Evolve or die—that is humanity's dilemma as Battlestar Galactica enters its final season. It's a familiar concept to those who devoured Eckhart Tolle's Oprah-baptized The New Earth, a compelling, winsome song of freedom that appeals to our inner survivor. If we marshal our resources, we can leave all our cares behind. We may even transcend death itself. But Galactica dares to suggest that freedom isn't what we might think it is.

Last season, a small remnant of humans followed President Laura Roslin (Mary McDonnell) to Earth; they were promised a solid home after years of fleeing the relentless Cylons through space. Instead, they landed on a radioactive wasteland, their hope shattered by the caprice of the gods who led them there.

Despite tenacity, resilience, and spirit, mankind has failed. Humans are just too weak, too vulnerable, and too mortal to endure. By contrast, the Cylons have superhuman strength, a boundless army, and, most importantly, the power to resurrect. Upon death, a Cylon's consciousness simply downloads into one of the many bodies housed in the resurrection ship.

The Cylons achieved their power by evolving from robot slaves into sentient beings. Now, in this season, it seems that the humans' only chance for survival is to mimic their enemies and evolve out of their frail humanity. If possible, they will become Cylons themselves.

But a small faction of Cylons has chosen a different path, siding with the humans against their own kind. They destroyed their own resurrection ship, rendering themselves powerless to download into new bodies. Their Cylon cohorts can't fathom such a senseless de-evolution—nor can the humans.

"To live meaningful lives, we must die and not return," explains Cylon Natalie (Tricia ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

June
Subscribe to CT and get one year free.
From Issue:
Read These Next
Also in this Issue
Quotation Marks Subscriber Access Only
CIA lied, Bob Jones apologizes, eHarmony surrenders, and other quotes from the news.
RecommendedPersecution in the Early Church: Did You Know?
Persecution in the Early Church: Did You Know?
Beginning as a despised, illicit religious sect, Christianity endured 300 years of hostility to emerge as the dominant force in the Roman Empire.
TrendingThe Theology Beneath the Trump-Comey Conflict
The Theology Beneath the Trump-Comey Conflict
How the former FBI director’s interest in Reinhold Niebuhr shaped his approach to political power.
Editor's PickSasse: Adolescence Is a Gift, but Extended Adolescence Is a Trap
Ben Sasse: Adolescence Is a Gift, but Extended Adolescence Is a Trap
The Nebraska senator wants parents to get serious about shepherding kids into responsible adulthood.
Christianity Today
Evolve or Die
hide thisJanuary January

In the Magazine

January 2009

To continue reading, subscribe now for full print and digital access.