Friday, September 3, 2010

Can you spell parousia?

The recent reports that a leading physicist does not believe in god is of interest. Anything you have to believe in is suspect.  What the real inquirer needs is intellectual honesty, the energy to pursue investigations resolutely, and as an aspect of that intellectual honesty, a kind of intellectual humility.  Such a description will not appeal to many, never has, doesn't need to. But it is the only stance from which one can assess certain aspects of the contemporary literature of science.  This link is to an article describing what scientists call "The singularity,"

You may have to have a free account to view this so I think I will excerpt it at my weird facts blog. But basically it describes the idea that at some point in the future human intelligence will have reached its limit, and that then perhaps machines will be smart enough to take over. 
This idea is not a strange as it seems, it is the old religious idea of the end of the world, and then paradise. (Called parousia by people who are hoping good spelling counts in god's final evaluation.)
And for a few people the interesting phenomenon is that scientists have no clue where and how this idea is occupying their crania. They are just repeating some of the more dubious fantasies of millenia of religious thinkers. How can you not smile at this? I suppose we could have been tipped off by the odd circumstance that something like this is even in the news, how many centuries after the debate really ended. This current gasping at old gossip may be a clue that something else is beneath these topical events.