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Shermer’s Last Law

Any sufficiently advanced extraterrestrial intelligence is indistinguishable from God
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As scientist extraordinaire and author of an empire of science-fiction books, Arthur C. Clarke is one of the farthest-seeing visionaries of our time. His pithy quotations tug harder than those of most futurists on our collective psyches for their insights into humanity and our unique place in the cosmos.
And none do so more than his famous Third Law: “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.”

This observation stimulated me to think about the impact the discovery of an extraterrestrial intelligence (ETI) would have on science and religion. To that end, I would like to immodestly propose Shermer’s Last Law (I don’t believe in naming laws after oneself, so as the good book says, the last shall be first and the first shall be last): “Any sufficiently advanced ETI is indistinguishable from God.” (continue reading…)

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