Deeper Waters Podcast 9/7/2019

What’s coming up? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

Most of us love the superhero films. What’s amazing about that is how the special effects have changed over the years. In the old Superman TV shows sometimes, when Superman would fly, they would turn him into a cartoon. When the first Superman movie with Christopher Reeve came out, we were told you will believe a man can fly.

The special effects have changed because technology has changed. I remember the Matrix being groundbreaking in what it was doing and now it’s seen as commonplace. Nowadays, people on YouTube are making their own unique videos at home. It was a wonder when Disney was doing so awesome in their animated movies and now they’re going to live-action films.

This effects us in more than entertainment options. I have a steel rod on my spine due to scoliosis surgery. This would not have been doable I think 100 years ago. We have so many medical procedures that can be done. We carry tools in our pockets that can access the knowledge of the world, which we, of course, use to argue with strangers and look at pictures of cats.

Yet movies have also shown us what could be even more. The Matrix pictured a world where you don’t have to study martial arts. It is instead downloaded into your brain. Others like Ghost in the Shell and Iron Man have even more merging of men with technology.

The classic game Final Fantasy VI warned of a war that had taken place 1,000 years prior when some people had used magic and now, some were wanting to awaken that tool again and what would happen? We can scoff at magic today, but can technology be equally dangerous? We have the capacity to destroy our planet multiple times over now. What else can we do? What else will we do? Should we be concerned about human upgrades?

My guest is coming on to talk about these issues. We have a good relationship here at Deeper Waters with Reasons To Believe. He is one of the co-authors of their recent book Humans 2.0 and is coming to discuss the ramifications of transhumanism. His name is Fuz Rana and he will be my guest Saturday.

So who is he?

Fazale Rana is the vice president of research and apologetics at Reasons to Believe. He is the author of several groundbreaking books, including Who Was Adam, Creating Life in the Lab, The Cell’s Design and Dinosaur Blood and the Age of the Earth. He holds a PhD in chemistry with an emphasis in biochemistry from Ohio University.

We’ll be talking about the book and transhumanism. Is it all bad? Is it all good? Are we playing God? How should we approach this? What does it mean to be a human?

We are rapidly working on uploading past episodes. I hope to be all caught up before the month is over. Please keep watching your podcast feed.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

Book Plunge: Humans 2.0

What do I think of Fazale Rana and Ken Samples’s newest book published by RTB? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

“What hath God wrought?” Such was the question asked at the invention of the telegraph. We have updated our technology more and more so that when we watch shows such as Stranger Things and see the technology of the 80’s, we see it as primitive. When my wife and I go walking in the morning, we see students waiting for the school bus. I think they are likely some of our first digital citizens and will always grow up in a world with smartphones, the internet everywhere, and 9/11 being always a part of their lives.

Comic books showed us a world that fifty years ago we could only dream of. Now, some of those dreams are becoming reality. Unfortunately, when dreams do come true, it is not always a good thing. We could inadvertently create a nightmare by the actions that we do. Our intentions might be good at the start, but there are always people that will take good things and use them for nefarious means.

So it is with the idea known as transhumanism. It is through technological advances and gene therapies and ideas like that that we hope to push the limits of human potential. Many of us live with some such enhancements. I sit at my desk and from the outside, I look like an average person, although a bit underweight and thus small, but internally on my spine right now is a steel rod meant to keep me straight physically and control my scoliosis.

When I read a book like this one then, I find myself getting excited and concerned both. I like the idea of extending human lifespans so that 90 will be seen as what 50 is today. I like the idea of heightened intelligence and memory. I also have to wonder whose job it was to read Iron Man comics since there’s a story from them at the start of every chapter. That must have been enjoyable research.

But as a person with a disability, I have my concerns. Will I be seen as a defective human being and people like me need to be removed from the gene pool? Who will determine who gets enhancements and who doesn’t? Are we close to playing God in a way that we shouldn’t?

Rana and Samples have written this book to first off introduce us to the idea. They are not ones who are totally saying we have to scrap all these ideas. There are some good things coming. If we can take some steps to avoid suffering, is that not a good thing?

Their main concern is who is it we are going to end up being at the end? Will we still be humans? At this, this is probably my biggest criticism of the book is I don’t think humans are truly defined. If we say the image of God, we need to say what that image is exactly. Is the image something of the kind that technological advances can remove it? That doesn’t sound much like the image of God.

The writers explain much of the technology and science behind the ideas. If you’re like me, your eyes will, unfortunately, kind of glaze over these sections. They’re great while you read them, but afterward, you’re not sure what you read. On the plus side, they tell you where to skip ahead to in the book if you don’t want to read those.

There’s also philosophical and theological looks at the topics going into ethics. What is the right thing to do in this situation? How should Christians respond to technology in general? I personally think these advancements are inevitable, so what will we do when they come?

There’s also sections on how DNA works, the question of artificial intelligence, and even artificial wombs. People very much into science and technology will likely get a great deal out of this. I was a bit surprised that I don’t remember anything from the Matrix being mentioned in these kinds of sections, but that could be a sign of how even something like that is in our past.

Transhumanism is something that we as Christians will have to think about and it is becoming more of a reality every day. We have technology today we could only dream of when we were younger. How will it be in the future? Only time will tell. Let us hope that we are ready to let this genie out of the bottle properly.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

Deeper Waters Podcast 12/2/2017: Old-Earth vs Evolution

What’s coming up? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

Many Christians do agree today that the Earth is old, but then they hit an impasse. What about evolution then? It does seem to be the reigning theory and there are a lot of Christians that hold to it, but is that really what the science shows and how does that mesh with Scripture? Christians who aren’t scientifically informed can be confused.

Recently, the book Old Earth Or Evolutionary Creation was published. It was edited by Kenneth Keathley and J.B. Stump. I got a copy of the book and when I finished it figured the discussion should continue. Since the dialogue was between Biologos and Reasons To Believe, I spoke to both ministries to get representatives to come on to talk about the book. Kenneth Keathley as well is coming on. J.B. Stump is coming from Biologos and from Reasons to Believe we have Fuz Rana.

So who are they?

Kenneth Keathley

According to his bio:

Ken Keathley is Senior Professor of Theology and the Jesse Hendley Chair of Theology at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, North Carolina where he has been teaching since 2006. He also directs the L. Russ Bush Center for Faith and Culture, a center that seeks to engage culture, present and defend the Christian Faith, and explore its implications for all areas of life. He is the co-author of 40 Questions About Creation and Evolution (Kregel, November 2014) and co-editor of Old Earth or Evolutionary Creation?: Discussing Origins with Reasons to Believe and BioLogos (IVP, July 2017).  Ken and his wife Penny have been married since 1980, live in Wake Forest, NC and are members of North Wake Church in Wake Forest, North Carolina.  They have a son and daughter, both married, and four grandchildren.

Jim Stump

Jim Stump is Senior Editor at BioLogos. As such he oversees the development of new content and curates existing content for the website and print materials. Jim has a PhD in philosophy from Boston University and was formerly a philosophy professor and academic administrator. He has authored Science and Christianity: An Introduction to the Issues (Wiley-Blackwell, 2017) and edited Four Views on Creation, Evolution, and Intelligent Design (Zondervan 2017). Other books he has co-authored or co-edited include: Christian Thought: A Historical Introduction (Routledge, 2010, 2016), The Blackwell Companion to Science and Christianity (Wiley-Blackwell, 2012), How I Changed My Mind About Evolution (InterVarsity, 2016), and Old Earth or Evolutionary Creation: Discussing Origins with Reasons to Believe and BioLogos (InterVarsity, 2017).

And Fuz Rana

Fazale Rana is the vice president of research and apologetics at Reasons to Believe. He is the author of several groundbreaking books, including Who Was Adam, Creating Life in the Lab, The Cell’s Design and Dinosaur Blood and the Age of the Earth. He holds a PhD in chemistry with an emphasis in biochemistry from Ohio University.

I hope you’ll be listening to this episode as we discuss science and theology and how it all comes together. What is the evidence for evolution? How should one interpret Scripture? What is the relationship between faith and science? Please be looking for the next episode and consider leaving a positive review of the Deeper Waters Podcast on iTunes.

In Christ,
Nick Peters

 

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