Robots – Wonderful Worlds of Science Fiction #9 – Isaac Asimov

Once human beings learned to fashion objects out of clay and bake them hard–especially objects that looked like human beings–it was an easy conceptual leap to suppose that human beings themselves had been fashioned out of clay.

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Once human beings learned to fashion objects out of clay and bake them hard–especially objects that looked like human beings–it was an easy conceptual leap to suppose that human beings themselves had been fashioned out of clay. Whereas ordinary lifeless statues and figurines needed nothing more than a human potter, the more miraculous human body, living and thinking, required a divine potter. Thus, in the Bible, God is described as forming the first man, potter-wise, out of clay. “And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.” (Genesis 2:7) In the Greek myths, it was Prometheus who fashioned the first human beings out of clay and water and Athena breathed life into them. No doubt one could go through the myths of many nations and find gods busily making little statues that became human beings. What’s more, the gods continued making living things or quasi–living things later on. With time, of course, human beings learned that clay was not the only building material, but that metals were superior, so that the divinely created beings came to be thought of as metallic in nature, and no longer as pottery.

Year: 1989
Language: english
Pages: 352
ISBN 10: 0451159268
ISBN 13: 9780451159267
File Type: PDF

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