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Is Google God?

In today’s Independent (Tuesday 5th) the internet search giant Google cops some of flack for feeding young and careless minds with unsubstantiated facts. It seems as if teachers and university lectures are noting that much of what crops up in essays comes from the first few pages of hits on Google.

This would be fine, of course, if people understood that the internet isn’t exactly a source of verified accurate knowledge, and made suitable cross references and checks. But it appears not, and all sorts of nonsense and urban legends are surfacing in essays. It also appears that some haven’t the wit to change Americanised spellings into English ‘as we spell it this side of the pond’, thus giving the game away.

I have my own interest in Google. I have several websites and there are ways of knowing how people arrived at them. Many arrive via Google, so I get to see what they typed in to Google’s search box. Quite what some of them are looking for I’m not sure, as some of the following examples from searches that brought people my way demonstrate:

“people change frustrate wreck car disappoint wish”
“reasons actions dealing regular people caused everyday problems”

My personal favourite is “hairy loughridge” – what were they hoping to find?

A friend of mine has had the following:

“deceased birthday card” – is it the card or the person that is deceased?
“Where can I find poems of how a blood transfusion saved someone's life?” – do people write poems about this sort of thing?

Others seem to think that Google is some sort of god-like figure, like the Oracles of ancient Greece. Ask it any question and somewhere out there you will find an answer.

“Should I stay in my marriage or have an affair?”
“Where can I find self-esteem?”

Aside from the seriousness of the issues behind the questions I find it sad that people have to turn to a faceless machine to find an answer. Not only that, but when we do that we find the easiest answer, the one most people have taken (and shared on-line). And the easiest answer isn’t always the best. Of course it doesn’t need to be Google, we do the same with our horoscope, or with our friends – polling them to see what we should do, and often taking the answer from them which we want to hear.

Much better than Google is the heart-searching word of God. It tells it like it is, rather than telling us what we would like to hear. And the word of God is personal. Behind it lies a caring God who, unlike the faceless words on the computer screen, will be present with you in troubles and give you actual and real help through them.

As well as reading the Bible for yourself, you can listen on-line to sermons explaining and applying the word of God at - just click on “Sermons”