The Body, the Machine

In this TED talk, a man with prosthetic legs and a scientist, and a MIT robotics researcher, gives a simple and complex summary of how bionics works.

As with so many TED talks, there is a kind of secular doxology; a reveling in a perfectible life without God.

To demonstrate this point, in his lecture, it is clear to me that the reason he is passionate about bionics is because he’s passionate about the Human Body. I believe he’s passionate about the Human Body, whether he recognizes it or not, because Jesus, in His Resurrection, demonstrated that He Is Passionate about the Human Body.

Apart from that Universal Anchor, our hope for restored bodies is reducible to a mere evolutionary reflex (and therefore ultimately meaningless).

On the contrary, in the Christian system, we are Body-Soul singularities: we are whole Persons with a Body and a Soul: neither one is complete without the other. (This undermines most of what passes for evangelical or Christian teachings about the body and the soul, by the way; not to mention shooting to H*** the prevailing Christian view that sin is somehow “bodily.”)

It is thus, fundamentally, our frustration in This Fallen Body (whole limbed or not) which shows us that we Hope for a Future World in which Bodies are Repaired.

Bionics doesn’t show the futility of frail flesh (as so many authors of science fiction books seem to suggest) or the superiority of non-human body parts (as others advance), but rather the glory of the human body: after all, bionics will always be a fallen photocopy of God’s Human Blueprint, different only slightly, therefore, from whole human body parts on this side of Eternity.

Whether it is Robocop, the Terminator, the Machine Man, or even the Tin Woodsman, if we see clearly, we see that technology is the handmaiden to humanity, not its master.

To the ultimate humanitarianism which is praised in so many TED Talks, and which is heralded in this one: our broken bodies show not the right of wholeness, but our need for wholeness; and our need for machine parts to repair our fleshly proves that we need a God of Life to raise our mortal bodies to Life Incorruptible.

He Is Risen. He Is Risen Indeed.