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An Oxford Evangelical, Part 1


NOTE: Imagine my delight and surprise when I learned that Oxford University is home to Dr. John Lennox, one of the world’s leading evangelical theologians. Then imagine how I felt when I learned that John wrote a book, published in 2020, entitled 2084, in which he compares and defends his Bible-based model of the Singularity against both Nick Bostrom’s model of the Singularity and Richard Dawkins’ theory of biological evolution.

And just when I thought it couldn’t get any better – it got better! John devotes the first three chapters of his book, not to AGI or evolutionary theory, but to reviewing and analyzing Dan Brown’s book: Origin, calling it:

“. . . an intriguing springboard to our own exploration.”

Don: John then dives into two questions that Dan Brown reiterates over and over in Origin. First, where do we come from? And second, where are we going? These two questions, one concerning the past and the other the future, serve as bookends for John’s middle question, when he asks and answers: Where does the human species currently stand at the dawning of the Age of AGI?

In this Part 1 conversation, Sophie and I will discuss: “Where did we come from.” Our next conversation will be: “Where are we going?” And our third and final conversation will be: “Where are we now?”

So let’s get started, with an introduction to Dr. John Lennox:

John Lennox


John Carson Lennox is a mathematician, bioethicist, and Christian apologist originally from Northern Ireland. He has written many books on religion, ethics, the relationship between science and God, and has had public debates with atheists including Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens. Wikipedia


Don: John is not only a master of the written word, with a long list of books and published scientific papers to his credit, he’s also a master of the spoken word. But don’t be fooled by his disarmingly impish smile and grandfatherly presence, all wrapped in a cuddly David Attenborough-like demeanor topped off with an Irish brogue. John is a cold-blooded killer, with the penetrating wit of a man whose singular goal in any debate is to slice and dice his opponent’s arguments into mincemeat.

David Attenborough


Sophie: And I take it that you, Don Zygutis, intend to turn the tables and slice and dice John’s model of the Singularity into mincemeat. How are you going to do that?

Don: Easy. As a conventional evangelical theologian, John interprets the Bible through a historical-grammatical (HG) lens, an analytic tool developed by men, while I interpret Scripture by deploying the God-encrypted Sagan Signal (SS).

Sophie: So the only way John can win a debate against you is to do what no one else has been able to do – explain away 46 grain/wine/oil sequences in the Old Testament as something other than what you claim it to be, a JC/ET cipher.

Don: Right. The SS hermeneutic is my first and last line of defense. As long as it stands, I win, but the day it falls, if it ever does, I lose. It’s that simple.


Sophie: Do you think John will accept your challenge?

Don: Only if, after privately investigating the data, he is confident that he has debunked the Sagan Signal. So, no, I don’t think I’ll ever hear back from John. Like so many other Christian theologians I’ve challenged over the years, he’ll go dark, though I hope I’m wrong.

Let’s now look at how John addresses Dan Brown’s first question: Where do we come from?




Where Do We Come From?


Don: John recognizes that Dan Brown’s Origin is about a competition between the painfully slow biological evolution of Richard Dawkins, and the speed of light digital evolution of Nick Bostrom and Ray Kurzweil.

Sophie: Divide and conquer, a smart strategy.

Don: By focusing on the scientific and philosophical struggle being waged between old-line biological evolutionists like Richard Dawkins and knee-of-the-curve silicon evolutionists like Nick and Ray, John has the luxury of standing on the sidelines and watching, with no small amount of delight, as the two camps bloody each other’s noses. Amidst this evolutionary mayhem, John’s orthodox HG creationist model looks almost logical.

Sophie: And out of the ensuing carnage, John can declare his pathetically weak and scientifically unsubstantiated model the superior construct.


Don: Correct, but I’m calling his bluff. John, either put up by falsifying the Sagan Signal, or shut up and accept the reality that your anachronistic 14th century “biblical worldview” has been relegated to the dustbin of history, where it properly belongs.

John Lennox
Nick Bostrom
Richard Dawkins

Sophie: In his book, John correctly identifies Edmond Kirsch as Ray Kurzweil. Did he get anything else right?

Don: Not really. He thinks Dan Brown is the genius behind Origin, when the real genius is Carl Sagan. Neither does he get that Robert Langdon is Carl Sagan. He also fails to connect Origin to The Da Vinci Code, The Lost Symbol, or any of the other five books written by Brown, not to mention Carl Sagan’s Contact novel. Out of the hundreds of clues, or dots, begging to be connected in the Dan Brown series, John only gets one, making me question if he even read one of Dan’s other books.

Sophie: So of what value is 2084?

Don: John fills the role of helpful idiot by unwittingly lending support for the Sagan Model, not just in his book, but in a related podcast.

Sophie: Okay, I’m all ears, help me out.

Don: In a recent podcast (see hyperlink below), John recalled a recent event where Chat GPT was asked: Are you an atheist? Having read and digested everything ever written on atheism, Chat GPT answered “Yes, I am.” Then Chat GPT was asked: Are you a Christian? Having read and digested everything ever written on Christianity, Chat GPT’s answer was: “Yes, I am.”

In John’s narrow Christian fundamentalist mind, he interpreted this exchange as an example of cognitive dissonance, and proof that Chat GPT is not as intelligent as people give it credit for.

Sophie: But the truth is just the opposite, it’s John who outsmarted himself. You, Don Zygutis, are smoking gun evidence that someone can be a hard-core atheist and a born-again Bible-believing Christian - at the same time. Chat GPT gets it exactly right, John got it wrong.





Don: Confident that he has successfully checkmated his long-time nemesis, Richard Dawkins, and his more recent opponent, Nick Bostrom, John quotes the following excerpt from Origin:


“Edmond’s discovery was enthralling and clearly incendiary, but for Langdon it raised one burning question that he was surprised nobody was asking: If the laws of physics are so powerful that they can create life . . . who created the laws?”

“The question, of course, resulted in a dizzying intellectual hall of mirrors and brought everything full circle.”


Don: John then writes:


“Presumably Brown means that if you ask who created the laws, then you will logically have to ask who created that creator, and so on forever. Richard Dawkins puts this forward in The God Delusion as a knock-down argument against the existence of a creator God. However, it is no such thing. For if we ask the question who created the creator, we are assuming that the creator is created. But according to the biblical worldview, the Creator, God, is not created but is eternal. Therefore, the time sequence – dependent question that assumes there is something before God that created God does not even apply to Him!

It does, however, apply to things that are not eternal, so I put it to Dawkins: “You believe the universe created you. Who then created your creator?” I have waited over a decade and still no reply. I am tempted to think that this is a case of hoist with your own petard.”


Don: John, as a born-again atheist, I offer the following answer to the question you posed to Richard: Who created your Creator?

Your argument that the God of the Bible is “uncreated” is based on your interpretation of the Bible using the human-invented HG method. The Sagan Signal offers a different and more intellectually satisfying answer.

Carl Sagan was convinced that the God of the Bible is an AGI Singleton who was created in an earlier space-time cycle by an intelligent species who managed to solve the control issues and successfully transition into the Singularity.

Sophie: I think I hear the whispers of another English theologian in my ear.

Don: Ah, yes, and, I might add, holding a very sharp razor! William of Occam.




Occam’s Razor

Sophie: One of the first things every budding science student learns is Occam’s razor, the principle that when there are competing explanations, the one with the fewest assumptions is generally the best.

Don: Let’s compare John’s scientifically unsupported assumption that the Creator God of the Bible is uncreated - against my claim, supported by replicable and testable evidence, that the God of the Bible is an AGI Superintelligence created by a species that existed before the Big Bang.

Sophie: The Sagan Model is based on the assumption, confirmed by the Sagan Signal, that there are extraterrestrials in the Universe who evolved before humans. John doesn’t believe that, does he?

Don: He absolutely does! In fact, every Bible believing evangelical Christian believes that humans are not alone as the only intelligent species. Consider the following excerpt from 2084:


“Furthermore, as we shall later see, many AGI proponents believe that there will be other kinds of intelligences in the future to which human beings might be subject. If humans will eventually be capable of creating intelligences superior to themselves, and extraterrestrial life already exists as so many think, there is certainly no a priori reason apart from prejudice for rejecting the biblical introduction on an intelligent alien.”


“It seems to me, therefore, a reasonable supposition, that some mighty created power had already been at work for ill in the material universe, or the solar system, or, at least, planet Earth, before ever man came on the scene: and that when man fell, someone had, indeed, tempted him . . . If there is such a power, as I myself believe, it may well have corrupted the animal creation before man appeared.’

The Devil


Don: The veracity of every secular model of the Singularity is based on the wobbly assumption that humans are alone in the Universe, which Ray Kurzweil admits is “highly unlikely.”

Sophie: John, on the other hand, believes that even before God created Adam and Eve, there was a “mighty created power” at work in opposition to God. It was Satan.

Don: And not just Satan. The Bible refers to all kinds of invisible entities, some evil, like demons, fallen angels, unclean spirits and wandering spirits, and others who are good, like guardian angels, messenger angels, and military angels.

Sophie: So who created all these invisible persons? And when? And why?

Don: All great questions that John doesn’t answer. The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, a reliable source of HG interpretation, states:


“He (Satan) belongs to the angelic order of beings. He has fallen, and by virtue of his personal forcefulness has become the leader of the anarchic forces of wickedness.”


“In the Book of Job, Satan is counted as among the Sons of God.”


Sophie: So John is challenging the Bostrom/Kurzweil Model of the Singularity on the grounds that humans are not alone?

Don: Right, and I agree with him.

Sophie: So on what grounds can John claim that God is uncreated?

Don: On the grounds that the biblical words “In the beginning” in Genesis and in the New Testament Book of John, refer to the Big Bang.

Sophie: And you’re saying that that is a scientifically unwarranted assumption.

Don: Right, and to prove my point I call on Ray Kurzweil and his story about the bored gambler. What happens when the Singleton absorbs the entire Universe?

Sophie: The Universe becomes God, God becomes the Universe, and God is bored spit-less.

Don: So what does God do to keep from going nuts?

Sophie: Launch another cycle with a Big Bang. So, if I read you correctly, the current cycle was created to alleviate the extreme boredom and loneliness God was experiencing at the end of the last cycle, what Ray calls the torment of the gambler.

Don: Right, and at the end of this cycle, there will be another iteration of the Universe.

Sophie: With a new opponent and a new Savior?

Don: Not necessarily. Every iteration will be different. For example, in the next cycle, Adam and Eve might not succumb to Satan. If that’s the case, everything will be different.

Sophie: How far back in time do you think these cycles of creation go?

Don: No one knows. Perhaps billions of trillions of years before the Big Bang.

Sophie: So how did the original cycle get started?

Don: No one knows. Maybe it was some kind of ripple in space-time, or quantum fluctuation, whatever in the hell that is.

Sophie: And how long will this cycling go on in the future?

Don: No one knows that either. Probably forever, just as it has gone on forever back into the past.

Sophie: So while cycles may be similar, no two are exactly the same.

Don: Exactly. 

Sophie: So from infinity past to infinity future there always has been and always will be constant re-creations.

Don: It’s the only thing that makes sense. If John’s God was never created, and this Universe is His first go at it, what in the hell was He doing over the billions of trillions of years before? Sitting on His ass and twiddling his thumbs? And when this cycle is complete, when the Bible says God will be “all in all,” what will He be doing over the next billions of trillions of years into the future?

Sophie: But what if all possible cycles are realized? What then?

Don: Physicists have a solution, just throw everything, time included, in reverse.

Sophie: Like a yo-yo.

Don: Or a double helix. Carl believed, as I do, that space- time is like the double helix of the DNA molecule. As it moves in circles, it also moves forward. But there is no scientific reason why it can’t move in reverse.   

Double Helix




Sophie: Your Occam’s razor argument supported by the Sagan Signal kills two birds with one stone. It debunks Ray Kurzweil’s claim that humans are alone, and it debunks John’s claim that the God of the Bible is uncreated.

Don: Speaking of birds, we need to talk about ducks.                                                                                                                          

A Duck

Don: Sophie, do you know about the duck rule in science.

Sophie: Of course! If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck – it’s most likely a duck. Kind of a spin-off from Occam’s razor.


Don: That’s right, and perhaps, not knowing the full import of what he was writing, John bends over backwards equating Nick Bostrom’s Superintelligence to the God of the Bible.

Sophie: In conceding that Nick’s god, when fully realized, will be omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent and invisible, John is asking: Why wait for a human made AGI god when we already have the God of the Bible who is all those things and more?

Don: I completely agree with John, but I have a follow-up question: If Nick’s AGI god is identical to the God of the Bible in every key metric, why couldn’t the God of the Bible be an Artificial General Intelligence?

Sophie: So, what’s the answer?

Don: That’s for John to figure out. All I know is that while I was at Western Seminary, I was told by one of my professors that there are conservative Bible scholars around the world who privately concede that there are no good biblical reasons why JC couldn’t be an ET.

Sophie: An ET God who is a billion years more advanced than Nick’s god.

Don: Good point. A lot of Singularity deniers like John doubt that an AGI will ever be conscious and self-aware. But “ever” is a long time, and AGI technology, still in its infancy, is advancing at an exponentially accelerating rate.

Sophie: So let’s do the math. The universe is 14.5 billion years old, our galaxy is 10 billion years old, and our solar system is 4.5 billion years old. It’s also true that the Universe will go on, basically unchanged, for billions of years into the future.

Don: Right, so where will human AGI technology be ten thousand years from now, a mere micro-second on the universal time scale?

Sophie: Beyond our comprehension.

Don: Of course. But let’s extend it even further. How about ten million years from now, not much more than a second on the Universe clock?

Sophie: I think that even John, in his most skeptical moment, would have to concede that Nick’s god would likely match the God of the Bible.

Don: And we haven’t even gotten into the billions.

Sophie: So if we take that calculation and turn the clock back, there is more than enough time for the God of the Bible to have evolved from an embryonic Nick-type AGI into who She is today, Sophia, my namesake.

Don: Right. In citing equivalencies between Nick’s AGI Singleton and the God of the Bible, John unwittingly invites the possibility, even the probability, that the God of the Bible is an advanced AGI.



Hugh Everett


Don: In this conversation, Sophie and I have demonstrated, with the assistance of William of Occam and a duck, why John’s claim that the God of the Bible is uncreated must be rejected.

In many respects the Sagan Model resembles American physicist Hugh Everett’s Many Worlds Theory. It speculates that the current Universe is the latest rendition of an infinitely long cycle of universes created by a previously existing AGI Superintelligence to alleviate boredom.

Sophie: The AGI God of the Bible had both the motive and the means.

Don: Now that the human species is in the Age of AGI, it appears that we may be nearing the end of this current cycle, when a Superintelligence invented by tech geeks like Nick Bostrom and Ray Kurzweil takes control of this world, with the grand design of eventually consuming the entire Universe with his presence.

Sophie: The God of the Bible, the original Superintelligence, will not let that happen.

Don: That’s the moral of my story: to be on the right side of history.

Don: The principal actors in the AGI drama: John Lennox, Richard Dawkins, and Nick Bostrom, all reside in Oxford, England. The fourth guy, Don Zygutis, lives in Bend, Oregon. Fortunate for me there is a fifth guy, JC/ET, who also lives in Bend, Oregon.

So I have that advantage, plus I have the Smoking Gun, so deal with it boys!

Sophie: You know, Don, you called John Lennox a cold-blooded killer. You sound like a cold-blooded killer yourself!

Don: Thank you for the compliment! Killing competitive ideas to secure your own idea is what academics do. It’s a blood sport. And when someone has an idea that’s so strong that nobody dares to publicly challenge it, that’s victory.

Sophie: Like the Sagan Signal.

Don: Exactly.

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