Scientists recently genetically edited viable human
embryos to fix a genetic defect that can cause sudden cardiac death, according
to a front page Wall Street Journal article in early August of this year.
While welcome news for those suffering from genetic
disorders, the newest breakthrough from the gene manipulators should be cause
for deep reflection. But there has been
barely a ripple of notice.
The lack of intense public discussion about the
incredibly rapid advances in gene manipulation is baffling.
About 15 years ago, there was huge cultural and
political controversy over the nascent embryonic stem cell technology. The stakes then were not nearly as high as
they are now yet there is but a fraction of the amount of debate as there was
Since then scientists have made amazing advances, most
notably with “Crispr”, a gene altering technique that is accurate, clean and
extremely powerful. In addition, it is
so simple that almost anyone can use it.
Hobby kits sell for as little as a few hundred
dollars. For a few hundred bucks more
you can take a class on how to use it.
While most of us wouldn’t be able to create a Frankenstein,
knowledgeable researchers have already knocked out “bad” genes in plant species
and now replaced miscreant genes in humans with benign replacements.
According to Wesley J. Smith in his article “Brave New
World is Closer than You Think” (Winter 2017 issue of Human Life Review) a few years ago, scientists cloned humans for
the first time using a technology known as SCNT or, somatic cell nuclear
transfer. They cloned four human embryos
and maintained them up through the blastocyst stage – the very stage at which
they can be implanted and then gestated to birth!
Again, there was barely a whisper of public discussion
regarding the ethical implications, not only of the technology itself but of
creating and destroying of four human lives in the laboratory.
There will be almost unstoppable pressure to use these
(and other) technologies to alleviate suffering, cure genetically induced
diseases and alter plants, animals and even humans for the “better”.
But they can also be used to create human/animal
chimeras, “manufacture” body parts for human use from embryos gestated just for
that purpose, genetically engineer embryos to obtain “super-human” capabilities
and the outright creation of cloned human beings.
Even scarier is the goal of some, like the
transhumanists, who intend to use the new technology to re-engineer the human
genome. Their intention is the radical
redesigning of what it means to be human.
Those in the know are unashamed and very willing to
take control of the direction of future human development. They not only have intense belief in
evolution, they believe they can manipulate its direction and that they are
even called to do so.
These scientists are no longer content to be god-like;
they are certain they can become gods themselves, creating new and better
humans to replace the “faulty” ones God created.
Will they decide that the best future human is a
bio-computer contraption or maybe half-cyborg?
And what does God think of all this? Maybe Jasher 4:18-19 gives us a hint as it
explains why God sent the Noahic flood:
their judges and rulers went to the daughters of men and took their wives by
force from their husbands according to their choice, and the sons of men in
those days took from the cattle of the earth, the beasts of the field and the
fowls of the air, and taught the mixture
of animals of one species with the other, in order therewith to provoke the
Lord; and God saw the whole earth and it was corrupt, for all flesh had
corrupted its ways upon earth, all men and all animals.
the Lord said, I will blot out man that I created from the face of the earth,
yea from man to the birds of the air, together with cattle and beasts that are
in the field for I repent that I made them.
If we pay attention to history, we can plainly see
that all our past projects to perfect humanity have fallen flat on their
faces. While aiming for perfection we
always seem to only get results that are anti-human, anti-life, anti-beautiful
Take abortion, for instance. Originally just a simple project to make life
better for those people who only wanted to have a little fun without facing the
natural human consequences of their actions.
What could go wrong with this picture?
Not much, just over 50 million dead in the U.S.A.
alone. While the worldwide blood bath of
over one billion babies sacrificed on the altar of hedonism makes all of
history’s wars look like child’s play in comparison.
As Robert Hart points out in “Known Trespassing”
(May-June 2017 issue of Touchstone
Magazine), this is only possible because hundreds of millions of women have
come to believe that they possess property rights over their babies that allow
them to murder their own child EVEN WHILE thinking that slavery is unjust
because no one has property rights over another.
Hart considers this a prime example of Orwell’s
“double-think” from his classic “Nineteen Eighty-Four”, a novel poignantly
pertinent to this discussion.
Or consider assisted suicide, supposedly put into
practice to lend dignity to dying. Yet
many are being forced to feel that they are a burden, not wanted and in the
way. When used to cull the vulnerable
and aged from our midst to make room for the more vigorous and fit this scheme
is just another take on man’s attempt to perfect society that results not in a
better society but in a more bloody one.
While refusing to call it by its rightful name, the
world readily acknowledges the fact of original sin. It admits man is just not right, guilty of
sundry sins and, on the individual level, incapable of self-perfection. Yet it refuses to acknowledge the only true
solution offered for man’s salvation.
Hence, hating the truth, man is left to craft his own
solutions. The scientific project to
perfect man necessitates that man himself become god, recreating man into
something no longer just human but something better, consequently anti-human.
The idea of test tube babies was fantastical at the
time Aldous Huxley penned “Brave New World” in the ‘30s. Yet the imminent facticity of that reality is
now upon us, with barely a murmur of interest from the politicians, the Church
or the public.
Ours is a senseless age. There is so much noise and racket about
genetically modified (GM) foods, labels on food items declaring them to be GM
free, who would dare put genetically modified foods into their body?
At the same time there is little concern about
genetically modifying OUR OWN and our future progeny’s genes. Maybe the future-engineered “humans” will be
a little more consistent and logical…?