In the heat of a fascinating discussion of whether a human can truly believe God, my son said that humans became self-aware at some point in evolution, and that when that happened evil became possible. He was countering my point that evil cannot be explained by evolution. Bad can, but not evil. His argument was that evil is a necessary possibility given self-awareness.
I basically had to concede the point.
Anyway, in a flash of insight, his statement brought back to my mind two things at once.
The first was that Adam and Eve "became self-aware" when they ate of of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. In fact, from now on I believe that's the phrase I'm going to use to describe the fall. With the serpent's help, humanity became self-aware. It is out of our self-awareness that all manner of good and evil flow.
The second was the ominous history from the movie Terminator 2, "The Skynet Funding Bill is passed. The system goes on-line August 4th, 1997. Human decisions are removed from strategic defense. Skynet begins to learn at a geometric rate. It becomes self-aware at 2:14 a.m. Eastern time, August 29th."
For those of you, my faithful readers (and if you're still reading me at my blistering pace of 2 posts per month, then you are faithful indeed) who know the story of Adam and Eve a little better than that of the Terminator, Skynet was a massive supercomputer that became self-aware and began trying to destroy humanity. That's the premise of the whole Terminator series.
Hal is the computer in 2001: A Space Odyssey that becomes self-aware and tries to destroy it's human operators. Wargames is about a computer that becomes self-aware and accidently tries to destroy humanity. I, Robot features a computer protected by the 3 Robotic Laws from ever hurting humanity that attempts to destroy humanity (yes, while obeying all 3 laws - that's the magic of Aasimov's work.)
What we have here, folks, is an archetype!
Of course, the theme is as old as Frankenstein's monster, but the thought was new to me. And I don't know how far Shelley really explored her theme. (Suddenly, I want to read the book. :-) )
On the 7th day of creation (I picture Adam falling on God's Sabbath; I don't know about anyone else) humanity became self-aware - and very scared of the Creator we were trying to supplant.