Monkeying around with human embryos?
Originally published in a CMI newsletter, July 2021
“Scientists Create Early Embryos That Are Part Human, Part Monkey.”1 The current administration “Scraps Human Fetal Tissue Research Restrictions.”2 “Penn Scientists Correct Genetic Blindness with a Single Injection into the Eye.”3
These are not made-up headlines; they are real issues that we are being forced to face today. The world of science is changing fast, and it seems sometimes that moral bounds predicated by Christianity are not even part of the equation as science advances. Why is the biblical view so disregarded today, particularly in the area of human scientific research? How can we, as Christians, get a voice in the debate? If we are not actively promoting a biblical worldview, the world will continue to behave as if our worldview does not even exist.
This is not surprising, given the history of humanity. We rebelled against the Creator God from the beginning (Genesis 3) and people, including Christians, still rebel against God today. The difference is that the Bible-believer has a different way of thinking about the world. We understand how fallible, how self-centered, and how prone to evil we are. Jesus has given us a way of escape (1 Corinthians 10:13), but until the day He returns or the day we go to meet Him, we are stuck in this sin-cursed world.
And yet, even though society at large continually rejects God, science advances. Our challenge, then, is to be able to meet this secular scientific thinking with a sound biblical alternative. Are we allowed to ‘monkey’ around with human embryos? Are we allowed to wantonly reprogram the human genome?
The Bible does not speak directly about such things, so one must invoke Scriptural wisdom using scriptural principles. The concept of monkey/human embryos, for example, violates the principles of the sanctity of human life and the principle that humans are not animals but created in God’s image (Genesis 1:27). Can we use technology to cure blindness in an adult? Yes, because healing the sick is a good thing, but even this depends on whether every aspect of this operation falls under the dominion mandate of Genesis 1:26. In each of these cases, we can make biblical moral arguments for and against the use of the new ideas or new technologies. But if scientists steeped in evolutionary thinking believe that humans are just evolved animals, they might not have such a well-defined moral compass. This is where we can make a difference.
How to think about such issues
CMI has been at the forefront of these debates for over four decades. Through your support, you have enabled us to publish many books, thousands of articles, decades-worth of magazines, hundreds of videos, and several full-length movies, and there is a lot more coming down the pike! While you continue to back us, we will continue to fight for a proper understanding of science and a proper application of biblical science, which ultimately helps you and all believers make informed opinions on these very complex issues.
First, how can we help you? What are you wrestling with and what areas would you like us to cover in the future? We’d be surprised if they are not already answered on CREATION.com, so please avail yourself of the search engine where you can freely access 40 plus years of research. But if you cannot find your answer, send us a line via the ‘contact us’ page there, and one of our specialists will endeavor to answer your question.
Second, how can you help us? If you are reading this, we know you are interested in biblical creation. You know that CMI stands at the forefront of the battle. And you probably know that we need help! Yet the help we need comes in many forms. First and foremost, since this is a spiritual battle, we covet your prayers. Second, since our potential impact is partially dictated by how much people interact with our website, we need you to ‘like’ and ‘share’ our online materials. Third, your contributions, of course, are always appreciated and we could not produce the information or life-changing resources we do without our financial partners.
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References and notes
- Stein, R., Scientists create early embryos that are part human, part monkey, npr.org/sections/health-shots/2021/04/15/987164563/scientists-create-early-embryos-that-are-part-human-part-monkey. Accessed 15 April 2021. Return to text.
- Servick, K., Biden administration scraps human fetal tissue research restrictions, sciencemag.org/news/2021/04/biden-administration-scraps-human-fetal-tissue-research-restrictions. Accessed 16 April 2021. Return to text.
- Zarley, B.D., Penn scientists correct genetic blindness with a single injection into the eye, Freethink.com; freethink.com/articles/antisense-oligonucleotide-therapy. Accessed 11 April 2021. Return to text.