of Animats/Golems and the Summary of the
Euangelion Decision Tree on Cybernetics and the Potential of
a Posthuman Era
(At this point in this series
of papers, the reader has been provided sufficient data to contextualize
presented personalities and ideas without extensive explanation by the
The brain is considered to
be the most advanced computational system available for empirical analysis.
An animat is an interaction of animal and non animal materials to create
an artificial animal that interacts with its environment. Steve
M. Potter and others recently created an animat controlled by brain
cells or neurons. Some 300,000 cortical rat neurons were dissociated
with enzymes and cultured inside a container of nutrients and antibiotics.
Those neurons continued to make connections to each other and today
could have lived as long as two years. A computer detected the
neural communications by their voltage output. The goal was to
harness that output to self direct other objects.
Potter's group accomplished
the making of an animat by placing the neurons on a silicon chip of
60 to 80 electrodes. Around five days later, the patterns of neuron
transmitted signals were detected. The increasingly dense mesh
of axons and dendrites produced action potentials (pulses of voltage).
Many of the neurons fired together in bursts. It was not clear
whether that bursting was a seizure, an expression of some type of memory,
or a need for sensory input. The Potter team sent pulses of electricity
across the contacts of the multi-electrode array to stimulate sensory
activity, which resulted in slowing down the bursting activity.
This seemed to train the neurons to react to sensory input at the correct
The trained neurons were contained
in a temperature sensitive box and sent signals to each other.
Those signals were picked up by the electrodes which amplified the signal
that was relayed to the computer. The computer wirelessly sent
the data to the robot. The robot, equipped with input from light
sensors, manifested with physical motion the neuronal activity of the
neuron to neuron communication. The robot then sent signals back
to the neurons. Potter said that a random process, like neurons,
can make decisions and that his neuron cultures were and are designed
to control the embodiment and not the program which addresses the philosophical
argument concerning free will. (The preceding statement by
Steve Potter was taken from an excerpt of an email exchange with Dallas
F. Bell Jr. during September, 2008)
If something can make a decision
it must have freewill or else it is merely a switch, such as a light
switch, which is controlled by being turned on or off by ultimately
something that has freewill. Freewill is to have awareness of choice.
Awareness then evokes the reality of consciousness. Robert (Yisrael)
Aumann, the 2005 Nobel Prize winner for economics, wrote that consciousness
is not defined as to be able to just sense because machines record sounds,
detect odors etc. but they do not experience. Instead, consciousness
means to experience the input of hearing, seeing, feeling, smelling
Experience is manifested by
desire, pleasure, laughter and sadness or fear. Consciousness
does not only see but can choose to covet or not. It does not
only touch but can choose to lustfully desire or not. It does
not merely process or sort data but it can choose to laugh, be sad,
or fearful etc. (The author would like to thank Robert Aumann's
office for kindly emailing a copy of Aumann's paper titled
"Consciousness" in September, 2008.)
In addition to animats, scientific
experiments will produce advanced life or golems (Hebrew meaning a shapeless mass;
an artificial human or automaton.) Then questions arise as to
their having consciousness to experience pain and anguish or not and
will humans dominate them or will they dominate humans.
Plato used the word cybernetics
to signify the governance of the people (self-government) in "The
Laws." The term cybernetics stems from the Greek word for governor
or pilot etc. In the second edition (1965) book titled "Cybernetics,"
Norbert Wiener defined cybernetics as the study of control and communication
in animals and machines.
Obviously, cybernetics is an
interdisciplinary study of fields such as engineering (bio, electrical
and mechanical), logic and game theory, neuroscience, anthropology,
psychology (neuro, behavioral and cognitive), and systematic political
science. With the approaching realities of animats and golems,
cybernetics should be concerned with who will be in control--the humans
or their creations. Then is a posthuman era likely?
3. Posthuman Era
The term transhuman is often
meant to be humanly enhanced. Science and technology is being
used to enhance the natural physical and mental abilities of humans
and to overcome disabilities. For example, the field of biomedical
engineering has seen the development of pharmaceutical drugs (including
the possible future aid from the family of nonlinear electrokinetic
related devices) and prostheses. Neuroprosthetics is a discipline
that has created artificial devices to replace or improve the function
of the nervous system. The cochlear implant is a widely known
auditory prosthetic. Other sensory prosthetics include sensory/motor
for touch, visual, pain relief and cognitive for memory.
It would not be accurate to
label this biotech age as posthuman since all humans have the same relative
potential to be enhanced by technology. A dependent and proximate
spatial relationship between man an technology does not replace the
human self-identity as other than human, whether that technology is
a pacemaker implant for the heart or the wearing of roller skates on
Animats and technology (non
bio material) need a conscious programmer to operate and thus could
not reasonably dominate their human creators. A golem might have
consciousness to dominate by having its own decision-making ability.
This golem must have DNA unique to its self and be able to sustain its
self by reproducing. Like humans, finite golems would still need
to choose God or a lesser god to base their epistemology regarding compliance
or noncompliance with Natural Law (NL) from sensory input. The
presumed higher than human intellect and physical ability needed for
the domination of humans would require more interaction with NL in pursuing
more complex needs than humans. Societal organization for efficiency
into the same institutions of family, church, business and government
would be an eschatological necessity based on the chosen theology.
The biblical book of Revelation
gives an account of end-time activity for T1 believers.
(Rev. 9:3-12)--Beings described
as locusts with the power of scorpions in their tails cause pain for
five months except for those without the mark of the beast. Those
locusts are shaped like horses with crowns of gold. They have
faces of men, hair of women, breastplates of iron, and teeth of lions.
Loud noise comes from their wings. Their evil king is called Abaddon
(Hebrew term for destruction). (Rev. 9:13-21)--Two hundred million
horses with lion's heads cross the Euphrates River. Fire, smoke,
and brimstone comes from their mouths that can cause hurt. They
have breastplates of fire, jacinth and brimstone, and tails like serpents
that cause hurt. Those that are not killed do not repent of their
(violations of Natural Law of Freewill, NLF) murders, sorceries, fornication
nor thefts. Even the frogs in Aesop's (c. 6th century BC)
Fables of "The Frogs Desiring
a King" repented,
although too late. The free frogs had wished for a king and a
stork became their king and ate them. The Bible also tells of
how the Israelis also desired a king (I Sam. 8:5-22; Judg. 9:8-16).
As stated in Wolfgang Mozart and Lorenzo Da Ponte's 1787 opera Don Giovanni, "So ends he who evil did.
The death of a sinner always reflects his life."
The biblical account of the
beings in the end-time for believers can either be seen as (one) a symbolic
description of the future, (two) a symbolic description of things already
occurred, or (three) as a non symbolic description of events to come.
Options one and two would not seem to be very revealing or prophetic.
The third option of what has been revealed to actually take place in
the last days is the most rational for T1 Bible believers. If
this is a literal description of beings and their abilities, they are
unique and vastly dominate human abilities. This could truly be
interpreted as a posthuman era.
Several things can be reasoned
for neuron cultures to golems. They can be potentially demonically
controlled and if there are multiple entities with self-identity (consciousness)
there will be the potential for multiple souls. Depending on the
theological view of either T1, T2 or T3, eschatological beliefs will
be different. Sir Martin Rees, Master of Trinity College at the
University of Cambridge, indicates that the posthuman era will occur
but that it is unclear whether organic life or computers and robots
will be the dominate force. (The previous statement was excerpted
from an email exchange between Lord Rees and Dallas F. Bell Jr. in September,
4. Summary of the
Euangelion Decision Tree
All finite humans must have
an eschatological view of the future to combine with a theological view
of the past which dictates compliance or noncompliance with NLF such
as not to murder, steal, etc. That epistemology shapes how the
common individual needs are pursued regarding the monads of love, justice
etc. People with T1 beliefs derive their epistemology from the Bible.
The Bible contains the gospel or good news or euangelion (Greek from eu for good and angelion for message). Euangelion practitioners
called evangelicals (Matt. 24:14; Rom. 1:1) believe the good news or
gospel consists of the following. (I Cor. 15:3-4)
--Jesus is the incarnate Son
--Jesus' death on the cross
atoned for man's sins.
--Jesus' victorious resurrection
--Jesus' return for His people
as He promised.
Theological beliefs lead to
their being practiced in religions (from the Latin religio which
has been connected by some scholars to religare meaning to bind.)
Societies are composed of people with specific religions that bind them to form either First
World (1W) from T1, Second World (2W) from T2, or Third World (3W) from
T3 governing systems.
A 1W system is created from
the efficiency of evangelicals due to a common decision tree which can
be referenced from the biblical book of Romans. A summary euangelion
decision tree is as follows.
are infinite etc. --or--
(Satanism, Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism,
Sikhism, Taoism, Confucianism, evolutionism)
--||Beliefs confirmed by
not so 3W
(Zoroastrianism, Islam, Baha'i)
believed as revelation -- or --
not so 2W
(Judaism and Christian cults)
The beliefs of evangelicals
emphasize the dominance of the soul's control over their biochemical
body. Fasting (willingly foregoing a need such as food for a period
of time) allows the body to get weak so that the soul can establish
control to be more obedient to God's will.
Animats and even golems are
to become realities. The cybernetic dominance of man's creations
over man may lead to a posthuman era of existence. That era has
the potential to soon occur. The presented summary of the euangelion
decision tree establishes the choices of all finite beings concerning
God and His NLF. To reject them is tantamount to self destruction
now and eternally.
RIGHTS RESERVED © 2008 DALLAS F. BELL, JR.----------------