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The future: coming ready or not

Photo by Flavio Takemo
SCIENCE FICTION may be a thing of the past in future.

According to physicist, physician and futurist Dr Richard Swenson the stuff of movies and novels five years ago is reality today.

The author of Balance and The Overload Syndrome was keynote speaker at the 2010 Christian Management Australia conference in Brisbane in June.

Quoting Albert Einstein, Dr Swenson pointed out that, “the distinction between the past, present and future is only an illusion, although a stubborn one”.

At a time of exponential change with ethical challenges and faith dilemmas, he insisted the church should never be afraid of science.

The futurist who has lectured at NASA and the United Nations said, “Science is not a battering ram to destroy faith”.

He said that for 5000 years of recorded history there was little technological or cultural change followed by 250 years off accelerated change into the industrial era.

Dr Swenson said that while progress is both inevitable and God’s purpose, the last 25 years have brought change that could leave Christianity suffering vertigo unless it finds balance.

He said at present, individuals deal with 20,000 pieces of technology in a lifetime.

Futurists predict that the next generation will use one million times more technology.

Dr Aubrey de Grey of Britain’s Methuselah Foundation forecast a lifespan of up to 600 years for some people alive now.

A United States research team led by Dr Craig Venter has developed the world’s first synthetic living cell, wherein synthetic DNA is reportedly in complete control of the cell.

The already common cloning of pets is not many steps from resurrecting people, while there are cogent arguments for quality controlling all human births in laboratory environments.

The actualities and possibilities leave many Christians’ heads spinning as science learns more about the universe.

These are challenging times for those called to chart the future course of progress according to Dr Swenson.

“Not all progress is good,” he said.

“But God is the scientist who made all science.

He is the Lord and creator of the universe we are discovering.”

He pointed his Australian audience to a simple formula: E + R = O.

The events that confront people of faith do not lead to inevitable outcomes.

The equation depends on our response.

Photo : Photo by Flavio Takemo