Reproducing the human race
edited: Thursday, March 05, 2015
By Hilarie Roseman
Rated "PG13" by the Author.
Posted: Thursday, March 05, 2015
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After 32 years of research of human sexuality and human culture and religion Dr. Roseman has put it all together to give an indication of the future of human kind on planet Earth.
32 Years of Academic research: the voice of the future
Human is holy:
Human is holy because both Jews and Christians believe that the human species is made in the image of God. Most tribes of the earth have treated their deceased relatives with respect and honour, each tribe with a different story of another journey into the spirit world which begins at death. In the year 2015 myths and spiritual narratives have given way to other forms of worship, that of the outcome of the mind of man.
Reproducing the Human as love and as unholy technology
We have reached a time in technology and knowledge that threatens to take over the reproduction of the human race, which up to now has been done with love between man and woman. Today there is a race to create new forms of life with genetic material from humans and animals, and human brain material inserted into a man made frame. I trace today, March 2015, the movements towards man being the creator of life, rather than God being the creator of all things seen, and unseen.
In 1983, on Wednesday 4th May, I had attended the Conference “Ethical implications in the use of donor sperm, eggs and embryos in the treatment of human infertility”. It was held at the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons, Spring Street, Melbourne. The proceedings of this conference had edited out some very essential ethical considerations. Editing material before it reaches a mass audience was practised in this instance. At their Ethics Meeting, May 1983, the doctors presented mother, father and In Vitro child. Later they sent through the mail a transcript of the proceedings. In this transcript they omitted some of the evidence of the father Mr. L. Brennan. What they omitted was that he was a grandfather of two children (and a father of six). Ethically, the doctors said that everyone should be able to have children. This man obviously had this child in his second marriage because his wife said that she was not a woman if she did not have a child, and that a marriage wasn’t a proper marriage without a child. The researcher presented to the Assembly of the Doctors, the following year, their omission; they agreed publically that it was correct. So in a way, I was primed up for the further narrative of human beings at their embryonic state. The narrative begins in darkness with my first research showing the media blackout of a message from the Catholic Church.
My BA included research on editorial impact on mass media messages on human sexuality. The Bishops of Victoria were blocked-out by all media during a parliamentary debate on research on human embryos. They then wrote an advertisement. Looking back at it now it has an eerie sound to it. “Experiments on Humans”, an advertisement from the Catholic Bishops of Victoria. It “warned the people of Victoria about dangerous changes to the Victorian infertility (Medical Procedures) Act 1984. The Act originally prevented the formation of human embryos for the sole immediate purpose of destructive experimentation. Under the amended Act, human life now can be produced legally in Victoria simply to be destroyed. We protest at the undemocratic way the original Act was corrupted. Human engineering is now a possibility. To certain people human life is worth less than some forms of animal life. They support euthanasia and infanticide, the killing of new born babies. They have received big grants from the taxpayer’s funds for their research and the spread of their opinions. They must not be the voice of the future. Long journeys in the new directions begin with small steps. We have taken one more step down a dangerous incline.” (Advertisement from Bishops of Victoria, March 2, 1988)
My Masters Thesis showed that the cultural expectations of Catholics had faded, especially with regard to forgiveness, abortion, living together, second marriages and knowledge of the scriptures pertaining to Jesus Christ.
My PhD thesis followed on with forgiveness, and found that, as with human sexuality issues, the teaching on the construction of peace and forgiveness were not being taught. (“Generating forgiveness and constructing peace with truthful dialogue: Abrahamic perspectives” 2014 Dignity Press.
Now in 2015 I am looking anew at the reproduction of the human race, once only achieved by a man and a woman in an intimate, loving and lasting relationship. Today, not only have doctors taken over and achieved the beginning of life outside a woman’s body, but they also are researching what they call hybrids. From Australian law in research to create a “hybrid” is to use “an embryo created by the fertilisation of a human egg by animal sperm, or (b) an embryo created by the fertilisation of an animal egg by human sperm; or (c) a human egg into which the nucleus of an animal cell has been introduced (d) or a thing declared by the regulations to be a hybrid embryo”. This information is from “Research involving human embryos Act 2008, Sec.3, Australia”. http://www.legislation.vic.gov.au/Domino/Web_Notes/LDMS/PubStatbook.nsf/51dea49770555ea6ca256da4001b90cd/199E8F96594D0409CA25750C00124786/$FILE/08-74a.pdf
For those interested in family life and the reproduction of the human race, who owns the genetic material of the human race? When discussing these issues, let us look at the news from the BBC.
News from BBC
On the 21st February 2015 I brought up the BBC website and proceeded to learn about how the House of Commons in the UK voted in May 2008 on a very important
Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill. This Bill would allow regulated research using hybrid or ‘admix’ embryos where the nuclei of human cells are inserted into animal eggs. The resulting embryo would be kept for up to 14` days to harvest stem cells. There was a cross party attempt to ban hybrid human animal embryos, but this was defeated. There was a free vote in the House of Commons with 336 to 176 for the implementation ` of hybrid human animal embryos. (http://www.bbc.co.uk/ethics/animals/using/hybridembryos_1.shtml)
News from UK Daily Mail
We move to 23rd July 2011 and find that the Daily Mail (in its Australian edition) report that 150 human-animal hybrids have been grown in UK labs. They use the word “secret” in the report, saying that they have been grown secretly for the past 3 years, ever since the parliament implemented the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill. They also mention that this revelation has just come after scientists have warned of a new Planet of the Apes scenario where human-animal science has gone too far. (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2017818/Embryos-involving-genes-animals-mixed-humans-produced-secretively-past-years.html)
James Boyle writes in the Brookings Institute that the constitution of the United States will have to be changed to give rights to new creations by the human race, either completely technological, or human-animal. He equates the argument to the legal status of the human foetus, which was allowed to be aborted by the Roe v Wade. (http://www.brookings.edu/about/programs/governance/future-of-the-constitution)
Looking to Lawnix for a case brief summary for Roe v Wade we find that
The Court held that in regard to abortions during the first trimester, the decision must be left to the judgment of the pregnant woman’s doctor. In regard to the second trimester pregnancies, States may promote their interest in the mothers’ health by regulating abortion procedures related to the health of the mother. Regarding third trimester pregnancies, States may promote their interests in the potentiality of human life by regulating or even prohibiting abortion except when necessary to protect the health of the mother (http://www.lawnix.com/cases/roe-wade.html)
Returning to James Boyle, he makes a simple point.
In the coming century, it is overwhelmingly likely that constitutional law will have to classify artificially created entities that have some but not all the attributes we associate with human beings…. They may strongly resemble other species, and yet be genetically modified in ways that boost the characteristics we regard as distinctly human, such as the ability to use human language and to solve problems…Their creators may claim them as property. (http://www.brookings.edu/about/programs/governance/future-of-the-constitution)
What is it to lose one’s freedom of speech and one’s personal conscience? Are these the things that will happen when man creates a hybrid?
Beyond human: exploring transhumanism (Nov. 2014)
What does it mean to be human? According to Hava Tirosh-Samuelson, “transhumanists seek to transcend human biology through techno-genetic enhancements. Their ultimate goal is singularity, a supposedly inexorable turning point of what humans as we understand them will eventually become obsolete either because super intelligent machines will replace them or because techno-genetic enhancements will render them unrecognizable” (http://phys.org/news/2014-11-human-exploring-transhumanism.html
When I think about transhumanism, I think about my friends who have pigs valves in their hearts, or pace makers inserted in their hearts, or people with diabetes with a inbuilt insulin provider in their body. I myself have a titanium hip. Now none of these things can be seen from the outside, but they are certainly prolonging the life of these human beings. In my opinion, these enhancements don’t cross the species line of actual creation of a new type of being that is composed of animal and human genetic material. The question that rings in my mind is, who owns the genetic material of human kind? The abortion law which allow the killing of unborn children because they are unwanted, or not convenient, implies that the woman has the power, with the help of her doctor, to either create or kill a new human being. This is not what Christians and Jews for instance have believed. In the Old Testament in Genesis it is clearly stated that man and woman are made in the image of God. God has been defined as “love” and therefore this God, this love, lives in, and inhabits a human being. This is why I say that human beings are holy. To cross the species line and create a “thing” that has both animal and human genetic material would mean that animals were also made in the image of God and would have a soul. Soul is not able to be put into a test tube. An Anglican priest told me that the soul is “other”, it is not material, it is spiritual. The Catholic Catechism says: “soul refers to the inmost aspect of man, that which is of greatest value to him, that by which he is most especially in God’s image: “soul signifies the spiritual principle in man.” (Catholic Catechism 1994, Article 363 page 93) In Article 366 “The Church teaches that every spiritual soul is created immediately by God – it is not produced by the parents – and also that it is immortal: it does not perish when it separates from the body at death, and will be reunited with the body at the final Resurrection.” (The Catholic Catechism Articles 363 and 366, page 93).
So, how can a researcher recognize and deal with a spiritual power, which some people believe, some suspect, is in the human person? This spiritual power has been rendered obsolete by those who would want to introduce euthanasia - the chosen, killing death of those who do not wish to die with suffering, or for other reasons. This spiritual power is also negated by those who would say that the woman and her doctor own the genetic material in her baby, and that they, and they alone, can decide whether it should live or die. I always remember the grandmother who told me that her first grandchild had been aborted. I have begun to ask questions of grandmothers, and they all say to me that they would bring up their grandchildren rather than let them be killed. It is the final dissolution of the power that the family had in by gone days. The potential for new life, the potential for love and creativity and generation are negated, and now, new life forms are being suggested to take their place. The Catholic Bishops in Florida USA tell us that since the Roe v Wade verdict there have been 56 million abortions. They praise the passage of legislation that restricts abortion after viability. They say “we profoundly mourn over 56 million unborn victims since the court’s 1973 decision… By its legal acceptance, abortion dehumanizes the unborn child… All human life is sacred” (Catholic Bishops Florida http://www.flaccb.org/statements/2015/150122RoevWade.pdf)
Surely we are killing off our own species, and in the endeavour to enhance what they call transhumanism, we will get the unknown, and if as they say these things will be used as mighty soldiers to “protect the creators’ countries” – well, what can be worse than the atomic bomb, we will keep you posted, or should be say, our children will keep you posted.
Building synthetic soldiers, stopping plagues and making humans more advanced through robotics is the focus of the military agency, DARPA. This agency is working towards blending human life with machines. There are advances in humans surviving blood loss, seeing with infrared vision, enhancing human brains for accurate memories and making robotic limbs move and be controlled by thought.(http://www.occupycorporatism.com/home/8-examples-transhumanist-future-according-darpa/)
Before leaving you to ponder the issues of transhumanism, I want to return to the Roe v Wade legal decision and its possible future outcome. From the Journal of Medical Ethic an article was published on 23rd February, 2012 arguing for after- birth abortion. Alberto Giubilini and Francesca Minerva are of the opinion that “the arguments for the abortion of a foetus are the same arguments for the killing of a newly born baby. By “showing that (1) both foetuses and newborns do not have the same moral status as an actual person , (2) the fact that both are potential persons is morally equivalent, (3) adoption is not always in the best interest of actual people, the authors agree that what we call after-birth abortion (killing a new born) should be permissible in all the cases where abortion is, including cases where the newborn is disabled. “ (Giubilini A and Minerva F, 2012)
What can we do to stop the eradication of the human species?
Firstly, the construction of peace should be taught in all parts of the world. Maybe if we do not want the countries to spend their money on more and more soldiers able to kill more and more people, then we can be happy with the human species as it is. This would seem to be a super-human task, but then, with a moral teaching that all are holy, all are sacred, and that the human being can be taught to say sorry and make amends for violent acts towards one another there might be a new mind set that would lead to more suitable technical endeavours than trying to make humans and animals into hybrids, and in some cases, just a brain inside a meta mask. The first movement towards this would be political, because our scientists have not done their work without the help of their governments. When I ask the question, who owns the genetic material of human kind, it is the governments of the world who give the consent that is needed for the experiments on human beings. Mothers and fathers, grandparents and even great grandparents have taken on the responsibility of the human being. Today their children are sent to child care centres, while their mothers and fathers are employed to give the governments the taxes it wants to pay its armies. Surely there has to be a better way. Together we can make a better world for human beings to live in, rather than spend our energies on creating new species.
Copyright Hilarie Roseman, PhD 6th March, 2015
Arizona State University, “Beyond Human: Exploring Transhumanism” in the website phys.org,
BBC Ethics Guide, Human-Animal hybrid embryos (http://www.bbc.co.uk/ethics/animals/using/hybridembryos_1.shtml)
Boyle, James “Endowed by their Creator, the future of constitutional personhood” in Brookings Institute “The future of the Constitution” http://www.brookings.edu/about/programs/governance/future-of-the-constitution
Catholic Bishops of Florida USA, “Statement of the Catholic Bishops of Florida on the 42nd anniversary of Roe v Wade, January 22, 2015 http://www.flaccb.org/statements/2015/150122RoevWade.pdf
Catholic Church 1994, The catechism of the Catholic Church, Australian edition, St. Pauls/Liberia Editrice Vaticana, Homebush, N.S.W.
Giubilini A and Minerva F, “After-birth abortion: why should the baby live?” in Journal of Medical Ethics, 23rd February 2012
Lawnix “Roe v Wade – Case Brief Summary (http://www.lawnix.com/cases/roe-wade.html)
Martin, D and Caldwell S., “150 human-animal hybrids grown in UK labs: embryos have been grown secretively for past three years” in Daily Mail, UK, Australian edition, 23rd July, 2011. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2017818/Embryos-involving-genes-animals-mixed-humans-produced-secretively-past-years.html)
Posel, Susanne, Chief Editor Occupacy Corporation the US Independent “8 Examples of a transhumanist future according to DARPA, April 3, 2014 http://www.occupycorporatism.com/home/8-examples-transhumanist-future-according-darpa/
Research involving human embryos Act 2008, Sec.3, Australia http://www.legislation.vic.gov.au/Domino/Web_Notes/LDMS/PubStatbook.nsf/51dea49770555ea6ca256da4001b90cd/199E8F96594D0409CA25750C00124786/$FILE/08-74a.pdf
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|Reviewed by Ronald Hull
|With over 7 billion and growing, I don't see any danger of eradicating the human species. While there are ethical questions raised by your article, you tend to fall back on religion rather than logic in your arguments.
Based on the possibility of global warming and the resulting global climate change, already in evidence in many parts of the world, it may take superior intelligence in order to overcome the problems imposed and survive as humans, at all.
On the positive side, outer space and other planets are generally not like our mother Earth with this rich biological heritage, including us. Many argue that human beings will have to transform ourselves into superhuman beings in order to explore beyond our solar system. If you say, like others, "don't go there," nothing has stopped us from "going there" so far.