“I criticize by creation – not by finding fault.” – Marcus Tullius Cicero
Daily Nugget of Gold 1547
Scientists Meet with God
One day, a group of scientists had decided that they wanted to show off their creative abilities to Almighty God Himself, so they called to God and challenged Him. “We have finally been able to create anything in the lab that you can create, they said.” God thought about it for a minute and reached down and picked up a handful of dirt and the dirt then became a stunningly beautiful woman. The scientists were not intimidated, for they knew they had the ability to make anything, too.
One of them reached down and picked up a handful of dirt, but God intervened- “Uh, uh. Use your own dirt.”
That’s a funny joke which has this grain of truth in it that we all pretty much recognize as how limited we are when we say we’re going to “create something”, for while we do have the power to transform things, combine stuff, mold or shape objects, we really don’t hold a candle to someone who can actually “create things” from nothing.
From what we were saying about today’s technology in 3D printing, these printers can’t “play God”, they only make objects from a limited amount of types of material “ink” fed into them, and most of that “ink” is chemically identical to the formed object being “printed”. Yes, we are also able to use some raw materials to form a different material by using 3D printers to enhance certain chemical manufacturing processes, and certainly we’ll be doing more and more of that as we advance.
We left off with a teaser about “creating” things with a 3D printer, and obviously that would be a quantum-leap from where we are today. We called it a “paradigm shift” although we think that might be too weak a term. Right now, we could ‘print” something as complex as a pizza, although at this point it probably wouldn’t be as appetizing as we might like. We would still need flour, water, tomato sauce, and cheese to do it, and these materials could be adapted for “printing”… but that’s not what we mean by “creating”. You are probably getting our drift…
Since the stuff that makes up atoms doesn’t seem to differ from one atom to another, but rather the differences seem to be in the atomic quantity and weight of the nucleus and the number of electrons orbiting it, it seems feasible one day that we might “create” things from some sort of plain “atomic substance” of some sort. Imagine, if you will either making chocolate or gold bars from the same atomic material! Even then, we wouldn’t be passing the “use your own dirt” test of God, would we? Actually, we might be closer to that than you might have thought. Next time.
Question of the Day to Ask Ourselves
“Where is technology taking us?”
Copyright 2016 Kevin Littleton, all rights reserved.