First genetically altered twins born in China
The first genetically altered twins have been born in China. The scientist behind this is He Jiankui of Southern University of Science and Technology in Shenzhen, China. He claims he used gene editing technology called CRISPR to alter the genes of the 2 girls to make them resistant to HIV and AIDS. CRISPR “works as a type of molecular scissors that can selectively trim away unwanted parts of the genome, and replace it with new stretches of DNA” (NBC News).
His announcement has been met with backlash from the scientific community and many around the world for its ethical implications.
“The idea of permanently altering a baby’s DNA so that their own children also carry the change is controversial, if not abhorrent, to much of the world. But some experts also say the furor surrounding the case shows it may be time to legalize such work and create a regulatory framework to ensure it is done safely and ethically.” (NBC News; Chinese scientist outrages researchers by claiming he gene-edited twins)
Part of the worry many scientists have is that our knowledge of editing human DNA is still premature, so any changes made whether “positive” or “negative” to an embryo will be permanent and will be passed on to future generations.
Time to Legalize Gene Editing?
Some believe that it may be time to allow gene editing with careful regulation. If anything, He’s work has started a conversation surrounding the practices of gene editing and gene editing research and where we should go from here as a species. This type of technology has the ability to change the human race as we know it.
“The work as described to date reinforces the urgent need to confine the use of gene editing in human embryos to cases where a clear unmet medical need exists, and where no other medical approach is a viable option, as recommended by the National Academy of Sciences.” (NBC News; Chinese scientist outrages researchers by claiming he gene-edited twins)
Dangerous Times Ahead
Christians and non-Christians alike have an innate feeling within them that this isn’t right. Some call it “playing God”. Although right now, the focus is to use this type of technology to cure or prevent diseases, there will come a time I believe that this will be used to “better” the human race by making us stronger, smarter, healthier, and be able to live longer or not die at all – this movement is known as trans-humanism.
Since the Garden of Eden in Genesis, mankind has been fed the lie that we can be like God, “Then the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil” (Genesis 3:4). This very lie is what humans will eventually work to fulfill as we approach the end of this current age and the soon return of Jesus Christ. There will be an increased push for man to either merge with machine or edit their DNA to reach the next stage of “evolution” and gain immortality.
To those unfamiliar with DNA editing or what the bible even has to say about it, this may seem like a plot from a sci-fi movie but it’s our past, present, and future! We first see the human genome being altered in Genesis 6 through unions between fallen angels and mankind producing giants in an attempt to stop the messiah from coming. God puts a stop to it through the global flood as he sees that all flesh on earth was “corrupt”.
Jesus in Matthew 24:37-39 makes a bold statement about what the times would be like as his return draws near,
“But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and did not know until the flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be.” (Matthew 24:37-39)
Similarly we see a similar theme in Daniel 2:43 which talks about the nature of the last gentile kingdom before Christ’s millennial kingdom destroys and replaces it, “As you saw iron mixed with ceramic clay, they will mingle with the seed of men; but they will not adhere to one another, just as iron does not mix with clay”, (Daniel 2:43). Based on these passages, I along with many other Christians believe gene editing will have an important role to play in these last days, specifically during the tribulation. I believe this will find its ultimate fulfillment with the mark of the beast system that arises during this period of time in an attempt to once again corrupt the human genome but this time to “disqualify” those from redemption. More on this can be read in Prelude to the Mark of the Beast I and II.
These are interesting times we’re living in as we see bible prophecy unfolding right before our eyes and the world stage being set up for the fulfillment of many prophecies. If you’re interested in other article like these, navigate to my commentary page. Time is short and tomorrow isn’t guaranteed. Make sure you’ve made the right decision about Jesus today! It will be the most important decision of your eternal life.
- Chinese scientist outrages researchers by claiming he gene-edited twins (November 26th, 2018) – NBC News
- Chinese scientist claims he created first-ever gene edited babies (November 26th, 2018) – The Times of Israel
- First Editing of Human Embryos Performed in United States (July 27, 2017) – NBC News
- CRISPR: Implications for materials science – Cambridge