158. Can a Man-Made Lifeform Reflect God’s Glory? | Synapse with Steven James
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Real life is already making fake “life” with artificial intelligence programs. But many science fiction writers have already rushed ahead to ask whether these artificial “lives” would count as human beings with human rights. Can we see the image of God reflecting in these synthetic creatures made in man’s image? Today we’re joined by a popular author who’s just passed the Turing test!
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Introducing novelist Steven James
Steven James is host of The Story Blender podcast and the critically acclaimed author of eighteen novels, including the 2019 sci-fi Synapse, and numerous nonfiction books that have sold more than 1 million copies. His books have won or been shortlisted for dozens of national and international awards. In addition, his stories and articles have appeared in more than eighty different publications, including the New York Times. He is also a popular keynote speaker and professional storyteller with a master’s degree in storytelling. His latest thriller novel, Broker of Lies, just released in April.
1. Could we see artificial lifeforms in our lifetimes?
2. How might our culture react to such lifeforms?
3. How would believers react to synthetic ‘life’ and vice-versa?
Quotes and notes
“But, in general, take my advice, when you meet anything that’s going to be human and isn’t yet, or used to be human once and isn’t now, or ought to be human and isn’t, you keep your eyes on it and feel for your hatchet.”
―C. S. Lewis, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
“Ginny!” said Mr. Weasley, flabbergasted. “Haven’t I taught you anything? What have I always told you? Never trust anything that can think for itself if you can’t see where it keeps its brain?”
―J. K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
And some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, rebuke your disciples.” He answered, “I tell you, if these were silent, the very stones would cry out.”
—Luke 19:39–40, ESV
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After episode 157, Guild hero Mahina anticipates resurrection reality:
I’m still stuck on the idea of resurrected food. Wow, it will be amazing. But even more so that sense of purpose. I’m so looking forward to that. I feel glimpses of that here in this life but to be fully and completely “of purpose” in everything I say, do, etc. woo! It’s going to be absolutely incredible. It’s what I yearn for in this life. There’s so much exciting stuff to be reminded of in eternity.. of course for the Christ followers. Others not so much. Which inspires me to double down on sharing my hope with those who don’t have Christs gift of salvation yet. Eternity is a long time.
Next on Fantastical Truth
What if you could plan your destiny by seeing the world as an equation to be solved? Nova McBee arrives in the studio to share the stories behind the edge-of-sci-fi-dystopian Calculated and its sequels.
Explore the best Christian-made fantasy, sci-fi, and beyond, and apply these stories' meanings in the real world Jesus calls us to serve.
What say you?