Immortality engineered by man? | Tomorrow's World

Immortality engineered by man?

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A recent Time magazine article is titled, "2045: The Year Man Becomes Immortal." It doesn't refer to a transformation to spirit life, but a transformation called "singularity." That's when computers become hyper-intelligent and either solve aging, or actually merge with man to transform man into a cyborg or android being. Is this really immortality?

We all want to live forever. Ever since the Garden of Eden when man incurred the death penalty for sin, mankind has wanted to find a way to cheat death and live forever. We are fascinated with the robots, cyborgs and androids in movies and television. There was the robot in the television series, Lost in Space that shouted "Danger, Will Robinson" in the 1960's. Later, the lovable R2D2 and C3P0 in the Star Wars movies came along. They were a lot more sophisticated. And then came Terminator robots, each one more sophisticated than the last. And then there was the almost human, sentient android, Lieutenant Commander Data of Star Trek series fame.

This idea of "singularity" may not seem so far-fetched when we hear that Watson, the IBM-created computer, actually beat his human opponents on the game show Jeopardy. And his human opponents were even former show champions. It has already been fourteen years since a computer named Deep Blue beat the world chess champion at that time, Gary Kasparov. Then there is that new Japanese humanoid robot HRP-4C that can actually walk somewhat like a human. It was made to look approximately like the average Japanese woman. It blinks and smiles and talks, sort of. But I do not think it is really ready to compete for a job yet.

But is it just a matter of time and computing power before we have one that looks and acts and appears to be human? And will it just take the right circuitry with the high-capacity electronics and the most sophisticated software with billions of lines of code to achieve immortality?

Even if a perfect android could be made, it would still be physical—just so many pieces and parts made of physical matter and, thus, subject to not working properly, wearing out and even ceasing to work at all.

So far, computers have been very useful tools. I stare at one all day. Thankfully, it does not talk to me or stare back. But to read articles about artificial intelligence and theoretical ideas about scanning our consciousness into a computer so we can "live inside them as software" does not answer the desire to live forever, does it?

God made us in His own image (Genesis 1:26). But, He made us out of the dust of the ground. (Genesis 2:7). He said that we are dust and to dust we shall return (Genesis 3:19). So we were born with a physical life that had planned obsolescence built in. But, God is Spirit and He alone has immortality (1 Timothy 6:16).

We learn in Romans 6:23: "For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord." And we also learn that this gift of eternal life, of real immortality, will happen, "in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality" (1 Corinthians 15:52–53). I like God's plan for giving us immortality better—lots better. There is no comparison between this immortality and that of some bio-electro-mechanical something or other.

There is a reason and purpose for our physical existence. It's more wonderful, more awesome, than we can possibly imagine. God has a purpose for offering us immortality. Order your free copy of "Your Ultimate