The Singularity looms

Does the idea of creating human-like skin in the lab gross you out a little? Does it give you a disquieting feeling in your spiritual center? It does to me too.

I read this week of a breakthrough in the lab where skin that’s sensitive to the touch is being developed at the nano-level:

Engineers make artificial skin out of nanowires
“Engineers at the University of California, Berkeley, have developed a pressure-sensitive electronic material from semiconductor nanowires…”The idea is to have a material that functions like the human skin, which means incorporating the ability to feel and touch objects,” said Ali Javey, associate professor of electrical engineering and computer sciences and head of the UC Berkeley research team developing the artificial skin….A touch-sensitive artificial skin would help overcome a key challenge in robotics: adapting the amount of force needed to hold and manipulate a wide range of objects.”

Darwin has a lot to answer for. His Theory of Evolution proposed the notion that our humanity emerged from apes over time, and not God in a day. It took root and has been gaining ground in secular minds ever since it darkened the light of day in 1859. Humanity is becoming less a son of God every year and more a product of evolving technology achieved at the skill and will of man by himself. The nano-skin breakthrough is another advance toward the end of humans as biological beings. Why? The natural outcome of Darwinism at its end-point is a being that is not fully biological, but an amalgam of biological and man-made materials merged together into one being that transcends human limitations. This concept is the foundation of the Trans-Humanism movement, or Posthumanism.

 The Transhumanism entry at Wikipedia says, “after Charles Darwin “it became increasingly plausible to view the current version of humanity not as the endpoint of evolution but rather as a possibly quite early phase.”

The Transhumanism manifesto states, “To a transhumanist, progress occurs when more people become more able to shape themselves, their lives, and the ways they relate to others, in accordance with their own deepest values. Transhumanists place a high value on autonomy: the ability and right of individuals to plan and choose their own lives.” The complete removal of God from the biological creative process is completed in transhumanism, which really began in Darwinism.

Transhumanism is represented in culture by the logo:

When you see h+, you know it means Humanityplus (transhumanism). Humanity plus what? Think about it. Humanity plus what else? This?

That photo is why the notion of humans with prosthetic limbs plus nano-skin that can really feel make us uncomfortable. It is leading to the end result of Darwin’s evolutionary theory which is a robotic-like human barely recognizable as the beings God created in Adam.

It is a world where humans are no longer flesh and bone. Where you can place a back-up a copy of your brain to an external hard drive. Life as we know it is changing from one where nurturing the soul is passe and stimulating the body is all that matters. We live on a planet with exponentially improving technology and soon it will outpace us. You might think the photo of the robot hosting a human in the womb is unrealistic…that producing skin at the nano-level (or any nanotechnological production) can’t be a reality yet. Well, it is.

September 17, 2010: “Quantum computer chips are now a reality” “By using the principles of quantum mechanics, revolutionary design will be possible. CPU’s will have new structures because they will be able to run operations trillion times faster, but not using the old designs. Memory chips will be able to store much more data than before.” It is the quantum computer’s storage and processing capability that makes nano-production possible.

“But as for you, Daniel, conceal these words and seal up the book until the end of time; many will go back and forth, and knowledge will increase.” (Daniel 12:4). This is a verse that relates to the end of the end times that we are now living in, but interpretations vary. Some think that because the verses immediately prior to this verse discuss end time prophecy, that it means that knowledge of end time prophecy will increase, and this is so. Suddenly these last few years, many people are keenly interested in and knowledgeable about end time prophecy, even the more mysterious and little-discussed verses in Daniel and Revelation. Others however, believe this verse means that the end time will be characterized by information overload, that technology will outpace human capacity to understand it, and eventually outpace its ability to control it.

As far as the second interpretation goes, this has been true also. Gordon Moore of the microchip company Intel once said in 1965 that computer processors will double their speed and power every five years and they will also halve in size. This is now known as Moore’s Law and it has held true. Scientists do not think that the pace will slow until 2015 or after, if then. See accompanying photo for an illustration:

An Osborne Executive portable computer, from 1982, and an iPhone, released 2007. The Executive weighs 100 times as much, has nearly 500 times the volume, cost 10 times as much, and has a 100th the processing power of the iPhone.

Before Darwin proposed his evolutionary theory, humanity was separate and distinct from the animal kingdom, a special class of biological being created for relationship with God Himself, for His pleasure, for His glory. (Rev 4:11; Col 1:16; Gen 1:27). After Darwin, humanity was seen as simply animal. As time progressed, man became a different animal, but certainly was not created, not special, and sharing limitations just the same as the animals do, limitations which man himself must strive to overcome. God is not on the scene at all.

Far be it for me to point to one or the other of scientific advancement and claim it is a scourge. Pig valves were first used in human hearts in 1960 and were a blessing to many. Artificial heart valves were first implanted in 1961 and have been used ever since, praise Him. The Six Million Dollar Man was fictional TV program in 1974 in which the main character’s right arm, both legs and the left eye are replaced by “bionic” implants that enhance his strength, speed and vision far above human norms: he could run at speeds of 60 miles per hour, and his eye had a 20:1 zoom lens and infrared capabilities. But Jesse Sullivan became the first real bionic man in 2001, when he lost both of his arms in a power-line accident, while working as a utility lineman. He is now equipped with two prosthetic arms: the right is a traditional prosthetic and the left is controlled by thought. I’m sure Jesse and his family are grateful for this technological advance. But because of the totality of these advances, humans may be on the verge of self-directed evolution and that is a very bad thing.

You can see that despite individual advances that enhance a person’s life in the examples above, the sum total of these same advances are changing our humanity from one thing to another. We are not the biological beings God intended. I don’t know where the stopping point is or should be, whether it should have been stopped in the past or in the future. God knows. But I often think about His statement in Luke 18:8b, “However, when the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on the earth?” and His statement in Mark 13:20 “Unless the Lord had shortened those days, no life would have been saved; but for the sake of the elect, whom He chose, He shortened the days.” and I personally wonder, ‘When the Son of Man returns, will He find biological humans? If He tarried would He even recognize us as the species that He created?’

Of course, we do “evolve” in a way that transhumanists mock like in the quoted excerpt just below. Sinful humans can become an amalgam of biological and supernatural: after asking forgiveness of our sins and accepting Christ as Savior, the Holy Spirit indwells us. We are more than biological at that point.

“In this way, the true-bluest Singularity-ecstatic transhumanists are not unlike the LaHaye-thumping Pop Eschatologists you’re likely to meet in a Colorado Springs coffee bar: they want a transcendent story to believe in, and more, to be a part of,” write the editors of H+ Magazine in their editorial, “Technological Trans-whateverism: On becoming a Christ-tard.

Our human limitations became something for man to solve through technology, not God to handle through the guidance of the Holy Spirit. It is a fork in the road of belief. The fork has long been looming, and now it is here. As always, which road you take is your choice.

[The Singularity definition]