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Computers that think?

Scientists hope new computers will provide solutions to our greatest problems.
Read here what will solve our problems.


WE HUMANS are being thrust almost uncontrollably into the computer age! What does today's computer revolution mean?

It means this: just as the industrial revolution dramatically expanded the strength of man's muscles, so the computer allows man to magnify the power of the human brain — whether for good or evil!

The computer allows human beings to store, retrieve, compile and experiment with a virtually inexhaustible supply of human knowledge and data. Man can now wade through formidable calculations and come up with answers at enormous — near instantaneous — speeds.

But can computers provide humanity with the additional skills to discover the solutions to our greatest problems? Many leaders, scientists and computer developers hope so. But do computers have that capacity — that quality?


Cause of Latest Revolution

Electronic computers have been with us since the early 1940s. But what has happened in computer development in only the last 15 years is staggering.

Scientists and engineers feel the most sensational technological breakthrough yet developed by man is the microchip, or integrated circuit. The microchip was significantly developed by the mid-1960s. It is sometimes also called the microprocessor or microcomputer. It is a silicon chip less than half a fingernail in size with a virtually invisible spiderlike network of electronic circuits etched on it.

This tiny chip has enormously increased the power and information capacity of computers even as it greatly shrunk them in size. The first electronic relay computers developed during World War II filled a large room. Computers with microchips today may be many times more powerful and some can be held in the hand. The next generation of computers will be smaller yet and will be composed of numerous laminations and combinations of microchips with endless technological applications.

Such technological developments are the result of the capacity of the mind of man! No animal brain has — or anywhere near approaches — this capacity!

Computers greatly aid law enforcement agencies in fighting crime. They can quickly aid man in tracking down stolen cars by license plate numbers. They can match fingerprints picked up at the scene of a crime with those of criminals on vast data banks. Computers also may be used to deploy the patrolman closest to the scene of a crime. Yet despite such fantastic tools, criminal problems soar. Why? Can you explain this paradox?

Why can computers assist man in making giant technological and material changes, but fail to help solve the really big problems among human beings or between nations? Why can't computers help man find the cause of juvenile delinquency? Or of mental illness or marital breakdowns? Or alcoholism or drug addiction?

To answer that we must understand what a computer is and what can and cannot be put into a computer.


Machines That Think?

Some may claim computers operate similar to the human brain. But most computers are devices restricted to pathways that work one step at a time. Man, however, is now for the first time building a few supercomputers that allow multiple steps to be executed simultaneously. What makes computers so astounding is that they operate so much faster — millions of times faster — than the human brain.

Nevertheless, brain researchers now seem forced to admit that the human brain is a far more complex parallel processor. The human brain is designed to handle many tasks, perhaps thousands simultaneously instead of one step at a time. Moreover, human brain researchers don't understand what causes humanity's enormously superior intellect — man's vast creative MIND compared with instinctual animal brain. The surprising answer that distinguishes man's mind from mere brain power is found in our free booklet titled Never Before Understood — Why Humanity Cannot Solve Its Evils. Write for your free copy.

Although a computer is extremely fast, it is incapable of doing anything but carrying out the instructions (program) written out for it and placed into it by human beings. Human beings therefore must exercise great care in programming. Programming must be absolutely unambiguous, precise and complete to the last detail to be safe and reliable.

If it's been programmed to do so, intentionally or carelessly, a computer will accept everything fed into it as "right" knowledge. If some unknown human programming flaw or datum entry exists, a computer doesn't know the difference. It accepts it as right and will produce a million incorrect answers as fast as a million correct ones. Fed a program that is mistaken, a military computer might send off missiles in a wrong direction or fire warheads at the wrong time.

Neither does a computer have consciousness. It has no choice. It is a dumb automaton though it performs amazing calculations at incomprehensible speeds. A computer has no personal judgments, no personal values. It will work uncaringly, non-judgmentally, on anything one feeds it, according to its program. It is only a tool, whether for good or evil.

Remember, too, a computer fed factually accurate information — whether physical, mathematical or chemical — can use that information for either beneficial or harmful uses!

For instance, accurate human knowledge can be put into a computer to maneuver a manned spaceship to land precisely on a certain spot on the moon. The same technology can also be used to pinpoint a nuclear warhead on a city and annihilate every human being in it. What makes computers' function right or wrong is their use!


True Cause of Man's Problems

Computers may be used to discover the correct aeronautical design for a new kind of airplane wing, or the atomic structure of a needed industrial chemical, but can they be used to discover the true causes of juvenile delinquency? Or mental illness? Or hate or war?

The natural human mind only comprehends knowledge man can learn through the five senses. That's the knowledge and data he puts into his computers. He may learn there are certain emotional-physical relationships in human affairs. But he doesn't comprehend that there are spiritual laws governing them that, when broken, produce such tragic problems.

No computer program with materialistic data or natural humanly discoverable knowledge will cause man to understand that he is breaking these spiritual laws!


Cut Off from Spiritual Knowledge

But wouldn't a loving God make known to man the critically essential knowledge of his spiritual laws so necessary to solve human problems?

The answer is, he did — and still does! God revealed to the first human couple, Adam and Eve, the way to perfect peace, prosperity and happiness. God revealed to them the way to every good blessing humans could want in life, including eternal life.

But the first human couple rejected knowledge from their Creator. They listened to Satan (Gen. 3). By their act of disobedience they chose to rebel against God's revealed spiritual knowledge and in its place they decided to determine for themselves what they thought was right and wrong.

Later, God chose a special nation — ancient Israel — and revealed to them the way man ought to live, and the consequences for failing to live that way. Through specially chosen human instruments in ancient Israel, God inspired the Bible to be written so man could know, if he wanted to, the right way to live. But most of mankind has rejected that revealed knowledge. Mankind as a consequence still doesn't understand the spiritual cause of his problems.

Computers Comprehend the Spiritual?

How then can man understand the spiritual laws and get in harmony with them? How does a person comprehend his proper relationship to his Creator, or to his neighbor, mate or children?

It is by revealed spiritual knowledge!

Spiritual understanding comes from God's Spirit when one, in a humble, obedient frame of mind, reads God's holy written word — the Bible.

The love that fulfills God's law, explains your Bible, is spiritual love, spiritual faith, spiritual strength. It is the "love of God . . . shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy [Spirit]" (Rom. 5:5).

This spiritual love and power is what man needs to solve his spiritual problems. Data from a computer alone won't reveal it, because man does not know how to formulate a computer program that reveals spiritual knowledge and truths.

Neither can a computer impart to you the strength to apply spiritual laws. That comes only directly from God's Holy Spirit into human minds that repent of sins, that beseech God for help and power to walk in his spiritual laws.

Is it any wonder that human technologists armed only with human reasoning and physical data cannot eliminate crime, mental illness, marital discord, strife, war and lust? Spiritual attitudes such as love, joy, peace, patience, gentleness, goodness, faith and self-control are not available through computer science (Gal. 5:22-23).


Knowledge/Ignorance Explosion

Thousands of years ago the Bible foretold today's amazing developments in human knowledge — and ignorance.

More than 2,500 years ago the prophet Daniel was told by a messenger from God to write that at "the time of the end, many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased" (Dan. 12:4). But God also said "none of the wicked [those who disobey God] shall understand; but the wise [the obedient to God's laws] shall understand" (verse 10).

You're living in the precise time when the Bible prophesied the world would be flooded with physical knowledge, but most still wouldn't understand the why of human problems. Wouldn't understand what? They wouldn't understand essential spiritual knowledge that explains the why of today's evils. They wouldn't understand the real cause of their problems — broken spiritual law! They wouldn't understand the way to peace among nations and individuals. They wouldn't know how to treat fellow man, or mates or children. They wouldn't know right spiritual values!

What has this to do with the computer or microelectronics revolution? Simply this: computers are no better than the uses, the ideas, the concepts and values programmed into them.

Knowledge being programmed into computers today is man's material knowledge. Some of this knowledge may be put to right uses. But so much of man's knowledge, however accurate, is put to wrong uses. No wonder the most sophisticated computers are not the answer to man's greatest problem. What is needed is God's revealed spiritual knowledge and his divine government to bring peace and to put man on the right track.