The Point: DNA and Deity

We make terrible gods. For the Colson Center for Christian Worldview, I’m John Stonestreet with The Point.

A team at Harvard announced last week that they’re within two years of resurrecting the woolly mammoth. And writing at the Washington Post, Christine Emba points to even more breathtaking possibilities through gene-editing and other advances.

With technologies like CRISPR, we may not only be treating or preventing diseases and disabilities, we may soon be “enhancing human capability,” potentially creating superhero-like individuals.

“If we’re going to play God with gene editing,” writes Emba, “we’ve got to ask some moral questions.”

The problem, she continues, is that we “lack the attributes we would hope to see in a deity: omnipotence; benevolence; foresight…” “As gods go,” admits Emba, “we’re pretty bad ones.”

And she’s right. We’ve got a track record of going to places we shouldn’t with science. As C. S. Lewis wrote in “The Abolition of Man,” our conquest of nature inevitably becomes the conquest of all of us by a few of us. Navigating this modern minefield begins with recognizing we’re not God, and then not acting as if we are.