Are We Becoming An Endangered Species? Technology and Ethics in the 21st Century

November 8, 2001 by Washington National Cathedral

Are We Becoming an Endangered Species? Technology and Ethics in the 21st Century will bring together a panel of leading experts on November 19 at Washington National Cathedral in Washington, D.C. to explore the ethics of technological advances, especially as they relate to genetic engineering, nanotechnology and robotics. The panelists are Bill Joy, author, and co-founder and chief scientist of Sun Microsystems, Ray Kurzweil, author, inventor and president of Kurzweil Technologies, Anne Foerst, visiting professor for Theology and Computer Science at St. Bonaventure University and Bill McKibben, author, environmentalist and visiting scholar at Middlebury College.

Briefing paper published prior to conference on November 19, 2001. Published on November 8, 2001. See Ray Kurzweil’s responses to questions posed in this article.

Briefing Paper


Technology and theology, science and ethics are often at odds. The struggle between an insatiable thirst for knowledge and an unwavering faith in God has existed since humans first tasted the forbidden fruit in Eden. From Galileo to Darwin, the tension between scientists and theists has persisted throughout history.

The debates over stem cell research, cloning and abortion are but a few examples of the recent conflicts between moral purpose and scientific progress. Far from being decided, the discourse over the meaning of life and the essence of humanity continues. And so, in the early dawn of the 21st century, we find ourselves weighing the benefits and detriments of technological advances.

Are We Becoming an Endangered Species? Technology and Ethics in the 21st Century will bring together a panel of leading experts to explore the ethics of technological advances, especially as they relate to genetic engineering, nanotechnology and robotics. The panelists, Bill Joy, author, and co-founder and chief scientist of Sun Microsystems, Ray Kurzweil, author, inventor and president of Kurzweil Technologies, Anne Foerst, visiting professor for Theology and Computer Science at St. Bonaventure University and Bill McKibben, author, environmentalist and visiting scholar at Middlebury College, will discuss the moral, religious and environmental impact of technology on society and nature.


Bill Joy

As the cofounder and chief scientist of Sun Microsystems, and one of the architects of the Internet, Bill Joy is an unlikely crusader against the trappings of technology. Nonetheless, Joy spurred a heated debate when he published an article suggesting, “Our most powerful 21st-century technologies — robotics, genetic engineering, and nanotech — are threatening to make humans an endangered species.”1 In this treatise, he describes a future worthy of science fiction where humans are rendered extinct by a far-superior robot species and the essence of nature is irrevocably altered, both victims of our unbridled technological and scientific advances.

As he describes an encounter with author and inventor Ray Kurzweil at an industry conference, Joy introduces us to the prospect of humans fusing with robots, conjuring images of the Borg — the part-human, part-machine warrior race that threatens the universe–from an episode of Star Trek or, perhaps, “bionic” humans — enhanced by nanotechnology and computer implants–as seen on the silver screen in The Terminator. The vision is at once seductive and frightening.

Joy asks us to imagine that the impossible is possible. The human mind can be downloaded into a machine. At last, humanity learns to cheat death, to achieve immortality. The life everlasting is here on earth, not in heaven. All as a result of advances in genetic engineering, nanotechnology and robotics — which Joy groups together as “GNR.”

Genetic engineering, which is any human manipulation of the genetic code in the attempt to effect biological improvement in a species of plant or animal, has produced rose bushes that resist disease and insects, which most gardeners welcome, as well as economically efficient genetically altered crops, which many consumers currently reject as “Frankenfoods.”

Likewise, nanotechnology, which is the art of manipulating materials on an atomic or molecular scale–especially to build microscopic devices (such as robots), holds the promise of enabling deaf people to hear. Thanks to nanotechnology, soon you will be able to swallow a camera instead of undergoing a colonoscopy.

Robotics–the technology dealing with the design, construction, and operation of robots in automation–promises to make the futuristic fantasy of “servant” robots, which will clean the house, cook dinner and watch the kids, a reality.

Certainly, GNR technologies will have a socioeconomic impact. However, the benefits of these technologies appear to justify continued advancement — or do they?

Joy theorizes that genetic engineering, nanotechnology and robotics (GNR) are so powerful that they surely will result in accidents and abuses that threaten both humanity and the very essence of life. “Most dangerously, for the first time, these accidents are widely within the reach of individuals or small groups. They will not require large facilities or rare raw materials. Knowledge alone will enable the use of them.

“Thus we have the possibility not just of weapons of mass destruction but of knowledge-enabled mass destruction (KMD), this destructiveness hugely amplified by the power of self-replication.”2 In other words, the intelligent machines will run amok, proving to be uncontrollable, or, as Joy states, “A bomb is blown up only once — but one bot can become many, and quickly get out of control.”3 (A bot is a robot or nanobot. That is, a machine or engineered entity.)

If Joy’s prospect of self-replicating intelligent machines has not sufficiently scared you, then genetic engineering should finish the job. “Genetic engineering promises to revolutionize agriculture by increasing crop yields while reducing the use of pesticides; to create tens of thousands of novel species of bacteria, plants, viruses, and animals; to replace reproduction, or supplement it, with cloning; to create cures for many diseases, increasing our life span and our quality of life; and much, much more. We now know with certainty that these profound changes in the biological sciences are imminent and will challenge all our notions of what life is.

“Technologies such as human cloning have in particular raised our awareness of the profound ethical and moral issues we face. If, for example, we were to reengineer ourselves into several separate and unequal species using the power of genetic engineering, then we would threaten the notion of equality that is the very cornerstone of our democracy.”4

Bioterrorism looms large in Joy’s pessimistic view of unchecked technology. The same genetic technology that holds the promise of treating or even curing breast cancer, diabetes and Alzheimer’s may be used to create biological weapons. The recent anthrax attacks and the threat of future attacks using the smallpox virus are the primitive beginnings of Joy’s apocalyptic vision. Imagine an anthrax bacterium that self-replicates when exposed to air is secretly turned loose on a major city. The technologically enhanced anthrax would reproduce itself and infect an untold number of unsuspecting people before authorities realize they are under attack. Humans would not stand a chance against the super-bugs.

Joy warns, “Nanotechnology has clear military and terrorist uses, and you need not be suicidal to release a massively destructive nanotechnological device — such devices can be built to be selectively destructive, affecting, for example, only a certain geographical area or a group of people who are genetically distinct.”5

Plants do not fare any better than humans in the technologically advanced future. Joys sees a world where genetically altered plants throw the entire ecosystem out of balance. (Frankenfoods overrun the planet.) Inedible plants with technologically enhanced leaves would overtake real plants. The earth would collapse under the weight of technology. The world would cease to exist when the planet is finally destroyed by human inventions.

With reference to the experiences of the atomic scientists, Joy notes the need for today’s scientists and technologists to take personal responsibility for the course of the future. He invites us to slow down and evaluate the consequences of new technologies and scientific progress. Joy demands that we ask hard questions about the impact of progress on humanity. He even suggests that, ultimately, we may need to halt the wheels of progress and stop the quest for scientific advances so that humanity and life itself may simply continue to exist.

Ray Kurzweil

It is ironic that author and inventor Ray Kurzweil launched Bill Joy on his crusade against the dangers of GNR technologies. From reading machines for the blind to music synthesizers, Kurzweil’s inventions seem to exemplify the promise of intelligent machines to improve life and to serve humanity.

Kurzweil believes that the evolution of smart machines will run a natural course. “The emergence of machine intelligence that exceeds human intelligence in all of its broad diversity is inevitable.”6 Rather than fear it, Kurzweil embraces the new technologies and their promise.

According to Kurzweil, there is an adjustment period to new technologies. “People often go through three stages in examining the impact of future technology: awe and wonderment at its potential to overcome age-old problems, a sense of dread at a new set of grave dangers that accompany these new technologies, followed, finally and hopefully, by the realization that the only viable and responsible path is to set a careful course that can realize the promise while managing the peril.”7

Kurzweil and Joy apparently share a belief in the potential power of technology. Kurzweil even admits that Joy’s concerns over abuses of technology are sound and reasonable. The two men differ on the remedy. While Joy suggests that we may need to abandon some technological pursuits for humanity’s sake, Kurzweil argues that humanitarian concerns require the vigorous advancement of technologies.

“Human suffering continues and demands our steadfast attention. Should we tell the millions of people afflicted with cancer and other devastating conditions that we are canceling the development of all bioengineered treatments because there is a risk that these same technologies might one day be used for malevolent purposes? That should be a rhetorical question. Yet, there is a movement to do exactly that. Most people, I believe, would agree that such broad-based relinquishment of research and development is not the answer.”8

The two men also share a concern over the relationship between terrorism and technology. While Joy focuses on the potential abuses of technological advances by terrorists, Kurzweil fears that the curtailment of technological research and development will create black market technology enterprises.

“Abandonment of broad areas of technology will only push these technologies underground where development would continue unimpeded by ethics or regulation. In such a situation, less stable, less responsible practitioners–for example, terrorists–would have a monopoly on deadly expertise.”9 Furthermore, Kurzweil believes that it would be economic suicide to substantially slow or stop technological advancement.

Despite his enthusiasm for technological progress, Kurzweil supports what he calls “fine-grained relinquishments” like a moratorium on the development of physical entities that can self-replicate in a natural environment, a ban on self-replicating physical entities that contain their own codes for self-replication and a design called “Broadcast Architecture,” which would require entities to obtain self-replicating codes from a centralized secure server that would guard against undesirable replication.

Noting that “nanobots” can be stronger and smarter than protein-based entities, Kurzweil points to Broadcast Architecture as one way in which nanotechnology can be made safer than biotechnology. Kurzweil foresees the combination of the two technologies with nanotechnology providing the codes within biological entities (replacing DNA), and utilizing Broadcast Architecture.

In his view, the benefits of new technologies far outweigh the risks. Kurzweil seems to have a relentless optimism about the ability of technologists and scientists to address any ill effects. He uses the example of computer viruses to demonstrate this point. “Although destructive, self-replicating software entities [computer viruses] do cause damage from time to time, the injury is but a small fraction–much less than one-tenth of 1 percent–of the benefit we receive from the computers and communication links that harbor them.”10

At times, Kurzweil seems to be at odds with his own prophecy. While predicting that, by the year 2099, intelligent beings will no longer view life expectancy as a viable term, Kurzweil also questions what meaning life can have without death. “We make extraordinary efforts to delay [death,] and indeed often consider its intrusion a tragic event. Yet we would find it hard to live without it. Death gives meaning to our lives.”11

But Kurzweil quickly discards his doubts as he dreams of human immortality. “The human species, along with the computational technology it created, will be able to solve age-old problems of need, if not desire, and will be in a position to change the nature of mortality in a post-biological world.”12

It seems both Kurzweil and Joy agree that, left unfettered, technologists and scientists will transform this planet into a world we can barely imagine, one in which the very essence of life and humanity will be redefined.

Anne Foerst

As a theologian, Lutheran minister and visiting professor for Theology and Computer Science at St. Bonaventure University, Anne Foerst is trying to foster a dialog between theologians and scientists and technologists, especially artificial intelligence (AI) researchers. She seeks to reconcile supporters and opponents of AI because of her certainty that both camps have unique contributions to make to the process of technological advancement.

“Theology cannot give any answer about how the brain might work and which mechanistic correlations there are in ourselves. AI, on the other hand, cannot give any answer about meaning of life and cannot support humans in their intuitive understanding of themselves and within their struggles with their ambiguous and fearful life.

“The Courage to Doubt of theologians, therefore, can lead both, people from the AI-camp and people from the theological camp to create all together, a common perspective on reality in which both sides play their own, important part!”13

Foerst recently served as the theological advisor for two artificial intelligence projects at M.I.T. When asked by a reporter why a theologian belonged in an AI laboratory, Foerst gave two reasons. First of all, she noted that theologians study cultural and spiritual dimensions of human beings — information that should prove invaluable to those who construct humanoid machines.

Secondly, with the development of smart machines come ethical questions about how humans will treat such machines, and how those machines might one day treat humans. Foerst explains that, ultimately, humans will have to decide when and if the humanoid machines should be treated as intrinsically valuable.14

Foerst also has commented on the ethical issues surrounding human genetic engineering, especially as they relate to the human genome project. “The question of what makes an ideal human being arises–what would be the standards to measure a perfect human? That, of course, leads to the question of acceptance of a person… Will I be accepted only when I’m perfect, or can I be accepted if I have Trisomy 21 (Down syndrome) because my parents decided not to have a genetic test?

“These are the crucial questions of the whole genetic research. And, of course, as a consequence of that, who actually has the power to decide what it means to be ‘normal’?”15

Perhaps most importantly, Foerst invites us to examine the ultimate goals of technological advancement. She asks if we really want to eradicate every human defect. And she ponders whether, in the end, society will be richer.

“When we think about certain mental impairments such as depression or bipolarity, which seem to have a genetic component, do we actually want to get rid of them, even if people with these illnesses are often enormously creative? For instance Mozart has been diagnosed to be very likely bipolar.”16 Given that the thin line between genius and insanity has been long acknowledged, Foerst challenges us to assess the full impact of genetic engineering. When the genetic engineers decide what it means to be a perfect human, what will humanity have lost? And who will make those decisions?

As a theologian, Foerst also examines technological advances as they relate to God. She observes that humans, who were created in the image of God, have intrinsic values, regardless of our defects. And Foerst notes that, “[e]ven if we have decoded now, or mapped, 90 percent of the genome, it doesn’t tell us anything about the dignity of human beings.17

Finally, Foerst encourages the public to be ever vigilant as technologists and scientists continue their work. She warns that if we place science over conscience, we may risk our own humanity. “The danger I see in some of the overstated claims is that people will say, ‘Oh, humans are nothing but their genes,’ and that they give science universal power over who they are and say that religion has no place. But I think that only we all together can come to an understanding of what it means to be a person.”18

Bill McKibben

“In the blink of an eye, and with hardly a thought, our species has come to the verge of dominating everything that happens on the surface of the planet,”19 declared environmentalist and author Bill McKibben in his article “Humans Supplant God; Everything Changes.” From global warming to genetic manipulation, McKibben warns that humanity is on a collision course with nature — and this is the precise moment in time when humans can change the course.

McKibben compares this time in history to the Civil Rights movement of his parents’ time, the Second World War of their parents and the Civil War of their parents. In other words this moment in time when “humans supplant God; everything changes” is big news — but too few are talking about it. McKibben is critical of academics, bioethicists, the media and everyone who has failed to adequately take notice of stunning technological and scientific advances.

McKibben, who was among the first to warn of greenhouse gases and global warming in his book The End of Nature back in 1989, notes with great alarm that the oceans are rising as the glaciers melt, severe storms are increasing and animals are altering their migration patterns — “all caused by the habits and appetites of one species.”20 He also warns that the growth of genetic manipulation, “from a small corner of the scientific enterprise to the very clear center of economic life,”21 may threaten the very essence of life, as we know it.

In 1989, McKibben also commented about the potential dangers of genetic engineering, a technology then in its infancy. “In the intervening years, this technology has spread like wildfire, to the point where 40 percent of our nation’s fields grow genetically engineered crops, where animal after animal has been cloned; where everyone who thinks about it realizes it is only a matter of time, and likely a very short time, before we do likewise and more with human beings. As thresholds go, this is a large one-as different from conventional plant breeding, say, as global warming is from smog over Los Angeles.”22

Nanotechnology and robotics raise far-reaching concerns for McKibben. His dim view of unchecked technology includes a “post-human” world that McKibben imagines “might well be a world beyond religion, beyond delight, beyond morality or even communication beyond a set of coded rules and instructions.”23 McKibben predicts that life on an environmentally ravaged, technologically advanced earth in the not-so-distant-future may “be as spiritually and emotionally barren as that overheated world may be biologically barren.”24

Critical of what he labels “the frog-in-the-heating-pot” school of environmental philosophers and historians who chalk up human-induced changes in the environment as a natural byproduct of human progress, McKibben urges that it is time to take action. “My point is that we need to recognize the magnitude of the changes now under way. And if we are intellectually serious, morally serious, we need to engage in far more soul-searching than we’ve done so far about whether they make sense or not.”25

McKibben sounds a clarion call for the transformation of the environmental movement — in his view, the necessary next step in the effort to save the earth. He warns the environmentalism must shift from its traditional “concern with preventing degradation to nature” to a new focus on preventing gratuitous technological and scientific improvements that threaten life, as we know it. “Whether we will still call it environmentalism, and whether it will draw its strength from the same places, is open to question. But the animating spirit will need to be a love for the world we were born into, both the physical world and the web of relationships, human and otherwise, that still survive here.”26

McKibben suggests some common sense limits on technological and scientific advances. For instance, he proposes that we might limit genetic manipulation to certain human health problems, respect the integrity of other species and lessen our impact on the earth’s climate. But he does not stop there.

In what must amount to heresy in the tech world and scientific circles, McKibben exhorts “environmentalists must now grapple squarely with the idea of a world that has enough wealth and enough technological capability, and should not pursue more. Enough is a deeply subversive idea, but a deeply resonant one as well–it echoes the ideas to which we pay lip service weekly in a million churches and mosques and synagogues.”27

While McKibben marvels at how well the scientific process works, he points out that other disciplines have not kept pace. And he sounds a chill warning that our “domination may carry the seeds of our own diminution. The forces we unleash by raising the temperature — and quite possibly the forces we unleash with what is essentially reckless genetic tinkering — may be so strong that they may overwhelm us.”28

He also notes that our desire for unlimited life seems to be the ultimate goal fueling the drive for technological and scientific advances. McKibben characterizes technologists and scientists as intent upon cheating death. “[I]t is clear that these revolutionary technologies are being driven by people with immortality, or something very near it, on their minds.”29

“Hence, for those of us who believe the world to be a sweet place as presently constituted, this is a moment of enormous danger: we live on the brink of a great forgetting.”30

7:00 PM Welcome & Introduction Cathedral Representative to Moderator
7:05 PM Introduction to Program, Topic Moderator & Panelists
7:15 PM Panelist Interviews* Moderator & Panelists
8:00 PM Cross-Panel Dialog* Moderator & Panelists
8:35 PM Questions & Answers Audience, Panel & Moderator
9:00 PM Adjourn, Book Signing


It would be impossible to cover the ethics of technology in one panel discussion. So, we must limit the topics we cover. Hence, in keeping with the mission of Washington National Cathedral, we will focus our discussion on the following:

1) The dangers–moral, ethical and physical–of technological and scientific advances (specifically genetic engineering, nanotechnology and robotics) to humanity and the environment.

2) The prospective benefits and enhancements of technological and scientific progress.

3) The role of religion and theology in setting ethical and moral guidelines for technology and science.

4) The spiritual meaning behind these advances and the future they will create.

Suggested Questions:

To Bill Joy:

Does the threat of abuse mean that we should suspend all genetic engineering, including promising therapies for cancer and other human diseases? If not, how do we determine where to draw the line in technological advances?

What technological advance do you see as holding the greatest threat to humanity if abused by terrorists?

Isn’t it also possible that technological advances can somehow help to deter biological threats to humanity?

To Ray Kurzweil:

If the quest for new technological advances is inevitable, as you seem to suggest, how can we prevent the dystopian future predicted by Bill Joy?

Given humanity’s track record with chemical and biological weapons, are we not guaranteed that terrorists and/or malevolent governments will abuse GNR technologies? If so, how do we address this problem without an outright ban on the technologies?

Isn’t it true that both the technological and scientific fields lack broad participation by women, lower socioeconomic classes and sexual and ethnic minorities? If so, shouldn’t we be concerned about the missing voices? What impact does the narrowly defined demographic have on technology and science?

How do you view the intrinsic worth of a “post-biological” world?

To Anne Foerst:

As scientists and technologists tinker with the very building blocks of creation, are humans playing God?

When will humanoid machines become human, and how will we incorporate them into our society? Will they have rights under the law? Will they worship God?

How does a doctrine like creation theology accommodate or address the concerns raised by Bill Joy? Is this new technology part of God’s creation? If so, what does that say about our stewardship of this new form of creation? Given humankind’s history of abusing God’s creation, will these new technologies lead us to an apocalyptic future?

To Bill McKibben:

What are the signals that time is running out? Is it too late to undo the damage we have done to the earth? How can we prevent further damage?

What ethical guidelines should be imposed to protect against the further degradation of the planet?

Is a post-biological world one worth living in from a spiritual perspective?


Bill Joy is the chief scientist and cofounder of Sun Microsystems. As a graduate student at U.C. Berkeley, Joy was the principal designer of Berkeley UNIX, the version of UNIX that became the standard in education and research. For his work on Berkeley UNIX, Joy received the ACM Grace Murray Hopper Award from the Association for Computing Machinery, which is given for outstanding work in Computer Science done when the recipient is under the age of thirty. In 1997, President Clinton appointed Joy as co-chair of the Presidential Information Technology Advisory Committee.

A leader in the “open source” movement of computer programming, Joy’s most recent work is on the Jini distributed computing technology for networking computer devices using Java, and on the Sun Community Source Licensing (SCSL) model, designed to allow companies to share their intellectual property in source form, to facilitate cooperation with customers, partners, educators and researchers.

A member of the National Academy of Engineering and a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Joy has 11 issued patents, with 12 others in progress.

Ray Kurzweil was the principal developer of the first omni-font optical character recognition (OCR) device, the first print-to-speech reading machine for the blind, the first CCD flat-bed scanner, the first text-to-speech synthesizer, the first music synthesizer capable of recreating the grand piano and other orchestral instruments, and the first commercially marketed large vocabulary speech recognition device. Ray has successfully founded, developed, and sold four artificial intelligence (AI) businesses in OCR, music synthesis, speech recognition, and reading technology.

Ray Kurzweil has received numerous awards and honors, including the $500,000 Lemelson-MIT Prize, the world’s largest award in invention and innovation; the 1999 National Medal of Technology, the nation’s highest honor in technology, from President Clinton; the 1994 Dickson Prize (Carnegie Mellon University’s top science prize), Engineer of the Year from Design News, Inventor of the Year from M.I.T., and the Grace Murray Hopper Award from the Association for Computing Machinery.

Kurzweil’s book, The Age of Intelligent Machines, was named Best Computer Science Book of 1990. His current best-selling book, The Age of Spiritual Machines, When Computers Exceed Human Intelligence, has been published in 9 languages and achieved the #1 best selling book on in the categories of “Science” and “Artificial Intelligence.”

Anne Foerst is a visiting professor for Theology and Computer Science and will direct the new science and religion center at St. Bonaventure University. Foerst also is the former director of M.I.T.’s God and Computers project, and was a researcher in that university’s Artificial Intelligence Library. Foerst is an ordained Lutheran minister who helped to support her studies by repairing computers. She has a Ph. D. in Systematic Theology from Ruhr-University of Bochum and undergraduate degrees in philosophy and computer science.

Foerst won the prestigious Templeton Award for the course proposal for “God and Computers” — which Foerst teaches at M.I.T. Designed for engineers, the course was selected as one of the 100 best university course proposals on the study of religion and science worldwide. Foerst has spoken at science and religion conferences around the world. She also has conducted adult education workshops on issues, and to audiences, as diverse as “Meaningless Suffering” presented to kindergarten teachers, and “Religion and Sexuality” presented to conscientious objectors.

Foerst is known internationally as an expert on the relation between science and religion. As such, Foerst and her work have been featured on television and in newspapers, including CNN and The New York Times.

Bill McKibben, environmentalist, author and activist, spurred an international debate when he detailed the onset of the greenhouse effect in his 1989 bestseller, The End of Nature. Labeled an “environmental wacko” by Rush Limbaugh, McKibben’s theory initially was dismissed by many. Today, his theory–that humans are irrevocably changing the climate and all life on the planet–is now widely accepted science.

McKibben was a fellow at the Harvard Divinity School’s Center for the Study of Values in Public Life, where he investigated “what is means to be heirs to God’s increasingly damaged creation and how people of faith can respond to the global warming crisis.”31 McKibben believes that communities of faith must play a pivotal role in the debate around questions of human identity and human justice.32

A former staff writer for The New Yorker magazine, McKibben’s other books on the environment and ethical living include Hundred Dollar Holiday, Maybe One, The Age of Missing Information and Hope, Human and Wild.

Winner of the 2000 Lannan Prize for Nonfiction Writing, McKibben is a frequent contributor to a variety of publications, including The New York Review of Books, Atlantic Monthly, Rolling Stone and The New York Times. McKibben was honored with an award from the Ripton-based Spirit in Nature organization, and received a Bicentennial medal from Middlebury College in the fall of 2000. He currently is a visiting scholar at Middlebury College. While at Middlebury, he will work on a new book about the environmental implications of biotechnology.

McKibben lives with his wife and daughter in Middlebury, Vermont, and he is a Sunday school teacher at a Methodist church.

1 Joy, Bill, “Why the Future Doesn’t Need Us,” Wired magazine, April 2000.

2 Ibid.

3 Ibid.

4 Ibid.

5 Ibid.

6 Kurzweil, Ray, The Age of Spiritual Machines, Penguin Books, 1999, p. 253.

7 Kurzweil, Ray, “Promise And Peril,” Interactive Week, October 23, 2000.

8 Ibid.

9 Ibid.

10 Ibid.

11 Kurzweil, Ray, The Age of Spiritual Machines, Penguin Books, 1999, p. 2.

12 Ibid., p. 2.

13 Foerst, Anne, “The Courage to Doubt: How to Build Android Robots As a Theologian,” Talk, presented at Harvard Divinity School, November 27, 1995.

14 Dreifus, Claudia, “Do Androids Dream? M.I.T. Is Working on It,” The New York Times, November 7, 2000.

15 Foerst, Anne, “Anne Foerst: implications of sequencing the human genome,” CNN Health/News Chat,

16 Ibid.

17 Ibid.

18 Ibid.

19 McKibben, Bill, “Humans Supplant God; Everything Changes,” Harvard Design Magazine, Winter/Spring 2000, Number 10.

20 Ibid.

21 Ibid.

22 McKibben, Bill, “How Much Is enough? The Environmental Movement as a Pivot Point in Human History,” Harvard Seminar on Environmental Values, October 18, 2000.

23 Ibid.

24 Ibid.

25 McKibben, Bill, “Humans Supplant God; Everything Changes,” Harvard Design Magazine, Winter/Spring 2000, Number 10.

26 McKibben, Bill, “How Much Is enough? The Environmental Movement as a Pivot Point in Human History,” Harvard Seminar on Environmental Values, October 18, 2000.

27 Ibid.

28 McKibben, Bill, “Humans Supplant God; Everything Changes,” Harvard Design Magazine, Winter/Spring 2000, Number 10.

29 McKibben, Bill, “How Much Is enough? The Environmental Movement as a Pivot Point in Human History,” Harvard Seminar on Environmental Values, October 18, 2000.

30 Ibid.

31 Author Unknown, Center for the Study of Values in Public Life, 2000-2001 Fellows, Harvard Divinity School, published online (