[G]eorge Church is making the rounds to promote his new book, Regenesis, which I just finished reading as part of preparation for this year’s lecture series. Church is an odd duck, but he’s well respected in transhumanist circles, so look for this book to receive a great deal of attention.
In his recent chat with Der Spiegel, Church refers to his suggestion that an ‘adventurous’ human female or perhaps a chimpanzee could provide a host womb for a lab-created Neanderthal/Human hybrid. Here’s a clip from ABC’s article:
Fragments of Neanderthal DNA have been found in fossils throughout in Europe, and Church said they could be put together to create an embryo for implanting into a human surrogate.
Ideally, he said, people would be able to learn from Neanderthals, which are humans’ closest extinct predecessors, because their enlarged craniums hint at different thought processes from humans. He said Neanderthals’ presence could also create more genetic diversity, but Caplan said it’s unclear whether it would be possible for humans to breed with Neanderthals.
A decade ago, many in the sciences would find this notion laughable if not genetically impossible, but cytogenetics has come a long way in a short time, so Church’s suggestion is not that far-fetched.
The possibility of such a cross brings up the question of human uniqueness. Is Homo sapiens special–set apart by God? And what about Homo sapiens neanderthalensis? Is this a true subspecies or have scientists simply found evidence of a variant, or even another race of humans? Or–as some Bible scholars believe, is the Neanderthal an ancient hybrid of Homo sapiens and Fallen Angel?
God has warned mankind that each species is separate and unique and should only multiply after ‘its own kind’. George Church’s suggestion may be not just radical but heretical–and decidedly dangerous. Consider the phrase ‘strange flesh’ as found in Jude 1:7. This section is a discussion of the angels who kept not their ‘own estate’:
And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day. Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire. (Jude 1: 6-7)
The words in the Greek for ‘strange flesh’ are ‘heteros sarx’ which literally means flesh of another kind, not of the same nature or class. If Neanderthal is truly a ‘strange flesh’, then you can take this to the bank: God is not laughing.