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'Fetus Testing' and the Relentless Quest for the New Human

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By Wallace Henley, Special to CP
June 8, 2012|10:41 am

"Scientists could soon be able to routinely screen unborn babies for thousands of genetic conditions, raising concern the breakthrough could lead to more abortions," said a June 6 headline in The Telegraph, a British newspaper.

The story reported that a research team "has been able to predict the whole genetic code" of an unborn baby. Take a drop or two of the mother's blood, a swab of the father's spittle, and one can unravel the biological mysteries of the unborn infant.

Psalm 139:15-16 comes to mind: "My frame was not hidden from You, when I was made in secret, and skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth; Your eyes have seen my unformed substance…"

The scientists also want a look at that "unformed substance." God sees it in terms of the person's potential and purpose. The new technology will scan the forming human to see what needs to be eliminated, all the way up to the life of the unborn child.

To their credit, the research team noted the grim side of their new science. Given the tug to take discoveries to their ultimate outcomes, the scientists recognized they are handing over to society the tools for crafting designer babies and eliminating the unacceptable.

"The less tangible implication of incorporating this level of information into pre-natal decision-making raises many ethical questions that must be considered carefully within the scientific community and on a societal level," they said in an official statement.

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Bravo to the scientists for pausing to reflect on the moral implications of their powerful discoveries. Well they should, given the bloody and cruel history of the relentless quest to tailor-make the new human being. Hitler was by no means the first, though he took the passion for designing the new human to unimaginable levels of suffering. No wonder the scientists worry over the high-tech, super-efficient tools they are providing the cultures of death.

The moment the first atom bomb exploded at a test site, J. Robert Oppenheimer, one of its creators, quoted a Hindu text, "I am become death, The Shatterer of Worlds." Andrew Kimbrell, writing on animal breeding in 1994, unwittingly echoed in that field Oppenheimer's dour assessment regarding his own. "Genetic engineering is to traditional crossbreeding what the nuclear bomb is to the sword," wrote Kimbrell.

Now that the cultures of death have new tools for potentially determining who gets to live and who doesn't, a troubling question arises: How far will we go?

Years ago, I heard a United States Congressman introduce Georgi Vins, a pastor who had spent 17 years in the Russian gulag. The Communists, said the Congressman, sought to create the "new Soviet man." However, the U.S. Representative continued, it was Vins who was a prototype of the "new Soviet man," a person transformed by the power of Christ.

When people attempt to push aside the Creator and design the new human being on their own, the outcome is terror, torture, and tyranny. God help us.

Wallace Henley, a teaching pastor at Houston's Second Baptist Church, is author of Globequake, to be released by Thomas Nelson July 7.
 

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