SO I FINISHED CHARLIE STROSS’S SATURN’S CHILDREN the other day, and I enjoyed it thoroughly. Here’s a snippet of debate over evolution, from among the robots who remain after their human Creators are extinct:
“There’s no such thing as random mutation,” says Sinbad-15, launching itself into the debate at short notice. “Change a random instruction in a program, and what happens? It stops working. Complexity is irreducible. Yes, complex systems — like people — can design other complex systems, including ones that exceed their own metrics, but you’d have us believe that simple systems can generate complex ones if you simply break them often enough at random? Stuff and nonsense! Superstitious! Next you’ll be telling us that there were no Creators–”
“On the contrary! It is from the Creators themselves that the holy scriptures of evolution come to us, from the great prophet Darwin, peace be unto him, and his saintly disciples Dawkins and Gould. We have their holy scriptures to guide us, and they are most explicit on these points–”
“But we’ve got the engineering models! And the design schematics!” Sinbad-15 is clearly annoyed by Twin #1’s irrational and superstitious insistence that people evolved by accident. “We’ve even got the purchase orders! With this upgraded arm, I refute you!”
There’s also a cameo appearance by the Scalzi Museum of Natural History.