Welcome to a fundamental node of the Pandeism index!!

Religions that give some attention to the place of man in the Universe seem to see man as a finished thing, a final version, perfected for its purpose. This characterization is not unique to the Abrahamic faiths and their depiction of man being made 'in God's image.' Many ancient myths depict man as the ultimate achievement of their god or gods, a work of art, a special thing of beauty both physically and philosophically. Such a conception would have made sense, and indeed might have been the only thing that made sense, to primitives who knew nothing of evolution and believed the sun and planets orbited the Earth, which sat at the center of the Universe.

Because theists (and Creationists in particular) take it for granted that we are at the pinnacle of Creation, God's final and completed intent, no evolution can logically be necessary for us to get to any more useful point for the Creator -- whatever our Creator wants of us, we must be perfectly suited to provide, as we must have been since the very moment that we were set down on Earth. Man morphing into a new and superior species would be anathema. And yet it is apparent that human evolution continues, now in ways never imagined before the last century. But now we have begun to accelerate our advance with the twist that we supplement our natural biological process with externalities, and with technology in particular.

This advance now occurs from two directions. One is the supplementation of human ability with technological achievements ranging from the lever and wheel to the handheld computer, Internet, and GPS. Today, a man standing almost anywhere on the planet can access vast stores of information useful for the processing of all the sorts of data that we encounter from moment to moment, and for communicating with others in the same technological (but physically distant) place. These devices are steadily growing smaller and more intricate in their connection with the human body, and leaps are already being made in further connectivity between mind and machine, approaching the direct interface of controlling the machine with a thought, and gaining information directly into the brain.

The machines that we build are themselves becoming smarter, and true artificial intelligence is conceivable. If computers can be made to think and feel and be self-aware, it is hard to imagine how we could fail to eventually recognize them as a new form of life. And if thinking machines can be integrated into our own minds and brains, would we not ourselves then become a new form of life? The other direction of advance is more direct -- mankind is at the edge of learning to tinker directly with the genetic code, to take out the parts that harm us and hold us back, and to add all manner of improvements.

Both of these advances lead us in the direction of transhumanism -- man becoming something far greater than man through his own efforts -- something far greater than the being said to have been created by the mythic gods. Pandeism determines that a Creator seeking to fulfill its knowledge by fully sharing in the experience the Universe created a Universe with certain necessary experiences (the ones the Creator requires) are bound to come about. In such a Universe, the very laws of physics and state of matter set forth at the beginning would assure that complexity -- life -- will arise from the suitable physical and chemical conditions, that this life will logically evolve by a process of natural selection, and that one result of this evolution will be intelligence of the self-reflective kind that we happen to possess.

The evolution of intellect in creatures with the appropriate physiological architecture for toolmaking makes technology seem inevitable. Maybe not for, say, whales (which appear to be intelligent but lack the opposable thumb which allows for use of tools as simple as pencils), but certainly for such a thing as man. Just as our existence may have been the inevitable result of laws made before time, so might the next species of hominid be destined to arise out of our power of invention, intellects that dwarf our own and perhaps a spirituality that does so as well. It seems arrogant of us to presume, with such potential for advancement before us, that we are at this moment any closer to being a Creator's goal than were the proto-men who scrawled pictures on cave walls 40,000 years ago, or their own ancestors among upright lemur-like apes scurrying around the plains of Africa. So are we there yet? Have we hit the end of our intended evolutionary road? Logically, it could hardly be so!!

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