January 14, 2016
Two news stories cropped up this weekend that would reinforce any suspicion that our science, the servant of an increasingly insane society, has itself gone off the deep end.
And our popular culture, TV shows in particular, can help us understand it.
First we have scientists fitting praying mantises with tiny little 3-D glasses and then showing them movies, to try to find out to what extent the mantises can see in three dimensions.
It sounds like a joke, but it isn’t. When a mantis sees an ordinary two-dimensional film clip of tasty bugs, nothing happens. They’re not interested in showing the insects any “Star Wars” movies. But when they fit the mantis with red and blue “glasses” so it can see the film in three dimensions—the way we humans once watched “Thirteen Ghosts”—the mantis thinks it’s real and tries to catch the bugs.
And the purpose of this experiment was…? You’re gonna love this: to collect knowledge that may help scientists build robots that can see in three dimensions.
Well, if robots are going to be having sex with human beings in the not too distant future, they might as well be able to see what they’re getting.
The second news story tells us of a science project ongoing at the University of Minnesota to grow human organs in animals. These scientists deny they’re trying to imitate the horrific mess involving monsters produced by blending animals with human beings, as told by H.G. Wells in “The Island of Dr. Moreau.” It is troubling that they thought it necessary to deny it.
So there they are in their laboratory, creating freaks that cannot survive in nature, growing human brain tissue in mice—boy, are we in trouble if those escape from the laboratory—creating pigs without skeletal muscles, and generally tearing down the interspecies barriers that protect us humans from dying of distemper or some other veterinary nightmare.
They do such things because they don’t believe in God or acknowledge His authority. That’s where the TV show comes in, lighting up the dark corners of the humanist mind-set.
A few years ago there was a popular British TV series called “Primeval.” It was about prehistoric monsters, and a few big nasties from the future, invading our world of today via “anomalies” in space and time. The interesting thing about it is its presentation of two competing world views—both humanist, both as far from Christ as it is possible to be. And not once is anything like a religious scruple, or even a fleeting Christian afterthought, even hinted at.
The “good” humanism in the show insists that all of nature is merely the result of blind chance playing out as Evolution, and expresses a quasi-religious faith in chance and Evolution as leading to the best of all possible worlds. Man must humbly stand aside and let chance and Evolution do their thing without interference.
But the bold “bad” humanism—which is really much more in tune with the Humanist Manifesto and other loopy credos of that kind—seeks to rule out chance and take hold of Evolution with both hands, to control it and to steer it to a desired outcome.
Either way, God is out of the picture and man is left as top dog in the universe. To try to portray either of these humanisms as anything but a religious alternative of Christianity is only to be simple-minded. This stuff is the Apostles’ Creed of people who don’t believe in God.
I’ll take Door No. 2 for the hands-on humanism, Monty—the kind that lets us do anything we please because there is no higher authority we have to answer to. Let’s control our evolution! Scientists are smart, so nothing can possibly go wrong.
Whether it’s movies for insects, or sex with robots, or creating pathetic monsters in the laboratory, we like it, we love it, that there’s no one Up There to say “Thou shalt not.”
Sometimes all it takes is the right TV show to make sense out of science.
� 2016 Lee Duigon - All Rights Reserved
Lee Duigon, a contributing editor with the Chalcedon Foundation, is a former newspaper reporter and editor, small businessman, teacher, and horror novelist. He has been married to his wife, Patricia, for 34 years. See his new fantasy/adventure novels, Bell Mountain and The Cellar Beneath the Cellar, available on www.amazon.com