July 30, 2013
Part 2: The Sci-Tech Revolution
Today, radical information technologies—i.e., quantum computing and cutting-edge biotech advancements—have served to reshape the marketplace and restructure society, presumably toward achieving a more productive, fulfilling, and satisfying future. Paired with religion, systematic knowledge of the nature of reality (that is, open-minded science/ technology) promises to support continued existence of humanity as a species. As breast milk to a newborn, technological breakthroughs nourish the burgeoning vision for a cyber-connected, wholly enlightened one-world community.
This June (2013) learned participants in the Global Future 2045 congress gathered in New York to map a new trajectory for large-scale transformation of civilization. Overcoming biological limitations to make room for high ethics, culture, spirituality, technology and science calls for two revolutions—one spiritual; the other, sci-tech. In tandem, both spheres (science and spirit) methodologically pursue states of higher consciousness.
Science and Spirit
While a Fulbright Scholar completing his Ph.D. at Columbia, Dr. Bushell co-directed several multidisciplinary conferences on science and spirituality. Yes, the Great Commission to take the Gospel to the four corners of earth rides the swelling wave of information technologies; and given the science of cybernetics, flexible and direct communication channels between distant locations serve well this noble cause. Unfortunately, not all endeavors are equally principled.
Having became an ascetic and self-realized Siddha Master in the solitude of Himalayan caves, oneGF2045 promoter purportedly achieved a state of consciousness beyond body and mind and thereby claims to have attained a supreme sense of oneness with the absolute (Samadhi). He and his ilk believe that some seven billion connected global citizens, once freed from biological restraints, will bypass linear thinking, interface with technology, and emerge as virtual persons who, in turn, will create virtual environments in which they rule as “kings.”
Theirs constitutes a sort of godlike meta-intelligence that envisions space farers populating the galaxy, perhaps even an infinite number of universes. Beyond that, the techno-god of humanity’s alleged future holds promise for immortality, paired with expanded virtual environments to alleviate potential boredom naturally associated with longevity.
To envision said transcendence, recall the 20th Century Fox production of Avatar, a futuristic, body-snatching saga in which enlightened humanoids, animals, and vegetation experience spiritual “bonding” or “connecting.” The plot features a paraplegic war veteran who gets a fresh start as an avatar in a distant world. Beguiled by its alien inhabitants and arcane culture,Marine Corporal Jack Sully “gets religion.” When faced with military action spurred by corporate greed, this blue-hued avatar goes Green and godlike in committing to save the planet from victimization and extinction. Though intriguing, his techno savvy eco-theology misses the mark of sound doctrine. In its shadow, human aspirations and values fast defer to ruthless cravings for technocratic dominance, status, wealth, and accompanying power.
What’s Not to Like?
Host of sillyConValley.net, Rob Argento imagines a new breed of intentionally dumbed-down humanoids willing to work twenty hours a day without "comp time" or sick days. An active, growing community of overseers, fully dedicated to Her Highness Technology (Argento’s term),applauds anything that imparts to them smarter-than-human intelligence—i.e., brain-computer interfaces or neuroscience-based human intelligence enhancement.
This rising phenomenon Argento characterizes as techno-fascism. Techno-fascists hope to one up God by introducing mind-reading capabilities. Eventually, they will make a complete, 3-D reconstruction of the brain, able to be traded out at will. While the human hybrid with an added chromosome (not passed on to children) is deemed hopeful, human genetic modification poses insurmountable ethical problems.
Arguably, the minds of enlightened futurists have passed the limits of conceit. Be sure that manipulating RNA interference (RNAi) in order to create designer babies is worlds apart from silencing genes for ornamental pigmentation in petunia plants. Hooking neurons to molecular computing systems may promise better health care for psychiatric disorders,measurable solutions for rehabilitating the disabled, and the option of replacing people who work under hazardous conditions; but there’s no turning back from participatory technology (virtual reality).
21st Century: Renaissance or Dark Age?
Worldwide re-visioning and global management by techno-fascists will result in humanity’s undergoing huge changes in employment (therefore, education). Already, technocrats can construct avatar robots (artificial bodies) and tele-presence robotic systems for their long-distance control. With mobile communications built into bodies, thought-controlled tele-persons will “travel” (without moving)anywhere they want in the world; they will even participate in two events simultaneously with no clone/backup needed.
Even so, the sober question lingers: Are we on track for a 21st century Renaissance or another Dark Age?The Bible warns of a time when powerful signs and lying wonders (virtual reality and holography, for example) will introduce strong delusion. Consider the most famous android, that of a Japanese roboticist. Operated remotely, the Geminoidis a blinking, twitching, “breathing” copy of Dr. Hiroshi Ishiguro. Talk about lying wonders: Tele-operating this relatively simple android can be so impressive that a single touch triggers physical sensation as though it were, in fact, the operator’s own body!
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Though access to limitless information defines the age in which we live, knowledge of truth is sadly lacking. Scriptures characterize human efforts independent from God as “utter vanity.” Because even the elect of God are vulnerable to seduction, believers are commanded to avoid “profane, vain babbling and oppositions of science, falsely so called,”
Increasingly, deceivers claiming to have attained “Christhood” will entice others to champion an illumined global community that, wittingly or not, facilitates worsening evil, albeit in the name of good. Ultimately, proud, haughty scoffers will reason: "Perhaps man is not the end product of God's work. Perhaps man is the by-product of the process which will create God." Call this what you will but, in God’s Book,it’s blasphemy.
© 2013 Debra Rae - All Rights Reserved
Founder of the International Center for Technology Assessment, Andrew
Kimbrell labels this would-be reality a “technotopia”; moreover,
respected scholar O. B. Hardison likens faith in silicone devices to
religious fervor transcending mundane thrills of talking cars and functioning
2. Dr. Robert Thurman, Spirituality Researcher and Moderator of GF2045.
3. Daniel 2:19; 31-45; Revelation 13:1,7.
4. Forbes / Dmitry Itskow wants to live forewer.
5. "Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 2:5).
6. One was the historic Menla 2006 Conference on Longevity, Regeneration, and Optimal Health; Integrating Eastern and Western Perspectives, which led to the ground-breaking volume of the same name published in the Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences. Dr. William Bushell, a Religious Anthropologist and Science-Spirituality Bridge-builder,graduated Magna Cum Laude, Phi Beta Kappa from Columbia University and conducted the first-ever study of the living Christian yoga tradition of Ethiopia.
7. "He said to them, ‘Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation'" (Mark 16:15).
8. Mahayogi 'Pilot' Baba, Yoga and Self-realized Siddha Master, Mahamandale-shwar of the Juna Akhara Order of Hindu Monks, guides persons toward knowledge and self-exploration.
9. We are commanded not to think more highly of ourselves than we ought to think (Romans 12:3).Jesus alone bears the name KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS (Revelation 19:16).
10. “For God did give into their hearts to do its mind, and to make one mind, and to give their kingdom to the beast till the sayings of God may be complete” (Revelation 17:17).
11. Dr. Peter H. Diamand is, Molecular Biologist and Physician.
12. Ray Kurzweil, Futurist (author, Fantastic Voyage).
13. Roughly means “incarnation.”
14. Upon dying, a character portrayed by Sigourney Weaver joins the “Divine Her” and, in the process, convincingly testifies that Gaia truly is “real.” Gaia, goddess Mother-Earth, is not to be worshipped (Romans 1:25). Moreover, God is not an impersonal force, but rather a divine entity to whom humankind is accountable and with whom humankind can fellowship (Psalm 145:18). Scripture further clarifies that, although created in the image of God and endowed with infinitely greater worth than any other of God’s created life forms, humanity remains distinctively separate from, and subordinate to, this peerless Creator (Genesis 1:26, Isaiah 44:6, Malachi 2:10, Matthew 10:31). God has given humankind dominion (with accountability); even so, He shares His glory with none, be it animal, vegetable, mineral, or even humans, the veritable crown of creation (Genesis 1:26, James 3:7, Isaiah 48:11). God alone deserves all praise, honor, and glory (Deuteronomy 4:35).
15. Earth was never intended to last forever; earth, as we know it, will pass away (Mark 13:31).
16. Dr.George Church, Genomics Pioneer (Brain health span extension) and molecular geneticist, Harvard.
17. Her Highness Technology.
18. Never having attended high school or college, Eliezer Yudkowsky co-founded the nonprofit Singularity Institute for Artificial Intelligence (2000), where he currently is employed as a full-time research fellow.
19, Psalm 73:7 (World English Bible).
20, RNAi is a system within living cells that helps to control which genes are active and how active they are.
21, Dr. Theodore Berger (USC), Biomedical Engineer—piecemeal repair and replacement of brain parts. There are countless more techno-vations—e.g., direct brain-computer interfaces, biological augmentation of the brain, genetic engineering, ultra-high-resolution scans of the brain, followed by computer emulation. Technologies as these are fast approaching tipping-point sophistication. Bio-pneumatic replacement of brain parts is where we are headed. Over time, we will form new long-term memories.
22, Dr. James Martin, Futurist, author. Largest individual benefactor to the University of Oxford.
23, 2 Thessalonians 2:9,11.
24, Dr. Ishiguro’s Geminoid, Osaka U, building androids to understand humans.
25, 2 Timothy 3:7.
26, Ecclesiastes 1:2-3.
27, 2 Thessalonians 2:3, Revelation 3:14-17, 2 Timothy 3:5.
28, 1 Timothy 6:20.
29, Matthew 24:5,11.
30, 2 Timothy 3:8,13.
31, Michael Breazeale (04/19/2009) with Proverbs 21:24. The “man of sin” in 2 Thessalonians 2:4 “opposes and exalts himself against every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, proclaiming himself to be God. ”Serving as medium for an emerging worldwide, super-brain trust, cyberspace is breeding what Teilhard de Chardin dubbed the noosphere—i.e., cosmic consciousness. New Age proponents look to a mass, planetary shift from the age of Pisces to that of Aquarius, distinguished by group- or cosmic- consciousness. Having triumphed over matter—first, the geosphere (inanimate matter); then, the biosphere (biological life)—the duly enlightened and highly evolved look to planetary transformation marked by emergence of a new, superior species called homonoeticus.