Electricity. Or electrickery (is it Worzel Gummidge who use to call it that?)
In the west it is synomymous with life. It powers all our gadgets, and is the energy source we expect to use for everything in the future – including cars. The global energy crisis is really about not being sure what we will use to make electricity when the fossil fuels runs out.
But where has it come from? It wasn’t around really until the 1900s, at least in any commercial sense.
But actually, it is as old as the world. It is what our nervous system works on. Our bodies use electricity in the same sophisticated ways they always have done. One of today’s news items is the fascinating results of replacing a retina with a microcircuit, and wiring into the brain – and the brain able to start to make sense of the electrical pulses as light. Very basic sight. You may have heard of cochlear implants. They are quite old now, and involve wiring an external microphone to send electrical signals direct to the inner ear, and then the brain, allowing access to sound to people whose ears cannot receive it in the usual way.
Yes, there have been immense engineering feats along the way. And genius thinkers and doers like Michael Faraday who made so many brilliant breakthroughs to make the modern inventions possible.
There is new nothing new under the sun, says Mr Ecclesiastes, and he’s always got a point.
At the end of the day, we use electricity to keep in touch, to communicate, just like our organs and limbs do.
So, the answer to Tubeway Army’s question is, without doubt, “Yes, Friends are Electric.”
And the God bit? We are amazingly made creatures. Our inventions are a pale reflection of God’s original handiwork. And it is all meant to enable us to appreciate he who loves us, and know him.