There is a very prevalent logical error that pervades our culture; so thoroughly pervades it that it is all-but invisible, and difficult to understand.
The error is to confuse annihilation and replacement, with transformational development.
This error was made clear to me only in recent years and through reading Owen Barfield; but until that point (around 2014) I too was in thrall to the mistake.
We have a deep, ancient and primary understanding of 'evolution' as a process akin to the development of an acorn to an oak tree, and egg to a chicken, a newborn baby to an adult.
That is, we understand evolution to be a transformation of the self - while retaining the identity of the self.
This could be called developmental-transformative evolution.
In this primary understanding of evolution; the Being remains itself - but changes form.
Thus, if we (as Christians) imagine our future spiritual evolution from this mortal life to resurrected eternal life; this is a 'process' during which we remain our-self but undergo developmental or transformative changes in both body and mind.
The result is that our resurrected eternal self is the same person as he was during mortal life. And in Heaven we can 'recognize' others whom we knew in mortal life: they are still themselves.
But from the time that evolution by natural selection became a dominant social paradigm (during the late 1900s) there has emerged a qualitatively different conception of 'evolution'.
This could be called selection-reproductive evolution.
The key to this concept is selection acting on reproduction. Evolution of this sort 'happens' after reproduction, and is defined in terms of changed offspring. Therefore it is Not about transformation of the same-self; but replacement of the original parent by following generations.
With selection-reproductive evolution; a variety of different types - different selves - compete; some reproduce differentially more than others; and evolution has occurred when either one or just-some of the original selves continue to reproduce.
Meanwhile the other selves have Not reproduced, and their continuity has been annihilated.
So this concept is based on Darwinian ideas of natural selection; and entails not transformation but replacement. After such selectional evolution, what persists is Not the previous self - but a different self: a different Being; because offspring are different Beings than their parents.
In a brief phrase: natural selection is reproductive replacement. It is all-about replacing one thing with some other thing.
Some survive and others do not; and those which survive replace those which do not.
Because if the identity of the organism is being defined in terms of its genetic composition; then any genetic change is itself a kind of replacement.
Following Barfield; I believe that many people are often deeply confused between these two concepts of evolution. The seem to believe emotionally that they are proposing a developmental-transformative evolution; when in fact they are advocating replacement of one thing by another.
For instance; when people are keen on a future based upon Artificial Intelligence, or the Transhumanist changing of Man (by means of drugs, genetic engineering, inorganic implants, links to computers or the internet etc); they seem to suppose that this is an transformational enhancement of Men.
But in fact such aspirations are simply the annihilation of Men and their replacement. Replacement of Men with... something else.
In spiritual terms; AI and Transhumanism are therefore advocating covert suicide: suicide, because they themselves (and all other Men) will cease to exist; covert, because this desire for self-destruction is hidden by an irrelevant focus on what might replace us.
This is closely analogous to a plan to solve the problems of this Earth by exploding the planet - and then calling Mars 'the new and better Earth'. Maybe Mars is better (fewer problems), maybe not - but better or worse, Mars is Not an evolved Earth; it is some-thing different.
So much is fairly obvious; but the 'afterlife' proposed and yearned-for by many people shares this fundamentally suicidal impulse; because it hopes for the total destruction of the body, the self, the ego and all that is individual - by its absorption into the impersonal and discarnate divine.
I am talking about the Oneness spiritual movement - which is so much a feature of the New Age in The West. This talks constantly about how all things truly are one, and how separation into persons is an illusion (Maya), and a 'sin'; and separation of Man from God is an illusion and a sin.
According to Oneness; in reality there are no persons, no Men - only one God; and that God is not a person - because the divine encompasses everything, so there can be no definition or description of God.
Nothing specific can be said about the divine except for an infinite series of denials of all less-than-total claims of God's nature: i.e. a negative theology of what God is not.
To hope for the 'evolution' of my-self, and Mankind, into One; is therefore to hope-for one's own annihilation and replacement.
There would be - could be - no continuity between me-now, and now living Men - and the aimed for annihilation of separateness into divine unity.
Oneness spirituality is not to solve any of the problems of the world; but to destroy the world - to destroy every-thing... and replace it with something else.
It is solving the problem of misery and suffering in life, by ending all life - by killing everything.
In other words; Oneness offers exactly the same kind of 'solution' to the problem of Man's mortal life as does Artificial Intelligence and Transhumanism.
Oneness is just as much a covert advocacy of suicide, as are the schemes of technological replacement of Man by... 'something better'.
And the reason why this is not immediately obvious; is that our culture has become deeply confused by the two concepts of evolution.
And has erroneously carried-over the spiritual aspirations of evolution understood as transformative-development, into the annihilation-seeking mechanisms of transformative-replacement.