How often have you watched a movie or TV show where the plot includes a brilliant scientist that constructs a robot, android, or some other “intelligent” machine that becomes autonomous through its intelligence? Invariably, that artificial life-form evolves beyond the capabilities of man, turning against man as an inferior life-form. A desperate struggle for survival ensues.
Science-fiction has met reality with smart phones that adapt to personal preferences and life-styles, and smart cars that drive themselves on busy city streets (just to name two). While it’s a little scary that a phone could know so much about us, most of us really enjoy the convenience. The driverless car is a little scarier, but will probably be the norm in the not-to-distant future. So, if the wrist phone of Dick Tracy cartoons, and the driverless air-car of the Jetsons are becoming realities, how far behind is an evolving intelligence that would turn against its creator?
Unfortunately, that has already happened. When God, the Master Creator, made all that is, He fashioned man in His image, giving him a brain via which man could think through issues, problem solve, and conclude. It didn’t take long at all for man to rely on that process: Eve chose to believe the serpent, rather than God. Fast-forward more than a thousand years, and you find that willfulness and self-interest so infected humanity that evil was pervasive. God was forced to destroy all He had created except for Noah and his family, and two of every kind of creature. God started over, but did not tweak or debug the brain.
God spared Noah because he was righteous; God’s fail-safe of the heart as both a physical organ AND a spiritual organ worked. This dual functionality separated Noah from the animals, as the spiritual heart monitored and directed the brain’s thoughts. This man used his brain and heart to trust His Creator – something nay-sayers still decry as NOT using the brain. Despite jeers and slander, Noah meticulously followed God’s direction for 100 years to construct the Ark. There was no way he could envision what was coming, as nothing like the flood and subsequent destruction had ever happened before. But Noah’s dedication to obeying God resulted in the survival of all God sent to him.
Can you imagine what it was like to be cooped up with animals, birds and their refuse for over a year?? With floodwaters receding, I would have been out of that boat as soon as it came to rest, instead of waiting an additional two months for God to give the order to come out. My case would have been iron-clad: I had a headache, I couldn’t breathe, I was claustrophobic, the animals were restless and needed space; and besides, the ground was firm. I might have been able to trust God in the crisis of the flood, because there really weren’t any other options. But when I could observe and determine for myself that the crisis had passed, I would have acted upon that reasoning, instead of waiting for God. I know, because I do it all the time.
Is it possible that every time I make a decision without consulting God, I am using artificial intelligence – human reasoning sans heart governance — rather than seeking the complex, infinite Wisdom of God available through His Presence? Most people would say this idea is a little radical. But, which is easier: making our own snap decisions, or waiting on God’s direction, even when the answer seems obvious? The harder thing is ALWAYS denying ourselves, picking up our cross, and following Him. (Matt 16:24) But that is intelligence in the image of the Creator.