Genetic Work Reaching Startling Point Of Creating 'Chimeras,' Creatures That Would Be Part-Human And Part-Animal
It is time for Catholics and all of humankind to realize one of the greatest threats since Creation, a threat that ranks alongside abortion as a temptation for Heavenly wrath, a challenge to God Himself as the one Who creates, Who forms life in the way it should be formed.
As outlined in Tower of Light, moves are now afoot to genetically alter many kinds of crops, to clone animals, to even combine plant and animal genes, and to clone human embryos for stem cells.
But as the book documents, the situation has gone far beyond that -- into the realm of changing the very nature of humans.
Indeed, the situation is such that some scientists even propose creation of a new creature called the "humanzee" -- by combining human and ape genes.
In England, the government has approved the creation of animal-human embryos for therapeutic stem-cell purposes -- so that human tissue and organs can be grown -- and a chilling new survey announced last week found, as one headline puts it, "Almost half of Canadians back human-animal embryo research, given benefits."
These dramatic events are taking place all around us and yet have been met with an incredible silence.
"Almost half of Canadians back human-animal embryo research, given benefits."
The word "benefit" is a trigger because the prophecy discussed in Tower of Light specifically warned that "there will arise a new evil the likes of which mankind has never before encountered, with few people noticing the depth of its evil, for it will appear to have beneficial and convenient aspects."
That prediction was uttered in 1990.
Now -- nearly two decades later -- genetic manipulation of what God created has surged out of control. There is a genetically-altered super-cow that is three times the size of a normal one. There are pigs that have genes taken from fireflies -- genes that make them glow subtly in the dark. A racehorse has been cloned. There is a mosquito with luminous eyes (see Time, September 22 issue).
These are not rumors. They are not taken from supermarket tabloids. In Europe trees have been bombarded with DNA-coated particles to make them grow faster (trees that wildlife avoid), massive quantities of corn -- a symbol of life in many culture -- has been genetically altered (with pollen that spreads elsewhere), and tomatoes have been injected with flounder DNA -- with genetic material from fish -- to make them more resistant to cold temperatures.
We are not only blurring species, but life forms. Already firefly genes have been transferred into corn and hamster genes to tobacco.
There also is now "pharming": an experimental method of inserting human or animal genes into plants so they will become "biofactories" for producing pharmaceuticals. Inserted in a plant, some genes could cause that plant to produce, for instance, insulin, blood-clotting compounds, vaccines, antibodies, or even contraceptives.
There are pigs with human blood, rabbit eggs that have been fused with human DNA, and human stem cells that have been injected to make paralyzed rodents walk.
A barrier has been broken that raises countless questions – and even brings up the issue of cannibalism: are we allowed to eat crops with human genes, and if so, how many such genes?
"Clearly, human embryonic stem cells were an aspect or the central aspect alluded to by the 1990 missive," says the book. "They wanted to use cells from aborted babies, from cloned embryos, or by fusing human cells with the ova or 'eggs' from cows, goats, and rabbits (thus circumventing moral objections to human cloning, since the embryos would be human only in part) and increasing the supply.
"In this manner, scientists could take skin cells from patients and convert them into other forms of tissue such as kidney cells as the cells were reprogrammed, if kidney tissue was what someone needed. The word 'benefit' came into sharp relief when the National Academy of Sciences -- the Vatican of science -- estimated that there are at least 100 million Americans who could benefit from stem-cell therapies."
But manipulation of DNA -- and especially the mix of human and animal cells: any induced mutation -- is outside the Divine order and reflects on how scientists have operated in a way that excludes God. It is the end result, says the book, of thinking that had sprung from the theory of evolution.
Indeed, there is direct defiance best seen in how one openly anti-religious psychologist publicly stated that reproductive facilities should work towards creating a race of human-chimpanzee hybrids "if for no other reason than to offend Christians."
Similar views have been expressed by one of the co-discoverers of the DNA structure, Dr. James Watson, who says that "only with the discovery of the double helix and the ensuing genetic revolution have we had grounds for thinking that the powers held traditionally to be the exclusive property of the gods might one day be ours."
His partner, Dr. Francis Crick, is quoted as adding that the "God hypothesis" is "rather discredited" -- and that his distaste for religion was one of his prime motives in the work he and Watson had accomplished (which led to genetic engineering).
This direct antipathy to God bolsters the prophecy’s startling statement that science is the Lord's greatest current nemesis – especially that science which meddles with the genetic.
Incredible as it sounds, mice have been implanted with human brain cells -- and to such an extent that that National Academy of Sciences has advised scientists that such implantations "could take researchers onto treacherous ground. There are some frightening potential scenarios. In one, altered creatures might achieve consciousness and self-awareness but not be able to communicate their awakening."
In other words, a human brain might find itself trapped inside a lower mammal. So far have things gone that some scientists have felt the need to agree among themselves that they should stop an experiment if an altered mouse -- if a mouse with human brain tissue -- does something that seems too human.
A proposal to do just that -- to create mice with brains all but completely concocted of human cells -- was approved by an ethics committee at Stanford University.
In the future, say some scientists, animals or half-humans will grow spare-part organs for us, while humans themselves will be genetically or electronically altered to live longer. We are on the verge, say some scientists, of a "post human" era.
Could such really be in God's Plan?
The manipulation has been across the board -- and must now be addressed in a way that is as urgent as other great evils like abortion.
There are mutant chicks with full sets of teeth and catfish in Alabama that have been laced with DNA from carp -- skewing what God intended.
There are mutant rodents. There are mice with muscle-building genes. They are all easily documented in secular reports.
But the greatest travesty is the cross between humans and animals.
Animals with human genes are known as "transgenics," while others, implanted with human cells, are chillingly referred to as "chimeras."
"In ancient times, the Greeks revered the god Pan – part-man, part-goat, who defended Athens against the Persians," said one scientific commentary with no sense of irony. "Today, the dash of humanity imbedded in Sweetheart and 59 other goats at a central Massachusetts farm could provide a different but equally vital line of defense."
"The horror was now pronouncing itself before our eyes," warns Tower of Light. "Coming to life were the idols, the half-humans, the jackal-headed creatures, of Egypt. There was 'Sweetheart,' a brown-striped goat with soulful eyes, and a human gene enabling her to produce a 'life-saving drug,' a human protein, in her milk."
"In a world where the bizarre has become all too commonplace, few things any longer shock the human psyche," noted a writer named Jeremy Rifkin.
"Now, scientists have their sights trained on breaking the final taboo in the natural world -- crossing human and animals to create human-animal hybrids of every kind and description.
"The horrific possibilities are mind-boggling. For example, what if human stem cells were to be injected into an animal embryo and spread throughout the animal’s body into every organ?
"Some human cells could migrate to the testes and ovaries where they could grow into human sperm and eggs. If two chimeric mice were to mate, they could potentially conceive a human embryo. If the human embryo were to be removed and implanted in a human womb, the resulting baby’s biological parents would have been chimeric mice."
The situation is only hopeless -- it is only frightening -- if it is not addressed -- urgently -- with letters to congressmen, with letters to newspapers, with pleas to our bishops to speak up about the unspeakable.
Asks the book: are there already such creatures? Has the military created them? Might they be useful? Has someone succeeded in a ghastly clandestine experiment?
We can be sure only that if so, it is a challenge -- a unique affront -- to the orthodox rendering of the Divine Order.
The Bible says that God required humans, animals, and plants to reproduce "after their own kind."
Introducing animal genes into human DNA, or vice versa, creates an unclassified mutation outside of that order.
Ultimately, there could be unforeseen hereditary effects that produce animal characteristics in people. On one talk show callers felt there was nothing wrong, it points out, with at least a few "interesting" little things, like "having feathers instead of hair."
Most of it is in reverse: Human genes are inserted into beasts. Any time now there will be hens laying eggs with anti-biotics, or even anti-cancer drugs.
Brave new world! New benefits. Countless "benefits."
The only little glitch: in Greek mythology, the chimera was a hybrid beast that breathed fire and foreshadowed disaster.
[resources: Tower of Light]
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