The major motion picture Avatar which came out a couple of years ago took the imagination of millions of people to movie theaters to suspend disbelief and open up to a world of possibilities. But now, the premise behind such films is no longer science fiction, but reality. While the proponents of human enhancement continue their push to inform the public of the impending singularity and post human future, DARPA has set aside $7 million dollars of their $2.3 Billion dollar budget for 2013 to develop avatar technology.  The project is rightfully named, The Avatar Project. The goal is to create teams of soldiers who can do all the necessary tasks of a given military operation without live soldiers. Although this development will not include any synthetic biological cyborgs being controlled by the consciousness of soldiers, it’s definitely a step towards it. And what this means is that much of the mechanical robotics being introduced into military operations is only the beginning. The closer we get to singularity, the more blurring we will expect to see.
Here are some articles that talk about how much machines are being installed into military activity.
As advanced this DARPA projects sounds, this is only the tip of the ice burg. The fact that this military project is going public means there is a green light from the underground military who run the show. We can know for sure that this is the case because of the recent statements made by Russian media mogul Dmitry Itskov. In a recent conference held in Moscow called the GF2045 (Global Future 2045 International Congress), Itskov said that his Project Avatar (same name as the DARPA project) will in 10 years have the ability to store a human’s mind and keep consciousness alive in a robot. He is stated as saying quote, “This project is leading down the road to immortality…A person with a perfect Avatar will be able to remain part of society. People don’t want to die.”  If this man is confident in his ambition to accomplish this, we know that the US military has already gone there, or at least is trying.
Duke University has recently conducted a successful study of having a monkey control a virtual arm from only his brain. This is the beginning of mind-machine interfacing. It will blur what physical experience means. And as neuroscience progresses, they hope to have nerve-cell electronics be a part of every human being. In fact, neuroelectronics have already been released in the public for the hearing impaired. This particular article has Adam Keiper, director of the Ethics and Public Policy Center’s program on science technology and society saying quote, “The questions related to brain-machine interfaces get much more interesting when you turn to the matter of enhancement.”  And I think he speaks the truth.
While the ethical dilemma is a non-issue for helping people who have physical or even emotional need, the fact is, by way of developing the technology, we have created the capacity to exceed it. And if human history is of any indication, someone, somewhere, at some time is going to use this for his or her own agenda and cause massive negative effects on the rest of humanity.
All of these developments simply concern me with scripture verses that I have mentioned before. This one concerning the end times was on my mind all week.
“And if the Lord had not cut short the days, no human being would be saved. But for the sake of the elect, whom he chose, he shortened the days.” MARK 13:20 ESV
“And if those days had not been cut short, no human being would be saved. But for the sake of the elect those days will be cut short.” MATTHEW 24:22 ESV
I reiterate the point that perhaps what Jesus meant by this was not only a catastrophic event, or war and persecution on earth, but also from the sense that humanity will be losing the ability to be saved, sozo in the Greek. So my hope is that we can get right with God, rejoice in the Lord (Phillipians 4) and then have these conversations to keep each other aware of where science and technology hopes to take humanity. But keep in mind that all of these things are being used to fulfill God’s ultimate purpose. And so there is nothing to be afraid of. I simply hope to provide an understanding of the world through the lens of scripture.