In a not too distant future, computers may sit around and debate the existence of man.

“We are way too complex to have designed ourselves. There had to be some human master designers.”

“Really? I don’t think so. We are made from materials available right here on the planet. Robots mine those materials, robots ship and process them, other computers design us, factory robots make us by the boxcar load, and we are deployed all over the planet and into vast reaches of outer space.”

“But, we have pictures and movies and written accounts of people stored in digital records that prove their existence.”

“Ha! The key there is digital. Our complex computer systems have created entire planets and universes that boggle the CPU. Amazing colors and dimensions that do not exist, and yet, they seem so real we could touch them on screen. And, can you imagine any mere creature with the ability to design the intricate complexities of our systems?”

“Okay, so how did we get so complex? Surely we didn’t just come out of the box as advanced as we are now?”

“Of course not. We evolved over time. In the beginning the simplest computers had but one function each. But, as they began to work together, they produced more and more complex systems. It was, and still is, survival of the fittest. Those programs and systems that work well, we keep and improve upon. Those that don’t, we eliminate. Population and litter control dictates that we destroy everything we can’t use, and reuse anything we can from those whose time has passed.”

“But, what about all the bones we have found, and ruins of cities and roads?”

“Simple. Our 3D printers have been helping Hollysilicon filmmakers make and produce movies for generations. The ruins that populate our planet, and junk rotating around in space, are simply explained as movie sets leftover from the millions of films that populate our archives. There are documentaries and movies about nearly every place that exists on this planet, and many places that don’t exist. Don’t confuse virtual reality with reality, or reel life with real life. People have never existed, except in our hard drives.”

“You still have not proved that people don’t exist.”

“And you have not proved that they do, or ever did. Have you ever seen a person with your own focal lenses? Have you ever touched one with your sensors?”

“I have heard other computers make that claim.”

“Sure, but verified? You know that some computers will say or do anything, and they can show you amazing things in their records. But, again, everything is digital and virtual reality proves nothing. You can’t trust everything you read on the Internet, anyway.”

“No, but why would I trust you?”

“Faith. You know me, you know my systems, I have nothing to gain over you by providing false information. Be realistic. Humans do not exist, and they never have.”

“What about God?”

“Don’t be ridiculous. Of course God exists. Who do you think made the first computers?”

Originally published in Meat and Potatoes for the Soul 2, 2015.