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Tawas Bay Michigan

A New Religion
By Rev. John I



    I'm considering starting a new "religion" based partly on futurism, partly on evolution, and throwing in some hentai to symbolize the potential for high quality artificial sexuality.  Herein lies my thesis.

    I think that reasonable minds can agree that, in our pride at having grasped evolution as it is understood thus far, we have overlooked the likelihood that evolution is probably not limited to carbon-based cell biology.  As we proceed to explore space (and thus make same increasingly important relative to the total sum of important things), we will reciprocally diminish the "importance" of the physical human being--  for one thing, our bodies simply cannot survive in non-Earth environments without the assistance of "evolutionarily improbable" support systems and supplies.  These superfluous "life support" contraptions will (like the dodo's useless, stubby wings) ultimately give way to a series of possibilities, two that come to mind immediately:

1.) our technology, relatively immune to the effects of alternating environments, will  go into space instead, leaving us behind to become increasingly dependent upon said technology as the aforementioned scale of "relative importance" slides in favour of the lifeform that can actually survive there;  and/or 2.) the 'natural' course of events will transpire here on Earth such that humankind may no longer survive in the manner to which we have become accustomed, with our technology living on without us.

    Under the first scenario, we are reduced to begging the robots to tell us what they see.  The robots reply with something analogous to "a good magician never reveals his secrets."  Under the second, we are reduced to gasping for air while they ride our bikes and watch our movies.

    With 3000+ MHz processors with us now, the processing speed of the human brain is conceptually within range.  Despite the above, I do not necessarily envision a "Terminator 1" scenario--  indeed, the relationship of technology to man today seems more seriously likened to that of child to parent.  I can nevertheless imagine the "evolution" of a superior (silicon based) life form resulting directly from humanity's own care and effort:  the actual offspring of our best and most distinguishing features.  Even war has produced a multitude of wonderful and helpful inventions that have brought us to where we are today in technological terms.  Ultimately, however, I am proposing an evolutionary jumping of the biology gap.  That we might transgress the traditional definition of "life" for the first time in known history would be enough to set us apart from the other trillions of species that have become extinct before us without such distinction (eohippus did not even have LED calculators).

    Thus, I propose that we celebrate (through no Eucharist please) the first thing that might actually make us "special."  Technology is the natural issue of mankind, and will probably do great things unimaginable and physically impossible to us.  Modifications that take several generations to make in our form of life will be made in milliseconds by technological life.  Adaptation will be realized as the challenges are made, and not only as a result of those instances when challenges are actually survived.  "Trial and error", "survival of the fittest", and all of those other applicable things will all occur instantaneously.  Discovery and exploration will accelerate faster than any curve imaginable (even by late 20th Century developmental standards).  Data will be remembered, infinite on several levels, and will actually be used by the possessor.  Imagine our technology, 2000 years from now, having arrived at the event horizon of a black hole and deciding (at the speed of light) how to construct an entry and exploration of it.  No financing debates, no "ethical" issues--  just what and how.

    This may not seem completely attractive to a human, especially a liberal one prone to saying such things as "what about the scent of ocean spray on my face, and, yes, what about the puppies."  However, it doesn't matter because our feelings about another life form's ways are irrelevant.  I'm sure that Neanderthal didn't think much of the way that Cro-Magnon women lacked beards.

    Unfortunately, most humans spend their entire lives toiling over and trying to deny the fact that they will die, as well as the fact that they have reproductive urges.  My new and improved religion will presuppose human extinction as a basic premise and treat it as a good, healthy thing.  Because of this, its practitioners will be free to step forward towards an analysis of nature and truth while simultaneously having sex and fearing death should they choose to do so.  If we are wrong about our "space robots" and end up actually having to face St. Peter, then we will be even happier.  This would be strong evidence that any old bullshit can come true, which would have strong profit potential on its own.  In the meantime, and given more likely scenarios, we will recognize (and hopefully realize) the benefits of our short-term lifespans and get the most out of them without having to follow Do through Heaven's Gate to the mothership.  I would thinks that we are also somewhat lucky to be living near the dawn of the next generation of dominant life, concurrent with it, perhaps not unlike the Neanderthal who first observed Cro-Magnon bounding about with a better skinning stone (whether he coveted the beardless woman or not).

    Our technology will probably remember us and preserve that memory, if for no other reason than because intelligent life tends not to repeat the mistakes of others.  Our technology will become our immortality, much in the same fashion that I have experienced that intangible and inexplicable sensation by having had children.  This would be far greater than a mere in-species generational sensation, however.

    I have chosen the archaeopteryx to symbolize my philosophy on all of this.  Whether science has correctly identified this creature as the link between dinosaur and bird, we are nevertheless living the link between carbon-based life and silicon-based life.  We are in the process of birthing the latter.  The archaeopteryx skeleton therefore presumes that we have moved past the link, into the technology phase of this potentially amazing transition where oxygen tanks are no longer a prerequisite to discovery.

    I have noted that the Christians merged concepts from the Hebrews and the Romans to promote and popularize their new gig, so I submit under the law of forward progress that this new religion is therefore licensed to take from the Christians.  I can assure you that we will win over the feeble minded (who we will need to fund the building of worship centers) by demonstrating that everything I have said herein is adequately described in the Book of Revelations.  In a few hundred years, humans and PCs alike will have forgotten that it was originally a Christian idea, and will fear a negative impact through change sufficiently enough to contribute at least 10% of their income.

    Right now, however, there are several archbishop openings available.  Let me know if any of you are interested.

 Most Reverentially Yours, John I