“Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”
Score one for humans.
But let us set aside, for now, the mildly disconcerting “us” and “our” in that statement, given that many of us have hesitations in believing in a God, let alone many Gods or numerous mini-Gods, and focus instead on what’s most important — image.
We are made in God’s image.
Again, from Genesis: “So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.”
Question: Must we remain in God’s image?
For decades, genetics taught us a simple truth: Each cell in our body (and there are billions) contains the blueprint that tells us how to grow. That might not be the whole story. (Dr. Michael) Levin and a few others now say that tiny bioelectric signals surging through and among our cells act as an instruction to kickstart gene expression. These signals point cells in the right direction as they start to grow into things like hearts, and influence the shape and function of the body.
Dr. Levin has some level of success in validating his theory:
In doing so, he has created a startling Island of Dr. Moreau zoo of freaks. He forced tadpoles to grow an eye on their gut; induced frogs to sprout six legs; and caused worms to grow two heads, which, when severed, will grow back just like a salamander’s severed tail—all by manipulating the faintest of bioelectric signals.
Would we — would anyone — attempt this on human life?
Crowd ex machina: The crowd demands its very own god-like powers.
As soon as we can “kickstart gene expression” to regrow ((human)) limbs, grow a second head, put eyes in our gut or at the back of our shoulders, some will.
Already today, a “garage biology movement” has emerged. “On the extreme end, some are using do-it-yourself science to hack their own anatomies in pursuit of a sort of transhuman ideal. But the broader, mainstream DIYbio community simply seeks to encourage public engagement with science.
Scary, yes, but likewise amazing, inspiring, enticing. Yes, and scary, again, can’t state that enough. Very scary.
Should we be as we were before?
Nothing else is.
There’s a man in England, appears to spend all his waking time thinking about the movie Blade Runner. He writes about Blade Runner, he collects Blade Runner memorabilia, take pictures of it, shares the pictures, seeks out others to discuss Blade Runner.
Imagine the otakus and the fetishization when humans can fundamentally alter their’s and other’s physical appearance, nearly on a whim.
The universe may be a hologram.
It’s entirely alterable.
We are perceiving this just as we are able to re-construct ourselves, all of it.
We are made in God’s image, yes, but maybe not only in God’s image. Maybe the part that’s in God’s image has the ability to refrain?