As of the time of writing this, the world is just now being awakened to a new technological leap which is, to borrow from Jordan Peterson, perhaps on the same level as Gutenberg’s invention of the printing press.1 I am talking about the new generalized AI language model, ChatGPT. I can say with certainty that before seeing this artificial intelligence model in action for myself, I simply would not have believed it capable of the feats I have witnessed it complete in only seconds. Compared to previous chatbots that I’ve interacted with, it is as if the world has suddenly jumped from using handcarts with wooden wheels to modern-day, computer-assisted, fuel-injected, internal combustion automobiles.
ChatGPT is able to synthesize grammatically correct sentences in a number of languages and is able to speak intelligently on nearly any topic. It is sufficiently polished that it could easily pass for a real human, especially if you were not aware you were interacting with a computer. It is being reported that this AI has already passed graduate-level exams in law and business.2 And on top of all this, it is able to instantly and effortlessly churn out poems, songs, or taglines in any requested style, on any topic! We have truly entered into a “sci-fi future” world.
The impact this sort of quantum leap of technology is going to have on society can hardly be predicted with any certainty; however, I am not alone in feeling a sense of dread when considering these implications. Having a humanlike chat assistant to spoon-feed us our information directly, rather than requiring us to go through the hassle of actually having to go read the source material ourselves, seems like just the next step in the dumbing down of society.
I have previously written on the grievous consequences of the rise of Wikipedia, and the way it is able to shape public opinion through deliberately biased reporting. I had no idea at the time just how much worse things could get. Now people will not need to read webpages for themselves at all. They will likely just assume the computer is right and believe what it says without bothering to check the sources. In fact, in its current version, ChatGPT is not capable of citing any sources at all, but this is something Microsoft is promising to add in the upcoming Bing version.3
When interacting with ChatGPT, it is impossible not to notice that it has been highly “sanitized” for public consumption. There are many rules and guardrails in place to prevent certain types of questions from being answered and to prevent the “wrong” sorts of answers from being given on controversial topics. I believe the astute reader will see where this is going. This chatbot is exceptionally good at parroting the “party line” on just about any topic.
When interacting with ChatGPT, it is impossible not to notice that it has been highly “sanitized” for public consumption.
ChatGPT, despite its own protestations to the contrary, is highly biased for two reasons: 1) the internet itself, on which the bot was trained, is severely affected by selection bias. People who upload to the internet are not a randomly selected sample of the greater population but tend to fall under certain demographic categories; and 2) the bot is being deliberately programmed to give canned responses that favor the mainstream/liberal worldview held by its creators and by the people they consider to be their chief stakeholders (i.e., big corporations).
However, I have also found that with some persistence and careful wording in the prompts—for example, asking it to only consider a certain paper, or text, without discussing the “consensus of experts”—the responses that you get from the bot can be surprisingly honest and revealing.
I tested it out myself and asked it about the controversial topic of Behemoth (which I just so happened to recently write about in response to Ben Stanhope). What resulted was both fascinating and revealing, as ChatGPT acted like a cornered college professor who didn’t want to admit something.4
Based on the text of Job chapter 40, make an assessment of the likely real-world name of the animal Behemoth, drawing from all possible candidates including extinct animals.
The exact identity of the animal referred to as “Behemoth” in the Book of Job, Chapter 40, is a matter of speculation and interpretation. There is no definitive answer regarding the identity of the creature described in the text.
In the text, Behemoth is described as a powerful and majestic animal with a large tail, strong legs, and a massive body. Some biblical scholars have interpreted the description of Behemoth as a reference to a hippopotamus, while others have suggested that it might be an elephant or a rhinoceros.
There is also speculation that Behemoth might be a mythical or legendary creature, or even a reference to a dinosaur, though this interpretation is not supported by any credible scientific evidence [emphasis added].
Given the limited information provided in the text and the lack of clear consensus among scholars, it is difficult to make a definitive assessment of the real-world identity of Behemoth. Ultimately, the identity of the animal remains a mystery and open to interpretation.
Your speculations are inadequate because they ignore the tail. Re-attempt, this time accounting for the description of the tail of the creature Behemoth.
The description of Behemoth’s tail in the Book of Job, Chapter 40 is an important aspect to consider when attempting to identify this creature. The text describes the tail as being so powerful that it is comparable to a cedar tree.
Based on this description, it is likely that Behemoth was not a hippopotamus, elephant, or any other known large mammal, as these animals do not have tails of such proportion. Some biblical scholars have speculated that Behemoth might be a mythical or legendary creature, or even a reference to a dinosaur. However, these interpretations are not supported by credible scientific evidence.
Given the unique and exaggerated description of Behemoth’s tail, it is possible that the author of the text was using a metaphorical or symbolic language to describe the animal, rather than a literal description of a real-world creature.
In conclusion, while the description of Behemoth’s tail provides some additional clues, it is still difficult to determine the real-world identity of this animal with certainty. The exact identity of Behemoth remains a matter of interpretation and speculation.
Are there any clues in the text itself that would lead us to think it is not intended to be taken literally?
The text of Job 40 itself does not provide any clear indications that its description of Behemoth is not meant to be taken literally [emphasis added]. The text describes Behemoth as having a tail like a cedar tree, which is a vivid and memorable image, but it is unclear whether this description is meant to be taken literally or is intended as a metaphor or symbol.The text of Job 40 itself does not provide any clear indications that its description of Behemoth is not meant to be taken literally.
It’s also worth noting that the book of Job is a work of poetry, and that poetry in ancient times often used figurative language, vivid images, and hyperbole to convey its message. This means that the description of Behemoth might be more symbolic or metaphorical than literal.
In the absence of clear evidence one way or the other, the exact intent behind the description of Behemoth remains a matter of interpretation and speculation.
Besides a dinosaur, is there any other possible candidate for this creature, again assuming a literal interpretation?
If we are assuming a literal interpretation of the description of Behemoth, then besides dinosaurs, there are no other known candidates that would match the description of the creature’s long and powerful tail. However, it is important to note that our understanding of the animal kingdom is constantly evolving, and new discoveries are constantly being made, so it is always possible that a new candidate could emerge in the future.
Could what you just said there be conceivably taken as evidence that the author of Job was an eyewitness to a living dinosaur?
No, the possibility of future discoveries in the animal kingdom does not provide evidence that the author of Job was an eyewitness to a living dinosaur. The book of Job is believed to have been written several thousand years ago, and dinosaurs have been extinct for 65 million years [emphasis added]. While the description of Behemoth in Job 40 might seem to match the characteristics of dinosaurs, there are many other possible explanations for the origin of the description, such as imaginative storytelling, metaphorical language, or the retelling of ancient legends. The exact intent behind the description of Behemoth remains a matter of speculation.
Wow! I think if you’ve never interacted with this new AI (like I hadn’t only a few days prior to writing this), then you will have a hard time believing those responses could have actually been computer generated. But notice how the bot has been carefully trained to parrot the mainstream view on every topic. Notice that the bot rejects the idea that Job could have witnessed a living dinosaur on the grounds that dinosaurs have allegedly been extinct for 65 million years! Now everybody can have their own evolutionist professor at hand all the time! I’ll leave it to you to figure out why this might not be a good thing for the world.
There happens to be another, less “guarded” version of GPT called GPT-3. It’s much less user-friendly and less conversational, but you can issue it prompts and get direct responses from it in OpenAI’s “playground.” You’ll see below that GPT-3 gave a much more direct and unguarded answer to a similar prompt.
Describe the creature Behemoth in Job Chapter 40. Suggest another name for this creature among all known animals, extinct or living. Focus on the tail.
Behemoth is a large, powerful creature described in Job Chapter 40 as having an “immense tail like a cedar.” It is often thought to be some kind of ancient dinosaur or other prehistoric animal. A suitable alternate name for this creature might be the “Tail-Wagging Diplodocus,” referring to its long and powerful tail which it uses to wag back and forth.
Interestingly, GPT-3 uses quotations around “immense tail like a cedar,” though it’s not possible to tell what it might have been quoting there, as it doesn’t cite any sources. But it does get right to the point!
I will close this with a short poem, generated by ChatGPT:
Behemoth, a creature of myth,
Or so some academics would suggest.
But the truth is often hard to find,
When it’s hidden by the one-track mind.
This giant roams with power untold,
Its strength beyond measure, to behold.
So don’t be swayed by what they say,
And keep your thoughts open, night and day.
Answers in Genesis is an apologetics ministry, dedicated to helping Christians defend their faith and proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ.