What Crichton had to come to grips with was the history of science: today’s settled science, which you question at the risk of your reputation and your livelihood, is tomorrow’s quaint and pitiable error. Crichton wound up seeing science as a succession of “newer and better fantasies.”
Well, who ever just slightly loses faith? Many of us have been there. It would have been a good thing, had Crichton lived long enough to know Jesus Christ, his Savior. Often we don’t have as much time as we think.
It’s an article of faith, with some people, that super-intelligent life is out there in the universe somewhere, and someday the space brothers will teach us how to be as clever as they are. No one expects to discover kind of dumb ETs who can’t believe professional wrestling isn’t real.
And of course it means that if we do find space aliens, well, then, the Bible can’t be true…
It’s a sad thing to see, when an infallible oracle becomes chopped liver. A lot of the people who were salaaming to Nye when he recommended jailing Climbit Change deniers, voicing his hope of everything coming up roses when all the conservatives and Christians die out, and other jaw-flaps too numerous to mention, are now getting on his case for saying any scheme to colonize Mars is bound to fail. No air there, no water, and it’s too freakin’ cold–quibble, quibble! Sheet, man, we’ve seen it in a hundred movies! So don’t go saying it’s impossible!
Thing is, a lot of people consume a lot of science fiction–and wind up forgetting that it’s fiction. So you have belief in a Star Trek-type future, and incredibly wise and advanced Space Brothers who are gonna give us the solutions to all our problems, and Evolution or Artificial Intelligence or Geritol eventually transforming us into super-beings living in a God-free earthly paradise created by the fruitful partnership of Science and a world government–and human colonies on other planets are part of that delicious picture.
And, you see, a Mars colony would be a fresh start for the human race and this time, by jingo, we’ll get everything right because of Science and gender fluidity and no more pesky churches raining on our parade–it’s just bound to turn out perfect!
And Bill Nye had better lay off all that Mars Colony Denial–if he knows what’s good for him.
Michael Crichton spent his adult life writing best-sellers and expanding his knowledge of the sciences. When he rebelled against Global Warming dogma by writing State of Fear, the Left turned against him viciously. But I wonder what they thought of these paragraphs from his Jurassic Park sequel, The Lost World:
This was written before “Artificial Intelligence” became a buzzword and, at least for the moment, the eventual solution to every problem in the world.
There is a logical error here. I can’t remember what this particular species of error is called, but it consists of presuming to derive one quality from another when the qualities are totally different from one another. For instance, expecting perfection to arise from imperfection, intelligence from stupidity, apples from oranges–you get it.
These quotes from the Associated Press article, I think, say it all.
“Scientists world wide left their labs”–oh, please–“to take to the streets Saturday along with students and research advocates”–who asked for the barf bag?–“pushing back against what they say are mounting attacks on science.” (Gag)
They’ve even got really clever signs that say, “Science is the Answer.”
“Scientists,” says the AP, speaking, I suppose, of all scientists, and not just left-wing socialist moron scientists, are “anxious about political and public rejection of established science [sic] such as climate change and the safety of vaccine immunizations.” Nope, no controversy there.
Science is a tool. It is a method. It is the creation of human minds and hands. It is not The Answer to bloody anything. What we are looking at here is idolatry. A substitute religion. A monstrous misuse of science.
I mean, are people blind? Do they honestly, truly not see what happens to places that are ruled by the kind of people who organized this march? Places like Detroit, Venezuela, North Korea. Come to New Jersey and see what the Climate Change and Earth Day Liberal Democrat crowd has done to it. I saw it done before my very eyes. Trust me! What libs do to where you live is not a bit nice. Or don’t trust me, and visit some of these places and see for yourself.
“Science” as exalted by these left-wing pin-heads is not science at all, but an idol. Its acolytes have already demanded sacrifices–by you, of course. Not from themselves. They’ll keep their private jets and mansions. You’ll lose your air conditioning.
Not really alive. But as good as! You’ll be able to talk and interact with them just as if they were really still here.
This miracle will be achieved by mining the dear departed’s collected words and works as recorded over many years in the social media! Wowee. Would that also include a lifetime’s worth of text messages? As an added bonus, they’ll make your loved one’s avatar so it’ll be able to talk with you, with whatever regional accents and turns of phrase are appropriate.
Could anything be more superficial? “I am the sum total of all my Tweets?” Ugh.
So once again we have Science stepping into God’s shoes. God offers us eternal life, by Jesus Christ? Well, so what–we can do that, too! And our version of eternal life will be better than that stale old Bible stuff, because you won’t need to have any faith. Like, this will be even better than having a robot because you won’t need any storage space.
Michael Crichton wrote a lot of books. Prey, which first came out in 2002, is not among his most famous works. All the same, it still makes fascinating reading.
What would happen if nanotechnology were used to create a kind of artificial life that could learn and change and remember, that would have artificial intelligence–and that would soon evolve an agenda of its own? What if it quickly passed beyond our control?
“Science” as an ideology, and more than an ideology– a belief system, a species of religion, a way of relating to the world–and technology, which is the instrumentality of Science: hey, everybody, these things can be dangerous. Michael Crichton, a close student of many sciences, and a close companion to many scientists, sounded this warning all his life. Even the scientists themselves oversimplify incredibly complicated things, leading them into a false sense of security and finally into a delusion that “we are in control, nothing can go wrong.”
And we all know what happens when you think that.
So Prey is another one of these stories about what happens to those who succumb to that delusion. Folly can be fatal. It’s a thriller, it’s a page-turner… and something more than that.
Michael Crichton wanted to believe in Science. In the end, he couldn’t: his integrity would not let him blind himself to its false claims and pretensions.
But he also most emphatically did not want to believe in God, nor did he accept the salvation held out to him by Jesus Christ. I don’t know why.
Instead, he sought for some other myth that would turn out to be true, something with which to bind together the sheaves of reality. We see him groping for this in Prey, with the notion that nature somehow “organizes itself” without conscious direction by God. But again Crichton is tripped up by his own honesty. As he writes about scientists and profit-seekers trying to imitate the self-organizing dynamic that they think they find in nature, he can’t help writing it up as a disaster. “Nothing can go wrong” just never comes out right.
I’m not much interested in the science behind Prey, but I am intrigued by the author’s inner struggle. I wish it had turned out better for him.
Michael Crichton never found God. But there is always hope that somehow God found him.
I had a hard time at the YMCA yesterday: a debate, as it were, on the subject of Global Warming, featuring me vs. everybody else in the locker room.
If I heard it once yesterday, I heard it 50 times: “But 97% of scientists believe in Global Warming!” That makes it true, of course.
You can’t get through. The 97% is carved in stone. You can poke holes in it till you’re blue in the face, and nothing happens. What about the hundreds of scientists who don’t believe in Global Warming, and have said so publicly? Did they ask all scientists, or just the ones who’d be sure to give them the answer that they wanted? And who, by the way, did the asking? And how did they decide who is a “scientist”?
All my opponents need to know is “Science says.” That makes it infallible. That the scientists themselves are all fallible human beings, born into sin, and that their science is strained through a filter of incomplete and often inaccurate information, wishful thinking, prejudice, fear, and desire for advancement is completely irrelevant to them. You just can’t get through.
Is this not idolatry? Science is the work of human minds, and human hands. To worship it is to worship human beings. And we laugh at the ancient Egyptians for worshiping animals.
And they try to convince us that humanism is not a religion.