Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Ruminations On The Technology of Life - Clemons

I marvel at the advance of technology. I was born in an area when most telephones were on a party line. Two or more homes shared the same phone number and we had to listen for a specific ring to know if the call was for us. (We were also able to pick up and eavesdrop on other people’s conversations—oooohh.) You could dial a local call with no prefix, but long distance had to go through an operator, and overseas—forgetaboutit. We’ve come a long way, Baby. Today I sit and type e-mails to friends around the world and send them in electron packets pulsing across the planet at near the speed of light.

Then I think about God and marvel about how, before time began, He developed something called prayer that allows me to send messages all the way to heaven, right to the very throne room of the Almighty, in the blink of an eye.

I’ve done this before, sit and ruminate on God’s technology as compared to our own. It helps me keep things in perspective. Man makes some fairly sophisticated machines, but nothing compared to God. According to Michael Denton, author of, Evolution, A Theory in Crisis, “Even the smallest bacterial cell is in effect a microminiaturized factory containing thousands of exquisitely designed pieces of intricate molecular machinery made up of 1,000,000,000,000 atoms, far more complicated that any machine built by man.” How about that? And I stare at my computer and realize that, even with his most advanced technology, man will never create a microprocessor that compares to the human brain.

Then there’s our DNA. I’ve heard it said if the information that comprises a single DNA were written in telephone books filled with tiny telephone-book size type, and the books were laid flat and stacked one upon another, the stack would reach the moon. That’s a lot of information. And God’s the one who wrote it all down. I like to think of God as having phantasmal libraries filled with the recorded DNA of every human who ever walked the planet. After we die our bodies, whether we’ve become mulch in the ground, or turned to silt at the bottom of the sea, or billowed up as ash from a fire, will enjoy a bodily resurrection. The code for our reconstruction has been stored in the heavenlies. “And after my skin is destroyed, this I know, that in my flesh I shall see God.” Job 19: 26

I’m also fond of comparing man to a computer. Our bodies, like a computer’s hardware, are made of physical elements, or matter. But the computer is useless without software because it’s software, or the program, that enables the computer to accomplish the tasks for which it was created. Software gives the computer life because it enables the computer to compute. Our minds are software.

Unlike hardware, software is not composed of matter. Weigh a computer, then add more hardware, and the weight of the computer increases. But weigh a memory device and then fill it with terabytes of information, the weight of the memory device stays the same. Software, the part of a computer that is information, cannot be weighed. It has no mass. This massless data can be transported through the air using radio waves. The information can then be sent and received by someone at a distance the way one computer shares information with another via a wireless router.

The body holds the essence of life, but it is not life itself. Life is in the nephesh, or soul. When the body takes its last breath, the heart ceases to pump, and neuron pulses stop transmitting signals to the brain, life goes on. Life is not composed of matter, life is composed of data—the information that makes us all that we are.

Someday our bodies will break down and be cast upon the junk heap of history to become so much rust. But the massless part, all the information that makes us unique, lives on. The real us, once free of our earthen vessel, will be transported to another dimension. If our modem is wired to God and our address stored in the database of heaven, our signal will be strong and the reception good. “He that cometh unto me I will in no wise cast out,” send your request to: If not, our address will take us somewhere else—“and anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire.” Ouch!

Death can’t kill the soul, only whatever chance the soul has of determining its final destination. But that’s a rumination for another day.

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