Sonntag, 13. Juli 2014

Biotechnologies and God's Creation

Dr. Edith Breburda
see also: FIAMC, Bioethics

Genetically manipulation claimed to bring the dead back to life. But the technique, which circumvented the laws of nature, seems to be vice versa.

We all know about the complexities of biotechnologies. Most of the time we might be unaware about the consequences of genetic manipulations and the patenting of life forms, that bears on mankind, in terms of unintended side effects in the environment, animals or humans. In 1990 Saint Pope John Paul II said, “A basic condition for each economic, industrial and scientific progress is seen in the respect for life, in particular of the dignity of a human person.” Already the Second Vatican Council pointed out: “Without the Creator the creature will disappear.”
In a society, that often shuns God, we only focus at the accomplishments of modern technologies. The authors Peter Diamandis and Steven Kotler are convinced that modern technologies will enable us to have the ability to meet and exceed the basic needs for every person on the planet.
“New biotechnologies” and their creators claim to do a better job in <<creating>> plants, animals, men, animal-human mammals, and other entities than did the “Big Bang” eons of years ago. There is no need, in their minds, to appeal to any “god” or more than human source of meaning and value to explain reality, writes William E. May in the Foreword of the book: “Promises of New Biotechnologies”.

In Isaiah, Chapter 65, verse 18 we can read about God’s creation: “Instead, shout for joy and be glad forever in what I am creating. Indeed, I am creating Jerusalem to be a joy and its people to be a delight.”
Humankind has the privilege in his ability to use nature for the benefit of the humanity. Basic science and modern technology is par excellence employed to exercise our dominion over nature. Science is also accountable and has to justify the use of nature for human purposes. Even though it is not required, research can solve many questions pertaining to humankind. In connection with power, we have to apply intelligence and responsibility over the worldly resources.
The past millennium brought unprecedented improvements in human health nutrition and lives expectancy. For the new millennium the opportunity exists to build on these advances in order to be beneficial to support a larger earthly population. Coincidentally many are concerned that liberty, science and technology are more a threat to the environment than a blessing to humanity and nature. The unspoken concern is that humans are interpreting the control of nature as empowerment to improve the human condition. But they might also do great harm to each other, to the earth and to other creatures. Thus, the moral necessity of ecological stewardship has become increasingly clear.
Humans cannot create, they can only manipulate what God is continually creating and maintaining.
Biogenetic engineering appears to have endless possibilities in manipulating plants, animals and humans. Despite the enormous possibilities, its technology can also be applied unethically and recklessly and thus might have the capacity of even destroying us. Even more, the genetic modifications and manipulation are irreversible. They alter the organism’s genotype and the one of their offspring.
On August 13, 2008, Prince Charles warned in the Daily Telegraph of the largest environmental disaster of all times caused by genetically altered food. “A gigantic experiment with nature was initiated by the cultivation of genetically manipulated plants. Already today the water balance is endangered in countries like north India and west Australia.” Who are the victims of modern biotechnologies?
Christian Holmes, the global water coordinator for the United States Agency for international development is warning that genetically-modified crops play a significant role in our water crises. “We are running out of water” he said in November 2013. GM crops have a significant impact on the environment.  Throughout the world GM seeds crops need more water, fertilizer and pesticides. They deplete the soil by monocultures. Nitrogen and phosphorous compounds from fertilizer leaked into the Mississippi River and later into the Gulf of Mexico. The agricultural runoff came from the huge corn planting area used to produce corn-powered ethanol. Nutrients and nitrogen stimulate algae growth. The tiny plants will eventually settle to the bottom waters. Its decomposition by bacteria consumes oxygen. Low oxygen water cannot support marine life. Scientists from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration speak about a “dead zone” in the Gulf of Mexico. In 2008, the hypoxic zone covered an area roughly the size of New Jersey. In 2010 the British Petroleum oil spill overlapped some parts of the “dead zone”. The oxygen depletion forced many types of fish, shrimp and crab to leave the area or to suffocate. Animals adapted to low oxygen, who live in the sediments, can definitely not survive if the oxygen level falls toward zero. The area of hypoxia extended far into Texas waters in 2010.
Skeptical people always fear that genetic changes put the natural world and the food supply at risk. According to the French scientists Gill Eric Séralini, genetically modified food poses a risk to human or animal health. We disregard the risks of pesticides who are much more toxic as we have assumed.
Local populations depend on the success of their harvest. Instead of the traditional crops adapted to their land, farmers are forced to purchase the expensive GM seeds, which can only be used for one year. The promise of Genetically modified cotton, which would need less chemicals, less water and would bring bigger profits is false. GM corn is not draught resistant, like the conventional native species of crop have been.
A study of Green Peace in 2014 showed that we are not depending on GM crops and we have the knowledge and technology to produce save, healthy food. Genetically modified crops are not providing greater yields. NaturalHealth365 acknowledges that our earth can provide a decent living for our farmers.
Greenpeace protesters speak about “Death Seeds”, when referring to genetic manipulated crops. GM seeds planted in India have doubled in the last years. Cities like Mumbai and Delhi boomed. They received International Monetary Fund loans from biotech-giants, when they allow them to sell their new seed creations. The economic revolution did not reach the farmers sliding back into the dark ages. They had fallen into debts after being convinced to buy GM seeds.
Thousands of Indian farmers have committed suicide after using genetically modified crops. They where told their harvests and income will immense rise, if they switch from planting traditional seeds to GM seeds. The seeds, manipulated by scientists circumvented the laws of nature, failed in countries with cycles of drought. Many farmers borrowed money in anticipation of future riches. But when the harvest failed, debts and no income forced farmers to take their own life.
They hoped their children would have a better life under India’s boom. Landless and homeless they have to work now as slave labor. Their fathers have swallowed chemical insecticides. A substance they where promised they would not need for the “magic seeds”. Instead of being free from parasites and insects, GM pest proof  “Breeds’ of cotton was destroyed by the voracious bollworms parasite. Farmers have not been allowed to save traditional seeds to replant them the following year. GM seeds contain so-called “terminator Technology” and do not produce viable seeds on their own. Prince Charles speaks about GM Genocide in India. For him the issue of GM had become a “global moral question”.
Originally, genetically manipulation claimed to bring the dead to life and not vice versa. We still speak about De-Extinction and promise the resurrection of dead species.
When the South Korean cloning Scientist Dr. Hwang was disgraced, he still alleged to be able to clone a BSE resistant cow, a Siberian Tiger and animals that are on the list of endangered species.
Animal Cloning raises concerns on numerous levels and poses already serious threats to animal welfare. Engineering these animals for more intensive production is associated with great animal cruelty and suffering. To create cloned animals is resulting in a loss of the biodiversity. It will have significant implications for the environment and the ability of cloned herds to withstand diseases will be almost gone. Cloning seems to be an incredibly inefficient technology. Hundreds of animals suffer as their eggs are harvested, or as they are often repeatedly surgically implanted with embryos in an attempt to produce just one clone. Severe health problems plague cloned animals and claim the lives of most neonates. A commonly observed problem with these animals is the Large Offspring Syndrome. Animals are twice the normal birth weight. Surrogate mother animals have to undergo an extremely painful and stressful labor and delivery. Often surgical intervention is required to deliver the baby animal. The Large Offspring Syndrome is very often accompanied by visible abnormalities of organ growth, which causes sudden perinatal death. Cloning is pursued to intensify livestock production. The gain is to have animals that grow faster so they can be slaughtered sooner. Also animals should be raised on a smaller space. The rise of “factory-farming” is already accompanied with serious animal health problems. The practice of raising livestock in confinement at high population density lets animals grow so big and quickly that the bones break. They are cornered to spaces so small they cannot even turn around. In some ways cloning is an extension of assisted reproductive technologies. It can be seen as a radical departure from how animals have traditionally been bred.
Nevertheless, veterinary reproductive technologies of in vitro fertilization and cloning of animals led to the efforts that genetic engineering and cloning of humans are going to dominate the medical environment. The commercialization of in vitro fertilization already resulted in dehumanizing of women, valued now only because they produce oocytes. Children, thus manufactured suffering under various maladies. Children conceived through assisted reproductive technologies are more likely to have rare congenital conditions. More and more scientific studies describe the risk of birth defects under such circumstances. Scientist feel financially pressured to identify embryos that are chromosomally normal. Despite that, a genetic predisposition may only contribute to the likelihood of developing a disorder. Environmental triggers, lifestyle and epigenes are what actually make the individual sick. The new field of epigenetics explains how environment and choices can influence the genetic off offspring. Scientists of the University of Zürich, Switzerland found that a potential Sperm-RNA-based mechanism exist, by which trauma may be epigenetically inherited. Offspring of mice that suffered early-life stress show signs of the disturbance their parent experienced.
Behavioral changes across generations through sperm RNA have not been of interest for “Single Mothers by Choice”. Instead they have been concerned that several of them used the same sperm donor and therefore their children were half-siblings, they started to set up a voluntary donor register. Unfortunately, some donors are very popular. To take them out of the catalogue will increase the interest of others and mothers advertise to buy any unused vials of sperm from. A study conducted by the Institute for American Values, called “My Daddy’s Name is Donor” showed that adults aged eighteen to forty-five conceived through sperm donation are hurt, confused, depressed and feel less trust in their parents. They are more disturbed when money was involved in their conception. Children, who will never have the chance to be raised by their biological parents, commonly use the phrase: “My sperm donor is half of who I am.” An important topic is to confirm a child’s right even to have knowledge of the biological parent. It is needless to mention that many fear being attracted to or having relations with someone to whom they are unknowingly related.
Juanita H. Williams, wrote in her book: <<Psychology of Women>>: “The identification of women with nature and the description of women in terms of nature suggests an affinity between the two… her very body share with the moon its periodicity.”
However, due to modern biotechnologies women experience a chemical liberation. Today women often decide to defer pregnancy. Egg freezing is becoming more relevant. It is seen as a way to free women from some of the biological constraints of fertility. In this way motherhood can be pursued when the personal circumstances are optimal for a child.
The American Civil Liberties Union has defined reproductive freedom as: “Everyone’s right to form intimate relationships and to decide whether and when to carry a pregnancy to term.” The World Health Organization defines reproductive rights and freedoms to include that individuals should decide freely and responsibly the timing of their children. From this perspective in-vitro fertilization opened the door to all the other reproductive technologies.
However, abortion, contraceptives and in-vitro-fertilization…. are techniques that destroy human life at its very beginning. The question remains, should we be allowed to employ modern biotechnologies just because we have the means and financial resources? Modern societies seem to disregard ethics and morality but have no problem upsetting nature itself. Can Science imitate nature by disobeying the laws of nature?
(Excerpt from: Promises of New Biotechnologies, ASIN: B004TM9CZO,  ISBN-10: 0615548288 ISBN-13: 978-0615548289
and:
Globale Chemisierung, vernichten wir uns selbst.  ISBN-10: 0615926657

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