Lately, research shows that drawing a line between where being human ends and being a machine begins is becoming harder to establish. It seems that fictional characters like ‘Data’ (Day-ta) or the ‘Borg’, of Star Trek, may not be fictional in the future.
A couple of years ago, I wrote an article about Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology making humans smarter; it was titled “Will A.I. & Transhumanism Replace God — What is Your Opinion?”1 By merging electronic hardware with God’s human creation, scientists are attempting to produce a new trans-human creature.
Transhumanism is a philosophical movement that urges the transformation of the human being, by developing and using technologies to greatly enhance human intellect and physiology. This enhanced human would eventually become a new posthuman creation.2 Augmenting the brain with AI, as well as uploading the brain to a computer, is nearer science fact, than science fiction.
A few months ago, I wrote another article on a related subject. That one was titled “Experimenting with transhumanism and achieving immortality — Is this all part of God’s plan?” which described a new life form recently created in the laboratory.3 It told about a team of scientists and roboticists who published a report on the world’s first living robot they called a Xenobot. The term ‘xeno’ comes from the frog (Xenopus laevis) stem cells used to make them. The researchers described their creation as neither a traditional robot, nor any known species of an animal. It is, in fact, a new class of living and programmable organism.4
Currently, “Xenobots are less than 1 mm long and made of 500-1000 living cells. They have various simple shapes, including some with squat ‘legs’. They can propel themselves in linear or circular directions, join together to act collectively, and move small objects. Using their own cellular energy, they can live up to 10 days.”5
Now, just as the Bible has predicted that learning would increase faster as we get closer to the end times (Daniel 12:4), scientists are working on taking these biological machines to the next level. Biologists Michael Levin and computer scientist Joshua Bongard have now found that their invention has a rudimentary form of memory. Inserting ribonucleic acid (RNA)6 that encodes a color changing protein, they created a Xenobot that recognizes the light when it changes its color. “It’s a proof of principle that we can modify the cells to put in other things that give them new functionalities,” says Levin. “Synthetic biology nowadays is all ‘cell soups’, it’s all cells in culture. Now they can be embodied — we have a body into which you can put all of these kinds of circuits.”7
What does all this mean? Well, “practically speaking, Xenobots could have applications like swimming through the bloodstream and unclogging arteries. But Levin is more excited about the big picture. As they mature over their short life span, they grow and become transparent, “almost like ghosts,” Levin says. “And it’s nothing you would have predicted, they don’t look like frog embryos, they don’t look like tadpoles. They have their own brand-new developmental sequence.”8
“Most of the problems of modern medicine would go away . . . if we understood how to make cells build whatever we want them to build,” he said. With a hint of a possible natural evolution for these creatures, he added, “Our own [human] complex cognitive properties evolved from humbler, simpler versions of those exact same properties in other [earlier] organisms.” In speaking of our own lifetime, he said, “we’re going to be surrounded by just an incredible plethora of new agents that are weird hybrids and cyborgs9 and robots with living tissue embedded and every combination under the sun is going to be running around somewhere.”10
Are Scientists Playing God?
Some intellectuals believe that humans are only biological machines, and they point to science and logic in defending their position. Even if that were true, it was God that created this human life we enjoy. It was created using the physical and spiritual laws of this universe, which, by the way, were also created by him. Scientists believe they will, someday, do just as well and eventually create or build life that will surpass our present state.
Scientists are not just playing God by trying to create living biological machines, for they are trying to use scientific knowledge to “improve” on God’s own creations — they expect to replace God as a better creator. Not only are they currently using genetics to manipulate plants, animals, and people, they are now trying to actually create new forms of human hybrid life. That is not unlike what went on during the time of Noah. Jesus said, “As the days of Noah were, so the coming of the Son of Man will be, (Matthew 24:37, CSB).11 For an article on that subject, see “When the sons of God were having sexual relations with the daughters of humankind — the story of the Nephilim” listed in References & Notes.12
That mayhem in Noah’s time was conducted by fallen angels, but even the human thought of creating a hybrid cross between humans and other animal life has been around as far back as the medieval period. A monk, in the 11th century, claimed to have been told of the offspring of a human woman who had mated with an ape.13 But I suspect there may have been some other kind of hanky-panky going on in that village.
Widespread speculative thought on creating a sapient life form arrived when English author, Mary Shelley, wrote a fictional story about building a living creature, in the early 1800s.14 This legendary story, Frankenstein: The Modern Prometheus (now more commonly known as just Frankenstein), was written during a new era of scientific exploration and biological experimentation. It was a time when electricity was still considered, by many, as having a mythical quality.15
In modern times, serious experiments have been attempted since the 1920s, at least. There have been rumors of success, but nothing documented until more recently from smuggled notes and photographs that have been discovered. It is known that the Chinese have been attempting to produce a ‘humanzee’. The humanzee (Homo sapiens sapiens × Pan troglodytes) is a hypothetical hybrid of chimpanzee and human, but it may no longer be a hypothetical issue.16
Although there was some publicity back in the 1920s of a success, I have not seen any scientific documentation for that claim, but there is an interesting article about that research available.17 Now China, unfazed by the world’s ethical standards, has been performing Frankenstein-style experiments, outsourced from counties around the world, whose own governments ban such activities.18
A team of Spanish and American scientists claim to have created a human-monkey hybrid embryo in a Chinese laboratory (see photo). “The experiment spliced together genes to grow a monkey with human cells in tests to see whether human organs could be grown from transplants using stem cells.” Scientists admitted the research was done in China to dodge ethical concerns.19 If there are any living creatures that survived this experiment, everyone’s lips are sealed.
At the End of Days
At the fast rate knowledge is increasing, it won’t be long before this technology will be commonly used in the marketplace. Do you need a slave to do all your work for you? Just buy a specially bred creature or a living machine at the local store. You think that is far fetched, huh? Just look at all that has changed in the last 150 years. What’s coming is not going to be the clunky and clumsy robots of the old movies.
Cybog soldiers and law enforcement officers, robot doctors and healthcare workers, even sex robots of both genders, are on the way (some have already arrived). And who can even imagine where these new forms of life, now being created, will lead us; the world will surely become less human. Did God intend for us to have this kind of society? Of course not, but most who are working on providing this type of society aren’t being guided by God. Well, not God Almighty, anyway, but maybe the god of this current world — Satan.
The Bible tells us that Satan will increase his influence upon earth in the last days and, after he has been forbidden the heavenly realm, he will be cast down to earth. Are we in those last days? Some Bible verses, thought to be about Satan having already been thrown out of heaven some time ago, may be just amplified descriptions of human rulers of older times (Isaiah 14:12-14; Ezekiel 28:14-17). But whether Satan is now restricted to our earthly realm or not, God has allowed him to attend heavenly events in the past.
God has an organized governing body in heaven, called the heavenly host, or divine council, that convenes to govern and rule his creations and make plans and carry out important decisions.20 An example of Satan attending this council is in the book of Job. “The LORD asked Satan, ‘Where have you come from?’ ‘From roaming through the earth,’ Satan answered him, ‘and walking around on it’.” (Job 1:6-7).
But it is scripture in the book of Revelation which indicates Satan’s banishment from heaven is predicted to happen in the last days, before the return of Christ. “So the great dragon was thrown out — the ancient serpent, who is called the devil and Satan, the one who deceives the whole world. He was thrown to earth, and his angels with him,” (Revelation 12:9).
It is after a final war in heaven that the great dragon is so thoroughly defeated, he loses any right of access to heaven. “He and his minions are cast down to the earth,”21 and banished from the divine council.22 When he is cast out, “the evil day” (Ephesians 6:13b) of spiritual warfare will be more intense.23 Are we now in those last days? It surely seems so!
Right now, Satan is the god of this world; it says that right in the Bible. After Jesus’ baptism, Satan took Jesus to a high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world with all their splendor and he said, “I will give you all these things if you will fall down and worship me,” (Matthew 4:8b). Now, Satan cannot give away something that he does not already own.
The proof that this is Satan’s world is reinforced by this quote from Paul the Apostle, “the god of this age has blinded the minds of the unbelievers to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God,” (2 Corinthians 4:4). Our world has been lost for thousands of years under Satan’s control.
It is time that this world is given back to the creator. We can help by doing God’s will and follow the teachings of Jesus. We do not know how much longer this evil age will last and we must start making the proper decisions in our life and helping those we love to do likewise. Let us turn away from evil and pray that our Lord Jesus takes control and regains possession of this world and establishes his righteous kingdom. We must make the right choices; every sinner is still worth saving.
The music selection for the theme of this article is by Reba McEntier. She performs ‘Back to God’, which was recorded in 2017. Selected lyrics are below and the music video (with closed captions) is listed in References & Notes.24
You gotta get down on your knees, believe
Fold your hands and beg and plead
Gotta keep on praying
You gotta cry, rain tears of pain
Pound the floor and scream His name
Cause we’re still worth saving
Can’t go on like this and live like this
We can’t love like this
We gotta give this world back to God
Copyright © 2021, Dr. Ray Hermann
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References & Notes
- Hermann, Ray, “Will A.I. & Transhumanism Replace God — What is Your Opinion?”, (OBS, 20 September 2018), https://outlawbiblestudent.org/will-a-i-transhumanism-replace-god-what-is-your-opinion/
- “Transhumanism,” (Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 12 September 2018), https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transhumanism
- Hermann, Ray, “Experimenting with transhumanism and achieving immortality — Is this all part of God’s plan?” (OBS, 7 February 2021), https://outlawbiblestudent.org/experimenting-with-transhumanism-and-achieving-immortality-is-this-all-part-of-gods-plan/
- Coghlan, Simon; Leins, Kobi, “Not bot, not beast: Scientists create first ever living, programmable organism”, (Phys.org, Science X Network, 20 January 2020), https://phys.org/news/2020-01-bot-beast-scientists-programmable.html
- RNA: Ribonucleic acid is a polymeric molecule essential in various biological roles in coding, decoding, regulation and expression of genes. It is similar in structure to DNA but different in subtle ways.
- Funk, Anna, “Self-healing Xenobots mean a future with living machines”, (Inverse, 1 April 2021), https://www.inverse.com/innovation/xenobots-are-living-machines
- Cybog: cybernetic organism; a biological being with integrated mechanical and electronic body parts; merging the fields of robotics and neuroscience.
- Funk, Anna, “Self-healing Xenobots mean a future with living machines” (see above).
- All scripture references are taken from the Christian Standard Bible, (CSB) (Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers, 2020). Used by permission.
- Hermann, Ray, “When the sons of God were having sexual relations with the daughters of humankind — the story of the Nephilim”, (OBS, 9 December 2018), https://outlawbiblestudent.org/when-the-sons-of-god-were-having-sexual-relations-with-the-daughters-of-humankind-the-story-of-the-nephilim/
- Caietanus, Constantinus (Ed.), De simia, et quo pacto simia capi possit, Patrologia Latina, (Opus 52: De Bono Religiosi Status et Variarum Animantium Topologia), #145, chapter 29, pp. 789-790.
Reference #2, Wikipedia, article on ‘Humanzee’, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Humanzee#cite_note-Damian-2
- “Frankenstein”, (Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 28 March 2021), https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frankenstein
- “Why did Mary Shelley Write Frankenstein”, (Writeawriting, retrieved 6 April 2021), https://www.writeawriting.com/write/mary-shelley-write-frankenstein/
- “Humanzee”, (Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 22 March 2021), https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Humanzee
- Hodge, Mark, “Going Ape: Inside the bizarre world of human-chimp hybrids known as Humanzees”, (The Sun, 2 August 2019), https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/5447151/humanzee-monkey-human-chimp-hybrid-born-florida/
- Knox, Patrick, “From ‘humanzees’ to super viruses. China Frankenstein experiments”, (Clarion News, 31 March 2021), https://clarion.causeaction.com/2021/03/31/from-humanzees-to-super-viruses-china-frankenstein-experiments/
- Hermann, Ray “Who is Satan and How Do You Fight Him?” (OBS, 10 September 2019), https://outlawbiblestudent.org/who-is-satan-and-how-do-you-fight-him/
- MacDonald, William, Believer’s Bible Commentary: Old and New Testaments, (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1995), p. 2369.
- Heiser, Michael S., in Faithlife Study Bible, (Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2016), Revelation 12:9.
- Luter, A. Boyd, Jr., CSB Apologetics Study Bible, (Nashville TN: Holman Bible Publisher, 2017), p. 1591.
- “Back to God”, Artist: Reba McEntire; Album: Sing It Now: Songs Of Faith & Hope, 2017, (Rockin’ R Records, VEVO under exclusive license to Big Machine Label Group; Licensed to YouTube, UMG and others) – MUSIC VIDEO: https://youtu.be/S9q-08aTNh8