Insight on the News
‘Not Creating Life’
In recent years it has often been reported that scientists were close to creating life in their laboratories. However, Dr. James Freisen, a professor of genetics at the University of Toronto, said: “We can’t make the simplest organism. It’s like a collection of watch parts. We have the springs and gears but can’t put them together. You can put them in a box and shake the parts around and some might even fit into one another but it won’t make a watch that will tick.” A colleague, Arthur Zimmerman, also stated: “We haven’t even come close to creating life. We manipulate cells but we can’t create them and won’t in my lifetime or I suspect, my children’s.”
New discoveries regarding the complexity of cell structure have stunned scientists, and have also frustrated them. As Freisen notes: “It’s a case of the more we know, the more we realize we don’t know. We’re asking questions at a much deeper level. We don’t understand it still but now we don’t understand it at a deeper level.” He also said of all the complex cell parts: “We have no idea how it all comes together and makes a self-sustaining unit like a cell. . . . How they interact in a self-regulating, self-reproducing life machine is the mystery.” He observed that even the simplest organism, a virus, baffles scientists: “It only has about 50 genes but the people who study it couldn’t put it together and make it work.”
Such superbly organized living matter requires a designer of infinite wisdom. Thus the Bible acknowledges of God: “With you is the source of life.”—Psalm 36:9.
When individuals or organizations call themselves Christian, others have the right to assume that these are promoting Biblical Christianity. But Jesus warned: “Be on the watch for the false prophets that come to you in sheep’s covering, but inside they are ravenous wolves. By their fruits you will recognize them.” (Matthew 7:15, 16) In the magazine entitled The Christian Century one would expect to find counsel for Christian living. However, this publication carried an article by retired Church of Christ clergyman Porter French of Iowa that apparently condones that young men and women live together without marriage. He said: “We need to develop a more sound and secure view of sexuality in this country.” What did this include? He declared: “We can let our young men and women know that they are not going to experience condemnation and isolation if they try living together. . . . And those of us who were brought up in an age when living together was never considered a possibility may recognize that these who have taken greater risks than we did may, in the end, turn out to be wiser at an earlier age.”
But would not the Creator’s view be the really “sound and secure” one? God’s Word counsels persons to “shun fornication.” While mercifully allowing persons time to remake their personalities to conform to his righteous requirements, yet, concerning those who reject his high moral laws, the Bible says: “Make no mistake: no fornicator . . . will possess the kingdom of God.”—1 Corinthians 6:18, 9, 10, The New English Bible.
Churches Fail in Africa
In the Paris weekly Jeune Afrique history professor Ibrahima Baba Kaké of Guinea tells why so many Africans turn away from the churches of Christendom. For one thing, he noted the resentment that built up in Africa during the nineteenth century when church missionaries followed in the footsteps of conquering colonial armies. He added: “The collusion of the Church with the colonizers was not the only obstacle to Christianity, but primarily their missionaries’ contempt for precolonial beliefs. Under the cover of Christ’s tunic, they wanted to make a clean sweep of existing African cultures. This attitude made many communities close their minds to Christianity.” Foreseeing a return to animism on the part of many Africans, the professor observed: “Imported religions have not met up to expectations and people have gone back to their ancient gods.”