Skeptic gets imaginative: Michael Shermer's Last Law.

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Skeptic gets imaginative: Michael Shermer's Last Law.

Post by don_carlo » Mon Dec 17, 2001 4:14 pm

The brilliant skeptic Shermer imagines the effect of advanced extraterrestrials on religion. This proves skeptics are not all fuddy-duddy, material-world-only killjoys. They like thinking cool "what if's" too. The article is in the Jan 2002 Scientific American, entitled:

Shermer's Last Law: "Any sufficiently advanced extraterrestrial intelligence is indistinguishable from God"

My comments: Every paragraph in this essay has great ideas to think about. Shermer cites Ray Kurzweil's "The Age of Spiritual Machines" to say that in the next hundred years there will be unbelievable advances in robotics, intelligence, and even a spiritual quality to high-tech. He thinks this blend of human and machine could become almost God-like by 2050.

Shermer also quotes Arthur C. Clarke's "Childhood's End:" " can destroy religion by ignoring it as well as by disproving its tenets. No one ever demonstrated, so far as I am aware, the nonexistence of Zeus or Thor, but they have few followers now."

Shermer ends the article: QUOTE: To find out how, we must follow Clarke's Second Law: "The only way of discovering the limits of the possible is to venture a little way past them into the impossible." Ad astra!


My final comment: Hubbard said "To the stars!" which is what "ad astra" means. His idea, however, was to induce a hypnotic trance in which the person imagines that he is traveling through times and space. This way the so-called traveler stays at the same address and phone number so he can be hard-sold to take the next course. Are there any COS members at NASA? Are there Sea Org children learning astrophysics so humanity can fly to the stars? None that I know of. Auditing, with a little needle wobbling as it detects more or less sweat on your skin, is pathetic compared to the real adventures of science, artificial intelligence, and space travel.

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Post by werewolf » Mon Dec 17, 2001 4:53 pm

Brilliant last paragraph! Puts the whole thing into perspective doesn't it?

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Post by freethinker » Mon Dec 17, 2001 6:38 pm

GREAT ARTICLE. Michael Shermer never ceases to amaze me.

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