Divinity as Filter

Divinity as Filter June 17, 2016

David Brin shared a free short story of his on his blog, “Reality Check” from his book Insistence of Vision. I’ve been meaning to mention it here for a while. It explores the notion that “deification” might be a “filter” that explains why we have not encountered other intelligent species. Read the story to find out more.

See also my review of his novel Existence which I posted here back in 2012.


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  • Otávio

    Dr. McGrath, I’m Brazilian and a fan of your work. I’ve written a post (with ficitional dialogues) exposing the similarities between the behavior of Mythcists and Creationists.Please, read it when you can. Thanks in advance. http://otaviopinto.com/index.php/2016/06/17/creationists-and-mythcists-the-stubborn-ignorance-of-radicals/

  • John MacDonald

    I liked it when he wrote:

    “But what happens to progress when the resource being exploited is a limited one? For example, only so many pleasing and distinct eight-bar melodies can be written in any particular musical tradition. Powerful economic factors encourage early composers to explore this invention-space before others can, using up the best and simplest melodies. Later generations will attribute this musical fecundity to genius, not the sheer luck of being first. The same holds for all forms of creativity. The first teller of a Frankenstein story won plaudits for originality. Later, it became a cliché.”

    Maybe Aristotle wasn’t a genius so much as he was an obsessive/compulsive categorizer who was the first to direct that habit toward the manifold of human experience. After all, the most essential characteristic of the Philosopher is to make distinctions. Maybe the finite ink well of truly innovative Philosophers has gone dry and all we are left with is a never ending assembly line of mere PhD’s in philosophy.