I finally read Isaac Asimov’s The Last Question. Fascinating story, one that bears re-reading. I found it to be very enjoyable. To those who might be offended by it, they are forgetting it is science fiction. I personally believe God is eternal and unchanging, but, obviously, to the humanist Asimov, “god” comes about through enough evolution on the part of civilizations.
Or maybe I’m completely misinterpreting the story.
It does make you wonder something: is this story really intended to be in the distant future or is it describing events from the distant past? When God says “Let there be light” in Genesis, perhaps in Asimov’s mind the “god” of this short story was the result of perfection from the cumulative knowledge of countless other civilizations eons ago. Or, maybe it is a declaration that will be made trillions of years from now.
I have often thought that atheism, in its purest form, actually does not disbelieve in the existence of a higher power; rather, the belief is that mankind through enough sufficient eons of evolution can become godlike.
If you believe in billions upon billions of years of evolution (I do not), it is sobering to think that billions upon billions of years from now in another civilization in a distant galaxy, it will be as though we on earth never existed.
Richard Zowie is a Michigan-based writer who enjoys reading science fiction (even though he believes in creationism but also likes to keep an open mind). Post comments here or e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.