From Our Readers
I am studying microbiology and am quite interested in genetic engineering. Your article was technically sound for the most part. But your arguments against further research and development really used deceptive and faulty logic. And by trying to dismiss scientific research in this area by implying that the scientists who are working on it are people who “greedily and arrogantly seek to redesign God’s creation radically for material gain . . .” you not only resort to journalism of the lowest sort, i.e., name calling, to back up your argument, you also insult the world’s hardworking, underpaid academic scientists and if this is an example of your handiwork you also lose a great deal of my respect for the truthfulness of your magazine and your organization.
Regarding the faulty logic that was found throughout your article . . . let me mention just a single, simple example: You stated that “from the bacteria’s point of view, the gene-spliced variety are really inferior.” I agree, but from man’s point of view, aren’t they superior? Then you stated: “If man cannot improve on the design of the lowly bacterium, can he truly expect to improve on the design of the far more complicated plant or animal cells?” That does not necessarily follow. If your criterion for an “improved” bacteria is one that is improved from the bacteria’s point of view . . . well, then, this too can be done. And yes, we can truly expect to benefit from genetic engineering of plant and animal cells also. Didn’t God give us the animals, plants and bacteria for our use? And didn’t he give us a wonderful, intelligent brain for our use? Then why shouldn’t we use these to the best of our present abilities to help ourselves and others? Never before has the potential to help many people with only a few discoveries been greater than it is now.
R. N., Texas
We feel that the risks and dangers involved in genetic engineering indicate a need for the greatest of caution. Our views as to the possible motivation for certain experimenters are shared even by some scientists involved in genetic engineering. It is not unknown that some men in the name of science have pursued dangerous experiments either in ignorance of or total disregard for possible catastrophic consequences. Our views are also greatly influenced by our belief in a Creator and his purposes as expressed in the Bible. Though animals, plants and bacteria were created to benefit humankind, they are also interrelated in a way that scientists but dimly understand, as ecologists will admit. Attempting to alter God’s creation on a massive scale may set forces in motion that man is totally unprepared to control.—ED.
Although I am not a scientist nor educated in biological life, I’ve always appreciated articles dealing with the explanation of biological makeup. Your article “Can Science Redesign Life?” is exceptionally understandable and highly educational. And I agree, how can man, who is far inferior to our Creator, surpass God’s biological designs?
E. W., Alaska
I enjoyed the article “Can Science Redesign Life?” I learned a lot that I had never known about. Keep those good articles coming!
M. W., United States