When Dolly the sheep was successfully cloned, if you were like me, you hardly paid attention. This news report sat on my mental shelf with others-UFOs, listening devices in my thermostat-items too far-fetched to hold my attention. I didn’t think about science and ethics until as a mom, I began to care about my family’s nutrition enough to research the difference between heirloom and hybrid tomatoes and look up the definition of a genetically modified organism. While I appreciated my kids not spitting watermelon seeds all over the place (watermelon juice plus kid-spit forms a sticky sheen on any surface – moms, you know!), I did think that seedless watermelon was an oxymoron. In my quest for truth and pure food, I actually began to read the list of ingredients on boxes and cans. Not that I understood what hydrolized meant.
Good and bad ideas both come from the same fountain of speculation and experiment. Shaun Tanhttps://www.brainyquote.com/
Stirred by the excitement of discovery and tempted by human ambition, we develop technologies and ideas that ignite debates at both dinner tables and university ethics forums. What about a lab-grown alternative to a hamburger? After all, the UN says that factory raised beef is dangerous to the environment. But is the problem the process or the animal? (I hesitate to think that God didn’t know what He was doing when He created the cow). And then there’s AI. Do you want to spice up your spices? Is your oregano not flavorful enough? Perhaps producing a mule failed to teach us that not every idea is a good idea. Maybe we are just hard-headed. Or perhaps there are really secret groups striving to build a type of Tower of Babel through technological and scientific advances.
Genesis One gives God’s intent for the natural processes of life and DNA. The DNA of one kind of seed should not be merged with the DNA of another kind. What is a kind? Simply put, it is natural reproduction, free from the manipulation of outside forces. A dog can breed with a wolf and produce a viable animal. Therefore a dog and a wolf are of the same “kind”. However, a dog and an elephant do not breed naturally. Merging their seed would take human action in a laboratory. Whether it’s an animal, a plant, the theory of transhumanism, or the reality of GMO’s, we are not to mess with God’s created order and His intent for each kind.
Recently, I discovered that a human being had been cloned. 1998. It was killed in the embryonic stage. What the heck!? I’m not okay with us playing God. Technological and scientific advancement is wonderful….to a limit. I get how beneficial it is for doctors to be able to take a sperm and an egg, get it to fertilize outside of the human body, and then implant it inside a woman. Many couples would remain childless if it weren’t for this breakthrough. My only question for the scientists and the doctors would be: You’re not taking from or adding to the DNA of cells in the dish are you? I mean, apparently designer children are a thing. Customer: I want a blue-eyed son with an IQ of 150. And oh, I want him germ-resistant. Doctor: Ok…we’ll notify you in a few months with a product that matches your specifications.
Forgive what may seem dramatic, distasteful or cynical. But c’mon fellow humans! Ordering up children? Seedless watermelons and cotton candy grapes are one thing. Physical appearance and intellectual specifications seems a bit…well, picky.
Genetic engineering may be profitable and timely for both herbicide companies and sufferers of genetic diseases. I agree that prenatal gene therapy is a heavenly cure for life-threatening defects. But when do we go too far when it comes to DNA or gene manipulation? When is it right to say it’s wrong to alter natural human development? Just because we can, does not mean we should. (We say this to our kids don’t we?) In many ways, we’ve decided to play God versus kneel like Dr. George Washington Carver, who sought the face of God in prayer in order to find the answers to problems. I wonder about the extent that sinful man will go, where the laws of creation are violated. Where messing with one’s Punnett square becomes as popular as choosing a new car. I’m concerned about us relying too much on our own reasoning and shifting sense of morality. We are just human. The created.
Today we try to redefine what has been understood as the biblical laws of creation, specifically biogenesis. Human biology doesn’t matter anymore. Emotions and thoughts reign. People of various ages are given drugs to curb the natural course of their biological development. Some men want to be able to bear children. In these ways, we are destroying our humanity. Will we one day redefine what it means to be human? Seek out Marvel-like technology to empower us to be and to do what we lust and covet? Be Invincible. Mighty. Ageless.
Can we embrace limits? Being human means we have boundaries. We are not self-existent. But our arrogance moves us to defy our human weakness. We strive for perfection. To be unanchored. Free to do, think, say, and become whatever we desire.
How far and wide will our modern Tower of Babel reach? Accepting our humanity does not mean living in futility and fatalism. It does not mean refraining from study and research. It does mean acknowledging a Creator whose design and intent serve a purpose beyond our limited reasoning. It means being comfortable with being the created, male and female, made from immaterial and earthly components as spirit, soul and physical body. Let us pause before we stretch ethical boundaries and alter our moral compass any further.