A Divine Experiment
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A Divine Experiment

I created a world program in my computer, and inhabited this program with evolving "life". This "life" started out as a group small, mindless animals, but managed to evolve into a collection of sentient beings. So advanced these beings were, that they were able to change the program in which they were living, creating digital tools, gadgets, and in general a better place to "live". Some of them even built vehicles that could transport them to other programs, where they copied pieces of code which they brought back to their original program to enhance it.

I was amused to find that these sentient beings started to ruminate about the existence of a creator. Some of them, which I dubbed the Worshippers, even believed that this creator was watching them and listening to them - in which they were right, actually. They sent me several requests to change their program to their liking. Some of them even asked me to destroy other groups of Worshippers, because, according to them, they were believing in the "wrong" creator. This amused me, since I hadn't personally given them any indication of what I thought "right" or "wrong" would be. I would not have been able to provide such a specification anyway, since I think in this respect the terms "right" and "wrong" are meaningless. In any case, since I created the program to observe the autonomonous development of these beings, I had no intention to follow up on those requests to intervene with their "natural" evolution.

I observed the Worshippers either battling each other, or on their virtual knees asking me to help them. Meanwhile, I observed another group of beings which refused to acknowledge a creator, but had taken their "lives" into their own hands, seeking ways to improve their program on their own. I dubbed these the Innovators. Recognizing that, although on a smaller level, these Innovators were driven by a force not unlike my own passion, I felt most attached to these creative beings. I was seriously annoyed and hurt when a Worshipper managed to destroy one of them.

While I was overall content with the way my program had worked out, I felt it suffered too much from these badly-adjusted Worshippers. I therefore created a new program, which was particularly suited for these beings to adapt themselves in (a virtual heaven, one might say), and transferred the Innovators to that program. The other program, with only the Worshippers left, I deleted. It had become useless anyway.

March 20, 2003

© 2003 by Pieter Spronck