Would You Vote for a Machine for President?

Sometimes my class on Religion and Science Fiction seems to be incredibly practical, despite the impression the title might give. Yesterday we talked about whether it would be a good idea to ask an artificial intelligence whether God exists. The conversations we had were great, and included a contribution from Siri which led to one student [Read More…]

Religion and Tampering with Nature

IO9 just posted a piece about transhumanism and fear of “tampering with nature” in the form of gene editing, brain chips, and other such technologies. What I found most interesting, not surprisingly, was the information about how more devout religious people’s views tend to differ from those of others. Here are the statistics: I suspect [Read More…]

Robot Ethics CFP

Via the Religion Call for Papers Tumblr I learned about this volume, which I should perhaps consider submitting an abstract for, since I have published on the topic in the past. But I have other projects I am committed to completing before the end of the year, and so am still unsure if I will. But I [Read More…]


I recently watched the movie Chappie. It poignantly conveys a point that I also sought to get across in my chapter on “Robots, Rights, and Religion” in Religion and Science Fiction: that what is most scary about artificial intelligences is that they will resemble us in all our shortcomings. But it also makes other crucial [Read More…]

Doctor Who: Robot

Tom Baker’s time as the Doctor is arguably the most iconic in the show’s history, and the length of his run as the Doctor is not only a result of but also a contributor to that fact. The first full episode with Tom Baker as the Doctor is simply called “Robot.” The robot looks very [Read More…]


This post is not about the conservative religious view of the Biblical authors and copyists, whose writing activity was supposedly taken over by God to make God the author. No, this isn’t a metaphor – it is about an actual robotic scribe! Bible History Daily reported the story, including the fact that the process does not produce [Read More…]

Doctor Who: The Caretaker

The Doctor Who episode “The Caretaker” has more than one possible meaning, presumably intentionally. The Doctor goes undercover at the school where Clara teaches, as a “caretaker” or custodian. But what he is actually doing there is “taking care” of Earth, seeking to find and remove a deadly robot. But the episode begins with Clara running back [Read More…]

Doctor Who: Robot of Sherwood

Doctor Who has encountered king Arthur and many other legendaries, and so his dogmatic certainty at the start of the episode that Robin Hood never existed is puzzling. But we find out by the end of the episode that it is less about realism in relation to older episodes, but precisely about heroes and the legends [Read More…]

Jewish Androids

I finally got around to starting to watch The Big Bang Theory recently. It is hilarious! I was surprised by how much treatment of religion there is in the first half of the first season. I particularly liked the treatment of what it would mean to be a Jewish android, including circumcision and powering down [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…]