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Man and Machine: A Biblical Look at Present and Future Technology with C. S. Lewis Lesson 7. Chesterfield Presbyterian Church February 20, 2011 Andrew Shaw Man and Machine: Outline. Man and Machine : Theology of Technology Man is Master of the Machine

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man and machine a biblical look at present and future technology with c s lewis lesson 7

Man and Machine: A Biblical Look at Present and Future Technology with C. S. LewisLesson 7

Chesterfield Presbyterian Church

February 20, 2011

Andrew Shaw

man and machine outline
Man and Machine: Outline
  • Man and Machine: Theology of Technology
  • Man is Master of the Machine
  • Man Uses the Machine to Master Others
  • Man is Mastered by the Machine
  • Man is “Nothing But” a Machine (part 2)
  • Man Must Become a Machine
making life
“Making” Life

Mouse with human “ear” (1997)

Jack, Lisa, Molly, Adam Nash


Baby Fae with baboon’s heart (1984)


in vitro fertilization ivf
In Vitro Fertilization (IVF)

World’s first “test tube baby”

Louise Joy Brown, July 25, 1978

Robert Edwards,

2010 Nobel Prize,

with Louise and her baby.

~500,000 frozen embryos, waiting…

1% of all births in US

~1 million worldwide

what should we do with the 500 000 leftover frozen embryos
What should we do with the ~500,000 leftover frozen embryos?
  • Discard, i.e., destroy and kill - 2.2%.
  • Use in research, i.e., experiment upon - 2.8% (sacrifice one life for another). Of these, only about 2.75% will yield “usable” stem cells.
  • Adopt: “Snowflake” Babies

Bruce, Sarah, Rosemary & Lydia Clark

leftovers isaiah 44
Leftovers: Isaiah 44

9 All who make idols are nothing, and the things they treasure are worthless. Those who would speak up for them are blind; they are ignorant, to their own shame.

10 Who shapes a god and casts an idol, which can profit him nothing?

11 He and his kind will be put to shame; craftsmen are nothing but men. Let them all come together and take their stand;they will be brought down to terror and infamy.

12 The blacksmith takes a tool and works with it in the coals; he shapes an idol with hammers, he forges it with the might of his arm. He gets hungry and loses his strength; he drinks no water and grows faint.

13 The carpenter measures with a line and makes an outline with a marker; he roughs it out with chisels and marks it with compasses. He shapes it in the form of man, of man in all his glory, that it may dwell in a shrine.

14 He cut down cedars, or perhaps took a cypress or oak. He let it grow among the trees of the forest, or planted a pine, and the rain made it grow.

15 It is man's fuel for burning; some of it he takes and warms himself, he kindles a fire and bakes bread. But he also fashions a god and worships it; he makes an idol and bows down to it.

16 Half of the wood he burns in the fire; over it he prepares his meal, he roasts his meat and eats his fill. He also warms himself and says, "Ah! I am warm; I see the fire."

17 From the rest he makes a god, his idol; he bows down to it and worships. He prays to it and says, "Save me; you are my god."

18 They know nothing, they understand nothing; their eyes are plastered over so they cannot see, and their minds closed so they cannot understand.

19 No one stops to think, no one has the knowledge or understanding to say, "Half of it I used for fuel; I even baked bread over its coals, I roasted meat and I ate. Shall I make a detestable thing from what is left? Shall I bow down to a block of wood?"

20 He feeds on ashes, a deluded heart misleads him;he cannot save himself, or say, "Is not this thing in my right hand a lie?"

what is a stem cell
What is a stem cell?
  • A cell that can divide multiple times and give rise to specialized cells in the body
  • Babies, children, and adults have stem cells in their bodies which generate replacement cells when needed.
  • Embryos in their earliest stage of development are made entirely of stem cells which will generate every kind of cell necessary to form all ~200 body tissues & organs.

Embryo - 8 cell morula

what is a stem cell1

Adult Stem Cells (pluripotent)

What is a “stem” cell?


Blood Cells

Nerve Cells

Muscle Cells

Embryonic Stem Cells (totipotent)

what s so exciting about stem cells
What’s so exciting about stem cells?
  • The human body is made of trillions of cells.
  • When cells are injured, missing or not working properly we experience disease/disability.
  • One way to treat some disease/disability is to replace injured/missing cells with healthy ones.
  • Stem cells can change into other cells and sometimes serve as their replacements.

human embryo

5 days “blastocyst”

where do stem cells come from
Where do stem cells come from?

1. Adult stem cells

  • Placentas and Umbilical cord blood
  • Various body tissues in babies through adults (fat, blood, bone marrow, brain, skeletal muscle, esophagus, stomach, pancreas, nasal tissues, eye, liver, hair follicles, skin, pulp from lost baby teeth,…)

2. Embryonic stem cells

  • 5 day-old human embryos

Stem cells from

Umbilical cord blood

esc s vs asc s
Easier to find

Easier to culture

More “active” (regenerates faster)


Immortal (can be maintained in vitro indefinitely)

Not subject to autoimmune rejection

Easier to control


More “focused”

Do not form tumors

Do not destroy the embryo

Can be “retroprogrammed”

ESC’s vs. ASC’s

* Some ASC’s, e.g., from umbilical cord blood, now appear to be pluripotent.


Asexual Reproduction: CLONING

Somatic Cell Nuclear Transfer (SCNT)


Therapeutic cloning: “cloning-for-biomedical-research” (CBR)








Reproductive cloning: “cloning-to-produce-children” (CPC)

Using somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT)

where will we get all the eggs
Where will we get all the eggs?

A woman is injected with powerful hormones that cause her ovaries to produce multiple eggs.(superovulation)

The eggs are surgically removed.

Up to 14% of women experience complications, some life-threatening.

U of Penn

potential complications
Potential Complications…
  • Possible negative effects on future fertility
  • Ovarian cysts
  • Severe pelvic pain
  • Rupture of the ovaries
  • Stroke
  • Death

Exploitation of women

Eggs become a commodity

Human embryos with bar codes

one common adult stem cell use
One Common Adult Stem Cell Use
  • Bone marrow-derived stem cells are used in cancer and auto-immune disease treatment protocols.
  • Stem cells are given to replace the patient’s bone marrow after high dose chemotherapy or radiation.
  • This is done over 15,000 times a year in the U.S. alone and has resulted in formerly unattainable cures and regressions.
other current asc therapies
Brain Tumors


Ovarian Cancer

Solid tumors - sarcomas, etc.

Testicular Cancer

Multiple Myeloma


Breast Cancer


Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma

Renal Cell Cancer

Autoimmune - SLE, JRA, RA, MS

Crohn's Disease

Other Current ASC Therapies

other asc applications
Other ASC Applications
  • Kidney Failure: grow new kidney for transplant.
  • Alzheimer’s: modify cells to produce nerve growth factor.
  • Muscular Dystrophy: neural stem cells transformed into muscle.

Proposed ASC Applications

1. Functional Genomics - To help scientists understand the complex events of cell development.

2. Drug Testing - Easier discovery and testing of new drugs.

3. Correction of genetic disorders - Stem cells could deliver gene therapy.

4. Cell Therapy - Cells could be generated that would be implanted into damaged tissues.

5. Transplantation - Unlimited source of organs for transplantation that could be grown in the lab.

proposed asc therapies miracle cures for incurable diseases
Diabetes: transplant insulin-producing islet cells.

Multiple Sclerosis: replace damaged nerve cell sheath.

Paralysis: re-grow destroyed nervous tissue.

Stroke: repair brain damage.

Heart Attacks: skin cell  stem cell  to replace damaged heart muscle.

AIDS: replace damaged immune system.

Proposed ASC Therapies:Miracle Cures for “Incurable” Diseases
stem cells and parkinson s
Stem Cells and Parkinson’s

2006 - ASC from umbilical cord blood to

treat rats; significant recovery

- ESC to treat rats; many severe tumors

2005 - used protein to stimulate patient’s brain

stem cells; significant improvement

- turned monkey ESC into neural ASC; mild relief

2004 - successfully treated mice with nerve cells

developed from their own bone marrow

- turned human ESC into neural ASC and treated mice;

partial improvement, but too early to detect tumors

2003 - injected protein into patient’s brain, stimulating neural ASC;

61% improvement in motor function

- neurons from mice ESC transplanted into mice; some decrease

in symptoms but 20% died due to teratomas

Michael J. Fox

Parkinson’s Treatments, Family Research Council,

are human clones and chimeras human beings
Are Human Clones and Chimeras Human Beings?
  • Shanghai Second Medical University, China, 2003: fused human cells with rabbit eggs.
  • Mayo Clinic, Minnesota, 2004: created pigsthat had human blood.
  • Stanford University, California, in progress: creating micethat have human brains.
  • University of Edinburgh, England, October, 2007: Now legal to fuse human cells with cow eggs.

1-3. National Geographic News, January 25, 2005.