The Man of Syn?

Thirteenth and Final in the PE Series, Reviewing Chapter Twelve

Dragon's Breath by Sharon K. Gilbert is the last chapter of Pandemonium's Engine, and its subject matter ends this series of blog posts on a strange note, which seems fitting.

Mrs. Gilbert goes back over some of the Scriptures of Genesis already noted in previous posts and some of the themes, mentioning the "alien abductions" that we sometimes read about in the newspaper or online. She believes these do occur, and give us a glimpse of an "overarching spiritual war."

She wonders if there is a Dragon's breath that can animate humans, just as the breath of God brought to life the first man, and as the Holy Spirit revives men today from spiritual death.

Gilbert enjoys some word play and suggests that the Antichrist might well be the Man of Syn, in other words, his DNA may be synthetic, altered by gene therapy. As a student at Indiana University in the mid-1990s, Gilbert's classes often discussed the ethics of molecular tinkering. She writes:

One class instructor ended a session by handing out a small slip of paper with one question on it: Is it ethical to build a super-soldier clone in order to defend our nation, and if so, is that clone "human"? … email exchanges across the globe echo … that question: Is synthetic biology ethical under any circumstance? (p 363)

Now that we have "cracked the code", Gilbert states, "We dare to imagine ourselves equivalent, nay, superior to the living God! Such hubris cannot, will not, endure for long … " — the Lord will return.

However, until that Day, expect the uninvited, bizarre and unimaginable. For example, did you know that if you have a laptop and a bank account, you can access genomic sequence information and order the nucleic acids and synthesizer for a do-it-yourself Frankenstein kit? "You can cut-and-paste your own little Frankenstein monster, complete with as many 'mommies' and 'daddies' as you like." (p 367)

Synthetic Genomics is a growing industry. The current, global market for just the reagents used in synthesis has grown to a billion dollars, and that figure is climbing. This industry doubles its activity every 14 months, and that number is several years old. The Obama administration has issued a challenge to scientists to reduce the cost of DNA analysis, and with that, lower the cost of production as well — with the promise of cheaper medical diagnosis and treatment. However, as the process becomes more affordable to anyone with a laptop, it also becomes much more volatile. Designer pathogens would be the most difficult to fight, since their sequences would be entirely novel …

Sharon Gilbert has a website, and invites you to get to know Jesus Christ. Her chapter ends with this promise: "His return is imminent. And when He comes, Jesus Christ will strike down the Dragon, put him in chains, and ultimately throw him and all who follow him into the lake of fire."

The Singularity Focus

Tenth in the PE Series, Reviewing Chapter Nine

Genetic Armageddon by John McTernan explores some of the themes of previous chapters and focuses on the Singularity which he defines as "The merging of man's biological thinking and existence with technology to the point that there is no distinction between human and machine…

"In simple terms, it means that man and machines have become interchangeable. Thus when the biological and technical have merged, then Singularity will have been achieved." (p 277)

He wants readers to understand what is happening in science today and to be able to relate it to Bible prophecy. This chapter is online on McTernan's website. He also has a blog to Defend and Proclaim the Faith.

Again, exploring links from McTernan's research and footnotes, I found articles that help us understand the trends of the times. Let's look at some of these. The referenced article on the left was written about 6 years ago. The ones on the right are current. We can see how technology moves apace, and wonder how our world and humanity may be different in another 5-10 years!

In 2012, a story on Mail Online, "The cyborgs are coming! Living brains implanted with electronic chips to replace 'faulty' parts" reported on a robotic interface between body and brain developed by Tel Aviv University researchers. Today the Singularity is promoted as a way to eternal life.

Isn't it noble to cure people with brain damage, Parkinson's or macular degeneration? These things are exciting and wonderful, but what about soldiers enhanced to have superior advantages? What about policeman? What about elitists who want greater control over common people? Can the move to Singularity advance their powers? Who pays for the research? Who will be crushed rather than healed?

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...and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind ... the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind ...the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that it was good. -Genesis 1

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As we ponder the ethics of in vitro fertilization, stem cell research and man-made chimeras, our thoughts trail off. How then should we live? (Ez 33:10)

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