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The Creator’s Designer Baby

You may have heard about the geneticist in China who claims to have altered the genes of two
infants in order to make the children HIV resistant. The child’s father has HIV and the family’s fear is that the babies will be HIV positive. As a result of this fear, they worked with He Jiankui, a researcher with a PhD from Rice University and post-doctoral training at Stanford. He announced this week that he has created the world’s first genetically edited babies. The twin girls were born this month.
It is interesting to note that Dr. He did not publish his research in any journal or share any evidence or data to prove his claims. He spoke today (11/27/18) at the Human Genome Editing Summit in Hong Kong, where he announced another “potential pregnancy” involved in his study. He said he felt “proud” of his work in the face of nearly universal condemnation.
Many scientists are appalled by this announcement. “I think that’s completely insane,” said Shoukhrat Mitalipov, director of the Center for Embryonic Cell and Gene Therapy at Oregon Health and Science University. “Modifying human embryos at this stage in our understanding of biology is clearly unethical,” said Christopher Anderson, a bioengineering professor at UC Berkeley. “We do not yet understand the full biological consequences of these actions even in small animals.”
A group of 122 Chinese scientists called Dr. He’s actions “crazy” and described his claims as “a huge blow to the global reputation and development of Chinese science.” The hospital where Dr. He claims he received permission to do the work denies being involved and has asked police to investigate what it suspects are “fraudulent ethical review materials.” Dr. He was suspended by his university last February; the school believes that his project “seriously violates academic ethics and academic norms.”
In reaction to Dr. He’s claim, more than one hundred scientists have signed a petition calling for stricter regulations of gene-editing experiments.
This brings me to the question I want to raise, is there a difference between scientists editing genes in order to produce a more perfect child and God’s intervening in human history to send a perfect child?
Some may think that there are no difference, but I would disagree.
First, God can see all consequences of the action taken. Humans cannot. These twins may have all kinds of other issues as a result of the gene editing. For instance, it is already known that the gene editing makes them more susceptible to the flu and to the West Nile virus.
Secondly, God’s “designerbaby” (Jesus) is the actual DNA of God Himself and not human DNA that has been modified by humans.
Thirdly, altering DNA is an attempt to make ourselves God. That is always a venture filled with folly and devastating consequences. God becoming human is an act of God’s will undertaken to bring blessing to “the crown of His creation,” humans.
Today, we can be thankful that Jesus (the fullest revelation of God) was not the activity of some DNA research, but the activity of a loving and caring and merciful God who Himself became flesh in order to bring us to Himself and the fullness of His grace. That is truly a gift worth celebrating at Christmas!

Merry Christmas, Pastor Rick