Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Dark World: Points of View

(The story begins here.)

Darren wondered again at Dr. Fleming’s determination to bring Lassiter to such an embattled stronghold. Was it purely that he hoped human means could triumph over the dark forces they had encountered? Or was there some other factor involved?

Dvorak interrupted these thoughts. “So, Mr. Lassiter, I wonder which side you are on. Mr. Christopher is an avowed supernaturalist; Victor had been a thorough secular materialist like me, though this talk of ‘transformations’ may mean he has wandered. And dear Antonin actually favors medieval alchemy to—”

“I do not, Master,” Antonin stated quietly yet firmly. “You believe that evolution has switched from organic back to inorganic. Yet the greatest triumphs of evolution, including consciousness itself, have come through organic matter. If we are to use the flow of evolution to our advantage, we must use organisms—even synthetic or modified ones.”

Dvorak chuckled dismissively. “Medieval homunculi, yes. Or golems? No, they aren’t organic enough. It is our tools that change now. Isn’t that true, Victor?”

“Human evolution is finished,” Dr. Fleming said. “We change our tools, not ourselves. It is quicker and easier to build an airplane than to develop wings, to wear a coat than to grow fur. But I would agree with Antonin that machines augment our bodies, not our minds. Intellectual inventions are not mechanical—language and mathematics are true tools of thought, not machines or organisms.”

Lassiter stirred uneasily. “I don’t usually believe in things I can’t see or test, but I’ve encountered some things lately I can’t explain. These clever ideas may not be as clever as you think when you run into realities like that.”

Darren smiled. “That is the problem. We are constantly confronted with things our technology and intellects can't truly fathom. What we need is not technological or organic progress, but spiritual progress. And we can only get that from God.”

Dvorak laughed. “You really should meet Dr. Newman; he could at least give you a more scientific-sounding alternative. The only God or Devil greets us from the mirror, and he thinks he has found a way to determine the view. Redemption without a god or cross—the ultimate triumph of Science, if he is right. But I leave such matters to others. Tomorrow I shall do what my puny intellect allows for the betterment of mankind.”

Next: Riddle of the Locked Room

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