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Barbara Walking in the Valley
A weekly column for those who live and walk in Silicon Valley

by Barbara Dahlgren

Don't "Cell" Technology Short
Column for the week of August 5-11, 2001

It seems that ideas and concepts that were only discussed in Sci-Fi books or seen in movies are becoming reality. Just think, you can now have a bypass operation performed by remote control with a surgical robot. Human cloning is now possible. And stem cell researchers feel they may hold the key to curing diseases. This stem cell controversy not only has the political arena divided, which is not unusual, but it also has the pro-lifers divided. Some pro-life proponents do believe in stem cell research and some do not. The question seems to be just exactly when does a "life" become a "life?"

Some say that Genesis 2:7 is a three fold proposition. "And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul." First a human is formed and second the breath of life is breathed into him, then thirdly he becomes a living soul. Just exactly when these three things take place in the human creation has been debated for years. Do they happen all at once? Do they happen in sequence?

The more technological and scientific discoveries we make, the bigger our spiritual dilemmas become. And our technological and scientific progress is traveling at a rapid pace. Some say it is now doubling every ten years. If so, this century could make advancements that would have taken 200 centuries in the past to make. Even a merge between computers and humans may be feasible. Could "AI" become a reality?

I always remember reading Jules Verne's "From the Earth to the Moon" which was written in the 1800s; long before space travel seemed possible. I even remember making silly comments as a child, "If God intended man to go to the moon, He would have put oxygen there." I wasn't the brightest bulb on the Christmas tree. Man DID go to the moon and many of the unbelievable things Verne wrote about DID become reality.

Genesis 11:1-10 mentions a time in history when people spoke only one language and became so proficient in certain areas that if God didn't stop them "nothing would be restrained from them, which they had imagined to do." And God did stop them. Not because He was afraid people would have as much knowledge as Him, but He wanted to protect them from themselves. I fear we have no such protection today. It appears that science and technology will forge ahead. Today, we have many languages but no end of ways to communicate using them. Even if Congress doesn't approve funding for stem cell research in the states that will not affect what our foreign constituents are allowed to do. And what is done, all men will eventually have access to.

As a result, we will have many spiritual dilemmas ahead. Some feel the only way we will be able to make wise, ethical decisions, will be to let our conscience be our guide. That may not be good enough.

©August 2001

Be sure to visit this page every week to read the next edition of Walking in the Valley. You can write to the author at bydahlgren@aol.com.



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