
York was born in San Luis Obispo, Calif., and grew up farther north, in Napa. He attended BYU and then went on to the University of California where he received his doctorate. His fields of expertise include colonial and revolutionary U.S. history, the U.S. Constitution and the history of technology. He and his wife, Carole Mikita, have two daughters.
?At some point in your life you may have to make a choice as to how human you want to be,? York said. ?And you may confront a new definition of what humanity actually is.?