The Point: Playing God with Viruses

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When it comes to emerging biotechnologies, our capabilities have far outpaced our ethics. Consider the gene-editing technology CRISPR, for example. Rearranging DNA is risky enough, but especially so without a clear understanding of the difference between healing and enhancement. Not to mention, it’s unethical to hoist our scientific experiments on future generations.

And now, a recent article in Slate reveals that researchers used genetic technology to remake the deadly H5N1 “Avian Flu” virus even “more transmissible.” Yes, you heard that right – make the Avian Flu virus more transmissible.

When asked whether the science was so compelling and important as to justify this kind of risk, Harvard epidemiologist Marc Lipsitch simply said “no.”

But too many scientists today find any new possibility irresistible. They just won’t take “no” for an answer.  That means the new face of medical missions will need to include Christ-following scientists who do research while recognizing that they aren’t God.

 

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Resources

The Existential Consequences of Lab Errors
  • Bryan Walsh
  • Slate
  • August 26, 2019

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