I’ve been hearing a lot of people talking about The Singularity (recently popularized in this article from Time). What struck me most about the article wasn’t the concept itself (consciousness becoming immortal through some kind of fusion with highly advanced computing technology is old hat to sci-fi fans), but rather the evenhanded treatment that Time provided to a fairly outlandish concept.
One wonders if Time would provide such open-minded coverage to other outlandish concepts which nevertheless have better evidence. Somehow I can’t see them writing:
“The difficult thing to keep sight of when you’re talking about the Resurrection is that even though it sounds like fantasy, it isn’t, no more than the Gallic Wars are fantasy. It’s not a fringe idea; it’s a serious hypothesis about the events in Palestine 2000 years ago. There’s an intellectual gag reflex that kicks in anytime you try to swallow an idea that involves the dead rising to life, but suppress it if you can, because while the Resurrection appears to be, on the face of it, preposterous, it’s an idea that rewards sober, careful evaluation”
“If you can swallow that idea, and Jesus of Nazareth and a lot of other very smart people can, then all bets are off.”