The science fiction television series Raised by Wolves (HBO Max) draws on this ancient story, while moving the myth into uncanny, alien territory. This time the “Mother of all the Living” (Gen. 3:20) isn’t an innocent woman in communion with God at humanity’s beginning: she is an android programmed with a naive atheism, living at a time when humanity has almost reached its end. Created by Aaron Guzikowski (and partially directed by Ridley Scott), Raised by Wolves (RBW) nests these iconic elements in a high-tech future where artificially intelligent androids are approaching the borderlands of personhood and moral agency. In this world, the tools we’ve fashioned (artificial intelligence — AI) are placed in the position of fashioning us: robots aren’t just appliances, they are parents — male and female persons in a human drama. The fact that they’re responsible for children opens up the potential for something to emerge beyond their programming: the realm of desire, purpose, self-reflection, happiness, and love — with its shadow-side of grief, failure, sin, and regret. This raises a question: if an android could transcend its code, what would it want? Could its naive desires and biases be exploited? What temptations would a self-aware AI face? What happens when the maternal impulse is wedded to a machine?
This Postmodern Realities episode is a in-depth conversation with Journal author Alisa Ruddell about the themes of the series and her online-exclusive, “Raised by Wolves: The Temptation and Trauma of an Android Eve”.***Editor’s Note: This article contains spoilers for Seasons One and Two of Raised by Wolves.***
This conversation includes a discussion of evolution as it relates to the Raised by Wolves series. CRI does not affirm theistic evolution or the evolutionary concept of common descent (macro-evolution) and refutes it. Please see the following resources: “Did God use evolution as His method of creation?”, What about “theistic evolution”? , Stephen Meyer, et al., Theistic Evolution: A Scientific, Philosophical, Theological Critique. “The New Theistic Evolutionists: BioLogos and the Rush to Embrace the Consensus” , and The Campaign to Embarrass Christians into Accepting Darwinism“.
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