Of Mice and Men: Scientists Blur the Line
In recent months, scientists have taken the first steps toward creating chimeras: a hybrid of human and animal.
The first successful test was conducted in 2003 when Chinese scientists fused human cells with rabbit eggs, allowing them to develop for several days before destroying the embryos and harvesting the stem cells. Last year, researchers at the Mayo Clinic produced pigs with human blood.
Now, Stanford biologist Irving Weissman has received the go-ahead to engineer a mouse with 100 percent human brain cells. He has already produced mice with about 1 percent human brain cells.
“Biotechnology is becoming dangerously close to raging out of control,'’ wrote Wesley J. Smith of the Discovery Institute in the conservative Weekly Standard (February 1).
The question, of course, is why any scientist would want to combine humans and animals. Much like stem-cell research, cloning and many of the other ethically challenged scientific pursuits, the answer is all about curing human disease.
How far is mankind willing to go to avert a disease without looking for its actual cause? (Deuteronomy 28:58-61). Rather than looking to the God of the universe, Creator of both man and animals, scientists made of dirt are looking to animals that are also made of dirt for solutions.
Not surprisingly, not one human disease has ever been cured by tinkering with animals genetically; to date, no one’s diseases are being treated as a result of this experimentation. And when they die, both the scientists and the animals will again become dirt (Genesis 3:19), while God will remain the all-powerful, all-knowing God who can heal all of our diseases (Psalms 103:3).
To understand the godly perspective on mankind’s attempts to circumvent law, see our January 2003 article “Skirting the Law” under “Issue Archives” at www.theTrumpet.com.