Nerd theology

Kevin Kelly is the founder of Wired Magazine. As far as nerds go, he’s pretty cool. He wrote an interesting little piece on “nerd theology

It’s worth a read if you’re a nerd, and at all interested in God.

His basic premise is this:

“We investigate the nature of intelligence, not by probing human heads, but by creating artificial intelligences. We seek truth not in what we find, but in what we can create. We have become mini-gods. And thus we seek God by creating gods.”

If you’re not a nerd – or at all interested I’d stop reading there – because this gets kind of confusing. But is also kind of interesting…

In nerd terms, god is a being function. We could write it like this:

Let g (god)=? s (initial nothing state) -> sl (something state)
Or g=? s -> sl

Now the universe we humans occupy is sl We are inhabitants of the something state produced by some god function. Christians like myself see a recursive nature in God. God (g), the creator created humans in his image, and so we too are creators. We can be designated as gl .

By means of our technology, we are becoming derivative gods ourselves. We are making our own tiny somethings out of nothing. True, our nothings are not as nothing as the nothing we came from, but we are getting better at starting from scratch, and producing more elaborative creations once we start creating. Our godhood could be described like this:

gl = ? sl -> s2

That is, we derivative gods began in a made world and created a second-order something.
Those somethings might have once been astoundingly realistic paintings, or perhaps a marble statue of a hero, or more recently a VR world crowded with fantastical creatures.

Someday, not too far away, we will create a creature (a robot) with its own mind (yes, a different mind) and its own free will that is capable of taking the next step and creating its own creation. In other words our little man will, like us, make its own little man or its own made-up world.

The author

Nathan runs St Eutychus. He loves Jesus. His wife. His daughter. His son. His other daughter. His dog. Coffee. And the Internet. He is the campus pastor at Creek Road South Bank, a graduate of Queensland Theological College (M. Div) and the Queensland University of Technology (B. Journ). He spent a significant portion of his pre-ministry-as-a-full-time-job life working in Public Relations, and now loves promoting Jesus in Brisbane and online. He can't believe how great it is that people pay him to talk and think about Jesus.