Wednesday, May 26, 2010
“Perfect In His Generations”
Today will be a relatively short post and I’m going to jump around a bit.
Basically I wanted to link to a story about to Dr. Craig Venter creating a synthetic cell in his laboratories in Rockville, Maryland. And I wanted to speak in the same post—not to draw a connection, but just to juxtapose the topics—of an obscure conspiracy theory built from a seemingly trivial Bible passage.
Synthetic cells: It's life, but not as we know it
Okay. That’s the link to the news story. As I understand it, Dr. Venter didn’t create “life” from scratch, but rather digitized functional DNA, copied it synthetically and implanted the copy in a cell and the cell functioned. This opens up the possibility of engineering real, emergent DNA rather than just copying it and re-introducing the modified DNA into a cell. Scientists—and the people who fund them—can create modified plants, animals and presumably people.
One of the few bits of Biblical prophecy many people have heard directly is from the gospel of Matthew, 24:37, where Jesus characterizes the future end-times by saying, But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be.
Nobody really knows what the world was like in the days of Noah. But there is a little known passage back in Genesis that many people either haven’t read or just skipped over, but which some conspiracy theorists have fixed on.
Noah was a just man, perfect in his generations. — Genesis 6:9
That one sentence, nine words, has gotten a lot of attention.
For an interesting and straight-forward Biblical exposition, Richard T. Ritenbaugh has a nice page on the web: 'Perfect In His Generations'
But it’s interesting to note that just before that sentence in Genesis, there is another passage that also has generated a lot of attention from translators and conspiracy people.
There were giants on the earth in those days, and also afterward, when the sons of God came in to the daughters of men and they bore children to them. — Genesis 6:4
Nobody knows what that means, either.
Many fundamentalists interpret the ‘sons of God’ phrase to mean that the Fallen Angels interbred with human beings. This is consistent with certain other Biblical injunctions for women to wear “coverings” to protect them from the angels.
Conspiracy theorists note that as Ritenbaugh points out in his exposition of the phrase ‘perfect in his generation,’ the Hebrew phrase translated as ‘perfect’ really means ‘complete.’
So the conspiracy theory is that the Flood happened because Fallen Angels—Satan and his minions—interbred with human beings so extensively that by the time of Noah only Noah and his immediate family retained a ‘complete’ human genome.
Now, today, for the first time in history, scientists have the means to fiddle with the human genome themselves.
In the old days Satan was able to destroy humanity—from within—by using sex to corrupt the human gene pool. Today what physically makes us human—our genes—can be ‘improved’ by science. Regardless of whether the changes are in fact improvements or not, the bottom line will be that we will cease to be completely human, in the historical sense, when the human genome becomes changed, corrupted.
And, remarkably, this change might mirror something that may have occurred many thousands of years ago through the direct intervention of incarnate Evil.