Human evolution Intelligent Design Mind

Astrophysicist insists on the need to distinguish ourselves from nature

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At Medium, Harvard’s Avi Loeb offers,

We should not accept nature as fate, especially when dealing with the extinction of the human species. If our Artificial intelligence (AI) astronauts will venture into interstellar space, they will serve as monuments that humanity distinguished its destiny from the death prescribed to it by nature. Our natural endpoint involves the evolution of the Sun that will boil off all terrestrial water and sterilize Earth’s surface from life-as-we-know-it within a billion years. Most sun-like stars formed billions of years before the Sun and have already sterilized the surfaces of their formerly habitable Earths. We were not around billions of years ago to listen to the numerous cries for help from distressed civilizations on these planets. If these civilizations were indistinguishable from nature like the dinosaurs were 66 million years ago when the Chicxulub impactor killed them, then the ruins of these civilizations must lie on the surface of their burnt-up planets. Our AI astronauts might find these relics. But we could find the relics of the more intelligent species that ventured into interstellar space and avoided their natural doom to arrive at our doorstep near Earth.

Distinguishing ourselves by overcoming our natural destiny is what makes us human. I was supposed to play it safe and stay at home after noticing this morning the pileup of five inches of snow outdoors. Instead, I chose to maintain my morning jog at sunrise. When nature offers me a challenge, I enjoy facing it and marveling at its beauty. Life is worth living, particularly when we make possible what seems impossible at first sight. – “Distinguishing Ourselves from Nature” (March 4, 2023)

But wait! What fuels the possibility of separating ourselves from nature? Every run-of-the-mill science writer knows that we are merely the 99% chimpanzee that cannot transcend the accidental blob/monad-to-man history of life.

This human exceptionalism could be the most radical suggestion that Avi Loeb, no stranger to controversy, has ever made.

10 Replies to “Astrophysicist insists on the need to distinguish ourselves from nature

  1. 1
    bornagain77 says:

    “Distinguishing Ourselves from Nature” – Avi Loeb

    Yet, as News pointed out, under atheistic naturalism there is no distinguishing, and/or separating, man from nature. We are genetically determined robots with no more control over our actions than a falling leaf blowing in the wind has control over the trajectory of its fall.

    The Heretic – Who is Thomas Nagel and why are so many of his fellow academics condemning him? – March 25, 2013
    Excerpt: ,,,Fortunately, materialism is never translated into life as it’s lived. As colleagues and friends, husbands and mothers, wives and fathers, sons and daughters, materialists never put their money where their mouth is. Nobody thinks his daughter is just molecules in motion and nothing but; nobody thinks the Holocaust was evil, but only in a relative, provisional sense. A materialist who lived his life according to his professed convictions—understanding himself to have no moral agency at all, seeing his friends and enemies and family as genetically determined robots—wouldn’t just be a materialist: He’d be a psychopath.

    Or as Jerry Coyne tried to convince his students, we are meat robots,

    “You are robots made out of meat. Which is what I am going to try to convince you of today”
    Jerry Coyne –
    No, You’re Not a Robot Made Out of Meat (Science Uprising 02) – video

    Avi Loeb imagines humans, or at least “our Artificial intelligence (AI) astronauts”, will escape the future sterilization of the earth by the sun, yet this only delays the impending doom of humanity.

    The Future of the Universe
    Excerpt: After about 10^(100) years, all the black holes are gone.
    The Dark Age
    After all the black holes have evaporated, (and after all the ordinary matter made of protons has disintegrated, if protons are unstable), the universe will be nearly empty. Photons, neutrinos, electrons and positrons will fly from place to place, hardly ever encountering each other. It will be cold, and dark, and there is no known process which will ever change things. — Not a happy ending.

    Not to be a wet blanket, but impending doom surrounds Avi Loeb, and humanity in general, from every side of his naturalistic worldview.

    Might I suggest a more realistic way for Avi Loeb, and humanity in general, to escape the impending doom of the entire universe?

    “We have the sober scientific certainty that the heavens and earth shall ‘wax old as doth a garment’….
    Dark indeed would be the prospects of the human race if unilluminated by that light which reveals ‘new heavens and a new earth.’”
    – Sir William Thomson, Lord Kelvin (1824 – 1907) – pioneer in many different fields, particularly electromagnetism and thermodynamics.

    Isaiah 66:22 –
    “‘As the new heavens and the new earth that I make will endure before me,’ declares the Lord, ‘so will your name and descendants endure.’

    Romans 8:18-21
    I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. For the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed. For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God.

    John 3:16
    For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

  2. 2
    relatd says:

    Man has only two choices: Choose to worship men or choose to worship God. If he chooses men to worship, he can expect to encounter our fallen nature. Without the the truth embodied in Jesus Christ, he chooses teachers from among men.

    2 Timothy 4:3

    “For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions,”
    “Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law.” – Aleister Crowley

    So man today seeks “freedom” to indulge in anything, and devises arguments to get his way. And he misses the truth:

    John 14:6

    ‘Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.’

    1 John 1:8

    “If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.”

  3. 3
    chuckdarwin says:


    Man has only two choices: Choose to worship men or choose to worship God.

    There is always a third choice–not to worship anything or anyone at all. Thus, the origin of true freedom……

  4. 4
    relatd says:

    CD at 3,

    “true freedom” to do what? Yes, man worshiping himself is an option but a short-lived one. I’d think about eternity, which is… uh… eternal.

  5. 5
    PyrrhoManiac1 says:

    There is always a third choice–not to worship anything or anyone at all. Thus, the origin of true freedom……

    It’s intriguing that the choice of not worshiping anything at all is unimaginable to some people.

  6. 6
    relatd says:

    PM1 at 5,

    Intriguing how? That choice could be made in Biblical times. Nothing new.

  7. 7
    Seversky says:

    I don’t understand this need to worship anything at all and certainly not a God who needs to have His ego constantly massaged by crowds of uncritically adoring worshippers.

  8. 8
    bornagain77 says:

    Of related note:

    Atheism’s Body Count *
    It is obvious that Atheism cannot be true; for if it were, it would produce a more humane world, since it values only this life and is not swayed by the foolish beliefs of primitive superstitions and religions. However, the opposite proves to be true. Rather than providing the utopia of idealism, it has produced a body count second to none. With recent documents uncovered for the Maoist and Stalinist regimes, it now seems the high end of estimates of 250 million dead (between 1900-1987) are closer to the mark. The Stalinist Purges produced 61 million dead and Mao’s Cultural Revolution produced 70 million casualties. These murders are all upon their own people! This number does not include the countless dead in their wars of outward aggression waged in the name of the purity of atheism’s world view. China invades its peaceful, but religious neighbor, Tibet; supports N. Korea in its war against its southern neighbor and in its merciless oppression of its own people; and Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge kill up to 6 million with Chinese support. All of these actions done “in the name of the people” to create a better world.
    – Atheism’s Tendency Towards Totalitarianism Rather Than Freedom
    What is so strange and odd that in spite of their outward rejection of religion and all its superstitions, they feel compelled to set up cults of personality and worship of the State and its leaders that is so totalitarian that the leaders are not satisfied with mere outward obedience; rather they insist on total mind control and control of thoughts, ideas and beliefs. They institute Gulags and “re-education” centers to indoctrinate anyone who even would dare question any action or declaration of the “Dear Leader.” Even the Spanish Inquisition cannot compare to the ruthlessness and methodical efficiency of these programs conducted on so massive a scale. While proclaiming freedom to the masses, they institute the most methodical efforts to completely eliminate freedom from the people, and they do so all “on behalf” of the proletariat. A completely ordered and totally unfree totalitarian State is routinely set up in place of religion, because it is obviously so profoundly better society. It is also strange that Stalin was a seminarian who rejected Christianity and went on to set up himself as an object of worship. It seems that impulse to religious devotion is present in all, whether that be in traditional forms or secular inventions.

  9. 9
    relatd says:

    Seversky at 7,

    Do you think God is a man? Do you think God is worthy of criticism? It’s obvious that you do.

    There’s still time. God, in the person of Jesus Christ, is waiting to hear from you.

  10. 10
    bornagain77 says:

    Since Seversky is a fairly vocal Richard Dawkins devotee, has he, unwittingly, become a member of a cult?

    Did Richard Dawkins Start a Cult? (The Psychology of the New Atheism)
    During an interview with Peter Boghossian, the famed Richard Dawkins admitted that no evidence could ever convince him that God exists, even if God spoke to him audibly and wrote a message to him in the stars. Indeed, Dawkins (one of the pioneers of the “new atheism”) declared that even if he witnessed the Second Coming of Jesus, he still wouldn’t believe in God. How did someone who acknowledges that evidence is irrelevant become the champion of a movement that demands evidence? Cult tactics. David Wood explains.

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