My parents believed that television was the culprit. “Your children are watching too much T.V.” they said to me. “They’re going to turn into little machines.” But did I listen to them anymore than the kids of today listen to their parent’s concerns?
Some of you may not remember the “slide rule;” (a manual calculating device, now largely obsolete, consisting of two rulers marked with graduated logarithmic scales, one sliding inside the other) used long before computers became laptops and then hand-held devices and smart phones. My husband used a slide rule in college. Both students and teachers thought it was the crème’ de la crème’ in mathematical tools; but how quickly things change.
When I started out as a freelance writer, I used a Smith Corona and up to six sheets of carbon paper for needed copies. What used to take several days or even weeks to complete now takes only a few hours. My first draft was usually hand-written. When I finally learned how to use a computer, the process of writing took far less time so I began charging by the project rather than by the hour.
My grandfather was a blacksmith who shoed local horses until the advent of automobiles made his job obsolete. He then made wrought iron fences and decorative housing materials. Advancement in science and technology always makes someone’s job vanish.
Research and biogenetics are advancing so rapidly that today people are being replaced by machines. It’s become the way of the world. Because of the danger in terrorist attacks, robots now approach suspects or their belongings to save the life of the police officers. Robots are being used to defuse bombs, and to find terrorists and wipe them out. They are used in warfare and will soon surpass human beings in intelligence and physical capability.
What was once only a plot devised in someone’s imagination is now becoming reality. Man’s farfetched imagination is already at work in laboratories across the world. Some predict that machines will replace humans or become an integrated part of their future; half man, half machine. We are seeing this already as transplants for body parts are becoming a daily occurrence in the medical community and returning veterans receive metallic parts that can move and act like their fleshy counterparts.
Will science ever be able to replicate emotions and personality? I hope not. The Bible says “God is love.” We are created in God’s image therefore love is a Godly emotion. Many people and most scientists think that one day they will be able to create life, not only replicate what God has already done. When that time comes, what will life be like?
Some researchers are experimenting by combining animal and plant cells with human DNA hoping to create a super human being who can sense danger like most animals can. What causes dogs and birds to sense a Tsunami or earthquake and flee for safety long before humans are even aware of the risk? Will this mixture of combined cells eventually become an ungodly conglomeration of half human, half animal entities?
What will all this mean for human beings? As we head feet first into the future, how can we hold onto our values and beliefs? What is the anchor to your soul that keeps your life stable and strong?
If you don’t have someone or something to ground you to truth how will you make choices in this complex world in which we find ourselves? Can artificial intelligence make our decisions for us? Can the power of the human heart to heal, to comfort, to safeguard the God within us be replaced? When the lines of truth blur how will we be able to tell right from wrong and good from evil? Perplexing questions to ponder in the near future.