Thursday, 28 June 2012
"It's very likely that in the future humans will evolve to be more rational, cerebral and collective."
That's a quote off the net somewhere, but not an exact one as I can't find the link. It was by some reader somewhere. And while it isn't exact, it is a pretty common view - I mean, I don't know how common, but in science-fiction circles I have definitely come across it a lot.
Or maybe it just seems a lot, because everytime I see it, I think, What?
I see it, but I can't really see it. If you know what I mean. After millennia of being what we are, and doing quite well out of it, what is really going to change, and why?
This is the thing with science-fiction. As well as the above, humans are supposed to get more genetically enhanced, machine implanted, computer uplifted or ruled by fantastically intelligent AI.
And if we're not any or all of the above things, then we'll devour all our resources, trigger a mass extinction, and go down in an orgy of dumb choices and hubristic greed.
Because we cannot stay as we are, so we either get better or we're stuffed.
Hmmm, choices. Let me see...
Heaven... or Hell.
And you thought science-fiction was about science? Yeah, right.
Science is based on evidence, whereas what you have above are the same hopes and fears that have existed in religion for centuries - just dressed up in different clothing.
Basically the Mark I human model is hopelessly flawed and needs an upgrade, or it needs to be scrapped (with only a few worthies being saved). One extreme, or the other. Nothing in between. And certainly not the same as it's always been. No, there will be an end-of-days. Or a reckoning. We will be gods, or we will be dead. The saved, and the unsaved.
Iain Banks once scoffed at Catholics for believing in Original Sin, but judging by his comments on the human race, it's clear he believes the same thing. And he's not the only one.
Science-fiction is meant to be notoriously, and proudly, atheist. But when I see the ideas that it's riddled with, it's clear to me that religion will never really die.
It will just acquire new clothes.