Auto-Motive

Written by Anthony Douglas on 04 August 2018.

AutomatonYou may have seen the Scorsese film Hugo, or read the book that it was based upon, but the story is actually drawn from life. In 1928, a Philadelphia museum was given a fire-damaged automaton that the donors believed had originated in 18th century France.

A machinist employed by the museum carefully and painstakingly restored the machine, and when the work was done he placed a pen in its hand. The automaton then drew four different drawings and wrote out three poems. The last piece included a decorative note that identified the inventor as Swiss mechanician Henri Maillardet, who had built it in the 1700s. His ingenuity had enabled him to precisely store nearly 300,000 bits of data that were still there two centuries later.

That’s pretty incredible, really. We marvel at the achievement, and rightly so; Maillardet deserved the credit that he made sure we’d give him. Mind you, a child of ten could probably achieve the same feat, and without the grease and oil change. What’s more, they could even make up the poems and choose their own pictures to draw.

The God who made us so far exceeds our own ingenuity that it escapes our conception. Our humanity is not merely a pre-recorded set piece; we are self-powered, imaginative and amazing talented. And we reproduce ourselves.

This feat alone (and it’s far from alone) makes him worthy of praise. Our God is amazing!

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