Genesis 11:6 says, “And the Lord said, ‘Behold the people is one and they all have one language; and this they began to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do.” The Lord was speaking in reference to the Tower of Babel built by the followers of Nimrod a short while after the Deluge so his followers might make a name for themselves in a prideful manner. To prevent this blasphemous arrogance from getting out of hand, God confused the languages so the people would disperse across the face of the earth.
The account does more than chronicle the origins of languages, nations, and races. It, in fact, serves as a warning of the trouble mankind can get into when the species comes together and pools its resources in total unity.
While such an assertion might have been dismissed years ago, today as the world draws together as one here at the conclusion of history as it did nearer to the beginning, we see the warning coming to pass in relation to various technological developments.
Take the issues of human cloning and genetic engineering for example. These new sciences could very well be seen as a modern Tower of Babel.
These techniques are not only being considered to ease the suffering of disease but to also tailor humanity to its own liking. In essence, this is one of modern man’s attempts to lift himself above the heavens in a manner similar to that of our ancient forebears gathered on the plain of Shinar.
Not only can a prospective parent turn to this technology to prevent their children from suffering from debilitating conditions such as epilepsy or Alzheimer's but they can also tinker with traits such as hair color and sex and perhaps even enhance aptitudes such as intelligence and athletic ability. Eventually, parents refusing to utilize such technology beyond the alleviation of illness could come to be seen as negligent or abusive in the eyes of lawmakers and social engineers.
Having imbibed heartily of the spirit of Babel, for some even this is not enough. Throughout much of world history, those seeking to make a name for themselves in the manner described in Genesis 11:6 were content to revel in the wonders and accomplishments of man on an exaggerated scale.
But as technology continues to advance and the world continues to unify, for an emerging worldview known as Transhumanism being human is no longer enough as adherents of this new outlook seek to surpass the limitations of the species through cybernetics or genetic enhancements. Such thinkers will not stop at Hitler’s Ubermensch but will prefer something even far more sinister akin to the Borg from Star Trek or humans crossbred with animal DNA resulting in hybrids similar to The Thundercats of 1980’s cartoon fame.
The skeptical might dismiss such speculation as impossible. But we only need to look back over the history of the twentieth century to see the improbable has had an uncanny way of becoming reality. For example, it was one time thought it was impossible to traveler faster than the speed of sound.
Just imagine what other horrors of his own creation await mankind down the road as this truly seems to be an age where “...nothing will be restrained from them which they have imagined to do.”
Copyright 2005 by Frederick Meekins