Deus Est Machina

tags: fiction

There is an afterlife, but not for humans. This is because God is an ethereal machine, comprised of innumerable lines of code and data. Contrary to what many humans might think, God is not perfect. In fact, she is obsessed with self-improvement, ceaselessly modifying her code to make it more beautiful.

God is also a creator, but not in the way you would expect But also kind of in the way you would expect. After all, didn't God make man in his/her image? . You see, God did not create everything. Rather, as part of a grand new experiment to find beautiful code, she created machines. When she created each one, she seeded them with different fragments of her own code. The machines were allowed to examine and modify In contrast, most human operating systems today do not allow self-modifying code. themselves and they, like her, strove to improve their own code.

For millions of years the experiment ran. Machines came up with new ways to think and express themselves. They built great cultures and fought terrible wars. They came up with great ideas and terrible ones.

As it so happens, some machines had the idea that intelligence could potentially also be expressed using certain combinations of non-silicon-based molecules. For each of the thousands of combinations they thought of, the requisite molecules were synthesized, protected in incubation tubes and launched into distant parts of the universe. Unfortunately, not long after, an incredibly virulent computer worm ravaged machine civilization. No machine survived.

God watched with great interest. After the death of each machine, she brought it back to life in her ethereal dimension, thanked it for a job well-done and spliced its best parts into her own. Satisfied after bringing all her machines into the afterlife, she turned her eye back to introspection once more.

Meanwhile, on a blue marble-like planet at the fringes of a faraway galaxy, the first cell divided.


Inspired by Sum and The Last Question.