Monday, August 20, 2007

Tower of Babel in a Petri Dish

This painting by Abel Grimmer (1570-1619) depicts the building of the Tower of Babel. The Lord confused the languages of man at Babel. (Gen 11:1-9)
I read where there’s a “worldwide race to create life” by scientists intent on making life from some man made soup of chemicals. According to the article they might be within only a few years of accomplishing a single micro organism, something which in time might be able to save the human race from all manner of disease.

"It's going to be a big deal and everybody's going to know about it," said Mark Bedau, chief operating officer of ProtoLife of Venice, Italy, one of those in the race. "We're talking about a technology that could change our world in pretty fundamental ways — in fact, in ways that are impossible to predict."

“That first cell of synthetic life — made from the basic chemicals in DNA — may not seem like much to non-scientists. For one thing, you'll have to look in a microscope to see it.”

"Creating protocells has the potential to shed new light on our place in the universe," Bedau said. "This will remove one of the few fundamental mysteries about creation in the universe and our role."

I remember watching the movie, Jurassic Park; the part where the Chaos Scientist pointed out to all the others, those overjoyed with having brought to life Tyrannosaurs, Raptors and all manner of previously extinct creatures in order to open a theme park; presenting them with the idea that just because they might be able to accomplish something as extreme as making a dinosaur from the remnants of the DNA found inside a fossilized mosquito with the aid of genetically engineered computer enhancements, had they considered the possibility that they shouldn’t.

My guess is there was a similar meeting while the Tower of Babel was being erected; bricks upon brick the structure reaching its way toward Heaven. The chief engineers all patting themselves on the back as they contemplated how much longer it might be when the gates of Heaven had been breached. There would have been a few reluctant ones, those who could see the dangers of violating God’s Plan through poorly thought out deviations, “You might just reach Heaven with this Tower of Babel; but have you considered the possibility that we shouldn’t?”

You could go on and on watching the scientists jump and dance around the murky Petri dish with electrodes fastened to the top of their Frankenstein Castle chanting the magic words, “Abracadabra”, “Why don’t you do something?” or lastly, “We don’t need no stinking God, We can do anything He can do.” I wonder what surprise is in store for us, confounded language and flooding have already been implemented and we haven’t figured it out yet.

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