They’re Made Out Of Meat

I recently had the story “They’re Made Our Of Meat” by Terry Bisson drawn to my attention. It is available to be read online, and it offers a nice, brief mirror to the way humans are prone to scoff at that which is unlike us. In my class on religion and science fiction, we’ve spent [Read More...]

Robotic Church

I was intrigued to see the New York Times article today about something called “Robotic Church.” While one can find lots of examples of human beings going through the motions, this is about an artist bringing together multiple robotic creations of his, capable of making music, together in one place in Brooklyn to “make a [Read More...]

Doctor Who: The Face of Evil

The episode “The Face of Evil” from the Tom Baker era is famous for introducing Leela as the Doctor’s companion. For those interested in the show’s treatment of religion, it is also famous for its content. It originally bore the title “The Day God Went Mad.” The Doctor lands on a planet where remnants of [Read More...]

Jesus Loves You, Aliens!

The image above was shared by a friend on Facebook. I’m sharing it not only because it is at the intersection of religion and science fiction – an intersection I enjoy exploring both professionally and personally – but also because it helpfully highlights religion as something typically human, and the question whether artificial intelligences we [Read More...]

Robot at Prayer

Thanks to Jeff Carter for drawing to my attention the Korean science fiction film “Doomsday Book” which apparently features a robot praying and in other ways explores the intersection of religion and science fiction. [Read more...]

Doctor Who: The War Machines (and the computer that knew the Doctor’s name)

The episode of Doctor Who, “The War Machines,” may seem to explore familiar terrain to viewers today. But keep in mind that this episode was written and aired not only decades before Skynet and the Terminator films, but also years before the movie Colossus: The Forbin Project was released. And so the Doctor Who episode [Read More...]

Tebowing Terminator

Was this military robot PETMAN programmed to tebow, or is this an act of spontaneous thanksgiving to its creators, having successfully carried out its first test mission? The above is just a prototype. Here is what the finished model is expected to look like when striking the same tebowing pose:   [Read more...]

Droids with Feelings (or is it Existential Angst?)

I’ve actually written some serious treatments of whether machines can ever be people, including in my chapter in Religion and Science Fiction. The series of posters that IO9 highlighted today about droids suffering from what they described as “low self esteem” actually seem to me to depict them doing more than that, reflecting on very [Read More...]

Reasons to Buy Religion and Science Fiction: You Are Free To…Or You’ve Been Programmed To

You’re free to order the book, and free not to – right? That’s a surprisingly controversial subject. Free will, consciousness, and many other aspects of our human experience remain puzzles to philosophers, neuroscientists, would-be programmers of artificial intelligences, and of course, science fiction fans. Pondering what would be involved in creating an artificially intelligent computer [Read More...]

Sci-Fi Around the Biblioblogosphere

If you hang around this blog a lot, you might not realize that discussion of sci-fi on biblioblogs is not universal, although it is not exactly uncommon either. Today, Scot McKnight shared a link to and excerpt from an article in The Chronicle of Higher Education on what led a programmer of robots to switch [Read More...]


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