This headline is from a recent edition of the London Daily Mail online. The rest of the headline reads: Scientists
create sperm and eggs from stem cells. Here are a few quotes from this article:
The U.S. government-funded research also offers the prospect of a ‘miracle pill’ which staves off the menopause, allowing women to wait longer to have a child.
Scientists at Stanford University in California found the right cocktail of chemicals and vitamins to coax the cells into becoming eggs and sperm.
The American team used stem cells taken from embryos in the first days of life but hope to repeat the process with slivers of skin. The skin cells would first be exposed to a mixture which wound back their biological clocks to embryonic stem cell state, before being transformed into sperm or eggs.
The double success, published in the journal Nature, raises the prospect of men and women one day ‘growing’ their own sperm and eggs for use in in vitro fertilization treatments.
Parents, while this is not exactly pleasant reading material, you can be assured that your children will be hearing about this “breakthrough” sooner than later in their education; perhaps even tomorrow. So what do you say to your 13-year-old with whom you have been slow to have “the discussion” about how babies are made?
These bio-medical endeavors, however noble their stated purposes may be, ultimately seek to gain control over the process of creating life. Ultimately, these projects seek to give man control. Neither men, women, nor God are necessary to create a child. All that is needed is some skin, a petri-dish and some drugs
If the book of Genesis makes anything clear, it is this – God is the Author and Sustainer of life. Modern man has come to believe that he is in control of his own life, even to the point of making children apart from the reproductive process ordained by God. It is still too early to tell whether the research being done at Stanford and other places will actually result in human life. However, the question must be asked: why would someone think he could do a better job at bringing babies into the world than God? Ultimately, the answer must lie in the fact that the fear and awe of God has been lost. Genesis speaks of a God who spoke the Universe into existence. The God of Genesis created matter out of nothing, to be used for his purposes. The scientists mentioned in this article, while they are attempting to by-pass the human reproductive process, must begin with something. They cannot will matter into existence.
Genesis speaks of the living, eternal God of heaven and earth. He has no beginning or end. He is not dependent upon anyone or any matter to do as he wishes. He does not experiment by testing hypotheses to see if his plans will work. God purposes and it happens. There was nothing, and then there was. No laboratory or research team can claim anything like that. Instead of being humbled by these attempts to create life man’s way, these scientists actually appear to thrive on the struggle. While it is commendable to persevere, it is arrogant to attempt to replace God.
How do you explain these things to your children? The best place to start is the Bible itself and Genesis in particular. The whole story is there: God’s power, His majestic plan, His overwhelming creativity, the wonder of man, the devastation of sin, the wreckage of life made by humans enslaved to sin, the hope of redemption and a Redeemer. This is Genesis. This is the beginning of the story of the Creator and his creatures. It is your story and, most importantly, it is God’s story.