Google announced the start-up of a new business/division called Calico this week. As is reported in this article from The Verge, Calico’s purpose is to study the aging process in an effort to find methods of “radical life extension”. Google founder and CEO Larry Paige, in his Google+ post announcing Calico, stated “Art (Levinson) and I are excited about tackling aging and illness. These issues affect us all—from the decreased mobility and mental agility that comes with age, to life-threatening diseases that exact a terrible physical and emotional toll on individuals and families.”. Paige is a long-time fan of Ray Kurzweil, successful inventor, and longtime advocate for immortality through technology. Google has made donations to Kurzweil’s Singularity University, and has hired him as a consultant.
We at Bytes and Belief have discussed the concept of the Singularity, Ray Kurzweil, and transhumanism on this blog before. From a theological standpoint, one can argue that these ideas are the ultimate example of putting ones whole faith in technology. To trust technology with one’s very existence, both physically and existentially, is to literally go ALL in. What makes this story so important is that Google’s founders, who to some extent have been on board with the idea of techno-immortality, are now putting their money where their mouth is. And in the eyes of many, their involvement gives this whole movement more credibility and inches it closer to mainstream thought.
What does such a profound faith in man-made technology mean for Christianity? Is techno-immortality, or even “radical life extension” compatible with God’s Word?
I encourage all of you to read the post on The Verge and then share your thoughts in the comments!