EDITOR’S NOTE: In the countdown to the release of the highly anticipated documentary “INHUMAN: THE NEXT AND FINAL PHASE OF MAN IS HERE”(scheduled for release in September), SkyWatch TV is running this exclusive online series on transhumanism and the dawn of the Human Hybrid Age.
In the last entry we concluded with an article by the Daily Mail (“Meet the Nano-Spiders: The dna Robots that Could One Day Be Walking through Your Body”) reporting on the creation by scientists of microscopic robots made of dna molecules that can walk, turn, and even create tiny products of their own on a nano-scale assembly line. This feature is important because a few years back, my wife Nita brought up a point that I had never considered. She asked if the biblical mark of the Beast might be a conspiracy employing specific implantable technology only now available.
Her theory was gripping. An occult elite operating behind the U.S. government devises a virus that is a crossover between human and animal disease—let’s say, an entirely new and highly contagious influenza mutation—and intentionally releases it into the public. A pandemic ensues, and the period between when a person contracts the virus and death is something like ten days. With tens of thousands dead in a few weeks and the rate of death increasing hourly around the globe, a universal cry for a cure goes out. Seemingly miraculously, the government then steps forward with a vaccine. The only catch, the government explains, is that, given the nature of the animal-human flu, the “cure” uses animal dna and nanobots to rewrite one’s genetics so that the person is no longer entirely human. The point made was that those who receive this antidote would become part “beast,” and perhaps thus the title, “mark of the Beast.” No longer “entirely human” would also mean—according to this outline—that the individual could no longer be “saved” or go to heaven, explaining why the book of Revelation says “whosoever receiveth the mark” is damned forever (while also explaining why the Nephilim, whose dna was part human and part animal, could not be redeemed). If one imagines the global chaos of such a pandemic, the concept of how the Antichrist “causes all,” both small and great, to receive this mark becomes clearer. When looking into the eyes of dying children, parents, or a spouse, it would be incredibly difficult to allow oneself to die or to encourage others to do the same when a “cure” was readily available. Lastly, this scenario would mean that nobody would be allowed to “buy or sell” in the marketplace without the mark-cure due to the need to quarantine all but the inoculated, thus fulfilling all aspects of the mark of the Beast prophecy.
To find out if the science behind this abstract would be as reasonable as it appeared on the surface, we contacted SkyWatch TV Science News Editor, Sharon Gilbert. This was her troubling response:
Tom and Nita:
What is human? Until recently, most of us would readily respond that we are humans. You and I, we might argue, are Homo sapiens: erect, bipedal hominids with twenty-three pairs of matched chromosomes and nifty little thumbs capable of apposition to the palm that enable us to grasp the fine tools that our highly developed, bi-lobed brains devise.
Humans, we might argue, sit as rulers of the earth, gazing down from the pinnacle of a pyramid consisting of all plant and animal species. We would remind the listener that natural selection and evolution have developed mankind into a superior thinker and doer, thereby granting us royal privilege, if not infinite responsibility. The Bible would take this definition much farther, of course, adding that mankind is the only part of God’s creation formed by His hands, rather than spoken into existence, and that you and I bear God’s unique signature as having been created “in His image” (Genesis 1:27).
Many members of the “illuminated brotherhood of science” would likely demur to the previous statement. These have, in point of fact, redefined human. Like Shelley’s Modern Prometheus, Victor Frankenstein, today’s molecular magicians play “god” not by stitching together rotting corpses, but by reforming the very essence of our beings: our dna.
So-called “postmodern man” began as a literary reference but has evolved into an iconic metaphor representing a collective image of perfected humanity beyond the confines of genetic constraints. Transhumanism, also known as the H+ movement (see www.HPlusMagazine.com, for example) envisions a higher life-form yet, surpassing Homo sapiens in favor of Homo sapiens 2.0, a bioengineered construct that fuses man’s original genome with animal and/or synthetic dna.
While such claims ring of science fiction, they are indeed science fact. For decades, laboratories have created chimeric combinations of animal, plant, and even human dna under the guise of medical research. The stated goal is to better man’s lot by curing disease, but this benign mask hides an inner, sardonic grin that follows an ancient blueprint to blend God’s perfect creature with the seed of fallen angels: “You shall be as gods.”
You two speak to the heart of the matter when you warn of a day when true humans may receive transhuman instructions via an implant or injection. A seemingly innocuous vaccine or identification “chip” can initiate intracellular changes, not only in somatic or “body” cells but also in germ-line cells such as ova and sperm. The former alters the recipient only; the latter alters the recipient’s doomed descendents as well.
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In my second novel, The Armageddon Strain, I present a device called the “BioStrain Chip” that employs nanotechnology to induce genetic changes inside the carrier’s body. This miracle chip is advertised as a cure for the h5n1/ebola chimera that is released in the prologue to the book. Of course, if you’ve read the novel, then you know the BioStrain chip does far more than “cure”—it also kills.
Though a work of fiction, The Armageddon Strain raises a chilling question: What limitations lie within the payload of a biochip? Can such a tiny device do more than carry digitized information? Could it actually serve as the mark of the Beast? The answer is yes.
Dna (Deoxyribonucleic acid) has become the darling of researchers who specialize in synthetic constructs. The “sticky-end” design of the dna double-helix makes it ideal for use in computing. Though an infinite number of polyhedra are possible, the most robust and stable of these “building blocks” is called the double crossover (dx). An intriguing name, is it not? The double-cross.
Picture an injectible chip comprised of dna-dx, containing instructions for a super-soldier. Picture, too, how this dna framework, if transcribed, might also serve a second, sinister, purpose—not only to instruct, but also to alter.
Mankind has come perilously far in his search for perfection through chemistry. Although millennia passed with little progress beyond roots, herbs, and alchemical quests for gold from lead, the twentieth century ushered science into the rosy dawn of breathless discovery. Electricity, lighter than air travel, wireless communication, and computing transformed the ponderous pace of the scientific method into a light speed race toward self-destruction.
By the mid-1950s, Watson and Crick had solved the structure of the dna molecule and the double helix became all the rage. Early gene splicing, and thus transgenics, began in 1952 as a crude, cut-and-paste sort of science cooked up in kitchen blenders and petri dishes—as much accident as inspiration. As knowledge has increased (Daniel 12:4), genetic scientists learned to utilize microbiological “vectors” and sophisticated methods to insert animal or plant genes from one species into another. It’s the ultimate “Mr. Potato Head” game, where interchangeable plastic pieces give rise to an infinite number of combinations; only, in genetic splicing, humanity is the unhappy potato.
Vectors provide the means of transport and integration for this brave new science. Think of these vectors as biological trucks that carry genetic building materials and workers into your body’s cells. Such “trucks” could be a microsyringe, a bacterium, or a virion (a virus particle). Any entity that can carry genetic information (the larger the load capacity, the better) and then surreptitiously gain entry into the cell is a potential vector. Viruses, for example, can be stripped of certain innate genes that might harm the cell. Not only does this (supposedly) render the viral delivery truck “harmless,” it also clears out space for the cargo.
Once inside the cell, the “workers” take over. Some of these “workers” are enzymes that cut human genes at specific sites, while others integrate—or load—the “cargo” into appropriate reading frames—like microscopic librarians. Once the payload is stored in the cell’s nuclear “library stacks,” the new genes can be translated, copied, and “read” to produce altered or brand-new, “alien” polymers and proteins.
The resulting hybrid cell is no longer purely human. If a hybridized skin cell, it may now glow, or perhaps form scales rather than hair, claws rather than fingernails. If a brain cell, the new genetic instructions could produce an altered neurotransmitter that reduces or even eliminates the body’s need for sleep. Muscle cells may grow larger and more efficient at using low levels of calcium and oxygen. Retina cells may encode for receptors that enable the “posthuman being” to perceive infrared or ultraviolet light frequencies. The hybrid ears may now sense a wider range of sounds, taste buds a greater range of chemicals. Altered brains might even attune to metaphysics and “unseen” gateways, allowing communication with supernatural realms.
Germ-line alterations, mentioned earlier, form a terrifying picture of generational development and may very well already be a reality. Genetic “enhancement” of sperm-producing cells would change human sperm into tiny infiltrators, and any fertilized ovum a living chimera. Science routinely conducts experiments with transgenic mice, rats, chickens, pigs, cows, horses, and many other species. It is naïve to believe humans have been left out of this transgenic equation.
If so many scientists (funded by government entities) believe in the “promise” of genetic alteration and transgenic “enhancement,” how then can humanity remain human? We cannot. We will not. Perhaps, some have not.
Spiritually, the enemy has ever sought to corrupt God’s plan. Originally, fallen angels lay with human women to corrupt the original base pair arrangements. Our genome is filled with “junk dna” that seemingly encodes for nothing. These “introns” may be the remains of the corrupted genes, and God Himself may have switched them off when fallen angels continued their program, post-Flood. If so, today’s scientists might need only to “switch them back on” to resurrect old forms such as Gibborim and Nephilim.
I should point out that not all “trucks” (vectors) deliver their payload immediately. Some operate on a time delay. Cytomegalovirus (cmv) is a common infective agent resident in the cells of many humans today. It “sleeps” in our systems, waiting for a window of opportunity to strike. Recently, genetic specialists began utilizing cmv vectors in transgenic experiments. In 1997, the Fox television program Millennium featured an episode in the second season called “Sense and Antisense” (referring to the two sides of the dna molecule). In this chilling story, a scientist named Lacuna reveals a genetic truth to Frank Black: “They have the map, the map, they can make us go down any street they want to. Streets that we would never even dream of going down. They flip a switch, we go east. They flip another switch, we go north. And we never know we have been flipped, let alone know how.”[i]
In the final days of this current age, humanity may indeed “flip.” Paul tells us that Christians will be transformed in a moment (1 Corinthians 15:51–53). Is it possible that the enemy also plans an instantaneous “flip”? Are genetic sleeper agents (idling “trucks”) already at work in humanity’s dna, waiting and ready to deploy at the appropriate moment?
Science is ready. Knowledge has been increased. The spiritual players have taken the stage.
All we need is the signal. The sign. The injection. The mark. The moment.
We shall all be changed. Some to incorruptible bodies ready to meet the Lord. Others to corrupted genomes ready to serve the Beast.
TO BE CONTINUED…
COMING IN JUST A FEW WEEKS FROM NOW… THE MULTI-YEAR DOCUMENTARY PROJECT THAT WILL STUN THE CHURCH!!
EDITOR’S NOTE: In the countdown to the release of the highly anticipated documentary “INHUMAN: THE NEXT AND FINAL PHASE OF MAN IS HERE”(scheduled for release August-September), SkyWatch TV is running this exclusive online series on transhumanism and the dawn of the Human Hybrid Age.
As transhumanist philosophy and Grin technology become integrated within society and national and private laboratories with their corporate allies provide increasingly sophisticated arguments for its widest adoption, those of us who treasure the meaning of life and human nature as defined by Judeo-Christian values will progressively find ourselves engaged in deepening spiritual conflicts over maintaining our humanity in the midst of what the producers of the upcoming documentary INHUMAN believe is fundamentally a supernatural conflict.
Just as the fictional exercise with the seventeen-year-old “Michelle” in the last entry illustrates, intensifying techno-spiritual issues, which Christian families will face this century, will escalate simultaneously at both spiritual and scientific levels. This material/immaterial struggle, which philosopher and theologian Francis Schaeffer once described as always at war “in the thought-world,” is difficult for some to grasp. The idea that human-transforming technology that mingles the dna of natural and synthetic beings and merges man with machines could somehow be used or even inspired by evilsupernaturalism to foment destruction within the material world is for some people so exotic as to be inconceivable. Yet nothing should be more fundamentally clear, as students of spiritual warfare will understand. We are body (physical form), mind (soul, will, emotions), and spirit, thus everything in the material and immaterial world has potential to influence our psychosomatic existence and decisions. “There is no conflict in our lives that is strictly a spiritual issue,” writes Robert Jeffress in his book, The Divine Defense. This is because “there is never a time when the spirit is divorced from the body. Likewise, there is no turmoil in our lives that is solely psychological or physical, because our spirit, along with God’s Spirit within us and demonic spirits around us, is always present as well.”[i] Jeffress’ point that material stimulus cannot be divorced from spiritual conditions conveys why the Bible is so concerned with the antitheses of transhumanism; the integrity of our bodies and minds. The goal is to bring both into obedience to Christ (2 Chronicles 10:5) because this is where the battle is first fought and won. No marriage breakup ever transpired that did not start there—no murder, no theft, no idolatry—but that the contest was staged in the imagination, then married to the senses, and the decision to act given to the victor.
How technology is now poised to raise this mind-body-spirit game is hidden in the shadows of the National Institute of Health and Darpa, which for more than three decades have invested hundreds of millions of dollars not only designing new dna constructs but crafting arrays of microelectrodes, supercomputers, and algorithms to analyze and decipher the brain’s neural code, the complex “syntax” and communication rules that transform electrical neuron pulses in the brain into specific digital and analog information that we ultimately perceive as decisions, memories, and emotions. Understanding how this secret brain language functions, then parsing it down into digital computer code (strings of ones and zeros) where it can be reassembled into words and commands and then manipulated is at the center of military neurobiology, artificial intelligence research, and cybernetics.
While significant studies in neurosciences have been conducted with “neuro-prostheses” in mind to help the handicapped—for instance, the artificial cochlear implant that approximately 188,000 people worldwide have received thus far—Darpa “is less interested in treating the disabled than in enhancing the cognitive capacities of soldiers,” says former senior writer at Scientific American, John Horgan. “Darpa officials have breached the prospect of cyborg warriors downloading complex fighting procedures directly into their brains, like the heroes of the Matrix,” and has “interest in the development of techniques that can survey and possibly manipulate the mental processes of potential enemies [by] recording signals from the brains of enemy personnel at a distance, in order to ‘read their minds and to control them.”[ii] Because what develops within military technology eventually migrates into the broader culture, where it is quickly embraced for competitive or mutual advantages, the ramifications of neurobiology has not escaped international interests in both public and private agencies. Entire fields of research are now under development worldwide based on the notion that breakthroughs will provide unprecedented opportunities for reading, influencing, and even controlling human minds this century. The implications from this field are so staggering that France, in 2010, became the first nation to establish a behavioral research unit specifically designed to study and set “neuropolicy” to govern how such things as “neuromarketing” (a new field of marketing that analyzes consumers’ sensorimotor and cognitive responses to stimuli in order to decode what part of the brain is telling consumers to make certain buying decisions) may be used in the future to access unconscious decision-making elements of the brain to produce desired responses. This precedent for government neuropolicy comes not a second too soon, as the world’s largest semiconductor chip maker, Intel Corp., wants brain communicators on the market and “in its customers’ heads” before the year 2020. In what can only be described as Matrix creep, researchers at Intel Labs Pittsburgh are designing what it bets will be “the next big thing”—brain chips that allow consumers to control a host of new electronic and communication gadgets by way of neural commands. Developers at Toyota and the University of Utah are also working on brain transmitters, which they hope will contribute to building a global “hive mind.”
From these developments comes the distant groaning of a “fearful unknown” in which the architecture of the human brain—as transformed by current and future cybernetic inventions—begins to act in ways that borderline the supernatural. Consider experimental telepathy, which involves mind-to-mind thought transference that allows people to communicate without the use of speaking audibly. Most do not know that Hans Berger, the inventor of electroencephalography (eeg, the recording of electrical activity along the scalp produced by the firing of neurons within the brain) was a strong believer in psychic phenomena and wanted to decode brain signals in order to establish nonverbal transmission between people. Grin technology proposes to fulfill his dream.
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Another example is telekinesis (psychokinesis), which involves the movement or manipulation of physical matter via direct influence of the mind. As incredible as it may seem, both this idea and the one above are under research by Darpa and other national laboratories as no pipe dream. In fact, recent experiments have provided “proof of concept” more than once. Such brain-to-brain transmission between distant persons as well as mind-to-computer communication was first demonstrated at the University of Southampton’s Institute of Sound and Vibration Research using electrodes and an Internet connection. The experiment at the institute went farther than most brain-to-machine interfacing (bmi) technology at that time, actually demonstrating brain-to-brain (B2B) communication between persons at a distance. Dr. Christopher James, who oversaw the experiment, commented: “Whilst bci [brain-computer interface] is no longer a new thing and person-to-person communication via the nervous system was shown previously in work by Prof. Kevin Warwick from the University of Reading, here we show, for the first time, true brain to brain interfacing. We have yet to grasp the full implications of this.” The experiment allowed one person using bci to transmit thoughts, translated as a series of binary digits, over the Internet to another person whose computer received the digits and transmitted them to the second user’s brain.[iii]
The real danger is how these accomplishments within human-mind-to-synthetic intelligence may take the proverbial “ghost in the machine” where no modern man has gone before, bridging a gap between unknown entities (both virtual and real), perhaps even inviting takeover of our species by malevolent intelligence. Note that the experiments above are being conducted at Southampton’s Institute of Sound and Vibration Research. Some years ago, scientist Vic Tandy’s research into sound, vibration frequencies, and eyeball resonation led to a thesis (actually titled “Ghosts in the Machine”) that was published in the Journal of the Society for Psychical Research. Tandy’s findings outlined what he thought were “natural causes” for particular cases of specter materialization. Tandy found that 19-Hz standing air waves could, under some circumstances, create sensory phenomena in an open environment suggestive of a ghost. He actually produced a frightening manifested entity resembling contemporary descriptions of “alien grays.” A similar phenomenon was discovered in 2006 by neurologist Olaf Blanke of the Brain Mind Institute in Lausanne, Switzerland, while working with a team to discover the source of epileptic seizures in a young woman. They were applying electrical currents through surgically implanted electrodes to various regions of her brain, when upon reaching her left temporoparietal junction (tpj, located roughly above the left ear) she suddenly reported feeling the presence of a shadow person standing behind her. The phantom started imitating her body posture, lying down beneath her when she was on the bed, sitting behind her, and later even attempting to take a test card away from her during a language exercise. While the scientists interpreted the activity as a natural, though mysterious, biological function of the brain, is it possible they were actually discovering gateways of perception into the spirit world that were closed by God following the fall of man? Were Tandy’s “ghost” and Blanke’s “shadow person” living unknowns? If so, is it not troubling that advocates of human-mind-to-machine intelligence may produce permanent conditions similar to Tandy and Blanke’s findings, giving rise to simulated or real relationships between humans and “entities”? At the thirteenth European Meeting on Cybernetics and Systems Research at the University of Vienna in Austria, an original paper submitted by Charles Ostman seemed to echo this possibility:
As this threshold of development is crossed, as an index of our human /Internet symbiosis becoming more pronounced, and irreversible, we begin to develop communication modalities which are quite “nonhuman” by nature, but are “socio-operative” norms of the near future. Our collective development and deployment of complex metasystems of artificial entities and synthetic life-forms, and acceptance of them as an integral component of the operational “culture norm” of the near future, is in fact the precursory developmental increment, as an enabling procedure, to gain effective communicative access to a contiguous collection of myriad “species” and entity types (synthetic and “real”) functioning as process brokeraging agents.[iv]
A similar issue that “pinged” in our memories from past experience with exorcism and the connection between sound resonance and contact with supernaturalism has to do with people who claim to have become possessed or “demonized” after attempting to open mind gateways through vibratory chanting at New Age vortices or “Mother Earth” energy sites such as Sedona, Arizona, where a light entity was recently captured on film during research for the book “On the Path of the Immortals” (get the 2.5 hour Special Investigative Report with a clip of the “orb” shooting around above our investigators heads FREE here). When we queried Christian paranormal expert expert Sue Bradley on this subject before she passed away, asking if she believed a connection could exist between acoustics, harmonics, sound resonance, and spirit gateways, she e-mailed this lengthy and interesting response:
Tom and Nita:
From the ancients to the New Age, resonance and harmonics have long been recognized as vehicles of communication and manifestation. Ancient rock outcroppings, sacred temples, and monuments have for millennia been used as gathering places for the so-called spiritually enlightened. Through recent understanding of quantum entanglement and the high energy physics of sound and light, both with adaptable vibratory characteristics, these popular sites for gatherings with ritual chants and offerings, often employing ancient spells and mathematical harmonic codes in various sets of tandem frequencies, may well have measurable and far greater esoteric effects than even recently believed.
Note what New Ager and modern shaman Zacciah Blackburn of Sacred Sound, Sound the Codes says he came in contact with at such sites:
It is not mere coincidence many of the ancient stone temples of the world were made with crystalline embedded stones, such as granite, which are known for their properties to pass or store energy. Through Sacred Sound and awareness practices, the unseen “wisdom keepers” and guardians of these sacred temples have communed with me, and showed me how to hold frequency of awareness in the heart and mind, and combine them into sound codes to create a “key” which opens the “libraries” of these temples of ancient star beings and wisdom keepers to the modern way traveler whom comes with pure intent.[v]
With this in mind, also consider how the word “ear” appears 120 times in Scripture, “ears” 151 times, and is important with regard to sound connected to spiritual hearing. First used in Exodus 15:26, the ear is linked to a covenant relationship for those that hearken to the voice of the Lord and keep His statutes. The right ear is repeatedly described in the Levitical instructions: “Then shalt thou kill the ram, and take of his blood, and put it upon the tip of the right ear of Aaron, and upon the tip of the right ear of his sons” (Exodus 29:20; [Leviticus 8:23 and 24; 14:14, 17, 25, and 28].
Subsequent references to the ear and hearing are presented as petitions to God from His servants as well as from God as counsel, forewarning and rebukes.
The ear as a spiritual gateway termed “Ear-Gate” first appeared in English usage through an allegory penned by John Bunyan in 1682. Bunyan’s classic, The Pilgrim’s Progress, was the most widely read and translated book in the English language apart from the Bible: it was also an educational staple and considered to be required reading in the U.S. from colonial times through World War II. While The Pilgrim’s Progress allegorizes the encounters and obstacles of a man seeking salvation, Bunyan’s The Holy War or The Losing and Taking Again of the Town of Mansoul recounts the cosmic conflict for the souls of mankind with Peretti-like descriptions and precision.
The town of Mansoul, designed in the image of the almighty, Shaddai, is the target of the deceptive and malevolent giant, Diabolus. Mansoul is a city of five gates: the Ear-Gate, Eye-Gate, Mouth-Gate, Nose-Gate and Feel-Gate. The first and most strategic gate is the first gate breached: the Ear-Gate.
Nineteenth-century theologian, Rev. Robert Maguire, comments on the importance of the Ear-Gate:
This was the gate of audience, and through this gate the words of the tempter must penetrate, if the temptation is to be successful. Into the ears of our first mother did the wily serpent whisper the glozing words of his seductive wiles and through the Ear-Gate, he assailed her heart and won it. To give audience to the tempter is the next step to yielding up obedience to his will.[vi]
One of the two principal powers in Mansoul, Resistance, quickly succumbs to an arrow from the army of Diabolus. The promises of Diabolus are familiar: to enlarge the town of man-soul, to augment their freedom and in the subtlety of pattern identical to Eden,challenging the prohibition of the Tree of Knowledge itself.
Dr. Maguire continues to describe this initial incursion at the Ear-Gate with the introduction of Mr. Ill-Pause, another of the diabolical army that visits Mansoul:
Satan has many mysterious angels who are ready to second their master’s temptations and to commend his wily overtures. Thus Ill-Pause persuades the men of Mansoul; and, lo! to the temptation from without (which was utterly powerless in itself), there answers the yielding from within. This is the fatal act; and is straightaway followed by another grave disaster—the death of Innocency, one of the chiefest and most honorable townsmen. His sensitive soul was poisoned by the contact of the breath of the lost.[vii]
The Holy War continues with civil war raging within Mansoul and the defeat of the giant Diabolus and his demonic army by the son of Shaddai, Emmanuel, but the allegory perhaps finds more direct application in the twenty-first century than earlier. This is because, more than any other time in history, the seduction of high-tech has taken firm root—and among the most vulnerable of the population. Culturally adrift, this high risk generation, most of whom have never heard the exquisite truths of John Bunyan, has been denied spiritual cultivation through an educational system which values tolerance above absolutes and through social training that elevates technology above heritage.
TO BE CONTINUED…
[i] Robert Jeffress, The Divine Defense: Six Simple Strategies for Winning Your Greatest Battles (Colorado Springs, CO: WaterBrook, 2006) 78.
[ii] John Horgon, “We’re Cracking the Neural Code, the Brain’s Secret Language,” Adbusters (1/25/06) https://www.adbusters.org/the_magazine/63/Were_Cracking_the_Neural_Code_the_Brains_Secret_Language.html.
[iii] “Brain-Computer Interface Allows Person-to-Person Communication Through Power Of Thought,” ScienceDaily (10/6/09) http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/10/091006102637.htm.
[iv] Charles Ostman, The Internet as an Organism: Emergent Human / Internet Symbiosis (Vienna, Austria: Thirteenth European Meeting on Cybernetics and Systems Research at the University of Vienna, April 9–12, 1996) emphasis added.
[v] Sounding the Codes (2007) http://www.thecenteroflight.net.
[vi] Robert Maguire, Charles J. Doe, Commentary on John Bunyan’s The Holy War (2009) 11.
EDITOR’S NOTE:In the countdown to the release of the highly anticipated documentary “INHUMAN: THE NEXT AND FINAL PHASE OF MAN IS HERE”(scheduled for release around August 15), SkyWatch TV is running this exclusive online series on transhumanism and the dawn of the Human Hybrid Age.
It would be nice to be an artilect, a god, a supremely powerful omnipotent being. I could be such a creature [soon.] It’s possible. It’s not an unattainable dream. All I can do here is attempt to convey some measure of the strength of “religious” feeling that I and other[s] will make public this century.—Prof. Hugo de Garis, artificial brain designer
All of the boundaries are up for grabs. All of the boundaries that have defined us as human beings, boundaries between a human being and an animal and between a human being and a super human being or a god.—Leon R. Kass, former chairman, President’s Council on Bioethics
A non-human race once lived upon earth. They came to be called the Rephaim [Nephilim]. They were genetic monsters, mutants whose end is darkness, just as was their society upon earth. Will jcvi’s [J. Craig Venter Institute, which created the entirely new life form nicknamed “Synthia”] work result in another such atrocity?—Gary Stearman, Bible scholar
English theologian George Hawkins Pember, in his 1876 masterpiece, Earth’s Earliest Ages, analyzed the prophecy of Jesus Christ that says the end times would be a repeat of “the days of Noah.” Pember outlined the seven great causes of the antediluvian destruction and documented their developmental beginnings in his lifetime. The seventh and most fearful sign, Pember wrote, would be the return of the spirits of Nephilim, “the appearance upon earth of beings from the Principality of the Air, and their unlawful intercourse with the human race.”
Jesus Himself, in answering His disciples concerning the signs of His coming and of the end of the world, said it would be “as the days of [Noah] were” (Matthew 24:37). The implication is, just as it was before the Flood when the spirits of Nephilim were powerful upon earth (Genesis 6:4), mankind would experience an end-times renaissance of the influence of these entities. From Scripture we are made to understand the purpose of this latter-day wave of supernaturalism includes deception (2 Timothy 3:13), and the effect upon mankind would be so successful that heresy and delusion would become firmly entrenched—even within institutionalized Christianity. In writing of this scenario, Paul prophesied to Timothy that “in the latter times, some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils” (1 Timothy 4:1).
Based on contemporary developments, the foretold increase in demonism and its influence within secular and religious society is rapidly unfolding this century—abruptly, dramatically, and suspiciously. Biblical scholar Gary Stearman agrees, stating in disturbing language how the manifestation of these powers are quickening now because the world is under conditions “in which the influence of God’s Holy Spirit is diminishing.”[i] This is apparent not only in metaphysics, but within science and technology, where genetic engineering and transhumanist aspirations seem literally hell-bent on repeating what the Watchers did in giving birth to the spirits of Nephilim as in the days of Noah.
THE FIRST TIME NEPHILIM APPEARED ON EARTH
As far back as the beginning of time and within every major culture of the ancient world, the astonishingly consistent story is told of “gods” who descended from heaven and materialized in bodies of flesh. From Rome to Greece—and before that, to Egypt, Persia, Assyria, Babylonia, and Sumer—the earliest records of civilization tell of the era when powerful beings known to the Hebrews as “Watchers” and in the book of Genesis as the b’nai ha Elohim (“sons of God”) mingled themselves with humans, giving birth to part-celestial, part-terrestrial hybrids known as “Nephilim.” The Bible says this happened when men began to increase on earth and daughters were born to them. When the sons of God saw the women’s beauty, they took wives from among them to sire their unusual offspring. In Genesis 6:4, we read the following account: “There were giants [Nephilim] in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown.”
When this Scripture is compared with other ancient texts, including Enoch, Jubilees, Baruch, Genesis Apocryphon, Philo, Josephus, Jasher, and others, it unfolds to some that the giants of the Old Testament such as Goliath were the part-human, part-animal, part-angelic offspring of a supernatural interruption into the divine order and natural development of the species. The apocryphal Book of Enoch gives a name to the angels involved in this cosmic conspiracy, calling them “Watchers.” We read:
And I Enoch was blessing the Lord of majesty and the King of the ages, and lo! the Watchers called me—Enoch the scribe—and said to me: “Enoch, thou scribe of righteousness, go, declare to the Watchers of the heaven who have left the high heaven, the holy eternal place, and have defiled themselves with women, and have done as the children of earth do, and have taken unto themselves wives: Ye have wrought great destruction on the earth: And ye shall have no peace nor forgiveness of sin: and inasmuch as they delight themselves in their children [the Nephilim], The murder of their beloved ones shall they see, and over the destruction of their children shall they lament, and shall make supplication unto eternity, but mercy and peace shall ye not attain.” (1 Enoch 10:3–8)
According to Enoch, two hundred of these powerful angels departed “high heaven” and used women (among other dna providers) to extend their progeny into mankind’s plane of existence. The Interlinear Hebrew Bible (ihn) offers an interesting interpretation of Genesis 6:2 in this regard. Where the King James Version of the Bible says, “The sons of God saw the daughters of men that they [were] fair,” the ihn interprets this as, “The [b’nai ha Elohim] saw the daughters of Adam, that they were fit extensions” (emphasis added). The term “fit extensions” seems applicable when the whole of the ancient record is understood to mean that the Watchers wanted to leave their proper sphere of existence in order to enter earth’s three-dimensional reality. They viewed women—or at least their genetic material—as part of the formula for accomplishing this task. Departing the proper habitation that God had assigned them was grievous to the Lord and led to divine penalization. Jude described it this way: The “angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, He hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day” (Jude 6).
Besides apocryphal, pseudepigraphic, and Jewish traditions related to the legend of the Watchers and the “mighty men” born of their union with humans, mythologized accounts tell the stories of “gods” using humans and animals to produce heroes or demigods (half-gods). When the ancient Greek version of the Hebrew Old Testament (the LXX or Septuagint) was made, the word “Nephilim”—referring to the part-human offspring of the Watchers—was translated gegenes, a word implying “earth born.” This same terminology was used to describe the Greek Titans and other legendary heroes of part-celestial and part-terrestrial origin, such as Hercules (born of Zeus and the mortal Alcmena), Achilles (the Trojan hero son of Thetis and Peleus), and Gilgamesh (the two-thirds god and one-third human child of Lugalbanda and Ninsun). These demigods were likewise accompanied in texts and idol representation by half-animal and half-human creatures like centaurs (the part-human, part-horse offspring of Apollo’s son, Centaurus), chimeras, furies, satyrs, gorgons, nymphs, Minotaurs, and other genetic aberrations. All of this seems to indicate that the Watchers not only modified human dna during the construction of Nephilim, but that of animals as well, a point the Book of Enoch supports, saying in the seventh chapter that the fallen angels “sinned” against animals as well as humans. Other books such as Jubilees add that this interspecies mingling eventually resulted in mutations among normal humans and animals whose “flesh” (genetic makeup) was “corrupted” by the activity, presumably through crossbreeding (see 5:1–5; 7:21–25). Even the Old Testament contains reference to the genetic mutations that developed among humans following this time frame, including “men” of unusual size, physical strength, six fingers, six toes, animal appetite for blood, and even lion-like features (2 Samuel 21:20, 23:20). But of all the ancient records, the most telling extrabiblical script is from the Book of Jasher, a mostly forgotten text referred to in the Bible in Joshua 10:13 and 2 Samuel 1:18. Jasher records the familiar story of the fall of the Watchers, then adds an exceptional detail that none of the other texts is as unequivocal about, something that can only be understood in modern language to mean advanced biotechnology, genetic engineering, or “transgenic modification” of species. After the Watchers had instructed humans “in the secrets of heaven,” note what Jasher says occurred: “[Then] the sons of men [began teaching] the mixture of animals of one species with the other, in order therewith to provoke the Lord” (4:18).
The phrase “the mixture of animals of one species with the other” does not mean Watchers had taught men hybridization, as this would not have “provoked the Lord.” God made like animals of different breeds capable of reproducing. For example, horses can propagate with other mammals of the equidae classification (the taxonomic “horse family”), including donkeys and zebras. It would not have “provoked the Lord” for this type of animal breeding to have taken place, as God Himself made the animals able to do this.
If, on the other hand, the Watchers were crossing species boundaries by mixing incompatible animals of one species with the other, such as pig dna with humans like science is doing today, this would have been a different matter and may cast light on the numerous ancient stories of mythical beings of variant-species manufacturing that fit perfectly within the records of what the Watchers were accomplishing. Understandably, this kind of chimera-making would have “provoked the Lord,” and raises the serious question of why the Watchers would have risked eternal damnation by tinkering with God’s creation in this way. Yahweh had placed boundaries between the species and strictly ordered that “each kind” reproduce only after its “own kind.” Was the motive of the Watchers to break these rules simply the desire to rebel, to assault God’s creative genius through biologically altering what He had made? Or was something of deeper significance behind the activity?
Some believe the corruption of antediluvian dna by Watchers was an effort to cut off the birth line of the Messiah. This theory posits that Satan understood the protoevangelium—the promise in Genesis 3:15 that a Savior would be born, the seed of the woman, and that He would destroy the fallen angel’s power. Satan’s followers therefore intermingled with the human race in a conspiracy to stop the birth of Christ. If human dna could be universally corrupted or “demonized,” they reasoned, no Savior would be born and mankind would be lost forever. Those who support this theory believe this is why God ordered His people to maintain a pure bloodline and not to intermarry with the other nations. When men breached this command and the mutated dna began rapidly spreading among humans and animals, God instructed Noah to build an ark and prepare for a flood that would destroy every living thing. That God had to send such a universal fiat illustrates how widespread the altered dna eventually became. In fact, the Bible says in Genesis 6:9 that only Noah—and by extension, his children—were found “perfect” in their generation. The Hebrew word for “perfect” in this case is tamiym, which means “without blemish” or “healthy,” the same word used in Leviticus to describe an unblemished sacrificial lamb. The meaning was not that Noah was morally perfect, but that his physical makeup—his dna—had not been contaminated with Nephilim descent, as apparently the rest of the world had become. In order to preserve mankind as He had made them, God destroyed all but Noah’s family in the Flood. The ancient records including those of the Bible appear to agree with this theology, consistently describing the cause of the Flood as happening in response to “all flesh” having become “corrupted, both man and beast.”
While we believe the theory of dna corruption as an intended method for halting the coming of Christ has merit, an alternative or additional reason the Watchers may have blended living organisms exists in a theory we postulated in our book, ZENITH 2016: DID SOMETHING BEGIN IN THE YEAR 2012 THAT WILL REACH ITS APEX IN 2016? In that book, we speculated that the manipulation of dna may have had a deeper purpose—namely, to create a hybrid form that neither the spirit of man nor God would inhabit because it was neither man nor beast, and thus provided an unusual body made up of human, animal, and plant genetics known as Nephilim, an earth-born facsimile or “fit extension” into which the Watchers could extend themselves.
Given advances in Grin technology, transhumanist aspirations, and the admitted new arms race of human enhancement discussed in the previous chapter, imagine the staggering spiritual warfare implications of such science if dead Nephilim tissue were discovered with intact dna and a government somewhere was willing to clone or mingle the extracted organisms for use in (re)creating the ultimate super soldier—Homo-Nephilim. If one accepts the biblical story of Nephilim as real, such discovery could actually be made someday—or perhaps already has been and was covered up. As an example of this possibility, in 2009, blood was extracted from the bone of a dinosaur that scientists insist is eighty million years old. Nephilim would have existed in relatively recent times comparably, making clonable material from dead biblical giants feasible. The technology to resurrect extinct species already exists. The Pyrenean ibex, an extinct form of wild mountain goat, was brought back to life in 2009 through cloning of dna taken from skin samples. This was followed in June of 2010 by researchers at Jeju National University in Korea cloning a bull that had been dead for two years. Cloning methods are also being studied for use in bringing back Tasmanian tigers, woolly mammoths, and other extinct creatures, and in the March/April 2010 edition of the respected Archaeology magazine, a feature article by Zah Zorich (“Should We Clone Neanderthals?”) called for the resurrection via cloning of what some consider to be man’s closest extinct relative, the Neanderthals. National Geographic confirmed this possibility in its May 2009 special report, “Recipe for a Resurrection,” quoting Hendrik Poinar of McMaster University, an authority on ancient dna who served as a scientific consultant for the movie Jurassic Park, saying: “I laughed when Steven Spielberg said that cloning extinct animals was inevitable. But I’m not laughing anymore.… This is going to happen. It’s just a matter of working out the details.”[ii]
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The ramifications of using science to revive extinct animals or Nephilim could extend beyond cloning to include a mysterious germ-line connection with the armies of Armageddon and the kingdom of Antichrist. This is because as interbreeding begins between transgenic animals, genetically modified humans, and species as God made them, the altered dna will quickly migrate into the natural environment. When that happens (as is already occurring among genetically modified plants and animals), “alien” and/or animal characteristics will be introduced to the human gene pool and spread through intermarriage, altering the human genetic code and eventually eliminating humanity as we know it. According to many theologians, this is what happened before the Great Flood, allowing for Nephilim incarnation and perhaps has been the whole idea for the end times as well—to create a generation of genetically altered “fit extensions” for the resurrection of underworld Nephilim hordes in preparation of Armageddon.
If, as we believe, the Antichrist is the reincarnation of the ancient demon deity Apollo (the Old Testament Nimrod) as prophesied by the apostles Paul in 2 Thessalonians 2:3 and John in Revelation 17:8, not only will he be the exact opposite of Jesus (Son of God), but he will be the forerunner of the return of the Nephilim. The prophet Isaiah (chapters 13 and 14) spoke of the return of these beings, and tied the advent to the destruction of the city of Babylon in the final age (which should give us pause in light of the ongoing presence of U.S. armed forces in Iraq/Babylon and the powder keg surrounding it). From the Septuagint, we read:
The vision which Esaias son of Amos saw against Babylon. Lift up a standard on the mountain of the plain, exalt the voice to them, beckon with the hand, open the gates, ye ruler. I give command and I bring them: giants are coming to fulfill my wrath.… For behold! The day of the Lord is coming which cannot be escaped, a day of wrath and anger, to make the world desolate.… And Babylon…shall be as when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah.… It shall never be inhabited…and monsters shall rest there, and devils shall dance there and satyrs shall dwell there. (Isaiah 13:1–3, 9, 19–22, LXX, emphasis added)
One can only speculate if something more than is casually perceived is meant by Isaiah when he says, “open the gates, ye ruler,” but whoever this ruler is, he opens “gates” in Iraq/Babylon through which end-times giants (gibborim) return to the surface of earth as agents of God’s wrath. Noting that Isaiah ties the destruction of Iraq/Babylon with the reappearance of gibborim in this way, we recall how thousands of U.S. troops, on invading Iraq during the Bush administration, admittedly filled U.S. containers with archaeological materials, including what some have speculated to be cuneiform tablets pointing to the location of pure-blooded Nephilim buried in underground caves. This is exactly where Enoch said the dead antediluvian Nephilim are, and raises fascinating questions: Would agencies like Darpa have interest in studying or cloning the extinct beings if they were, or have been, found? Could man in his arrogance revive ancient dna, revitalizing or blending it with other living organisms in a way similar to what the Watchers did in making the first Nephilim? Is the factual reappearance on earth of such legendary beings verified by Isaiah, who also foresaw transhuman creatures such as satyrs (transgenic half-men, half-goats) accompanying the return of giants in the end times, or why other apocryphal books like 2 Esdras 5:8 prophesy the birth of “monsters” for the same period of time? Some may be shocked to learn that in addition to the citations above, the Bible actually describes an ultimate end-times spiritual warfare between the “mythological gods” and Christ. “The Lord will be terrible unto them: for he will famish all the gods of the earth” says Zephaniah 2:11. “The Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, saith; ‘Behold, I will punish the…gods’” (Jeremiah 46:25). Human followers of the pagan deities will join the conflict, calling upon their idols (Revelation 9:20) to convene their powers against the Christian God, uniting with “the spirits of devils working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth…to gather them to the battle of that great day…[to] a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon [Megiddo]” (Revelation 16:13–14, 16). The ancient Book of Jubilees—another apocryphal text—considers the same time frame and verifies contemporaneous Nephilim resurrection. The familiar word “corruption” turns up again in association with these beings, insinuating an end-times repeat of what the Watchers did by corrupting human dna and blending it with animals to retrofit human bodies for Nephilim incarnation. Note that this happens just before Satan is judged:
The malignant evil ones [spirits of Nephilim destroyed in the Flood] were bound in the place of condemnation, but a tenth part of them were left that they might be subject before Satan on the earth. These are for corruption [corruption of dna as in days of old?] and leading astray men before Satan’s judgment. (Jubilees 10:7–12)
The well-known prophecy in the second chapter of the book of Joel also includes reference to returning gibborim (giants, Nephilim offspring). Though expositors tend to view Joel describing an army of locusts, he includes gibborim in his descriptions in the phrase “they shall run like mighty men [gibborim].” Does this mean something besides the fact that grasshoppers will be involved in Joel’s end-times army?
[They are] a great people and a strong; there hath not been ever the like, neither shall be any more after it…and nothing shall escape them. The appearance of them is as the appearance of horses; and as horsemen, so shall they run…. They shall run like mighty men [gibbowr, gibborim]; they shall climb the wall like men of war.… They shall run to and fro in the city; they shall run upon the wall, they shall climb up upon the houses; they shall enter in at the windows like a thief. The earth shall quake before them.… And the Lord shall utter His voice before His army: for His camp is very great: for He is strong that executeth His word: for the day of the Lord is great and very terrible; and who can abide it? (Joel 2:2–11)
Another expression Joel uses—“the appearance of them is as the appearance of horses; and as horsemen, so shall they run”—sounds like the last-days locusts and transgenic horse-men mutations in Revelation 9:7–19. When all such texts are added up, there is persuasive evidence that the massive gibborim army that runs upon the wall from which nobody can escape could be the result of man’s willingness to play “god” in reviving forbidden science and opening “gates” to gibborim lurking in the beyond.
Does a curious verse in the book of Daniel also hint at this? Speaking of the last days of human government, Daniel said: “They shall mingle themselves with the seed of men: but they shall not cleave one to another, even as iron is not mixed with clay” (Daniel 2:43).
While Daniel does not explain who “they” that “mingle themselves with the seed of men” are, the personal pronoun “they” caused Chuck Missler and Mark Eastman, in their book, Alien Encounters, to ask: “Just what (or who) are ‘mingling with the seed of men?’ Who are these non-seed? It staggers the mind to contemplate the potential significance of Daniel’s passage and its implications for the future global governance.”[iii] Daniel’s verse also troubled Missler and Eastman because it seemed to indicate that the same phenomenon that occurred in Genesis chapter 6, where nonhuman species or “nonseed” mingled with human seed and produced Nephilim would happen again in the end times. When this verse from Daniel is coupled with Genesis 3:15, which says, “And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed [zera, meaning “offspring,” “descendents,” or “children”] and her seed,” an incredible tenet emerges—that Satan has seed, and that it is at enmity with Christ.
To “mingle” nonhuman seed with Homo sapiens through altering human dna while simultaneously returning Nephilim to earth has been the inspiration of the spirit of Antichrist ever since God halted the practice during the Great Flood. According to Louis Pauwells and Jacques Bergier in The Dawn of Magic (first published in France in 1960 under the title Le Matin des Magiciens), this was certainly the goal of the antichrist Adolf Hitler:
Hitler’s aim was neither the founding of a race of supermen, nor the conquest of the world; these were only means towards the realization of the great work he dreamed of. His real aim was to perform an act of creation, a divine operation, the goal of a biological mutation which would result in an unprecedented exaltation of the human race and the “apparition of a new race of heroes and demigods and god-men.”[iv]
One cannot read the conclusion by Pauwells and Bergier regarding Hitler’s antichrist ambition without seeing how it corresponds perfectly with the goals of transhumanism, even to the connection of creating posthuman bodies fit for deity incarnation through genetic engineering.
TO BE CONTINUED…
[i] Gary Stearman, “The Extraterrestrial Question,” Prophecy in the News (March 2010) 10.
[ii] Hendrik Poinar, “Recipe for a Resurrection,” National Geographic (May 2009) http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2009/05/cloned-species/Mueller-text).
[iii] Chuck Missler and Mark Eastman, Alien Encounters (Coeur d’Alene, ID: Koinonia House, 1997) 275.
[iv] Louis Pauwells and Jacques Bergier. The Dawn of Magic, first published in France under the title Le Matin des Magiciens, (Paris: Editions Gallimard) 68.
EDITOR’S NOTE: In the countdown to the release of the highly anticipated documentary “INHUMAN: THE NEXT AND FINAL PHASE OF MAN IS HERE”(scheduled for release around August 15), SkyWatch TV is running this exclusive online series on transhumanism and the dawn of the Human Hybrid Age.
While positive advances either already have been or will come from some of the science and technology fields we examine in the upcoming documentary INHUMAN, learned men like Prof. Francis Fukuyama, in his book, Our Posthuman Future: Consequences of the Biotechnology Revolution, warn that unintended consequences resulting from what mankind has now set in motion represents the most dangerous time in earth’s history, a period when exotic technology in the hands of transhumanist ambitions could forever alter what it means to be human. To those who would engineer a transhuman future, Fukuyama warns of a dehumanized “hell scenario” in which we “no longer struggle, aspire, love, feel pain, make difficult moral choices, have families, or do any of the things that we traditionally associate with being human.” In this ultimate identity crisis, we would “no longer have the characteristics that give us human dignity” because, for one thing, “people dehumanized à la Brave New World¼don’t know that they are dehumanized, and, what is worse, would not care if they knew. They are, indeed, happy slaves with a slavish happiness.”[i] The “hell scenario” envisioned by Fukuyama is but a beginning to what other intelligent thinkers believe could go wrong.
On the other end of the spectrum and diametrically opposed to Fukuyama’s conclusions is an equally energetic crowd that subscribes to a form of technological utopianism we will call the “heaven scenario.” Among this group, a “who’s who” of transhumansist evangelists such as Ray Kurzweil, James Hughes, Natasha Vita More (both Hughes and More are in the upcoming documentary INHUMAN), Nick Bostrom, and Gregory Stock see the dawn of a new Age of Enlightenment arriving as a result of the accelerating pace of GRINS (Genetics, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Nanotechnology, Synthetic Biology), technologies. As with the eighteenth-century Enlightenment in which intellectual and scientific reason elevated the authority of scientists over priests, techno-utopians believe they will triumph over prophets of doom by “stealing fire from the gods, breathing life into inert matter, and gaining immortality. Our efforts to become something more than human have a long and distinguished genealogy. Tracing the history of those efforts illuminates human nature. In every civilization, in every era, we have given the gods no peace.”[ii] Such men and women are joined in their quest for godlike constitutions by a growing list of official U.S. departments that dole out hundreds of millions of dollars each year for science and technology research. The National Science Foundation and the United States Department of Commerce anticipated this development over a decade ago, publishing the government report Converging Technologies for Improving Human Performance—complete with diagrams and bullet points—to lay out the blueprint for the radical evolution of man and machine. Their vision imagined that, following the year 2012, the “heaven scenario” would begin to be manifested and quickly result in (among other things):
The transhuman body being “more durable, healthy, energetic, easier to repair, and resistant to many kinds of stress, biological threats, and aging processes.”
Brain-machine interfacing that will “transform work in factories, control automobiles, ensure military superiority, and enable new sports, art forms and modes of interaction between people.
“Engineers, artists, architects, and designers will experience tremendously expanded creative abilities,” in part through “improved understanding of the wellspring of human creativity.”
“Average persons, as well as policymakers, will have a vastly improved awareness of the cognitive, social, and biological forces operating their lives, enabling far better adjustment, creativity, and daily decision making.
“Factories of tomorrow will be organized” around “increased human-machine capabilities.”[iii]
Beyond how human augmentation and biological reinvention would spread into the wider culture following 2012 (the same date former counter-terrorism czar, Richard Clark, in his book, Breakpoint, predicted serious GRINS rollout), the government report detailed the especially important global and economic aspects of genetically superior humans acting in superior ways, offering how, as a result of GRINS leading to techno-sapien dna upgrading, brain-to-brain interaction, human-machine interfaces, personal sensory device interfaces, and biological war fighting systems, “The twenty-first century could end in world peace, universal prosperity, and evolution to a higher level [as] humanity become[s] like a single, transcendent nervous system, an interconnected ‘brain’ based in new core pathways of society.” The first version of the government’s report asserted that the only real roadblock to this “heaven scenario” would be the “catastrophe” that would be unleashed if society fails to employ the technological opportunities available to us now. “We may not have the luxury of delay, because the remarkable economic, political and even violent turmoil of recent years implies that the world system is unstable. If we fail to chart the direction of change boldly, we may become the victims of unpredictable catastrophe.”[iv] This argument parallels what is currently echoed in military corridors, where sentiments hold that failure to commit resources to develop GRINS as the next step in human and technological evolution will only lead to others doing so ahead of us and using it for global domination.
Not everybody likes the “heaven scenario” imperative, and from the dreamy fantasies of Star Trek to the dismal vision of Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World, some have come to believe there are demons hiding inside transhumanism’s mystical (or mythical?) “Shangri-la.”
“Many of the writers [of the government report cited above] share a faith in technology which borders on religiosity, boasting of miracles once thought to be the province of the Almighty,” write the editors of The New Atlantis: A Journal of Technology and Society. “[But] without any serious reflection about the hazards of technically manipulating our brains and our consciousness¼a different sort of catastrophe is nearer at hand. Without honestly and seriously assessing the consequences associated with these powerful new [GRINS] technologies, we are certain, in our enthusiasm and fantasy and pride, to rush headlong into disaster.”[v]
Few people would be more qualified than computer scientist Bill Joy to annunciate these dangers, or to outline the “hell scenario” that could unfold as a result of GRINS. Yet it must have come as a real surprise to some of those who remembered him as the level-headed Silicon Valley scientist and co-founder of Sun Microsystems (sm) when, as chief scientist for the corporation, he released a vast and now-famous essay, “Why the Future Doesn’t Need Us,” arguing how GRINS would threaten in the very near future to obliterate mankind. What was extraordinary about Joy’s prophecy was how he saw himself—and people like him—as responsible for building the very machines that “will enable the construction of the technology that may replace our species.”
“From the very moment I became involved in the creation of new technologies, their ethical dimensions have concerned me,” he begins. But it was not until the autumn of 1998 that he became “anxiously aware of how great are the dangers facing us in the twenty-first century.” Joy dates his “awakening” to a chance meeting with Ray Kurzweil, whom he talked with in a hotel bar during a conference at which they both spoke. Kurzweil was finishing his manuscript for The Age of Spiritual Machines and the powerful descriptions of sentient robots and near-term enhanced humans left Joy taken aback, “especially given Ray’s proven ability to imagine and create the future,” Joy wrote. “I already knew that new technologies like genetic engineering and nanotechnology were giving us the power to remake the world, but a realistic and imminent scenario for intelligent robots surprised me.”
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Over the weeks and months following the hotel conversation, Joy puzzled over Kurzweil’s vision of the future until finally it dawned on him that genetic engineering, robotics, artificial intelligence, and nanotechnology posed “a different threat than the technologies that have come before. Specifically, robots, engineered organisms, and nanobots share a dangerous amplifying factor: They can self-replicate. A bomb is blown up only once—but one bot can become many, and quickly get out of control.” The unprecedented threat of self-replication particularly burdened Joy because, as a computer scientist, he thoroughly understood the concept of out-of-control replication or viruses leading to machine systems or computer networks being disabled. Uncontrolled self-replication of nanobots or engineered organisms would run “a much greater risk of substantial damage in the physical world,” Joy concluded before adding his deeper fear:
What was different in the twentieth century? Certainly, the technologies underlying the weapons of mass destruction (wmd)—nuclear, biological, and chemical (nbc)—were powerful, and the weapons an enormous threat. But building nuclear weapons required highly protected information; biological and chemical weapons programs also tended to require large-scale activities.
The twenty-first-century technologies—genetics, nanotechnology, and robotics¼are so powerful that they can spawn whole new classes of accidents and abuses. Most dangerously, for the first time, these accidents and abuses are widely within the reach of individuals or small groups. They will not require large facilities or rare raw materials. Knowledge alone will enable the use of them.
Thus we have the possibility not just of weapons of mass destruction but of knowledge-enabled mass destruction (kmd), this destructiveness hugely amplified by the power of self-replication.
I think it is no exaggeration to say we are on the cusp of the further perfection of extreme evil, an evil whose possibility spreads well beyond that which weapons of mass destruction bequeathed to the nation states, on to a surprising and terrible empowerment.[vi]
Joy’s prophecy about self-replicating “extreme evil” as an imminent and enormous transformative power that threatens to rewrite the laws of nature and permanently alter the course of life as we know it was frighteningly revived not long ago with the creation of J. Craig Venter’s “self-replicating” Synthia species (Venter’s description). Parasites such as the mycoplasma mycoides that Venter modified to create Synthia can be resistant to antibiotics and acquire and smuggle dna from one species to another, causing a variety of diseases. The dangers represented by Synthia’s self-replicating parasitism has thus refueled Joy’s opus and given experts in the field of counter-terrorism sleepless nights over how extremists could use open-source information to create a Frankenstein version of Synthia in fulfillment of Carl Sagan’s Pale Blue Dot, which Joy quoted as, “the first moment in the history of our planet when any species, by its own voluntary actions, has become a danger to itself.” As a dire example of the possibilities this represents, a genetically modified version of mouse pox was created not long ago that immediately reached 100 percent lethality. If such pathogens were unleashed into population centers, the results would be catastrophic. This is why Joy and others were hoping a few years ago that a universal moratorium or voluntary relinquishment of GRINS developments would be initiated by national laboratories and governments. But the genie is so far out of the bottle today that even college students are attending annual synthetic biology contests (such as the International Genetically Engineered Machine Competition, or igem) where nature-altering witches’ brews are being concocted by the scores, splicing and dicing dna into task-fulfilling living entities. A growing list of such dna sequences are readily available over the Internet, exasperating security experts who see the absence of universal rules for controlling what is increasingly available through information networks as threatening to unleash a “runaway sorcerer’s apprentice” with unavoidable biological fallout. Venter and his collaborators say they recognize this danger—that self-replicating biological systems like the ones they are building—hold peril as well as hope, and they have joined in calling on Congress to enact laws to attempt to control the flow of information and synthetic “recipes” that could provide lethal new pathogens for terrorists. The problem, as always, is getting all of the governments in the world to voluntarily follow a firm set of ethics or rules. This is wishful thinking at best. It is far more likely the world is racing toward what Joel Garreau was first to call the “hell scenario”—a moment in which human-driven GRINS technologies place earth and all its inhabitants on course to self-eradication.
Ironically, some advocates of posthumanity are now using the same threat scenario to advocate for transhumanism as the best way to deal with the inevitable extinction of mankind via GRINS. At the global interdisciplinary institute Metanexus, Mark Walker, assistant professor at New Mexico State University (who holds the Richard L. Hedden of Advanced Philosophical Studies Chair) concludes like Bill Joy that “technological advances mean that there is a high probability that a human-only future will end in extinction.” From this he makes a paradoxical argument:
In a nutshell, the argument is that even though creating posthumans may be a very dangerous social experiment, it is even more dangerous not to attempt it.¼
I suspect that those who think the transhumanist future is risky often have something like the following reasoning in mind: (1) If we alter human nature then we will be conducting an experiment whose outcome we cannot be sure of. (2) We should not conduct experiments of great magnitude if we do not know the outcome. (3) We do not know the outcome of the transhumanist experiment. (4) So, we ought not to alter human nature.
The problem with the argument is.¼ Because genetic engineering is already with us, and it has the potential to destroy civilization and create posthumans, we are already entering uncharted waters, so we must experiment. The question is not whether to experiment, but only the residual question of which social experiment will we conduct. Will we try relinquishment? This would be an unparalleled social experiment to eradicate knowledge and technology. Will it be the steady-as-she-goes experiment where for the first time governments, organizations and private citizens will have access to knowledge and technology that (accidently or intentionally) could be turned to civilization ending purposes? Or finally, will it be the transhumanist social experiment where we attempt to make beings brighter and more virtuous to deal with these powerful technologies?
I have tried to make at least a prima facie case that transhumanism promises the safest passage through twenty-first–century technologies.[vii]
The producers of the upcoming documentary INHUMAN believe the “brighter and more virtuous beings” Professor Walker and others are arguing for possess supernatural elements and that the spirit behind the transhumanist nightmare will put the “hell” in the “hell scenario” sooner than most comprehend.
TO BE CONTINUED…
[i] Francis Fukuyama, Our Posthuman Future: Consequences of the Biotechnology Revolution (New York: Picador, 2002) 6.
[iv] “Carried Away with Convergence,” New Atlantis (Summer 2003) 102–105, http://www.thenewatlantis.com/publications/carried-away-with-convergence.
[v] (Summer 2003 issue of The New Atlantis, http://www.thenewatlantis.com/publications/carried-away-with-convergence)
[vi] Bill Joy, “Why the Future Doesn’t Need Us,” Wired (April 2000) http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/8.04/joy.html), emphasis added.
[vii] Mark Walker, “Ship of Fools: Why Transhumanism is the Best Bet to Prevent the Extinction of Civilization,” Metanexus Institute (2/5/09) http://www.metanexus.net/magazine/tabid/68/id/10682/Default.aspx.
EDITOR’S NOTE: In the countdown to the release of the highly anticipated documentary “INHUMAN: THE NEXT AND FINAL PHASE OF MAN IS HERE”(scheduled for release around August 15), SkyWatch TV is running this exclusive online series on transhumanism and the dawn of the Human Hybrid Age.
Synthetic biologists forecast that as computer code is written to create software to augment human capabilities, so too genetic code will be written to create life forms to augment civilization.
—Jerome C. Glenn
Homo sapiens, the first truly free species, is about to decommission natural selection, the force that made us. Soon we must look deep within ourselves and decide what we wish to become.
—Edward Osborne Wilson
Resistance is futile! You will be assimilated!
Not long ago, a writer for Wired magazine named Elizabeth Svoboda contacted me (Tom) to let me know she was writing an article about “research advances using transgenic animals to produce pharmaceutical compounds.” She had come across an editorial by me raising caution about this kind of experimentation and wondered if I might be willing to provide points for her article, elaborating in areas where I saw producing transgenic human-animals as potentially harmful. She stated that most of the scientists she planned to quote were “pretty gung-ho about the practice,” and said she thought it would be important to provide some balance. I thanked her for the invitation and sent a short summary of some, though not all, of the areas where concerns about this science could be raised.
When the article was finally published by Wired, I was surprised that none of my notes had made it into the story. I contacted Elizabeth and asked why, and she replied that they had originally been included in her article, “Pharm Animals Crank Out Drugs,” but in order to create a positive spin on the story, the editors had censored my cautionary notes during the editing process. Elizabeth apologized and said she hoped the experience had not soured me on dealing with the magazine.
“It doesn’t sour me,” I assured her. “I just think the reporting by most agencies is lopsided and missing the opportunity to thoroughly engage such an important issue.” The fact was, Wired magazine deprived the public of balanced treatment on an important subject and concluded instead with a scientist by the name of Marie Cecile Van de Lavoir saying that potential human health benefits from transgenic research “justify tinkering” with nature’s plan. “If a transgenic animal produces a great cancer therapy,” she said, “I won’t hear anyone saying, ‘You shouldn’t do that.’” Van de Lavoir’s comments were undoubtedly in response to some of my observations before they were pulled, because in offering caution, I had specifically used the phrase “tinkering with nature’s plan.” Van de Lavoir’s short-sighted approach, like too many bioethicists engaged in the current debate, is as scary as the science, in our opinion. We wanted to contact her to suggest that she watch the film I Am Legend starring Will Smith, which opens appropriately enough with a scientist announcing the cure to cancer using a genetically engineered vaccine that blends animal and human genetics. If you’ve seen the film, you know the “cure” results in a human form of rabies that wipes out most life on earth—a real possibility, given the scenario.
Because any attempt at covering each potential Grin-tech, catastrophic, I-Am-Legend possibility in the upcoming documentary INHUMAN would be impractical, and that film in particular focuses on the human-enhancement era dawning now, we summarize below a few of the most important areas in which conservatives, bioethicists, regulators, and especially Christians could become informed and involved in the public dialogue over the potential benefits and threats represented by these emerging fields of science:
GENETICALLY MODIFIED FOOD
Besides potential problems with transgenic animals, we have cited laboratory results in the past that were first reported by Dr. árpád Pusztai, repeat verified by scientist Irina Ermakova, and later substantiated by the International Journal of Biological Sciences that showed genetically modified (gm) food had surprisingly ill effects on the health of test rats, including the deterioration of every animal organ, atrophied livers, altered cells, testicular damage, altered sperm counts, shortened life spans, and cancer development. The laboratory findings led to the biotech industry suppressing the data and an eight-year court battle with monster corporations that did not want these results made public. Over the last year, the silenced information has been in the news again as Greenpeace activists published evidence from the Russian trials verifying the ramifications of the negative health issues related to genetically modified foods. The wider ramifications from these and similar controlled experiments suggest that as current technology inserts pesticides, insect genes, animal dna, and other modified organisms directly into crops, the threat of hybrid viruses, prion contamination and new disease strains—which man can neither anticipate or prepare for—may arise. The prospects of this having an impact on mammalian health is almost certain to be a “when,” not “if,” concern, because, as Momma always said, “you are what you eat,” and the fact that the food you consumed this week most likely contained genetically modified ingredients is a current reality. For example, a large portion of the soybean, corn, cottonseed, and canola in today’s human food supply and sold in most developed countries including the United States now has genes spliced in from foreign species—including bacteria and viruses—in its genetic makeup. These genetically modified organisms (gmos) have not only been linked to sickness, sterility, allergies, and even death among animals, but the Institute for Responsible Technology (irt) documents how the functioning genetically modified genes from these foods linger inside the human body, which could be future-catastrophic. “The only published human feeding experiment verified that genetic material inserted into gm soy transfers into the dna of intestinal bacteria and continues to function,” irt published. “This means that long after we stop eating gm foods, we may still have their gm proteins produced continuously inside us.”[i]
Among other things, irt says this means that: 1) If the antibiotic gene inserted into most gm crops were to transfer, it could create super diseases resistant to antibiotics; 2) If the gene that creates Bt toxin in gm corn were to transfer, it might turn our intestinal flora into living pesticide factories; and 3) Animal studies show that dna in food can travel into organs throughout the body, even into the fetus. Add to this the growing secrecy over the use of nanoparticles (eighty-four food-related uses are already on the market and in numerous consumer products such as sunscreens and cosmetics), which as a result of their size behave fundamentally different than other particles, and the possibility of health-related complications increases exponentially. Due to the large corporations (that stand to make billions of dollars from these products) having co-opted the fda into not requiring food labeling or package warnings on gmo foods and health products, you and I are now the biggest lab rats of all time in a “wait-and-see” experiment that will, feasibly within the decade, illustrate whether Pusztai and Ermakova’s rodent findings apply to us and our children.
Synthetic biology is one of the newest areas of biological research that seeks to design new forms of life and biological functions not found in nature. The concept began emerging in 1974, when Polish geneticist Waclaw Szybalski speculated about how scientists and engineers would soon enter “the synthetic biology phase of research in our field. We will then devise new control elements and add these new modules to the existing genomes or build up wholly new genomes. This would be a field with the unlimited expansion [of] building new¼‘synthetic’ organisms, like a ‘new better mouse.’”[ii] Following Szybalski’s speculation, the field of synthetic biology reached its first major milestone in 2010 with the announcement that researchers at the J. Craig Venter Institute (jcvi) had created an entirely new form of life nicknamed “Synthia” by inserting artificial genetic material, which had been chemically synthesized, into cells that were then able to grow. The jcvi Web site explains:
Genomic science has greatly enhanced our understanding of the biological world. It is enabling researchers to “read” the genetic code of organisms from all branches of life by sequencing the four letters that make up dna. Sequencing genomes has now become routine, giving rise to thousands of genomes in the public databases. In essence, scientists are digitizing biology by converting the A, C, T, and G’s of the chemical makeup of dna into 1’s and 0’s in a computer. But can one reverse the process and start with 1’s and 0’s in a computer to define the characteristics of a living cell? We set out to answer this question [and] now, this scientific team headed by Drs. Craig Venter, Hamilton Smith, and Clyde Hutchison have achieved the final step in their quest to create the first¼synthetic genome [which] has been “booted up” in a cell to create the first cell controlled completely by a synthetic genome.[iii]
The jcvi site goes on to explain how the ability to routinely write the software of life will usher in a new era in science, and with it, unnatural “living” products like Szybalski’s “new better mouse.” Better mice, dogs, horses, cows, or humans that grow from this science will be unlike any of the versions God made. In fact, researchers at the University of Copenhagen may look at what Venter has accomplished as amateur hour compared to their posthuman plans. They’re working on a third Peptide Nucleic Acid (pna) strand—a synthetic hybrid of protein and dna—to upgrade humanity’s two existing dna strands from double helix to triple. In so doing, these scientists “dream of synthesizing life that is utterly alien to this world—both to better understand the minimum components required for life (as part of the quest to uncover the essence of life and how life originated on earth) and, frankly, to see if they can do it. That is, they hope to put together a novel combination of molecules that can self-organize, metabolize (make use of an energy source), grow, reproduce and evolve.”[iv] Our good friend and host of SkyWatch TV, Gary Stearman and other biblical scholars are raising red flags over Synthia technology, warning that any biotech life application leading to modification of the human genotype for “improved” humans will be an inconceivable affront to God and could result in divine repercussions.
PATENTING NEW LIFE-FORMS
Questions are evolving now over “patenting” of transgenic seeds, animals, plants, and synthetic life-forms by large corporations, which at a minimum has already begun to impact the economy of rural workers and farmers through such products as Monsanto’s “terminator” seeds. Patenting of human genes will escalate these issues, as best-selling author Michael Crichton pointed out a while back in a piece for the New York Times titled, “Gene Patents Aren’t Benign and Never Will Be,” in which he claimed that people could die in the future from not being able to afford medical treatment as a result of medicines owned by patent holders of specific genes related to the genetic makeup of those persons. Former special counsel for President Richard Nixon, Charles Colson, added, “The patenting of genes and other human tissue has already begun to turn human nature into property. The misuse of genetic information will enable insurers and employers to exercise the ultimate form of discrimination. Meanwhile, advances in nanotechnology and cybernetics threaten to ‘enhance’ and one day perhaps rival or replace human nature itself—in what some thinkers are already calling ‘transhumanism.’”[v]
(article continues below video)
WATCH THE INHUMAN TRAILER
Animal-rights activists have raised similar questions having to do with the ethics of altering animals in ways that could be demeaning to them—for instance, creating zombielike creatures that grow in feeder labs and gaze off into space from birth until death. Militarized animals that behave in unnatural, unpredictable ways. Humanized animals that become “self-aware,” or animals that produce human sperm and eggs, which then are used for in vitro fertilization to produce a human child. Who would the parents be? A pair of mice?
The prospect of human cloning was raised in the nineties immediately after the creation of the much-celebrated “Dolly,” a female domestic sheep clone. Dolly was the first mammal to be cloned using “somatic cell nuclear transfer,” which involves removing the dna from an unfertilized egg and replacing the nucleus of it with the dna that is to be cloned. Today, a version of this science is common practice in genetics engineering labs worldwide, where “therapeutic cloning” of human and human-animal embryos is employed for stem-cell harvesting (the stem cells, in turn, are used to generate virtually any type of specialized cell in the human body). This type of cloning was in the news not long ago when it emerged from William J. Clinton Presidential Center documents that member of the Supreme Court, Elena Kagan, had opposed during the Clinton White House any effort by Congress to prevent humans from being cloned specifically for experimental purposes, then killed. A second form of human cloning is called “reproductive cloning” and is the technology that could be used to create a person who is genetically identical with a current or previously existing human. While Dolly was created by this type of cloning technology, the American Medical Association and the American Association for the Advancement of Science have raised caution on using this approach to create human clones, at least at this stage. Government bodies including the U.S. Congress have considered legislation to ban mature human cloning, and though a few states have implemented restrictions, contrary to public perception and except where institutions receive federal funding, no federal laws exist at this time in the United States to prohibit the cloning of humans. The United Nations, the European Union, and Australia likewise considered and failed to approve a comprehensive ban on human cloning technology, leaving the door open to perfect the science should society, government, or the military come to believe that duplicate or replacement humans hold intrinsic value.
REDEFINING HUMANS AND HUMAN RIGHTS
Where biotechnology is ultimately headed includes not only redefining what it means to be human, but redefining subsequent human rights as well. For instance, Dr. James Hughes wants transgenic chimps and great apes uplifted genetically so that they achieve “personhood.” The underlying goal behind this theory would be to establish that basic cognitive aptitude should equal “personhood” and that this “cognitive standard” and not “human-ness” should be the key to constitutional protections and privileges. Among other things, this would lead to nonhuman “persons” and “nonperson” humans, unhinging the existing argument behind intrinsic sanctity of human life and paving the way for such things as harvesting organs from people like Terry Schiavo whenever the loss of cognitive ability equals the dispossession of “personhood.” These would be the first victims of transhumanism, according to Prof. Francis Fukuyama, concerning who does or does not qualify as fully human and is thus represented by the founding concept that “all men are created equal.” Most would argue that any human fits this bill, but women and blacks were not included in these rights in 1776 when Thomas Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence. So who is to say what protections can be automatically assumed in an age when human biology is altered and when personhood theory challenges what bioethicists like Wesley J. Smith champion as “human exceptionalism”: the idea that human beings carry special moral status in nature and special rights, such as the right to life, plus unique responsibilities, such as stewardship of the environment. Some, but not all, believers in human exceptionalism arrive at this concept from a biblical worldview based on Genesis 1:26, which says, “And God said, ‘Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.’”
NANOTECHNOLOGY and CYBERNETICS
As discussed in the upcoming documentary, technology to merge human brains with machines is progressing at a fantastic rate. Nanotechnology—the science of engineering materials or devices on an atomic and molecular scale between 1 to 100 nanometers (a nanometer is one billionth of a meter) in size—is poised to take the development between brain-machine interfaces and cybernetic devices to a whole new adaptive level for human modification. This will happen because, as Dr. C. Christopher Hook points out:
Engineering or manipulating matter and life at nanometer scale [foresees] that the structures of our bodies and our current tools could be significantly altered. In recent years, many governments around the world, including the United States with its National Nanotechnology Initiative, and scores of academic centers and corporations have committed increasing support for developing nanotechnology programs. The military, which has a significant interest in nanotechnology, has created the Center for Soldier Nanotechnologies (csn) [which is] interested in the use of such technology to help create the seamless interface of electronic devices with the human nervous system, engineering the cyborg soldier.[vi]
In the early part of the twentieth century, the study and practice of selective human breeding known as eugenics sought to counter dysgenic aspects within the human gene pool and to improve overall human “genetic qualities.” Researchers in the United States, Britain, Canada, and Germany (where, under Adolf Hitler, eugenics operated under the banner of “racial hygiene” and allowed Josef Mengele, Otmar von Verschuer, and others to perform horrific experiments on live human beings in concentration camps to test their genetic theories) were interested in weeding out “inferior” human bloodlines and used studies to insinuate heritability between certain families and illnesses such as schizophrenia, blindness, deafness, dwarfism, bipolar disorder, and depression. Their published reports fueled the eugenics movement to develop state laws in the 1800s and 1900s that forcefully sterilized persons considered unhealthy or mentally ill in order to prevent them from “passing on” their genetic inferiority to future generations. Such laws were not abolished in the U.S. until the mid-twentieth century, leading to more than sixty thousand sterilized Americans in the meantime. Between 1934 and 1937, the Nazis likewise sterilized an estimated four hundred thousand people they deemed of inferior genetic stock while also setting forth to selectively exterminate the Jews as “genetic aberrations” under the same program. Transhumanist goals of using biotechnology, nanotechnology, mind-interfacing, and related sciences to create a superior man and thus classifications of persons—the enhanced and the unenhanced—opens the door for a new form of eugenics and social Darwinism.
GERM-LINE GENETIC ENGINEERING
Germ-line genetic engineering has been in the news recently due to development of “Crispr technology” – which is a more precise way of editing DNA than anything that has come before and is being hailed as the start of “a new era of genetics” involving a wide-range of experiments in thousands of laboratories currently that reopens questions about genetically modifying people. Germline gene editing has the potential to actually achieve the goals of the early eugenics movement (which sought to create superior humans via improving genetics through selective breeding) through genetically modifying human genes in very early embryos, sperm, and eggs, which then becomes heritable. As a result, germ-line engineering is considered by some conservative bioethicists to be the most dangerous of human-enhancement technology, as it has the power to truly reassemble the very nature of humanity into posthuman, altering an embryo’s every cell and leading to inheritable modifications extending to all succeeding generations. Debate over germ-line engineering is therefore most critical, because as changes to “downline” genetic offspring are set in motion, the nature and physical makeup of mankind will be altered with no hope of reversal, thereby permanently reshaping humanity’s future. A respected proponent of germ-line technology is Dr. Gregory Stock, who, like cyborgist Kevin Warwick, departs from Kurzweil’s version of Humans 2.0 first arriving as a result of computer Singularity. Stock believes man can choose to transcend existing biological limitations in the nearer future (at or before computers reach strong artificial intelligence) through germ-line engineering. If we can make better humans by adding new genes to their dna, he asks, why shouldn’t we? “We have spent billions to unravel our biology, not out of idle curiosity, but in the hope of bettering our lives. We are not about to turn away from this,” he says, before admitting elsewhere that this could lead to “clusters of genetically enhanced superhumans who will dominate if not enslave us.”[vii] The titles to Stock’s books speak for themselves concerning what germ-line engineering would do to the human race. The name of one is Redesigning Humans: Our Inevitable Genetic Future and another is Metaman: The Merging of Humans and Machines into a Global Superorganism.
Besides the short list above, additional areas of concern where readers may wish to become well advised on the pros and cons of enhancement technology include immortalism, postgenderism, augmented reality, cryonics, designer babies, neurohacking, mind uploading, neural implants, xenotransplantation, reprogenetics, rejuvenation, radical life extension, and more.
TO BE CONTINUED…
[i]Institute for Responsible Technology, http://www.responsibletechnology.org/GMFree/Home/index.cfm.
[ii] Waclaw Szybalski, In Vivo and in Vitro Initiation of Transcription, 405. In A. Kohn and A. Shatkay (eds.), Control of Gene Expression, 23–24, and Discussion 404–405 (Szybalski’s concept of Synthetic Biology), 411–412, 415–417 (New York: Plenum, 1974).
[iii] “First Self-Replicating Synthetic Bacterial Cell,” J. Craig Venter Institute, http://www.jcvi.org/cms/research/projects/first-self-replicating-synthetic-bacterial-cell.
[iv] Peter E. Nielsen, “Triple Helix: Designing a New Molecule of Life,” Scientific American (12/08) http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=triple-helix-designing-a-new-molecule&ec=su_triplehelix.
[v] Charles W. Colson, Human Dignity in the Biotech Century (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity, 2004) 8.
[vi] C. Christopher Hook, Human Dignity in the Biotech Century (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity, 2004) 80–81.
EDITOR’S NOTE:In the countdown to the release of the highly anticipated documentary “INHUMAN: THE NEXT AND FINAL PHASE OF MAN IS HERE”(scheduled for release around August 15), SkyWatch TV is running this exclusive online series on transhumanism and the dawn of the Human Hybrid Age.
As the director of the Future of Humanity Institute and a professor of philosophy at Oxford University, Nick Bostrom (www.NickBostrom.com) is a leading advocate of transhumanism who, as a young man, was heavily influenced by the works of Friedrich Nietzsche (from whom the phrase “God is dead” derives) and Goethe, the author of Faust. Nietzsche was the originator of the übermensch or “Overman” that Adolf Hitler dreamed of engineering, and the “entity” that man—who is nothing more than a rope “tied between beast and Overman, a rope over an abyss”—according to Nietzsche, will eventually evolve into. Like the ancient Watchers before him (Watchers, remember, were fallen angels that mingled human dna with animals and their seed to produce Nephilim. More on this will be discussed later), Bostrom envisions giving life to Nietzsche’s Overman (posthumans) by remanufacturing men with animals, plants, and other synthetic life-forms through the use of modern sciences including recombinant dna technology, germ-line engineering, and transgenics (in which the genetic structure of one species is altered by the transfer of genes from another). Given that molecular biologists classify the functions of genes within native species yet remain unsure in most cases how a gene’s coding might react from one species to another, one should expect the genetic structure of the modified animal/humans to be changed in physical appearance, sensory modalities, disease propensity, personality, behavior traits, and more as a result of these modifications.
Despite these unknowns, such genetic tinkering as depicted in the movie Splice is already taking place in thousands of research laboratories around the world, including the United States, Britain, and Australia, where animal eggs are being used to create hybrid human embryos from which stem-cell lines can be produced for medical research. Not counting synthetic biology, where entirely new forms of life are being brewed, there is no limit to the number of human-animal concoctions currently under development within openly contracted as well as top-secret science facilities. A team at Newcastle and Durham universities in the United Kingdom recently illustrated this when they announced plans to create “hybrid rabbit and human embryos, as well as other ‘chimera’ embryos mixing human and cow genes.” The same researchers more alarmingly have already managed to reanimate tissue “from dead human cells in another breakthrough which was heralded as a way of overcoming ethical dilemmas over using living embryos for medical research.”[i] In the United States, similar studies led Irv Weissman, director of Stanford University’s Institute of Cancer/Stem Cell Biology and Medicine in California, to create mice with partly human brains, causing some ethicists to raise the issue of “humanized animals” in the future that could become “self aware” as a result of genetic modification. Even former president of the United States, George W. Bush, in his January 31, 2006, State of the Union address, called for legislation to “prohibit…creating human-animal hybrids, and buying, selling, or patenting human embryos.” His words mostly fell on deaf ears, and now “the chimera, or combination of species, is a subject of serious discussion in certain scientific circles,” writes senior counsel for the Alliance Defense Fund, Joseph Infranco. “We are well beyond the science fiction of H. G. Wells’ tormented hybrids in the Island of Doctor Moreau; we are in a time where scientists are seriously contemplating the creation of human-animal hybrids.”[ii] When describing the benefits of man-with-beast combinations in his online thesis, “Transhumanist Values,” Bostrom cites how animals have “sonar, magnetic orientation, or sensors for electricity and vibration,” among other extrahuman abilities. He goes on to include how the range of sensory modalities for transhumans would not be limited to those among animals, and that there is “no fundamental block to adding, say, a capacity to see infrared radiation or to perceive radio signals and perhaps to add some kind of telepathic sense by augmenting our brains,”[iii] a position verified by the U.S. National Science Foundation and Department of Commerce in the report, Converging Technologies for Improving Human Performance.
Bostrom and the U.S. government are correct in that the animal kingdom has levels of perception beyond human. Some animals can “sense” earthquakes and “smell” tumors. Others, like dogs, can hear sounds as high as 40,000 Hz—and dolphins can hear even higher. It is also known that at least some animals see wavelengths beyond normal human capacity. This is where things start getting interesting, perhaps even supernatural, as Bostrom may understand and anticipate. According to the biblical story of Balaam’s donkey, certain animals see into the spirit world. Contemporary and secular studies likewise indicate animals may at times be reacting to intelligence beyond normal human perception. Will this have peculiar consequences for enhanced humans with animal dna? Elsewhere in this series, we will describe how opening supernatural gateways that exist within the mind can be achieved through altered mental states induced by psychoactive drugs such as dmt and absinthe. Do transhumanists and/or military scientists imagine a more stable pathway or connection with the beyond—the ability to see into other dimensions or the spirit world—as a result of brain enhancement through integrating men with beasts? Do they envision reopening the portions of the mind that some scholars believe were closed off following the fall of man? Late philosopher and scientist Terrance McKenna, originator of “Novelty Theory,” speculated that brain enhancement following Technological Singularity might accomplish this very thing—contact with other-dimensional beings. More recently, at Arizona State University (asu), where the Templeton Foundation has been funding a long series of pro-transhumanist lectures titled “Facing the Challenges of Transhumanism: Religion, Science, Technology,”[iv] some of the instructors agree that radical alteration of Homo sapiens could open a door to unseen intelligence. Consequently, in 2009, asu launched another study, this time to explore discovery of—and communication with—“entities.” Called the Sophia project (after the Greek goddess), the express purpose of this university study is to verify communication “with deceased people, spirit guides, angels, otherworldly entities/extraterrestrials, and/or a Universal Intelligence/God.”[v] Imagine what this could mean if government laboratories with unlimited budgets working beyond congressional review were to decode the gene functions that lead animals to have preternatural capabilities of sense, smell, and sight, and then blended them with Homo sapiens. Among other things, something that perhaps Darpa (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) has envisioned for years could be created for use against entire populations—genetically engineered “Nephilim agents” that appear to be human but that hypothetically see and even interact with invisible forces. Overnight, the rules for spiritual warfare as well as regular warfare would take on an unprecedented (at least in modern times) dimension.
ENHANCED HUMANS: THE NEW (NEPHILIM) ARMS RACE
While the former chairman of the President’s Council on Bioethics, Leon Kass, does not elaborate on issues of spiritual warfare, he provided a status report on how real and how imminent the dangers of Grin technologies could be in the hands of transhumanists. In the introduction to his book, Life, Liberty and the Defense of Dignity: The Challenges of Bioethics, Kass warned:
Human nature itself lies on the operating table, ready for alteration, for eugenic and psychic “enhancement,” for wholesale redesign. In leading laboratories, academic and industrial, new creators are confidently amassing their powers and quietly honing their skills, while on the street their evangelists [transhumanists] are zealously prophesying a posthuman future. For anyone who cares about preserving our humanity, the time has come for paying attention.[vi]
The warning by Kass of the potential hazards of emerging technologies coupled with transhumanist aspirations is not an overreaction. One law school in the United Kingdom where students are taught crime-scene investigation is already discussing the need to add classes in the future devoted to analyzing crime scenes committed by posthumans. The requirement for such specially trained law enforcement personnel will arise due to part-human, part-animal beings possessing behavior patterns not consistent with present-day profiling or forensics understanding. Add to this other unknowns such as “memory transference” (an entirely new field of study suggesting that complex behavior patterns and even memories can be transferred from donors of large human organs to their recipients), and the potential for tomorrow’s human-animal chimera issues multiplies. How would the memories, behavior patterns, and instincts, for instance, of a wolf affect the mind of a human? That such unprecedented questions will have to be dealt with sooner than later has already been illustrated in animal-to-animal experiments, including those conducted by Evan Balaban at McGill University in Montreal, where sections of brain from embryonic quails were transplanted into the brains of chickens, and the resultant chickens exhibited head bobs and vocal trills unique to quail.[vii] The implication from this field of study alone proves that complex behavior patterns can be transferred from one species to another, strongly suggesting that transhumans will likely bear unintended behavior and appetite disorders that could literally produce lycanthropes (werewolves) and other nightmarish Nephilim traits.
As troubling as those thoughts are, some in government and science communities believe these dangers could be just the tip of the iceberg. One-on-one, interpersonal malevolence by human-animals might quickly be overshadowed by global acts of swarm violence. The seriousness of this for the conceivable future is significant enough that a recent House Foreign Affairs (hfa) committee chaired by California Democrat Brad Sherman, best known for his expertise on the spread of nuclear weapons and terrorism, is among a number of government panels currently studying the implications of genetic modification and human-transforming technologies related to future terrorism. Congressional Quarterly columnist Mark Stencel listened to the hfa committee hearings and wrote in his March 15, 2009, article, “Futurist: Genes without Borders,” that the conference “sounded more like a Hollywood pitch for a sci-fi thriller than a sober discussion of scientific reality…with talk of biotech’s potential for creating supersoldiers, superintelligence, and superanimals [that could become] agents of unprecedented lethal force.”[viii] George Annas, Lori Andrews, and Rosario Isasi were even more apocalyptic in their American Journal of Law and Medicine article, “Protecting the Endangered Human: Toward an International Treaty Prohibiting Cloning and Inheritable Alterations,” when they wrote:
The new species, or “posthuman,” will likely view the old “normal” humans as inferior, even savages, and fit for slavery or slaughter. The normals, on the other hand, may see the posthumans as a threat and if they can, may engage in a preemptive strike by killing the posthumans before they themselves are killed or enslaved by them. It is ultimately this predictable potential for genocide that makes species-altering experiments potential weapons of mass destruction, and makes the unaccountable genetic engineer a potential bioterrorist.[ix]
Observations like those of Annas, Andrews, and Isasi support Prof. Hugo de Garis’ nightmarish vision of a near future wherein artilects and posthumans join against “normals” in an incomprehensible war leading to gigadeath. Notwithstanding such warnings, the problem could be unavoidable, as Prof. Gregory Stock, in his well-researched and convincing book, Redesigning Humans: Our Inevitable Genetic Future, argues that stopping what we have already started (planned genetic enhancement of humans) is impossible. “We simply cannot find the brakes.”[x] Verner Vinge agrees, adding, “Even if all the governments of the world were to understand the ‘threat’ and be in deadly fear of it, progress toward the goal would continue. In fact, the competitive advantage—economic, military, even artistic—of every advance in automation is so compelling that passing laws, or having customs, that forbid such things merely assures that someone else will get them first.”[xi] In what the writers of this book found to be a bit unnerving, academic scientists and technical consultants to the U.S. Pentagon have advised the agency that the principal argument by Vinge is correct. As such, the United States could be forced into large-scale species-altering output, including human enhancement for military purposes. This is based on solid military intelligence, which suggests that America’s competitors (and potential enemies) are privately seeking to develop the same this century and use it to dominate the U.S. if they can. This worrisome “government think tank” scenario is even shared by the Jasons—the celebrated scientists on the Pentagon’s most prestigious scientific advisory panel who now perceive “Mankind 2.0” as the next arms race. Just as the old Soviet Union and the United States with their respective allies competed for supremacy in nuclear arms following the Second World War through the 1980s (what is now commonly known as “the nuclear arms race during the cold war”), the Jasons “are worried about adversaries’ ability to exploit advances in Human Performance Modification, and thus create a threat to national security,” wrote military analyst Noah Shachtman in “Top Pentagon Scientists Fear Brain-Modified Foes.” This recent special for Wired magazine was based on a leaked military report in which the Jasons admitted concern over “neuro-pharmaceutical performance enhancement and brain-computer interfaces” technology being developed by other countries ahead of the United States. “The Jasons are recommending that the American military push ahead with its own performance-enhancement research—and monitor foreign studies—to make sure that the U.S.’ enemies don’t suddenly become smarter, faster, or better able to endure the harsh realities of war than American troops,” the article continued. “The Jasons are particularly concerned about [new technologies] that promote ‘brain plasticity’—rewiring the mind, essentially, by helping to ‘permanently establish new neural pathways, and thus new cognitive capabilities.’”[xii] Though it might be tempting to disregard the conclusions by the Jasons as a rush to judgment on the emerging threat of techno-sapiens, it would be a serious mistake to do so. As Grin technologies continue to race toward an exponential curve, parallel to these advances will be the increasingly sophisticated argument that societies must take control of human biological limitations and move the species—or at least some of its members—into new forms of existence. Prof. Nigel M. de S. Cameron, director for the Council for Biotechnology Policy in Washington dc, documents this move, concluding that the genie is out of the bottle and that “the federal government’s National Nanotechnology Initiative’s Web site already gives evidence of this kind of future vision, in which human dignity is undermined by [being transformed into posthumans].”[xiii]Dr. C. Christopher Hook, a member of the government committee on human genetics who has given testimony before the U.S. Congress, offered similar insight on the state of the situation:
[The goal of posthumanism] is most evident in the degree to which the U.S. government has formally embraced transhumanist ideals and is actively supporting the development of transhumanist technologies. The U.S. National Science Foundation, together with the U.S. Department of Commerce, has initiated a major program (nbic) for converging several technologies (including those from which the acronym is derived—nanotechnology, biotechnologies, information technologies and cognitive technologies, e.g., cybernetics and neurotechnologies) for the express purpose of enhancing human performance. The nbic program director, Mihail Roco, declared at the second public meeting of the project¼that the expenditure of financial and human capital to pursue the needs of reengineering humanity by the U.S. government will be second in equivalent value only to the moon landing program.[xiv]
The presentation by Mihail Roco to which Dr. Hook refers is contained in the 482-page report, Converging Technologies for Improving Human Performance, commissioned by the U.S. National Science Foundation and Department of Commerce. Among other things, the report discusses planned applications of human enhancement technologies in the military (and in rationalization of the human-machine interface in industrial settings) wherein Darpa is devising “Nano, Bio, Info, and Cogno” scenarios “focused on enhancing human performance.” The plan echoes a Mephistophelian bargain (a deal with the devil) in which “a golden age” merges technological and human cognition into “a single, distributed and interconnected brain.”[xv] Just visiting the U.S. Army Research Laboratory’s Web site is dizzying in this regard, with its cascading pages of super-soldier technology categories including molecular genetics and genomics; biochemistry, microbiology and biodegradation; and neurophysiology and cognitive neurosciences. If writers like us can so easily discover these facts on the Web, just imagine what is happening in Special Access Programs (saps) where, according to the Senate’s own Commission on Protecting and Reducing Government Secrecy, there are hundreds of “waived saps”—the blackest of black programs—functioning at any given time beyond congressional oversight. Because of this and given the seriousness of weaponized biology and human enhancement technology blossoming so quickly, on May 24, 2010, a wide range of experts from the military, the private sector, and academia gathered in Washington dc for an important conference titled “Warring Futures: A Future Tense Event: How Biotech and Robotics are Transforming Today’s Military—and How That Will Change the Rest of Us.” Participants explored how human enhancement and related technologies are unfolding as an emerging battlefield strategy that will inevitably migrate to the broader culture, and what that means for the future of humanity. As the conference Web site noted:
New technologies are changing warfare as profoundly as did gunpowder. How are everything from flying robots as small as birds to “peak warrior performance” biology [human enhancement] altering the nature of the military as an institution, as well as the ethics and strategy of combat? How will the adoption of emerging technologies by our forces or others affect our understanding of asymmetrical conflict? New technologies are always embraced wherever there is the greatest competition for advantage, but quickly move out to the rest of us not engaged in sport or warfare.[xvi]
The impressive list of speakers at the dc conference included Vice Admiral Joseph W. Dyer (U.S. Navy, retired), president of the Government and Industrial Robots Division at iRobot; Major General Robert E. Schmidle Jr., United States Marine Corps lead for the 2010 Quadrennial Defense Review; Robert Wright, author of The Evolution of God and a Global Governance Fellow; P. W. Singer, Senior Fellow and director of the Twenty-First Century Defense Initiative at the Brookings Institution; Stephen Tillery from the Harrington Department of Bioengineering at Arizona State University; and Jon Mogford, acting deputy director of the Defense Sciences Office at Darpa.
Having taken the lead in human-enhancement studies as a U.S. military objective decades ago, Darpa saw the writing on the wall and in scenes reminiscent of Saruman the wizard creating monstrous Uruk-Hai to wage unending, merciless war (from J. R. R. Tolkein’s Lord of the Rings), began investing billions of American tax dollars into the Pentagon’s Frankensteinian dream of “super-soldiers” and “extended performance war fighter” programs. Not only has this research led to diagrams of soldiers “with hormonal, neurological, and genetic concoctions; implanting microchips and electrodes in their bodies to control their internal organs and brain functions; and plying them with drugs that deaden some of their normal human tendencies: the need for sleep, the fear of death, [and] the reluctance to kill their fellow human beings,” but as Chris Floyd, in an article for CounterPunch a while back, continued, “some of the research now underway involves actually altering the genetic code of soldiers, modifying bits of dna to fashion a new type of human specimen, one that functions like a machine, killing tirelessly for days and nights on end…mutations [that] will ‘revolutionize the contemporary order of battle’ and guarantee ‘operational dominance across the whole range of potential U.S. military employments.’”[xvii]
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Related to these developments and unknown to most Americans was a series of hushed events following the sacking of Admiral John Poindexter (who served as the director of the Darpa Information Awareness Office from 2002 to 2003) during a series of flaps, which resulted in public interest into the goings-on at the agency and brief discovery of Darpa’s advanced human enhancement research. When the ensuing political pressure led the Senate Appropriations Committee to take a deeper look into just how money was flowing through Darpa, the staffers were shocked to find “time-reversal methods” in the special focus area, and unstoppable super-soldiers—enhanced warriors with extra-human physical, physiological, and cognitive abilities that even allowed for “communication by thought alone” on the drawing board. Prof. Joel Garreau, investigative journalist, provides a summary of what happened next:
The staffers went down the list of Darpa’s projects, found the ones with titles that sounded frighteningly as though they involved the creation of a master race of superhumans, and zeroed out their budgets from the defense appropriations bill. There is scant evidence they knew much, if anything, about these projects. But we will probably never know the details, because significant people are determined that the whole affair be forever shrouded in mystery. The levels of secrecy were remarkable even for Darpa; they were astounding by the standards of the notoriously leaky Senate. Even insiders said it was hard to get a feel for what the facts really were. It took months of reporting and questioning, poking, and prodding even to get a formal “no comment” either from the leadership of the Senate Appropriations Committee or from Anthony J. Tether, the director of Darpa.
A careful study of Darpa’s programs a year later, however, showed little change. Considerable creative budgetary maneuvering ensued. The peas of quite a few programs now reside under new, and much better camouflaged, shells. “They’re saying, ‘Okay, this is the second strike. Do we have to go three strikes?’” one manager said. “It doesn’t stop anything. We’ll be smarter about how we position things.” Meanwhile, he said, new human enhancement programs are in the pipeline, “as bold or bolder” than the ones that preceded them.[xviii]
Recent hints at Darpa’s “bold or bolder” investment in human enhancement as part of an emerging arms race is reflected in two of its newest projects, titled “Biochronicity and Temporal Mechanisms Arising in Nature” and “Robustness of Biologically-Inspired Networks,” in which the express intention of transforming “biology from a descriptive to a predictive field of science” in order to boost “biological design principles” in troop performance is made.[xix] Darpa’s Department of Defense Fiscal Years 2011-2014 President’s Budgets also includes funding for science that will lead to “editing a soldier’s dna”[xx] while more exotically providing millions of dollars for the creation of “BioDesign,” a mysterious artificial life project with military applications in which Darpa plans to eliminate the randomness of natural evolution “by advanced genetic engineering and molecular biology technologies,” the budget reports state. The language in this section of the documents actually speaks of eliminating “cell death” through creation of “a new generation of regenerative cells that could ultimately be programmed to live indefinitely.” In other words, whatever this synthetic life application is (Wired magazine described it as “living, breathing creatures”), the plan is to make it immortal.[xxi] To this end, the producers of the upcoming documentary “INHUMAN” believe the “it” that man may soon uncover through its species-barrier-crossing technologies dates back to ancient times, and that the science of human enhancement and transhumanism is unwittingly playing into the hands of powerful supernaturalism toward a Luciferian endgame—something “it” tried once before, and which “it” was prophesied to attempt again just before the end of time.
TO BE CONTINUED…
CHECK THIS OUT! Inspired by Tom and Nita Horn’s book “Forbidden Gates” and the upcoming documentary “INHUMAN” British band Dissident Prophet is to release a new album featuring the song HUMAN 2.0 that NAILS THE ISSUE ON THE HEAD!
[i] Jane Picken, “Medical Marvels,” The Evening Chronicle (April 13, 2007).
[ii] Joseph Infranco, “President Barack Obama Warped and Twisted Science with Embryonic Stem Cell Order,” LifeNews (4/13/09) http://www.lifenews.com/bio2823.html.
[iii] Nick Bostrom, “Transhumanist Values,” www.nickbostrom.com.
[iv] “Facing the Challenges of Transhumanism: Religion, Science, Technology,” Arizona State University, http://transhumanism.asu.edu/.
[ix] American Journal of Law and Medicine, vol. 28, nos. 2 and 3 (2002), 162.
[x] As quoted by Margaret McLean, phd., “Redesigning Humans: The Final Frontier,” http://www.elca.org/What-We-Believe/Social-Issues/Journal-of-Lutheran-Ethics/Book-Reviews/Redesigning-Humans-by-Gregory-Stock/Redesigning-Humans-The-Final-Frontier.aspx.
[xi] “The Coming Technological Singularity,” presented at the Vision-21 Symposium sponsored by Nasa Lewis Research Center and the Ohio Aerospace Institute (3/30–31/93).