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Today for My 2 Cents:

I am posting this open Letter to all Church Leaders from Dr. Tom Horn. This is an eye opening powerful letter to awaken us, out of our slumber. The Battle is going on NOW! Yet many in the faith have not shown up to fight this evil and deadly rise of technology that could literality change what it means to be human.

Once you read this Open Letter, you may have a better understanding of what the Lord meant here in Matthew 24:21 and 22 For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been from the beginning of the world until now, no, and never will be. And if those days had not been cut short, no human being would be saved. But for the sake of the elect those days will be cut short. For what if, this was written because He [Jesus Christ] knew that mankind would strive to become like god and doing things to their make-up, genetically altering themselves to be something different then what Almighty God has created.

A very scary thought!

Please give this open letter some serious thought and then ask yourselves, where are we in this process? Could this really happen in my life time? Or is it already happening now? If it is, then what are you going to do about it?

I for one, am going to share and inform everyone that I can about his danger that we face today. For I believe that what God has created is not a mistake, not junk, as we are told in Ephesians 2:10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. So, if you are trying to change yourself to become something other then what you are, you are saying to God that you made a mistake, and to put it bluntly, you are calling God a liar! That is some very dangerous ground!

That's My 2 cents,

Pastor Mike

 

AN OPEN LETTER TO CHRISTIAN LEADERS ON TRANSHUMANISM AND THE FUTURE OF MAN

May 20, 2018 by SkyWatch Editor

THE ISSUE

In recent years, astonishing technological developments have pushed the frontiers of humanity toward far-reaching morphological transformation that promises in the very near future to redefine what it means to be human. An international, intellectual, and fast-growing cultural movement known as transhumanism, whose vision is supported by a growing list of U.S. military advisors, bioethicists, law professors, and academics, intends the use of biotechnology, genetic engineering, nanotechnology, cybernetics, and artificial intelligence as tools that will radically redesign our minds, our memories, our physiology, our offspring, and even perhaps- as Joel Garreau, in his bestselling book Radical Evolution, claims-our very souls. The technological, cultural, and metaphysical shift now underway unapologetically forecasts a future dominated by this new species of unrecognizably superior humans, and applications under study now to make this dream a reality are being funded by thousands of government and private research facilities around the world. The issues raised by human-transforming science must be addressed by Christian leaders in a serious national conversation. To fail in this responsibility may lead to the question "what does it mean to be human" being abdicated to a frightening transhuman vision.


AN OPEN LETTER TO CHRISTIAN LEADERS ON TRANSHUMANISM AND THE FUTURE OF MAN
Time running out to influence debate

May 20, 2018
11:00 am Eastern

by Dr. Thomas R. Horn
SkyWatchTV.com


Dear Pastor and Christian Leader,

Brent Waters, Director of the Jerre L. and Mary Joy Stead Center for Ethics and Values has written, "If Christians are to help shape contemporary culture-particularly in a setting in which I fear the posthuman message will prove attractive, if not seductive-then they must offer an alternative and compelling vision; a counter theological discourse so to speak."

Although the Vatican in 2008 issued a limited set of instructions on bioethics primarily dealing with in vitro fertilization and stem cell research (Dignitas Personae or "the Dignity of the Person") and a handful of Christian scientists, policy makers, and conservative academics have hinted in public commentary on the need for a broader, manifesto-like document on the subject, the church as an institution has failed at any concerted effort to focus on the genetics revolution, the government's interest in human enhancement, the viral transhumanist philosophy capturing the mind of a generation at colleges and universities (not to mention via popular media), and the significant moral and ethical issues raised by these trends. While the Vatican's Dignitas Personae failed to provide instructions on the greater issue of biological enhancement (as envisioned by transhumanists and espoused by agencies of the U.S. and other federal governments as the next step in human evolution), its positional paper did provide an important bird's-eye view on the clash developing between traditional morality and the contradictory adoption of transhumanist philosophy by Christian apologists, who likewise have begun to question what it means to be human and whose competing moral vision could ultimately shape the future of society.

Immediately following the release of Dignitas Personae, Catholic scientist William B. Neaves, in an essay for the National Catholic Reporter, reflected the new biblical exegesis, causing reporter Rod Dreher to describe it as clearly illustrating "the type of Christianity that is eager to jettison the old morality and embrace the new." The subtleties behind Neaves' comments included:

An alternative point of view to the Vatican's, embraced by many Christians, is that personhood [a transhumanist concept] occurs after successful implantation in the mother's uterus, when individual ontological identity is finally established.... If one accepts the viewpoint that personhood begins after implantation, the moral framework guiding the development and application of medical technology to human reproduction and treatment of disease looks very different from that described in Dignitas Personae.

In the alternative moral framework, taking a pill to prevent the products of fertilization from implanting in a uterus is morally acceptable. Using ivf [in vitro fertilization] to complete the family circle of couples otherwise unable to have children is an unmitigated good. Encouraging infertile couples with defective gametes to adopt already-produced ivf embryos that will otherwise be discarded is a laudable objective. And using embryonic stem cells to seek cures [creating human embryos for research "parts"] becomes a worthy means of fulfilling the biblical mandate to heal the sick.

Notwithstanding that the discussion by Neaves was limited to the Vatican's position on embryos, his introduction of memes involving personhood and "ensoulment" represents worrisome Christian theological entanglement with transhumanist philosophy, further illustrating the need for a solid manifesto providing a conservative vision for public policy with regard to human experimentation and enhancement.

In the letter to the church at Ephesus, Paul states the responsibility of the Church as the agent of God's wisdom, concluding this was by divine intention. "His intent was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms" (Ephesians 3:10). Making known the "righteous" and manifold wisdom of God must include human-affirming virtues of Christian morality that are intrinsic to His divine order and the Great Commission. In every generation, there is no middle ground for preachers of righteousness in these matters. Christian leaders must be actively engaged in ideological warfare for the mind of a generation especially in an age where people are seeking reasons to believe, despite everything they are being told, that the church remains relevant. To fail this responsibility could be to abdicate to a frightening transhuman vision of the future such as was predicted by theologian and Christian apologist C. S. Lewis in The Abolition of Man. Lewis foresaw the day when transhumanist and scientific reasoning would win out, permanently undoing mankind through altering the species, ultimately reducing Homo sapiens to utilitarian products. Here is part of what he said:

In order to understand fully what Man's power over Nature, and therefore the power of some men over other men, really means, we must picture the race extended in time from the date of its emergence to that of its extinction. Each generation exercises power over its successors: and each, in so far as it modifies the environment bequeathed to it and rebels against tradition, resists and limits the power of its predecessors. This modifies the picture which is sometimes painted of a progressive emancipation from tradition and a progressive control of natural processes resulting in a continual increase of human power. In reality, of course, if any one age really attains, by eugenics and scientific education, the power to make its descendants what it pleases [transhuman/posthuman], all men who live after it are the patients of that power. They are weaker, not stronger: for though we may have put wonderful machines in their hands we have pre-ordained how they are to use them. And if, as is almost certain, the age which had thus attained maximum power over posterity were also the age most emancipated from tradition, it would be engaged in reducing the power of its predecessors almost as drastically as that of its successors.... The last men, far from being the heirs of power, will be of all men most subject to the dead hand of the great planners and conditioners and will themselves exercise least power upon the future.... The final stage [will have] come when Man by eugenics, by pre-natal conditioning, and by an education and propaganda based on a perfect applied psychology...shall have "taken the thread of life out of the hand of Clotho" [one of the Three Fates in mythology responsible for spinning the thread of human life] and be henceforth free to make our species whatever we wish it to be. The battle will indeed be won. But who, precisely, will have won it?

Lewis foresaw the progressive abandonment of what we would call "moral law" based on Judeo-Christian values giving way to "the dead hand of the great planners and conditioners" who would decide what men should biologically become. The terms "great planners and conditioners" correspond perfectly with modern advocates of transhumanism who esteem their blueprint for the future of the species as the one that will ultimately decide the fate of man. A recent step toward establishing this goal occurred when the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) and the Human Enhancement Ethics Group (based at California Polytechnic State University, whose advisory board is a wish list of transhumanist academics and institutions worldwide) released its fifty-page report entitled "Ethics of Human Enhancement: 25 Questions & Answers." This government-funded report addressed the definitions, scenarios, anticipated societal disruptions, and policy and law issues that need to be considered en route to becoming posthuman. Some of the topics covered in the new study include:

  • What are the policy implications of human enhancement?
  • Is the natural-artificial distinction of human enhancement morally significant?
  • Does human enhancement raise issues of fairness, access, and equity?
  • Will it matter if there is an "enhanced divide" between "new" people classifications?
  • How would such a divide make communication difficult between "normals" and the "enhanced"?
  • How should the enhancement of children be approached?
  • What kind of societal disruptions might arise from human enhancement?
  • Should there be any limits on enhancement for military purposes?
  • Might enhanced humans count as someone's intellectual property?
  • Will we need to rethink the very meaning of "ethics," given the dawn of enhancement?

The "Ethics of Human Enhancement" report was authored by the NSF-funded research team of Dr. Fritz Allhoff (Western Michigan University), Dr. Patrick Lin (California Polytechnic State University), Prof. James Moor (Dartmouth College), and Prof. John Weckert (Center for Applied Philosophy and Public Ethics/Charles Sturt University, Australia) as part of a three-year ethics study on human enhancement and emerging technologies. This came on the heels of the US National Institute of Health granting Case Law School in Cleveland $773,000 of taxpayers' money to begin developing the actual guidelines to be used for setting government policy on the next step in human evolution-"genetic enhancement." Maxwell Mehlman, Arthur E. Petersilge Professor of Law, director of the Law-Medicine Center at the Case Western Reserve University School of Law, and professor of bioethics in the Case School of Medicine, led the team of law professors, physicians, and bioethicists over the two-year project "to develop standards for tests on human subjects in research that involves the use of genetic technologies to enhance ‘normal' individuals." Following the initial study, Mehlman began offering two university lectures: "Directed Evolution: Public Policy and Human Enhancement" and "Transhumanism and the Future of Democracy," addressing the need for society to comprehend how emerging fields of science will, in approaching years, alter what it means to be human, and what this means to democracy, individual rights, free will, eugenics, and equality. Other law schools, including Stanford and Oxford, are now hosting similar annual "Human Enhancement and Technology" conferences, where transhumanists, futurists, bioethicists, and legal scholars are busying themselves with the ethical, legal, and inevitable ramifications of posthumanity.

"No matter where one is aligned on this issue, it is clear that the human enhancement debate is a deeply passionate and personal one, striking at the heart of what it means to be human," explained Dr. Lin in the NSF report. Then, with surprising candor, he added, "Some see it as a way to fulfill or even transcend our potential; others see it as a darker path towards becoming Frankenstein's monster."

Because any attempt at covering each potential GRIN-tech, catastrophic, Frankenstein's monster possibility in an open letter such as this would be impractical, I summarize below a few of the most important areas in which conservatives, bioethicists, regulators, and especially Christians could become informed and involved in the public dialogue over the potential benefits and threats represented by these emerging fields of science:

CRISPR GENE EDITING

One of the most celebrated breakthroughs allowing for manipulation of human genomes even to the germline level involves CRISPR technology, an acronym that stands for Clustered Randomly Interspersed Palindromic Repeats. China has already gene-edited dozens of people using this technology, and the United States is planning to follow their lead starting in 2018. The fancy CRISPR phrase merely refers to repeated units found in bacteria as a defense against viruses. Palindrome merely means they spell the same genetic "word" backward and forward, and they appear in "clusters." In 2012, this system of genetic editing found its way into the national lexicon as CRISPR-Cas 9 (the "Cas" just means CRISPR-associated and refers to an enzyme used to cut the DNA strands-in this case, Cas #9).

DNA is usually double-stranded, consisting of two long strings of nucleotides (adenine, cytosine, guanine, and thymine) upon a sugar backbone (deoxyribose). The strands are mirror complementary, locking together like puzzle pieces. The shape of the molecular bonds between the complementary nucleotides (A-T, C-G) causes the double strand to twist into its familiar helical shape. Genes are collections of nucleotides that translate into an end-product protein. If the gene contains an error, the final protein may not fold correctly, which causes it to function poorly, if at all.

Think of the human cell as a city. Inside this city are workers, buildings, power stations, and a city planning office. The nucleus is this office, and within it are the plans for all the buildings, directions to all the workers, instructions for manufacturing, etc. The genes in a cell are these plans and instructions. When scientists want to know how a gene works, they disrupt it, remove it, replace it, edit it, or switch it off. CRISPR is currently the most efficient way to do this, but the science is advancing daily. To find the right "plan" in the city office, the scientist uses a "guide RNA," which you can think of as a civil servant or clerk who knows where everything is filed. The "guide RNA" leads the enzyme (a molecular pair of scissors such as Cas9) to the correct "file" or gene, where Cas9 cuts the strands (in essence, it opens the file). At this point, it might replace the file (or gene with one attached to the guide RNA), or it might add a repressor protein to keep others from opening the file (effectively switching the gene off). Or it could switch it on, to make sure the gene gets transcribed into a protein by removing a repressor protein. Or Cas9 might simply cut the strands to force repair based upon another template already present.

To use another analogy, CRISPR is a bit like using a word processing program to edit a document. You can use "find and replace" to insert whatever new phrase you wish, you can convert text to a "strikethrough" font, or you can simply delete it altogether without replacing it.

CRISPR can do much more than alter DNA within somatic cells. This process can alter many generations through the germline by replacing or changing genes within sperm and ova. These new characteristics then become heritable, passing from generation to generation.

Despite what the media may want you to believe, CRISPR is hardly infallible. Many researchers report "off-site" or "off-target" editing, which can lead to illness and/or death in the subject cells.

One final point about CRISPR: If you want to travel into a city (or cell) and inspect plans within that city's office, then you have to get to the right city, correct? So, how does the CRISPR-Cas system arrive into the correct cell in a living person? If someone wants to alter a gene inside the lungs or a kidney, then how do you make sure it doesn't invade the eye or bone? The answer is a biological truck called a "vector" in molecular biology. In most cases, this vector is viral, because viruses can infect specific cells. Other biological trucks are currently being designed, though. Cellular membrane vehicles (derived from the cell type), proteins, lipids, and combinations of all the above are being studied.

HUMAN-ROBOT OFFSPRING VIA TNT (tissue nanotransfection)

With new parthenogenotes technology human eggs can be "tricked" into developing into an embryo without fertilization allowing two females, for example, to offer skin samples from which a child could be born entirely from a laboratory, producing a literal and biological offspring of two female parents. Ethical and religious questions regarding the artificial embryo have kept this technology from becoming available to same-sex partners for now, but it's only a matter of time and red tape-all that is needed to make human babies today is DNA. And all that will be required to make human/robot babies in the very near future is the integration of human DNA and robot "DNA." These robot chromosomes will be "a set of computerized DNA codes for creating artificial creatures that can have their own personality...based on established biological inheritance laws," Dr. David Levy observes. The genetic codes are broken into two categories: "personality" and "outward." As the titles suggest, the "personality" or genotype coding will provide genetic information to guide specific internal makeup, while the "outward" or phenotype coding will determine the way the robot looks and acts, including hair color, eye color, personality and so on.

A first major milestone allowing robots and/or "computer" minds to write hitherto unknown genetic coding and to give birth to first-ever synthetic life forms was achieved in the landmark experiments of Craig Venter, "the pioneering US geneticist behind...the dawn of a new era in which new life is made" in 2016.

At the time, Julian Savulescu, professor of practical ethics at Oxford University, observed: "Venter is creaking open the most profound door in humanity's history, potentially peeking into its destiny. He is not merely copying life artificially...or modifying it radically by genetic engineering. He is going towards the role of a god: creating artificial life that could never have existed naturally."

A lot has developed since Venter's breakthrough mentioned above. Science has marched relentlessly forward from novel organisms to science that may now allow a human/robot couple to produce human/robot offspring using robot-generated DNA sequencing implanted into a human mother or other human biological matter (such as sperm-and-eggs-from-skin-cells). This possibility has arrived thanks to "tissue nanotransfection" (TNT for short).

The initial motive for perfecting TNT technology was never related to creating human/robot offspring. One helpful article explains:

Researchers at Ohio State's College of Engineering and The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center have developed a new technology, Tissue Nanotransfection (TNT), that may be used to repair or restore injured or aging tissue, including blood vessels, nerve cells, and entire organs.

In a fraction of a second, the device injects genetic code into the skin, turning those cells into other types of cells required for treating diseased conditions, generating any cell type of interest for treatment within the patient's own body. The device could save the lives of car crash victims or injured soldiers, and restore brain function after strokes. [i]

What started as a "one-touch healing" nanochip technology for repairing injured or aged body tissues has now become the primary vehicle that makes the transference of robotic DNA information into human tissue a possibility. If the injection delivered by TNT were to hold both human and robotic genetically designed codes, the offspring resulting from a successful, full gestational term would be-quite literally-half human, and half robot DNA.

Dr. Chandan Sen, director of Ohio State's Center for Regenerative Medicine & Cell Based Therapies and other biologists interviewed on the subject in 2017, admit:

Suddenly the very real possibility has appeared on the horizon of the robots of the future manipulating human skin cells to create human sperm and human eggs, and from them, using the Ohio discovery of TNT as the basis, creating an entire human-robot baby whose embryo can be nurtured and carried through pregnancy by a mother surrogate. By injecting genetic code into skin cells à la TNT, the Ohio researchers have paved the way for the genetic code of a robot, containing some of the characteristics of the robot, to be passed on to its offspring along with human genetic code. This is how I believe it will be possible, within the foreseeable future, for humans and robots to make babies together. [ii]

Whereas that doesn't mean the resulting baby will be born with wires and steel joints, it does mean that a lonely man will be able to provide his own DNA to a laboratory, purchase a robot, pay an expert programmer to give her the looks and personality he wants, have her looks and personality translated into genetic coding for implantation into biological matter, and let the laboratory-or a surrogate mother-grow the couple's baby. He can then take his child and AI partner home and become an adorable little family of one human, one robot, and one...what?

SYNTHETIC BIOLOGY

Synthetic biology is one of the most powerful areas of biological research that seeks to design new forms of life and biological functions not found in nature. The concept began emerging in 1974, when Polish geneticist Waclaw Szybalski speculated about how scientists and engineers would soon enter "the synthetic biology phase of research in our field. We will then devise new control elements and add these new modules to the existing genomes or build up wholly new genomes. This would be a field with the unlimited expansion [of] building new...‘synthetic' organisms, like a ‘new better mouse.'" Following Szybalski's speculation, the field of synthetic biology reached its first major milestone in 2010 with the announcement that researchers at the J. Craig Venter Institute (JCVI) had created an entirely new form of life nicknamed "Synthia" by inserting artificial genetic material, which had been chemically synthesized, into cells that were then able to grow. The JCVI Web site explains:

Genomic science has greatly enhanced our understanding of the biological world. It is enabling researchers to "read" the genetic code of organisms from all branches of life by sequencing the four letters that make up DNA. Sequencing genomes has now become routine, giving rise to thousands of genomes in the public databases. In essence, scientists are digitizing biology by converting the A, C, T, and G's of the chemical makeup of DNA into 1's and 0's in a computer. But can one reverse the process and start with 1's and 0's in a computer to define the characteristics of a living cell? We set out to answer this question [and] now, this scientific team headed by Drs. Craig Venter, Hamilton Smith, and Clyde Hutchison have achieved the final step in their quest to create the first...synthetic genome [which] has been "booted up" in a cell to create the first cell controlled completely by a synthetic genome.

The JCVI site goes on to explain how the ability to routinely write the software of life will usher in a new era in science, and with it, unnatural "living" products like Szybalski's "new better mouse." Jerome C. Glenn added for the 2010 State of the Future 14th annual report from the Millennium Project, "Synthetic biologists forecast that as computer code is written to create software to augment human capabilities, so too genetic code will be written to create life forms to augment civilization." The new better mice, dogs, horses, cows, or humans that grow from this science will be unlike any of the versions God made. In fact, researchers at the University of Copenhagen may look at what Venter has accomplished as amateur hour compared to their posthuman plans. They're working on a third Peptide Nucleic Acid (PNA) strand-a synthetic hybrid of protein and DNA-to upgrade humanity's two existing DNA strands from double helix to triple. In so doing, these scientists "dream of synthesizing life that is utterly alien to this world-both to better understand the minimum components required for life (as part of the quest to uncover the essence of life and how life originated on earth) and, frankly, to see if they can do it. That is, they hope to put together a novel combination of molecules that can self-organize, metabolize (make use of an energy source), grow, reproduce and evolve."

PATENTING NEW LIFE-FORMS

Questions are evolving now over "patenting" of transgenic seeds, animals, plants, and synthetic life-forms by large corporations, which at a minimum has already begun to impact the economy of rural workers and farmers through such products as Monsanto's "terminator" seeds. Patenting of human genes will escalate these issues, as best-selling author Michael Crichton pointed out a while back in a piece for the New York Times titled, "Gene Patents Aren't Benign and Never Will Be," in which he claimed that people could die in the future from not being able to afford medical treatment as a result of medicines owned by patent holders of specific genes related to the genetic makeup of those persons. Former special counsel for President Richard Nixon, Charles Colson, added, "The patenting of genes and other human tissue has already begun to turn human nature into property. The misuse of genetic information will enable insurers and employers to exercise the ultimate form of discrimination. Meanwhile, advances in nanotechnology and cybernetics threaten to ‘enhance' and one day perhaps rival or replace human nature itself-in what some thinkers are already calling ‘transhumanism.'"

HUMAN CLONING

The prospect of human cloning was raised in the nineties immediately after the creation of the much-celebrated "Dolly," a female domestic sheep clone. Dolly was the first mammal to be cloned using "somatic cell nuclear transfer," which involves removing the DNA from an unfertilized egg and replacing the nucleus of it with the DNA that is to be cloned. Today, a version of this science is common practice in genetics engineering labs worldwide, where "therapeutic cloning" of human and human-animal embryos is employed for stem-cell harvesting (the stem cells, in turn, are used to generate virtually any type of specialized cell in the human body). This type of cloning was in the news recently when it emerged from William J. Clinton Presidential Center documents that the newest member of the Supreme Court, Elena Kagan, had opposed during the Clinton White House any effort by Congress to prevent humans from being cloned specifically for experimental purposes, then killed. A second form of human cloning is called "reproductive cloning" and is the technology that could be used to create a person who is genetically identical with a current or previously existing human. While Dolly was created by this type of cloning technology, the American Medical Association and the American Association for the Advancement of Science have raised caution on using this approach to create human clones, at least at this stage. Government bodies including the U.S. Congress have considered legislation to ban mature human cloning, and though a few states have implemented restrictions, contrary to public perception and except where institutions receive federal funding, no federal laws exist at this time in the United States to prohibit the cloning of humans. The United Nations, the European Union, and Australia likewise considered and failed to approve a comprehensive ban on human cloning technology, leaving the door open to perfect the science should society, government, or the military come to believe that duplicate or replacement humans hold intrinsic value. In more recent developments fears of human cloning have escalated with scientists replicating primates "using the same technique that produced Dolly the sheep two decades ago, breaking a technical barrier that could open the door to copying humans" [iii] as well as European scientists creating "a living embryo in a laboratory without using either egg or sperm in ground-breaking but hugely controversial experiments" [iv]

REDEFINING HUMANS AND HUMAN RIGHTS

Where biotechnology is ultimately headed includes not only redefining what it means to be human, but redefining subsequent human rights as well. For instance, Dr. James Hughes, whom I have debated on his syndicated Changesurfer Radio show, wants transgenic chimps and great apes uplifted genetically so that they achieve "personhood." The underlying goal behind this theory would be to establish that basic cognitive aptitude should equal "personhood" and that this "cognitive standard" and not "human-ness" should be the key to constitutional protections and privileges. Among other things, this would lead to nonhuman "persons" and "nonperson" humans, unhinging the existing argument behind intrinsic sanctity of human life and paving the way for such things as harvesting organs from people like Terry Schiavo whenever the loss of cognitive ability equals the dispossession of "personhood." These would be the first victims of transhumanism, according to Prof. Francis Fukuyama, concerning who does or does not qualify as fully human and is thus represented by the founding concept that "all men are created equal." Most would argue that any human fits this bill, but women and blacks were not included in these rights in 1776 when Thomas Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence. So who is to say what protections can be automatically assumed in an age when human biology is altered and when personhood theory challenges what bioethicists like Wesley J. Smith champion as "human exceptionalism": the idea that human beings carry special moral status in nature and special rights, such as the right to life, plus unique responsibilities, such as stewardship of the environment. Some, but not all, believers in human exceptionalism arrive at this concept from a biblical worldview based on Genesis 1:26, which says, "And God said, ‘Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.'"

NANOTECHNOLOGY AND CYBERNETICS

As discussed in the groundbreaking new book The Milieu, technology to merge human brains with machines is progressing at a fantastic rate. Nanotechnology-the science of engineering materials or devices on an atomic and molecular scale between 1 to 100 nanometers (a nanometer is one billionth of a meter) in size-is poised to take the development between brain-machine interfaces and cybernetic devices to a whole new adaptive level for human modification. This will happen because, as Dr. C. Christopher Hook points out:

Engineering or manipulating matter and life at nanometer scale [foresees] that the structures of our bodies and our current tools could be significantly altered. In recent years, many governments around the world, including the United States with its National Nanotechnology Initiative, and scores of academic centers and corporations have committed increasing support for developing nanotechnology programs. The military, which has a significant interest in nanotechnology, has created the Center for Soldier Nanotechnologies (csn) [which is] interested in the use of such technology to help create the seamless interface of electronic devices with the human nervous system, engineering the cyborg soldier.

TRANSHUMAN EUGENICS

In the early part of the twentieth century, the study and practice of selective human breeding known as eugenics sought to counter dysgenic aspects within the human gene pool and to improve overall human "genetic qualities." Researchers in the United States, Britain, Canada, and Germany (where, under Adolf Hitler, eugenics operated under the banner of "racial hygiene" and allowed Josef Mengele, Otmar von Verschuer, and others to perform horrific experiments on live human beings in concentration camps to test their genetic theories) were interested in weeding out "inferior" human bloodlines and used studies to insinuate heritability between certain families and illnesses such as schizophrenia, blindness, deafness, dwarfism, bipolar disorder, and depression. Their published reports fueled the eugenics movement to develop state laws in the 1800s and 1900s that forcefully sterilized persons considered unhealthy or mentally ill in order to prevent them from "passing on" their genetic inferiority to future generations. Such laws were not abolished in the U.S. until the mid-twentieth century, leading to more than sixty thousand sterilized Americans in the meantime. Between 1934 and 1937, the Nazis likewise sterilized an estimated four hundred thousand people they deemed of inferior genetic stock while also setting forth to selectively exterminate the Jews as "genetic aberrations" under the same program. Transhumanist goals of using biotechnology, nanotechnology, mind-interfacing, and related sciences to create a superior man and thus classifications of persons-the enhanced and the unenhanced-opens the door for a new form of eugenics and social Darwinism.

GERM-LINE GENETIC ENGINEERING & GENE DRIVES

Germ-line genetic engineering has the potential to actually achieve the goals of the early eugenics movement (which sought to create superior humans via improving genetics through selective breeding) through genetically modifying human genes in very early embryos, sperm, and eggs. As a result, germ-line engineering is considered by some conservative bioethicists to be the most dangerous of human-enhancement technology, as it has the power to truly reassemble the very nature of humanity into posthuman, altering an embryo's every cell and leading to inheritable modifications extending to all succeeding generations. Debate over germ-line engineering is therefore most critical, because as changes to "downline" genetic offspring are set in motion, the nature and physical makeup of mankind will be altered with no hope of reversal, thereby permanently reshaping humanity's future. Advances allowing for manipulation of human genomes at the germline level include CRISPR technology mentioned earlier, which has also been successfully tested with "gene drives," a genetic engineering technology that can replace an existing lifeform with an entirely new version of the species by propagating a genetically modified "replacement" population. A respected proponent of such germ-line technology is Dr. Gregory Stock, who, like cyborgist Kevin Warwick, departs from Kurzweil's version of Humans 2.0 first arriving as a result of computer Singularity. Stock believes man can choose to transcend existing biological limitations in the near future (at or before computers reach strong artificial intelligence) through germ-line engineering. If we can make better humans by adding new genes to their DNA, he asks, why shouldn't we? "We have spent billions to unravel our biology, not out of idle curiosity, but in the hope of bettering our lives. We are not about to turn away from this," he says, before admitting elsewhere that this could lead to "clusters of genetically enhanced superhumans who will dominate if not enslave us." The titles to Stock's books speak for themselves concerning what germ-line engineering would do to the human race. The name of one is Redesigning Humans: Our Inevitable Genetic Future and another is Metaman: The Merging of Humans and Machines into a Global Superorganism.

Besides the short list above, additional areas of concern where Christian leaders may wish to become well advised on the pros and cons of enhancement technology include immortalism, postgenderism, augmented reality, cryonics, designer babies, neurohacking, mind uploading, neural implants, xenotransplantation, reprogenetics, rejuvenation, radical life extension, and more.

HEAVEN AND HELL SCENARIOS

While positive advances either already have been or will come from some of the science and technology fields we are discussing, learned men like Prof. Francis Fukuyama, in his book, Our Posthuman Future: Consequences of the Biotechnology Revolution, warn that unintended consequences resulting from what mankind has now set in motion represents the most dangerous time in earth's history, a period when exotic technology in the hands of transhumanist ambitions could forever alter what it means to be human. To those who would engineer a transhuman future, Fukuyama warns of a dehumanized "hell scenario" in which we "no longer struggle, aspire, love, feel pain, make difficult moral choices, have families, or do any of the things that we traditionally associate with being human." In this ultimate identity crisis, we would "no longer have the characteristics that give us human dignity" because, for one thing, "people dehumanized à la Brave New World...don't know that they are dehumanized, and, what is worse, would not care if they knew. They are, indeed, happy slaves with a slavish happiness." The "hell scenario" envisioned by Fukuyama is but a beginning to what other intelligent thinkers believe could go wrong.

On the other end of the spectrum and diametrically opposed to Fukuyama's conclusions is an equally energetic crowd that subscribes to a form of technological utopianism called the "heaven scenario." Among this group, a "who's who" of transhumansist evangelists such as Ray Kurzweil, James Hughes, Nick Bostrom, and Gregory Stock see the dawn of a new Age of Enlightenment arriving as a result of the accelerating pace of GRIN (genetics, robotics, artificial intelligence, and nanotechnology) technologies. As with the eighteenth-century Enlightenment in which intellectual and scientific reason elevated the authority of scientists over priests, techno-utopians believe they will triumph over prophets of doom by "stealing fire from the gods, breathing life into inert matter, and gaining immortality. Our efforts to become something more than human have a long and distinguished genealogy. Tracing the history of those efforts illuminates human nature. In every civilization, in every era, we have given the gods no peace." Such men are joined in their quest for godlike constitutions by a growing list of official U.S. departments that dole out hundreds of millions of dollars each year for science and technology research. The National Science Foundation and the United States Department of Commerce anticipated this development over a decade ago, publishing the government report Converging Technologies for Improving Human Performance-complete with diagrams and bullet points-to lay out the blueprint for the radical evolution of man and machine. Their vision imagined that the "heaven scenario" would manifest and quickly result in (among other things):

  • The transhuman body being "more durable, healthy, energetic, easier to repair, and resistant to many kinds of stress, biological threats, and aging processes."
  • Brain-machine interfacing that will "transform work in factories, control automobiles, ensure military superiority, and enable new sports, art forms and modes of interaction between people.
  • "Engineers, artists, architects, and designers will experience tremendously expanded creative abilities," in part through "improved understanding of the wellspring of human creativity."
  • "Average persons, as well as policymakers, will have a vastly improved awareness of the cognitive, social, and biological forces operating their lives, enabling far better adjustment, creativity, and daily decision making....
  • "Factories of tomorrow will be organized" around "increased human-machine capabilities."

Beyond how human augmentation and biological reinvention would eventually spread into the wider culture, the government report detailed the especially important global and economic aspects of genetically superior humans acting in superior ways, offering how, as a result of GRIN leading to techno-sapien DNA upgrading, brain-to-brain interaction, human-machine interfaces, personal sensory device interfaces, and biological war fighting systems, "The twenty-first century could end in world peace, universal prosperity, and evolution to a higher level [as] humanity become[s] like a single, transcendent nervous system, an interconnected ‘brain' based in new core pathways of society." The first version of the government's report asserted that the only real roadblock to this "heaven scenario" would be the "catastrophe" that would be unleashed if society fails to employ the technological opportunities available to us now. "We may not have the luxury of delay, because the remarkable economic, political and even violent turmoil of recent years implies that the world system is unstable. If we fail to chart the direction of change boldly, we may become the victims of unpredictable catastrophe." This argument parallels what is currently echoed in military corridors, where sentiments hold that failure to commit resources to develop GRIN as the next step in human and technological evolution will only lead to others doing so ahead of us and using it for global domination.

The seriousness of this for the conceivable future is significant enough that a House Foreign Affairs (HFA) committee chaired by California Democrat Brad Sherman, best known for his expertise on the spread of nuclear weapons and terrorism, is among a number of government panels studying the implications of genetic modification and human-transforming technologies related to future terrorism. Congressional Quarterly columnist Mark Stencel listened to the HFA committee hearings and wrote in his article, "Futurist: Genes without Borders," that the conference "sounded more like a Hollywood pitch for a sci-fi thriller than a sober discussion of scientific reality...with talk of biotech's potential for creating supersoldiers, superintelligence, and superanimals [that could become] agents of unprecedented lethal force." George Annas, Lori Andrews, and Rosario Isasi were even more apocalyptic in their American Journal of Law and Medicine article, "Protecting the Endangered Human: Toward an International Treaty Prohibiting Cloning and Inheritable Alterations," when they wrote:

The new species, or "posthuman," will likely view the old "normal" humans as inferior, even savages, and fit for slavery or slaughter. The normals, on the other hand, may see the posthumans as a threat and if they can, may engage in a preemptive strike by killing the posthumans before they themselves are killed or enslaved by them. It is ultimately this predictable potential for genocide that makes species-altering experiments potential weapons of mass destruction, and makes the unaccountable genetic engineer a potential bioterrorist.

Observations like those of Annas, Andrews, and Isasi support Prof. Hugo de Garis' nightmarish vision (The Artilect War) of a near future wherein artilects and posthumans join against "normals" in an incomprehensible war leading to gigadeath. Notwithstanding such warnings, the problem could be unavoidable, as Prof. Gregory Stock, in his well-researched and convincing book, Redesigning Humans: Our Inevitable Genetic Future, argues that stopping what we have already started (planned genetic enhancement of humans) is impossible. "We simply cannot find the brakes." Scientist Verner Vinge agrees, adding, "Even if all the governments of the world were to understand the ‘threat' and be in deadly fear of it, progress toward the goal would continue. In fact, the competitive advantage-economic, military, even artistic-of every advance in automation is so compelling that passing laws, or having customs, that forbid such things merely assures that someone else will get them first." In what we found to be a bit unnerving, academic scientists and technical consultants to the U.S. Pentagon have advised the agency that the principal argument by Vinge is correct. As such, the United States could be forced into large-scale species-altering output, including human enhancement for military purposes. This is based on solid military intelligence, which suggests that America's competitors (and potential enemies) are privately seeking to develop the same this century and use it to dominate the U.S. if they can. This worrisome "government think tank" scenario is even shared by the JASONS-the celebrated scientists on the Pentagon's most prestigious scientific advisory panel who now perceive "Mankind 2.0" as the next arms race. Just as the old Soviet Union and the United States with their respective allies competed for supremacy in nuclear arms following the Second World War through the 1980s (what is now commonly known as "the nuclear arms race during the cold war"), the JASONS "are worried about adversaries' ability to exploit advances in Human Performance Modification, and thus create a threat to national security," wrote military analyst Noah Shachtman in "Top Pentagon Scientists Fear Brain-Modified Foes." This recent special for Wired magazine was based on a leaked military report in which the JASONS admitted concern over "neuro-pharmaceutical performance enhancement and brain-computer interfaces" technology being developed by other countries ahead of the United States. "The JASONS are recommending that the American military push ahead with its own performance-enhancement research-and monitor foreign studies-to make sure that the U.S.' enemies don't suddenly become smarter, faster, or better able to endure the harsh realities of war than American troops," the article continued. "The JASONS are particularly concerned about [new technologies] that promote ‘brain plasticity'-rewiring the mind, essentially, by helping to ‘permanently establish new neural pathways, and thus new cognitive capabilities.'" Though it might be tempting to disregard the conclusions by the JASONS as a rush to judgment on the emerging threat of techno-sapiens, it would be a serious mistake to do so. As GRIN technologies continue to race toward an exponential curve, parallel to these advances will be the increasingly sophisticated argument that societies must take control of human biological limitations and move the species-or at least some of its members-into new forms of existence. Prof. Nigel M. de S. Cameron, President of the Center for Policy on Emerging Technologies, in Washington, DC, documents this move, concluding that the genie is out of the bottle and that "the federal government's National Nanotechnology Initiative's Web site already gives evidence of this kind of future vision, in which human dignity is undermined by [being transformed into posthumans]." Dr. C. Christopher Hook, a member of the government committee on human genetics who has given testimony before the U.S. Congress, offered similar insight on the state of the situation:

[The goal of posthumanism] is most evident in the degree to which the U.S. government has formally embraced transhumanist ideals and is actively supporting the development of transhumanist technologies. The U.S. National Science Foundation, together with the U.S. Department of Commerce, has initiated a major program (NBIC) for converging several technologies (including those from which the acronym is derived-nanotechnology, biotechnologies, information technologies and cognitive technologies, e.g., cybernetics and neurotechnologies) for the express purpose of enhancing human performance. The NBIC program director, Mihail Roco, declared at the second public meeting of the project...that the expenditure of financial and human capital to pursue the needs of reengineering humanity by the U.S. government will be second in equivalent value only to the moon landing program.

The presentation by Mihail Roco to which Dr. Hook refers is contained in the 482-page report, Converging Technologies for Improving Human Performance, commissioned by the U.S. National Science Foundation and Department of Commerce. Among other things, the report discusses planned applications of human enhancement technologies in the military (and in rationalization of the human-machine interface in industrial settings) wherein Darpa is devising "Nano, Bio, Info, and Cogno" scenarios "focused on enhancing human performance." The plan echoes a Mephistophelian bargain (a deal with the devil) in which "a golden age" merges technological and human cognition into "a single, distributed and interconnected brain." Just visiting the U.S. Army Research Laboratory's Web site is dizzying in this regard, with its cascading pages of super-soldier technology categories including molecular genetics and genomics; biochemistry, microbiology and biodegradation; and neurophysiology and cognitive neurosciences. If we can so easily discover these facts on the Web, just imagine what is happening in Special Access Programs (saps) where, according to the Senate's own Commission on Protecting and Reducing Government Secrecy, there are hundreds of "waived saps"-the blackest of black programs-functioning at any given time beyond congressional oversight.

Having taken the lead in human-enhancement studies as a U.S. military objective decades ago, Darpa saw the writing on the wall and in scenes reminiscent of Saruman the wizard creating monstrous Uruk-Hai to wage unending, merciless war (from J. R. R. Tolkein's Lord of the Rings), began investing billions of American tax dollars into the Pentagon's Frankensteinian dream of "super-soldiers" and "extended performance war fighter" programs. Not only has this research led to diagrams of soldiers "with hormonal, neurological, and genetic concoctions; implanting microchips and electrodes in their bodies to control their internal organs and brain functions; and plying them with drugs that deaden some of their normal human tendencies: the need for sleep, the fear of death, [and] the reluctance to kill their fellow human beings," but as Chris Floyd, in an article for CounterPunch a while back, continued, "some of the research now underway involves actually altering the genetic code of soldiers, modifying bits of DNA to fashion a new type of human specimen, one that functions like a machine, killing tirelessly for days and nights on end...mutations [that] will ‘revolutionize the contemporary order of battle' and guarantee ‘operational dominance across the whole range of potential U.S. military employments.'"

Related to these developments and unknown to most Americans was a series of hushed events following the sacking of Admiral John Poindexter (who served as the director of the Darpa Information Awareness Office from 2002 to 2003) during a series of flaps, which resulted in public interest into the goings-on at the agency and brief discovery of Darpa's advanced human enhancement research. When the ensuing political pressure led the Senate Appropriations Committee to take a deeper look into just how money was flowing through Darpa, the staffers were shocked to find "time-reversal methods" in the special focus area, and unstoppable super-soldiers-enhanced warriors with extra-human physical, physiological, and cognitive abilities that even allowed for "communication by thought alone" on the drawing board. Prof. Joel Garreau, investigative journalist, provides a summary of what happened next:

The staffers went down the list of Darpa's projects, found the ones with titles that sounded frighteningly as though they involved the creation of a master race of superhumans, and zeroed out their budgets from the defense appropriations bill. There is scant evidence they knew much, if anything, about these projects. But we will probably never know the details, because significant people are determined that the whole affair be forever shrouded in mystery. The levels of secrecy were remarkable even for Darpa; they were astounding by the standards of the notoriously leaky Senate. Even insiders said it was hard to get a feel for what the facts really were. It took months of reporting and questioning, poking, and prodding even to get a formal "no comment" either from the leadership of the Senate Appropriations Committee or from Anthony J. Tether, the director of Darpa.

A careful study of Darpa's programs a year later, however, showed little change. Considerable creative budgetary maneuvering ensued. The peas of quite a few programs now reside under new, and much better camouflaged, shells. "They're saying, ‘Okay, this is the second strike. Do we have to go three strikes?'" one manager said. "It doesn't stop anything. We'll be smarter about how we position things." Meanwhile, he said, new human enhancement programs are in the pipeline, "as bold or bolder" than the ones that preceded them.

Not everybody likes the imperatives espoused by Darpa and other national agencies, and from the dreamy fantasies of Star Trek to the dismal vision of Aldous Huxley's Brave New World, some have come to believe there are demons hiding inside transhumanism's mystical (or mythical?) "Shangri-la."

"Many of the writers [of the U.S. National Science Foundation and Department of Commerce Commissioned Report: Converging Technologies for Improving Human Performance cited above] share a faith in technology which borders on religiosity, boasting of miracles once thought to be the province of the Almighty," write the editors of The New Atlantis: A Journal of Technology and Society. "[But] without any serious reflection about the hazards of technically manipulating our brains and our consciousness... a different sort of catastrophe is nearer at hand. Without honestly and seriously assessing the consequences associated with these powerful new [GRIN] technologies, we are certain, in our enthusiasm and fantasy and pride, to rush headlong into disaster."

Few people would be more qualified than computer scientist Bill Joy to annunciate these dangers, or to outline the "hell scenario" that could unfold as a result of GRIN. Yet it must have come as a real surprise to some of those who remembered him as the level-headed Silicon Valley scientist and co-founder of Sun Microsystems (SM) when, as chief scientist for the corporation, he released a vast and now-famous essay, "Why the Future Doesn't Need Us," arguing how GRIN would threaten in the very near future to obliterate mankind. What was extraordinary about Joy's prophecy was how he saw himself-and people like him-as responsible for building the very machines that "will enable the construction of the technology that may replace our species."

"From the very moment I became involved in the creation of new technologies, their ethical dimensions have concerned me," he begins. But it was not until the autumn of 1998 that he became "anxiously aware of how great are the dangers facing us in the twenty-first century." Joy dates his "awakening" to a chance meeting with Ray Kurzweil, whom he talked with in a hotel bar during a conference at which they both spoke. Kurzweil was finishing his manuscript for The Age of Spiritual Machines and the powerful descriptions of sentient robots and near-term enhanced humans left Joy taken aback, "especially given Ray's proven ability to imagine and create the future," Joy wrote. "I already knew that new technologies like genetic engineering and nanotechnology were giving us the power to remake the world, but a realistic and imminent scenario for intelligent robots surprised me."

Over the weeks and months following the hotel conversation, Joy puzzled over Kurzweil's vision of the future until finally it dawned on him that genetic engineering, robotics, artificial intelligence, and nanotechnology posed "a different threat than the technologies that have come before. Specifically, robots, engineered organisms, and nanobots share a dangerous amplifying factor: They can self-replicate. A bomb is blown up only once-but one bot can become many, and quickly get out of control." The unprecedented threat of self-replication particularly burdened Joy because, as a computer scientist, he thoroughly understood the concept of out-of-control replication or viruses leading to machine systems or computer networks being disabled. Uncontrolled self-replication of nanobots or engineered organisms would run "a much greater risk of substantial damage in the physical world," Joy concluded before adding his deeper fear:

What was different in the twentieth century? Certainly, the technologies underlying the weapons of mass destruction (WMD)-nuclear, biological, and chemical (NBC)-were powerful, and the weapons an enormous threat. But building nuclear weapons required...highly protected information; biological and chemical weapons programs also tended to require large-scale activities.

The twenty-first-century technologies-genetics, nanotechnology, and robotics...are so powerful that they can spawn whole new classes of accidents and abuses. Most dangerously, for the first time, these accidents and abuses are widely within the reach of individuals or small groups. They will not require large facilities or rare raw materials. Knowledge alone will enable the use of them.

Thus we have the possibility not just of weapons of mass destruction but of knowledge-enabled mass destruction (KMD), this destructiveness hugely amplified by the power of self-replication.

I think it is no exaggeration to say we are on the cusp of the further perfection of extreme evil, an evil whose possibility spreads well beyond that which weapons of mass destruction bequeathed to the nation states, on to a surprising and terrible empowerment [emphasis added].

Joy's prophecy about self-replicating "extreme evil" as an imminent and enormous transformative power that threatens to rewrite the laws of nature and permanently alter the course of life as we know it was frighteningly revived in the creation of Venter's "self-replicating" Synthia species (Venter's description). Parasites such as the mycoplasma mycoides that Venter modified to create Synthia can be resistant to antibiotics and acquire and smuggle DNA from one species to another, causing a variety of diseases. The dangers represented by Synthia's self-replicating parasitism thus refueled Joy's opus and has given experts in the field of counter-terrorism sleepless nights over how extremists could use open-source information to create a Frankenstein version of Synthia in fulfillment of Carl Sagan's Pale Blue Dot, which Joy quoted as, "the first moment in the history of our planet when any species, by its own voluntary actions, has become a danger to itself." As a dire example of the possibilities this represents, a genetically modified version of mouse pox was created not long ago that immediately reached 100 percent lethality. If such pathogens were unleashed into population centers, the results would be catastrophic. This is why Joy and others were hoping a few years ago that a universal moratorium or voluntary relinquishment of GRIN developments would be initiated by national laboratories and governments. Venter and his collaborators say they recognize this danger-that self-replicating biological systems like the ones they are building-hold peril as well as hope, and they have joined in calling on Congress to enact laws to attempt to control the flow of information and synthetic "recipes" that could provide lethal new pathogens for terrorists. The problem, as always, is getting all of the governments in the world to voluntarily follow a firm set of ethics or rules. This is wishful thinking at best. It is far more likely the world is racing toward what Joel Garreau was first to call the "hell scenario"-a moment in which human-driven GRIN technologies place earth and all its inhabitants on course to self-eradication.

Ironically, some advocates of posthumanity are using the same threat scenario to advocate for transhumanism as the best way to deal with the inevitable extinction of mankind via GRIN. At the global interdisciplinary institute Metanexus (www.metanexus.net/), Mark Walker, assistant professor at New Mexico State University (who holds the Richard L. Hedden of Advanced Philosophical Studies Chair) concludes like Bill Joy that "technological advances mean that there is a high probability that a human-only future will end in extinction." From this he makes a paradoxical argument:

In a nutshell, the argument is that even though creating posthumans may be a very dangerous social experiment, it is even more dangerous not to attempt it....

I suspect that those who think the transhumanist future is risky often have something like the following reasoning in mind: (1) If we alter human nature then we will be conducting an experiment whose outcome we cannot be sure of. (2) We should not conduct experiments of great magnitude if we do not know the outcome. (3) We do not know the outcome of the transhumanist experiment. (4) So, we ought not to alter human nature.

The problem with the argument is.... Because genetic engineering is already with us, and it has the potential to destroy civilization and create posthumans, we are already entering uncharted waters, so we must experiment. The question is not whether to experiment, but only the residual question of which social experiment will we conduct. Will we try relinquishment? This would be an unparalleled social experiment to eradicate knowledge and technology. Will it be the steady-as-she-goes experiment where for the first time governments, organizations and private citizens will have access to knowledge and technology that (accidently or intentionally) could be turned to civilization ending purposes? Or finally, will it be the transhumanist social experiment where we attempt to make beings brighter and more virtuous to deal with these powerful technologies?

I have tried to make at least a prima facie case that transhumanism promises the safest passage through twenty-first century technologies.

Katherine Hayles, professor of English at the University of California, in her book How We Became Posthuman takes it one step further, warning that, "Humans can either go gently into that good night, joining the dinosaurs as a species that once ruled the earth but is now obsolete, or hang on for a while longer by becoming machines themselves. In either case...the age of the human is drawing to a close."

CALL FOR PAPERS

While the "counter theological discourse" Brent Waters mentioned at the start of this letter would be reflective of the everlasting gospel of human redemption through the person of Jesus Christ and antithetical to Mark Walker's salvation plan via transhumanism, any serious resistance statement (as advocated by The Milieu) must address the difficult philosophical and ethical questions raised by modern technology and the portentous move by governments and powers to use biological sciences to remanufacture mankind. The message would need to be relevant and appeal to the questions and style of a generation raised during the Digital Revolution, an age of personal computing and information-sharing technology that for many of us represents a shift away from the Industrial Revolution's outdated methods of communicating. The need to parse information is changing so rapidly that we expect to hit the knee of the techno-info curve sometime around the year 2020, followed by Technological Singularity and critical mass. As a result, this open letter is a personal invitation to Christian leaders to offer feedback and comments on the abbreviated information above. I welcome all philosophical and scientific reasoning that is firmly tethered to biblical truth in hopes of generating a broader philosophical, ethical, and theological positional paper that can be made part of a first collaborative Manifesto and published verbal declaration of intentions, motives, and guiding views for a Christian response providing a conservative vision for religious and public policy with regard to human experimentation and enhancement in this ‘hybrid age.'

Resources used in this letter:

  1. Rod Dreher, "Vatican Bioethics Document and Competing Moral Visions," BeliefNet (12/12/08)
  2. C. S. Lewis, The Abolition of Man
  3. "Ethics of Human Enhancement," Human Enhancement Ethics Group
  4. American Journal of Law and Medicine, vol. 28, nos. 2 and 3 (2002), 162.
  5. As quoted by Margaret McLean, phd., "Redesigning Humans: The Final Frontier"
  6. "The Coming Technological Singularity," presented at the Vision-21 Symposium sponsored by Nasa Lewis Research Center and the Ohio Aerospace Institute (3/30-31/93).
  7. Noah Shachtman, "Top Pentagon Scientists Fear Brain-Modified Foes," Wired (6/9/08)
  8. Nigel M. de S. Cameron, Human Dignity in the Biotech Century (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity, 2004) 75.
  9. Mihail Roco, Converging Technologies for Improving Human Performance (U.S. National Science Foundation and Department of Commerce, 2002) 6.
  10. http://www.newamerica.net/events/2010/warring_futures_a_future_tense_event
  11. Chris Floyd, "Monsters, Inc.: The Pentagon Plan to Create Mutant ‘Super-Soldiers,'" CounterPunch (1/13/03).
  12. Garreau, Radical Evolution: 269-270.
  13. Katie Drummond, "Holy Acronym, Darpa! ‘Batman & Robin' to Master Biology, Outdo Evolution," Wired (7/6/10)
  14. Katie Drummond, "Darpa's News Plans: Crowdsource Intel, Edit DNA," Wired (2/2/10)
  15. Katie Drummond, "Pentagon Looks to Breed Immortal ‘Synthetic Organisms,' Molecular Kill-Switch Included," Wired (2/5/10)
  16. Institute for Responsible Technology
  17. Waclaw Szybalski, In Vivo and in Vitro Initiation of Transcription, 405. In A. Kohn and A. Shatkay (eds.), Control of Gene Expression, 23-24, and Discussion 404-405 (Szybalski's concept of Synthetic Biology), 411-412, 415-417 (New York: Plenum, 1974).
  18. "First Self-Replicating Synthetic Bacterial Cell," J. Craig Venter Institute
  19. Peter E. Nielsen, "Triple Helix: Designing a New Molecule of Life," Scientific American (12/08)
  20. Charles W. Colson, Human Dignity in the Biotech Century (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity, 2004) 8.
  21. C. Christopher Hook, Human Dignity in the Biotech Century (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity, 2004) 80-81.
  22. Garreau, Radical Evolution, 116.
  23. Francis Fukuyama, Our Posthuman Future: Consequences of the Biotechnology Revolution (New York: Picador, 2002) 6.
  24. Garreau, 106.
  25. Garreau, Radical Evolution, 113-114.
  26. "Carried Away with Convergence," New Atlantis (Summer 2003) 102-105
  27. Bill Joy, "Why the Future Doesn't Need Us," Wired (April 2000) )
  28. Mark Walker, "Ship of Fools: Why Transhumanism is the Best Bet to Prevent the Extinction of Civilization," Metanexus Institute (2/5/09)
  29. Leon R. Kass, Life, Liberty, and the Defense of Dignity: The Challenge for Bioethics (New York: Encounter, 10/25/02).
  30. Rick Weiss, "Of Mice, Men, and In-Between," MSNBC (11/20/04)
  31. http://news.yahoo.com/s/cq/20090315/pl_cq_politics/politics3075228
  32. American Journal of Law and Medicine, vol. 28, nos. 2 and 3 (2002), 162.
  33. As quoted by Margaret McLean, phd., "Redesigning Humans: The Final Frontier"
  34. "The Coming Technological Singularity," presented at the Vision-21 Symposium sponsored by Nasa Lewis Research Center and the Ohio Aerospace Institute (3/30-31/93).
  35. Noah Shachtman, "Top Pentagon Scientists Fear Brain-Modified Foes," Wired (6/9/08)
  36. Nigel M. de S. Cameron, Human Dignity in the Biotech Century (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity, 2004) 75.
  37. Mihail Roco, Converging Technologies for Improving Human Performance (U.S. National Science Foundation and Department of Commerce, 2002) 6.

http://www.newamerica.net/events/2010/warring_futures_a_future_tense_event

[i] "L. James Lee and Wexner Medical Center Develop Breakthrough ‘One-Touch Healing' Nanochip," August 7, 2017, OSU: Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, last accessed January 20, 2018, (https://cbe.osu.edu/news/2017/08/l.-james-lee-and-wexner-medical-center-develop-breakthrough-one-touch-healing-nanochip).

[ii] (https://qz.com/1164020/ai-expert-david-levy-author-of-love-and-sex-with-robots-explains-how-robot-human-offspring-would-work/).

[iii] https://www.reuters.com/article/us-science-cloning-monkeys/chinese-scientists-break-key-barrier-by-cloning-monkeys-idUSKBN1FD2FF

[iv] https://www.express.co.uk/news/science/954585/scientists-embryo-egg-sperm-stem-cell-research-cloning

 

 

 

 

Today for My 2 Cents:

It is amazing how far things have changed here in America since 1965. For it was in 1965 that radio host and announcer Paul Harvey, delivered a sobering message, below is the text of that message, titled, "if I were the Devil ..."

As you read it, ask yourself, is the Devil winning? Is this really happening? Then maybe you also need to ask yourself, what can I do to stop this mess from continuing?

Something to consider as you read the following words.

Pastor Mike

 

"If I were the devil, I wouldn't be happy until I had seized the ripest apple on the tree-Thee. So I'd set about however necessary to take over the United States. I'd subvert the churches first-I would begin with a campaign of whispers. With the wisdom of a serpent, I would whisper to you as I whispered to Eve: "Do as you please." "Do as you please." To the young, I would whisper, "The Bible is a myth." I would convince them that man created God instead of the other way around. I would confide that what is bad is good, and what is good is "square". And the old, I would teach to pray. I would teach them to pray after me, ‘Our Father, which art in Washington...'

And then I'd get organized. I'd educate authors on how to lurid literature exciting, so that anything else would appear dull and uninteresting. I'd threaten TV with dirtier movies and vice versa. I'd pedal narcotics to whom I could. I'd sell alcohol to ladies and gentlemen of distinction. I'd tranquilize the rest with pills.

If I were the devil I'd soon have families that war with themselves, churches that war that themselves, and nations that war with themselves; until each in its turn was consumed. And with promises of higher ratings I'd have mesmerizing media fanning the flame. If I were the devil I would encourage schools to refine young intellects, and neglect to discipline emotions-just let those run wild, until before you knew it, you'd have to have drug sniffing dogs and metal detectors at every schoolhouse door.

Within a decade I'd have prisons overflowing, I'd have judges promoting pornography-soon I could evict God from the courthouse, and then the schoolhouse, and then from the houses of Congress. And in His own churches I would substitute psychology for religion, and deify science. I would lure priests and pastors into misusing boys and girls, and church money. If I were the devil I'd make the symbols of Easter an egg and the symbol of Christmas a bottle.

If I were the devil I'd take from those, and who have, and give to those wanted until I had killed the incentive of the ambitious. What do you bet I could get whole states to promote gambling as the way to get rich? I would question against extremes and hard work, and Patriotism, and moral conduct. I would convince the young that marriage is old-fashioned, that swinging more fun, that what you see on the TV is the way to be. And thus I could undress you in public, and I could lure you into bed with diseases for which there is no cure. In other words, if I were to devil I'd keep on doing on what he's doing. Paul Harvey, good day."

Source: http://www.glennbeck.com/2012/03/21/heard-on-radio-glenns-letter-to-his-family-and-farewell-to-nyc/?utm_source=glennbeck&utm_medium=contentcopy_link

 

 

Today for My 2 Cents:

I am reminded of the words from Ezekiel 33:2-9  "Son of man, speak to your people and say to them, If I bring the sword upon a land, and the people of the land take a man from among them, and make him their watchman, and if he sees the sword coming upon the land and blows the trumpet and warns the people, then if anyone who hears the sound of the trumpet does not take warning, and the sword comes and takes him away, his blood shall be upon his own head. He heard the sound of the trumpet and did not take warning; his blood shall be upon himself. But if he had taken warning, he would have saved his life. But if the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet, so that the people are not warned, and the sword comes and takes any one of them, that person is taken away in his iniquity, but his blood I will require at the watchman's hand. "So you, son of man, I have made a watchman for the house of Israel. Whenever you hear a word from my mouth, you shall give them warning from me. If I say to the wicked, O wicked one, you shall surely die, and you do not speak to warn the wicked to turn from his way, that wicked person shall die in his iniquity, but his blood I will require at your hand. But if you warn the wicked to turn from his way, and he does not turn from his way, that person shall die in his iniquity, but you will have delivered your soul.

Our World is changing fast! People are waxing colder and colder, as evil seems to be the new norm.

Where is the righteousness of Jesus Christ? Where is the love of God being displayed in this world?

Luke 21:25-26 "And there will be signs in sun and moon and stars, and on the earth distress of nations in perplexity because of the roaring of the sea and the waves, people fainting with fear and with foreboding of what is coming on the world. For the powers of the heavens will be shaken.

I would say to you today, prepare, be ready for the Lord. Act 1:6-7 So when they had come together, they asked him, "Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?" He said to them, "It is not for you to know times or seasons that the Father has fixed by his own authority.

Luke 21:28 Now when these things begin to take place, straighten up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near."

Do not dismiss the signs that are clearly spoken in Scripture as if you have all the time in the world. For we do not know the time in which the Lord will return.

May we be about His business, so that when He returns we may hear, well done my good and faithful servant!

Please consider the excuses that are written below, make sure that they are not your excuses, that not only will you prepare for this world but also, most importantly, you have prepared for His return. To see Jesus Christ face to face, without shame, regret, or remorse, for He has paid for all your sins and shame, if you have surrendered your life to Him.

May you be strengthened in the Lord Jesus Christ as the day draws near!

Pastor Mike

 

Life or Death Choices: 35 Excuses That Will Doom Most Of The People That Fail To See What Is Coming

July 11, 2017 Mark Preparedness

The following article has been contributed by Be Informed.

As of today, it is estimated that ONLY 1% of the population actually goes to much of any effort to prepare and store up enough of what they need to survive a true calamity.  This means a huge majority of the population fails, yes fails, to have much of anything if and WHEN what they need each day to live evaporates quickly.  Most people have no clue what life will be like after the grocery stores close. They simply cannot grasp the horrors that will befall those people that have not put away for tomorrow or prepared contingencies for life threatening emergencies.

Instead of taking some time, effort, and money to safeguard themselves and their families, they have a wide array of reasons (excuses) for why prepping is crazy and not at all necessary.

There exist a magnitude of what are called TRUE civilization altering or world-as-we-know-it ending events that could happen. Many have already occurred throughout history, as well as within just the last decade. The fact is, it's only a matter of time before these catastrophes happen again.

People who choose not to prepare for their families will be faced with life and death situations that few have ever experienced before.

Without water, people will die within a few days.  Without food, people will die within a few weeks.  Without everyday necessities, people will die in hordes from varying ailments and diseases.  Without what they are accustomed to on a daily basis, people will suffer and most will die.  This absolutely does not have to happen to such a high percentage of the population, but sadly it will unless more people understand there is no real excuse for NOT preparing.

The following are 35 of the most common excuses and causes cited by the 99% of the population who don't prepare.

Also read: How To Know Before It Hits And Steps To Consider 2 Hours Prior A SHTF Event

1.  Oh come on, it is never going to happen, my area is safe, I am safe.

Fact/Answer:  The overall odds increase of having a mega or even a lesser catastrophe as the population grows and cities grow in size.  Just like increasing the size of a target, it is easier and more likely to get hit.  Even if your area doesn't get hit, your location can be cut off from getting vital supplies from areas that DID get hit.  Every single spot on the planet is a target, from natural disasters to terrorism to war to pandemics to a black swan event that no one expects.  No one is invulnerable anywhere and living this way is delusional and totally unrealistic.

2.  I am convinced that everything is recoverable and my area will get back to normal quickly.

Fact/Answer.  The media and government have longed ingrained into people's minds that no matter what happens, it is repairable.  Fortunately, up until now, there has not been a type of event that is so severe and widespread that recovery is very long or requires massive clean-up involving millions of people and trillions of dollars.  There are potential disasters that occur on regular time frames that could easily be ranked as hundreds of times worse than anything we've ever seen in our lifetimes.  The New Madrid fault zone and San Andreas fault are a couple of examples. A solar induced super EMP (electromagnetic pulse) which occurred in 1812, 1857, and 1859 is another.  Fukushima is a recent example how bad things can get almost in a matter of just 24 hours.

3.  No matter how horrible it is, help will eventually come, I just have to wait it out.

Fact/Answer.  Help can come IF there are people and resources available.  All of the recent disasters have been fairly isolated and allow the majority of the unaffected population to come to the rescue of those in need.  What happens when an entire country is affected - or most of the world?  Assuming that your government or someone will reach your area with help and supplies no matter what is dangerous.  The government is going to spread help to areas of the highest priority FIRST.  Your area could be weeks or months away from help and you could be long dead before help and supplies arrive.

4.  Even if something happens, there are plenty of food and supplies for everyone in my city.

Fact/Answer.  Ever seen towns and cities cut off by winter storms?  Food in supermarkets, food warehouse stores, and restaurants, are extremely limited - perhaps one to seven days at best.  To prove this take your population where you live and divide this by the number of grocery stores in your city or town.  Now go into one of these stores and look around and consider how fast a few hundred or a few thousand people could empty that store.   You see all those trucks coming in each day carrying food and supplies for these stores. Imagine those deliveries stopping.  Food will disappear faster than anyone can imagine.

5.  My state government, my community, my neighbors will not abandon me and let me starve.

Fact/Answer.  It's a pure numbers game. If food and other necessities are not there for the state to distribute, then everyone who has failed to put away for such a disaster will go hungry.  Your neighbors are likely to be in the same boat as you if 99% of the people don't prep.  Those that did prepare are likely to not share with a bunch of people that choose not to.  Taking food from those that did store up will not be an easy task, as they will likely be well armed.  It is extremely selfish to expect your neighbor to sacrifice their family because you determined that preparing was too much effort.  Simply don't be the 99% that don't prepare.

6.  I have a 3 day supply of food, the government and others tell me that this is plenty.

Fact/Answer.  Three days go by awfully quickly, and as we saw in Hurricane Katrina help took much longer than that to arrive.  If it is possible, a bare minimum of 30 days worth of food, water, and other supplies should be considered for all families.  In the past, during "lightweight" SHTF events, help arrived 1-2 weeks after the disaster occurred such as areas hit by a great earthquake or mega hurricane.  Severe disasters require much longer times for real help to arrive.

7.  I have lots of credit cards, I will purchase anything I need in my city or nearby cities.

Fact/Answer.  First of all, credit is something that ONLY works when systems connected to the outside world function properly.  People think that these little "magical"  pieces of plastic will save them in all circumstances.  This misconception is something that will flatten those who go out and try to buy food because the banks are not allowing or are simply unable to process any credit or debit cards.  Cash is necessary for buying what you need - have a fair amount in ALL denominations from 20's down to 1's.  Additionally, if your backup plan is to drive to another city to purchase emergency supplies you may not be able to get out of your area due to lack of fuel or closed roads.  Again, have your own supplies BEFORE it happens.

8.  My water faucets will have water, even if it is temporarily shut off, they will not let us go thirsty.

Fact/Answer.  Water pipes that bring water to your home require power, without power, there is no water.   Those expecting water trucks to bring drinking water to their neighbor should not count on it.  Those who plan on drinking unsafe water from ponds, lakes, and other catchment basins are just asking to become very ill.  If someone doesn't store much food, at least there should be water stored for drinking.  1/2 gallon per person per day minimum, not to forget the household pets either.  Water could be down for weeks.  Cases of bottled water are one way to store water for longer terms and can be neatly stacked in a small corner of your home.  Many stores sell safe water storage units that can be filled up with plain tap water.  A good water filter is something that all households should have for outside water should city supplies be inoperable or contaminated.  Learn how to catch rainwater and dew.  Dehydration is something that will kill scores of people because they have not taken water storage seriously. Without clean water, you're dead in 72 hours.

Related article: What If You're Not Prepared? Remember That Things Will Get Worse Before They Get Better, Your Mission Is To Survive

9.  There is no room to store supplies that will never be used anyway.

Fact/Answer.  Vertical storage is one way even very limited amount of space can be used to put away what someone's needs.  There are all sorts of "dead spaces" around the home. Under the bed, closet shelves, or your garage are a couple of ideas.  Square footage of a home is 2 dimensional, as there is usually about 8 feet of space up to down between ceiling to floor.  Even people living in tiny apartments find room to store up emergency needs.

10. I can't rotate supplies, everything will get old and have to be thrown away.

Fact/Answer.  Many items can be consumed way past the ‘best by dates'. Those that feel that they still can't store up items even in cans because of some use by or best by date, can store up a lot of other items that don't have to be rotated.  There are everyday items that can be forgotten about and will still be just as good as when you first stored it.  Sounds crazy, but there are items that will fetch a high barter value that people need and want.  Toilet paper is one key supply that can be traded for food and other items because it will never lose its demand.  Other barter items such as cigarettes and alcohol have extreme value just about everywhere.  It would be wise to always store up what you eat each day in cans, as canned foods have a very long shelf life so long as they are kept dry, cool and undamaged.

11. I don't have extra money to store up anything for disasters.

Fact/Answer.  There are many coupons online, in newspapers, and in stores. Manufacturers want to attract new customers to try their product so badly that they often offer food for free or near free.  People live on coupons with very limited money sources using coupons.  Stores also offer reduced pricing on overstocked items.  Collecting these supplies will add up if one is willing to start doing so.  Never pass up an opportunity to get something for free, especially if it can be stored for later use or barter.

12. It is too much work to bother with.

Fact/Answer.  Even a person that is hardly an expert prepper who has stored up something will fare far better than the 99% that have not.  Simply picking up extra food and other supplies at the market each time and putting these into boxes in some isolated part of the home will add significant reserve supplies.  This is a very limited effort that will reap huge results WHEN you need it.  You don't have to work that hard to put away a decent amount of what you will need someday.

13. I have absolutely no idea what to store or how much.

Fact/Answer.  What do you use each day and every week?  This is what you want to store up. Buy your regular household staples in jars, bottles, or well-sealed packages for longer term storage.  How much can be determined simply by asking yourself, ‘how long do I want to be self-sufficient during a disaster?'  Have a time frame - a month, two months, etc.  You should be able to easily determine how much of something you will use in a certain amount of time.

14. I don't need any protection after a disaster, the police, national guard, the military will protect us.

Fact/Answer.  Even those that don't like firearms should consider owning one.  The larger the distance between an attacker and your family, the less chance that someone you love will get injured or killed.  A firearm gives you this distance.  At least have something to defend your family with.  There are some real psychos out there that will certainly take advantage of the lawlessness that will come with no police or military force.  How many police does your city have per citizen?  This ratio is one golden reason to have self-protection before, during, and after a disaster.  There may be no way of reaching law enforcement even if they are available after a true disaster as all cell towers and phone lines may be fried for whatever reason.

15. The power grid will come back on until then I have LED flashlights that last forever.

Fact/Answer.  First of all, when they say on commercials that the light will last for 100,000 hours they are referring to the bulbs. Batteries run out of energy.  You should have many extra batteries to avoid the dark with LED lights.  Many accidents happen in the dark and flashlights should not be the only source of lights.  Candles are cheap and last several hours and can be used to warm up food and a small heat source.  You don't want to live nights without some source of light - it will get so dark sometimes that you won't even be able to see your hand in front of your face.  Besides light, the power grid may not come back up for weeks, or ever if something catastrophic enough has happened.  Another grave consideration is what is called temperature control of your environment as excessive cold or heat kills hundreds or thousands of people in stable times every year.  You will likely lose the ability to stay cool or warm in the event of a power grid failure.  Weather insulation of your surroundings before anything occurs is a preparation that many should consider doing NOW.  A backup electric generator with backup fuel is one option. For those who can afford it or know how to build it themselves, a solar or wind driven electric system is a viable long-term solution.  You may have to live a long time without power, as the grid is a lot frailer than people realize, so consider alternative energy supplies now.

16. Again and again, I hear these fear mongers exaggerate the threat level, another false alarm.

Fact/Answer.  While Y2K, the Mayan calendar, and many others have been wrong, there have been many times when a disaster has been a lot worse than anyone could have predicted.  Two of the most powerful tsunamis caused calamities that rank the worst of all time - one is widespread radiation release in Japan, and event that is likely killing people as you read this.  Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, Wilma, and recently Sandy were far worst than predicted.  Tornadoes have destroyed entire cities.  Deepwater Horizon caused the worst oil disaster on record.  Many wars and terrorist attacks have brought untold suffering in this century alone.  These are still lightweight disasters and are dwarfed in comparison to what has happened before and will happen again.  Preparedness is the only answer for the common person to help survive what is eventually coming.

17. I have a good car and family in other areas, if anything happens I will just go stay with them.

Fact/Answer.  One of the worst assumptions is that family or friends will openly accept you and yours and let you live with them.  Even if they do, you may not be able to get to them.  Your car or vehicle may be disabled for any number of reasons, or the roads may be unusable because law enforcement will not allow ANY travel or because they have been destroyed.  Planning on how to stay safe where you are should be your foremost option. Bug out only as a last resort (unless you have a complete bug out strategy and destination already in place).

18. I work all week long and I am going to spend my extra money on fun rather than fear.

Fact/Answer.  Self-indulgences seldom have much or any lasting benefits.  People often blow their money on something that was nothing more than fleeting fun. In the end, it is often expensive and worthless.  A good plan is to do anything that will bring long time enjoyment and help you live your life with less stress.  The amount of stress you and your family will suffer after true disaster strikes and you have nothing to feed yourself and your family will be well beyond what any job or most of the life's agonies can bring.  Entertainment can help live life better.  Not storing up for emergencies can help end your life in true anguish.

19. Survival supplies taste bad, I can't live on this for long at all.

Fact/Answer.  Some supplies have high sodium contents, others are near or at gourmet levels.  Practically everything that someone enjoys can be found in a can at the supermarket or another food retailer.  Just because the food is stored up, doesn't mean that it has to taste bad.  Most of what people cook for everyday meals - rice, beans, flour, oatmeal, etc. - can be stored for quite a while.

20. If a true catastrophe occurs we are going to die anyway, besides that, I don't want to live through it anyway.

Fact/Answer.  To each his own, but when you look at the faces of your family or your own face in the mirror, this feeling kind of changes its tone.  Even during the worst disaster, there are going to be survivors, why should it not be you and your family?  Here is something very few people understand -  after a very bad catastrophe the planet and the life, vegetation, and animals, have a remarkable recuperative ability.  In other words, times are likely to get better each day after a true disaster.  There are of course exceptions, but in all likelihood, there will be slow to moderate improvement as time goes on.  The main objective to have enough of what you need to get through the worst parts of it.

Must read: "Face On The Floor Or You Will Be Shot!"

21. Survival and prepping for the worst is negative, as long as I stay positive, only the positive will happen.

Fact/Answer.  One of the most positive things is to have what you need when the situation presents itself.  Too many people live like the proverbial ostrich with its head buried in the ground.  Not being realistic with worldwide situations that are way beyond your control is negative. It is denial.  Wishing that the economy will not collapse, a mega earthquake will not hit an area way overdue, that war will not develop in the Middle East and so on, will most likely not work.  Prepping and being ready for such an event(s) will work to help better safeguard you and your family and increase your chances of surviving it dramatically.

22. Preppers/Survivalists are radical, paranoid, conspiracy driven out of touch with reality, I don't want anything to do with them.

Fact/Answer.  Out of touch with reality is depending on the government to come to your rescue when they simply can't because of the magnitude of a particular disaster.  Preparing and storing up food, water, and other needs have nothing to do with associating with anyone but your immediate family and friends.  If you don't like preppers and their way of thinking, no one is saying you have to become friends with anyone to store up what you need for later.  Letting your personal views of people that prepare influence your family's well being for the future makes no sense.  Buying insurance in the form of what your family will need after it becomes no longer available for an undetermined period of time makes excellent common sense for everybody.

 

23. I don't know why everyone is so worried, times are better and safer now than ever in human history.

Fact/Answer.  The old doomsday clock put out by the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists puts the clock at 5 minutes to midnight.  Since 1960 the clock has only been closer to midnight between 1981-1988 during the height of the cold war.  In 1991 it was set at 17 minutes to midnight.  Most of the time it was set 7 minutes or higher.  As competition grows with increasing population, resources grow less plentiful.  While it can be argued that the earthquakes, volcanoes and other natural disasters are all part of a regular cycle, man-made conflicts and needs are something never experienced with 7 billion people trying to get what they need out of limited resources of water, food, arable land, energy and much more.  If anything, times are becoming a lot scarier and gives, even more, support to the notion of preparing to what the future may hold for us.

24. There is so much to prepping, I'll take my chances that nothing will happen.

Fact/Answer.  There is a lot to knowing what to do after a disaster, but it takes little no know to simply put away what you need every day in the life.  Just the simple act of putting away canned food and water and other necessities like toilet paper will put you into a better situation that most of the people you know.  Those people that even put away a month's worth of what they need will likely survive better than at least half of the population after a mega SHTF event.  Just start putting away and continue it and someday you will probably be grateful you did.

25. All my investments go right into what makes me money and gives me security for the future.

Fact/Answer.  Many people cannot find a better investment for the future than to have what they need within arms reach.  Banks are closed most of the time, and online trading is only good if the internet and phone lines are up.  While having a stable portfolio is important, especially if nothing happens, not having an investment in the things you use each day to live life with ease makes no sense.  Buying stocks in precious metals is equally worthless compared to actually having the precious metals in your hands or your safe in a situation when the stock and commodities markets collapse or are inaccessible.

26. Why bother storing up that much food and supplies, mobs will just come in and take it.

Fact/Answer.  If you tell everyone that your house is a grocery store, then when something does happen you can expect big problems. If no one knows you have food, it is much less likely you will have any mobs come after you.  A good self-defense is essential to guard your supplies as many people are cowards and just don't have the gall to try to force themselves in while being shot at, many times people will back off just because there is a gun aiming at them.  Also, something to consider is that many people will become quite weak after a lack of food and water and after a few days the threat level will diminish significantly.

27. I have a refrigerator and a cupboard full of food, 2 cases of water, a 12 pack of toilet paper, I am all set.

Fact/Answer.  So many people are totally clueless to what they DON'T HAVE.  First of all the water of 2 cases will be used up in 3-4 days by a family of four.  If the power goes off everything in the refrigerator will have to be eaten within a couple of days.  A cupboard full of food is not a bad start, but most pantry sizes would store about a week's worth of supplies.  Something is always better than nothing, but people need to see just how much they actually need for a certain amount of time.  Exaggerating what you actually have is very counterproductive - and poses a risk to the well-being of your family should disaster strike.

28. If something happens I will just run to the grocery store and stock up before it closes.

Fact/Answer.  This is not a bad idea if you see a crisis is imminent. For many preppers, heading to the grocery store at the first sign of trouble and adding goods to what they already have, such as fruit and vegetables that will perish within a short time, may help reduce psychological and physical strains of the initial impact.  Depending on this as a plan to stock up because you have nothing in your current supplies, however, is not a good idea and quite dangerous.  What will you use to purchase what you need? Do you have cash on hand to purchase these last minute supplies or are you planning on using your possible inactive credit or debit card?  Even with a wad of cash, the stores might not be open.  Your best course of action is stock up before anything happens, you cannot depend on any store to provide what you need after a disaster.

29. If we become sick after a disaster we have good medical treatment centers that will care for us.

Fact/Answer.  The medical response could be overwhelmed and could take days or weeks to come back online.  It is likely that the number one killer after a calamity will be a disease.  Extreme preventative care of yourself and your family is all too essential.  Germ control and ‘hand awareness' of germs are a top priority here.  Storage of anti-bacterial soaps, bleach, and other disinfectants are something no home should be without.  Investment in a really well stocked first aid kit is an excellent survival item for everyone.

30. Nothing is as bad as it ever seems, stop overblowing everything as doomsday.

Fact/Answer.  Tell that one to Hurricane Katrina and Sandy survivors that were told it would not be that bad by the mass media.  Tell people in Haiti or people devastated by the two killer mega tsunamis about it not being all that bad.  Ask people who went through World War 2, the Korean or Vietnam war, or in Syria or Iraq how much less bad it was.  Preparing for the worst means that you can much better handle those worst-case scenarios that have occurred regularly throughout history.

31. If disaster strikes everybody will band together and save the day.

Fact/Answer.  Nice sentiment, but throughout history this idealism has proven to be less than reality.  Take away the hope of recovery with a bad enough situation and people revert back to the survival of the fittest.  Depending on the good will of human nature can and does lead to vast disappointment and individual disaster.  Depending on your own self and what you can put away is a lot more stable and reliable.

32. People have become way too civilized to wage a world war and take what you have and act like savages.

Fact/Answer.  There are too many examples to disprove this of people's nature.  Given the severity of the circumstances, people are capable of anything as long as most of them can JUSTIFY their actions in their minds.  Trust in yourself and then others.  Trusting in society's self-righteousness to not act like criminals is a true stretch.  Good self-defense and a cautious nature will take you far.

33. There are food banks and emergency preparedness places nearby to me, they will take care of us.

Fact/Answer.  It is all about volume, these places are meant to feed people on a SHORT TERM basis to keep people from starving to death immediately.  You will likely have to exist on a snack size package of crackers and maybe an energy bar per day.  You might get a couple of bottles of water if you are lucky.  Depending on these places for handouts is a losing proposition with any disaster that is even moderately tragic.  You could store up way more from a couple of weeks worth of extra items bought at the store than what these places are likely capable of feeding you with.

34. FEMA, the Red Cross, and other government agencies are huge and have the whole country backing them.

Fact/Answer.  Even if these organizations and government agencies can get to you, their supplies and what they can give out is severely limited, much like local and state run emergency preparedness centers.  Think about just how many people one million is and how much daily food that means.  Try to think of tens of millions of people needing all sorts of food, clean water, and other supplies.  The logistics of distribution on this scale is a nightmare for any planner.  Even if there was enough food, imagine standing in 4-10 hour lines to get some crumbs and a drink of water.  Now imagine going into a room of your house and simply getting what you need.  Kind of makes the idea of prepping sound a lot better doesn't it?

35. I can always wait until tomorrow to start prepping, there is always time.

Fact/Answer.  No there isn't always time. Eventually that tomorrow does come.  When the world or national events have deteriorated enough to scare much more people into prepping it is probably too late.  The best time to start preparing was yesterday, the next best time is right now.  Every day that goes by without putting away what you need is going to make it that much more difficult to store up enough of what you need for survival.  Time runs out quickly, start preparing today and find out how rewarding it is when you have what you need right there in your own home.

It is not an overblown statement that says 99% of the population could perish during the next mega calamity based on the sole reason that they did not prepare.  Without food, water, means of keeping yourself clean and disease free, and the many other necessities that people have become way too dependent on to survive everyday life, people cannot live and won't.  That rare 1 % that choose to prepare and sacrifice those everyday pleasures and expensive distractions will have what they need as flocks of those unprepared will die in massive numbers because society can no longer support them.  That 99 %, though, have the conscious choice of not becoming a statistic and truly doing something about it with a lot less than they realize. All it takes is some time, effort and dedication to spending any available extra money and resources on living "life insurance" such as food, water, and everyday needs.

When a true mega-scale cataclysm strikes, your choices today will determine your probability of death or survival.

Which choice will you make?

Other Survival Solutions:

Lost Ways (Special Discount) (Learn the special recipe for a SUPER FOOD that will last for years without any special storing conditions!)

Surviving the Final Bubble - Free Shipping (Limited Time Special) (A blueprint to surviving and thriving during the coming Big Bank Derivatives collapse. )

Survive The End Days (The final prophecy for America is about to unfold... )

Alive After The Fall (According to 4 major biblical prophets something truly terrifying is coming our way, and it will hit homeland before the 1st of January 2017...)

World War: Water (The only proven-to-work guide on how to survive America's tough 100-years long drought)

http://concerneduspatriots.com/life-death-choices-35-excuses-will-doom-people-fail-see-coming/

 

 

 

Today for My 2 Cents:

With the tensions in the world today, between North Korea and the US. The possibility of a nuclear attack on the United States, is not something that is a far fetch possibility.

With that said, we need Jesus Christ more than ever. The Spiritual Warfare in our day is getting to the extreme, because we as a Nation have rejected Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. If we continue on this path, the only hope, our only hope, in Jesus Christ.

Where are you today?

If you are not in Christ, if you continue to reject Him, then you better prepare!

For there is not enough SPF protection that will protect you from what is coming!

 

Here's How to Prepare for a Nuclear Attack

August 10, 2017

Current Events     Featured Posts    

The nuclear standoff between the United States and North Korea has intensified to a level that can lead nowhere good. It's time to talk about how to prepare for a nuclear attack.

First, here's some of the recent chatter.

Last weekend, incendiary words between the two countries leave little doubt in anyone's mind that a nuclear attack is likely to happen. The international smack-talk is leading somewhere.

Some people strongly believe that this is a media creation and that North Korea isn't actually a threat. Even if that is the case, it wouldn't be hard to imagine that an attack could happen on US soil, regardless of the perpetrator. (More on the topic of potential false flags here.) This isn't the purpose of the article. Survival is.

Here's a quick summary of what has been going on over the past week:

Aug. 3: After a successful ICBM (Intercontinental Ballistic Missile) test, North Korea threatened to send "unexpected ‘gift packages" and said that America is "on the knife's edge of life and death." At this point, experts established that an ICBM bearing a nuclear warhead could reach New York City within an hour.

Aug. 5: The UN imposed economic sanctions on North Korea that could cost the country up to one billion dollars. (source)

Aug. 6: President Trump threatened North Korea. He told reporters, "North Korea best not make any more threats to the United States.  They will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen."

Referring to North Korea's volatile leader, Kim Jong-un, Mr. Trump said, "He has been very threatening beyond a normal state, and as I said, they will be met with fire and fury, and frankly power the likes of which this world has never seen before." (source)

Aug. 8: North Korea's state-run news agency, KCNA, said their military was "examining the operational plan" to strike the US territory of Guam with strategic ballistic missiles. CNN reported, "Specifically, the statement mentioned a potential strike on Andersen Air Force Base designed ‘to send a serious warning signal to the US.'"

Aug, 9: North Korea dismissed Trump's threat and called it a "load of nonsense," stating that only "absolute force can work on the president. (source)

With the very real threat established, let's move on to actions that we can all take in order to make ourselves safer.

Would a nuclear attack kill us all or cause a global nuclear winter?

I got a message from a reader the other day that encompasses what a lot of us are thinking:

N. Korea now has a Nuke or Nuke capabilities. Do you beef up your preps, wait for the chips to fall, kiss your butt goodbye, or other? Should we be acting business as usual?

First, let me dispel two myths about a nuclear attack.

We won't all die or wish we were dead if a nuclear strike occurs. The movies - as much as I love them - have done us a terrible disservice here. If you are at Ground Zero of an attack, there is absolutely nothing you can do. Everything will be vaporized and that's that. However, if you are outside the immediate blast zone, it is completely survivable and I don't mean survivable in the horrible, lingering death kind of way. I mean, unharmed. You just have to know exactly what to do immediately in order to protect yourself. More on that in a moment.

We won't suffer a nuclear winter. Everything thinks it will be like the post-apocalyptic scenario in that horrible book/movie, The Road. People aren't going to be trying to eat each other. In that particular plot, the nuclear war was so great that a huge cloud of ash covered the planet. In reality, it would take hundreds of nuclear strikes to cause something like that, which is unlikely to occur. This isn't to downplay the horror and death of one strike, but to point out that the aftermath isn't going to make the quality of life on Earth as terrible as what the movies portray.

Here is what would happen if a 10 kiloton nuclear strike occurred.

According to the DHS, 10 kilotons is the approximate size of nuclear weapon we could expect.

  • Nearly everyone within a half mile radius of the point of impact would die and most of the buildings would be demolished. This would be considered Ground Zero.
  • The area within the next half mile would suffer extensive damage, fires, and serious injuries.
  • Areas within three miles could see minor injuries to people and slight damage to their homes.
  • The fallout would kill even more people. According to the DHS:
  • Within 10 to 20 miles of the explosion, radioactive exposure would cause nausea and vomiting within hours and death without medical treatment.
  • But for those near enough to the blast, experiencing more than 800R of radiation, not seeking shelter immediately would cause deaths with or without medical treatment, the study found.
  • People would not be able to evacuate this area as fallout would arrive within just 10 minutes.

(source)

People upwind of the strike and outside the 20-mile radius would be unlikely to suffer any effects. People downwind would need to take shelter. Deaths from cancer that is related to the fallout could occur for many years after.

Here's what I'm doing to prepare for a nuclear attack.

As cool as it would be to have one, you don't have to have a bunker to survive if you take the time now to get prepped. You can survive by learning everything you can to prepare for a nuclear attack.

So, here's what I'm doing.

Every time a new threat rolls around, I discover that while I have many of my bases covered, there are a few things I hadn't accounted for. A nuclear threat is no different. There were some supplies I had to pick up myself, particularly a bigger supply of no-cook food.

Part of your preparations will depend on where you live, so this will be different for everyone. Are you near any places that are likely targets? Places like Washington DC, Hawaii, New York City, Los Angeles, and large military bases are more likely targets than say, a low population area in the midwest. Of course, this doesn't mean it can't happen. Just that it's less likely.

Are you in a house or an apartment building? What is the best place in your home to seek shelter? Plan all of this ahead of time. If you know exactly what steps you are going to take, you will be able to better perform them under pressure.

Here are some key points to consider.

You won't have a whole lot of notice.

Scientists say that residents of Hawaii would have only 8-12 minutes notice if an ICBM was headed their way, and residents of New York City will have an hour. Clearly, there won't be time to run to the store - and if you did, you'd be fighting it out with a bunch of terrified, panicked people - so get your supplies together now.

Be prepared to go into lockdown.

In nearly every case, staying home is the best course of action. Imagine you are in New York City and this nuke is headed your way. If you try to evacuate, you are most likely to get stuck on one of the bridges on the way out of Manhattan and that would be far more deadly than hunkering down in your apartment and hoping you are outside the half mile radius of Ground Zero. Experts say that you should plan to stay sheltered for a minimum of 9 days. Our personal plan is 14-21 days, depending on proximity and wind direction. I'd rather err on the side of caution, personally.

During a talk on surviving a nuclear attack, professor Iwrin Redlener, US specialist on disaster preparedness, said: "In that 10 to 15 minutes, all you have to do is go about a mile away from the blast.

"Within 20 minutes, it comes straight down. Within 24 hours, lethal radiation is going out with prevailing winds."

Prof Redlener said you should feel for the wind and begin running perpendicular to it - not upwind or downwind

He said: "You've got to get out of there. If you don't get out of there, you're going to be exposed to lethal radiation in very short order.

"If you can't get out of there, we want you to go into a shelter and stay there. Now, in a shelter in an urban area means you have to be either in a basement as deep as possible, or you have to be on a floor - on a high floor - if it's a ground burst explosion, which it would be, higher than the ninth floor.

So you have to be tenth floor or higher, or in the basement. But basically, you've got to get out of town as quickly as possible. And if you do that, you actually can survive a nuclear blast."

The most hazardous fallout particles are readily visible as fine sand-sized grains so you must keep away from them and not go outside if you see them. (source)

While I'm not a professor, I would not be trying to run perpendicular. I'd be trying to get inside to shelter, ASAP.

Fortify your home against fallout.

  • Use duct tape and tarps to seal off all windows, doors, and vents. Get a LOT of duct tape and tarps.
  • Turn off any type of climate control that pulls the outside air into your home. Expect to survive without heat or air conditioning for the duration.
  • Close off your chimney.
  • If someone enters the home, make certain that there is a room set up that is separate from other family members so that they can decontaminate. All clothing they were wearing should be placed outside and they should immediately shower thoroughly.
  • Make a breezeway for putting things outdoors (like pet or human waste.)  Hang heavy tarps around the door and put on disposable coveralls, gloves, shoe covers, and masks if you have to actually go out. Disrobe, discard the disposable clothing by tossing it out the door, and shower immediately when you get back inside.

Have enough supplies on hand to wait out the danger.

As with many emergencies, you need to be prepared to survive at home without help from anyone. It's unknown whether water and electricity will be running, and if the water is running, whether it will be safe to drink. Prep as though you won't have access to these utilities and if you do, then it'll be a pleasant surprise.

  • Stock up on emergency food. In our current home, all of my emergency cooking methods rely on me being able to go outdoors. Because of this, I have stocked a one month supply of no-cook foods that do not require refrigeration. Canned vegetables and fruits, canned beans, pouches of rice and quinoa, crackers, peanut butter, dried fruit. You get the idea. The eating may not be exciting, but we won't starve to death. You can find a more thorough list of no-cook foods here.
  • Have a supply of water for all family members and pets that will last throughout the 9-day waiting period that you need to remain indoors. (Or longer, which is what we're planning.)
  • Get paper plates and cutlery in the event that the water isn't running so you don't have to waste your precious supply washing dishes.
  • Don't forget a supply of pet food.
  • Make certain you have a potassium iodide supplement on hand to protect your thyroid gland. (Here's how to use it.)
  • Be prepared for the potential of a power outage.
  • If you have pets, have supplies on hand for their sanitation - you can't let them go outside because not only would they be exposed, they would bring radiation in with them. So, pee pads, cat litter, etc, are all necessary. Solid waste can probably be flushed.
  • Have the supplies to create an emergency toilet. (This one is cheap and simple.)
  • Make sure to have a supply of any necessary prescription medications that will last through the time that you hunker down.
  • Have a well-stocked first aid kit. It's entirely likely that medical assistance will not be available, and if it is, you'll put yourself at risk by going out to seek it.
  • Have a way to get the news from the outside world. An emergency radio is a must.

Learn everything you can.

This is an overview but there is much more to learn about a nuclear event and the more knowledge you have, the more likely you are to survive without any ill effects. You can print out this manual from the US government about surviving a nuclear emergency. It was written with first responders in mind, but much of the information would be applicable for us, too.

As well, Lisa Bedford and I created a course over at Preppers University called The Nuclear Preparedness Intensive. It contains 2 hours of interviews with a military nuclear expert, hundreds of pages of downloadable information, shopping lists, military guides, and far more information than I could ever put together in a blog post. With this course, you will truly know everything that I know about surviving a nuclear attack. It costs $29. You can learn more about it here. We had been working on this for quite a while, but with the uptick in rhetoric, we decided now was the time to introduce the class. It will really help you be prepared.

The more you know, the better your chances are of unscathed survival.

You CAN survive if you prepare for a nuclear attack.

The only part of your survival that is in the hands of fate is whether or not you are at Ground Zero. The rest is up to you. You can't expect the government to save you. You can only save yourself.

Get prepared. Today. Because we just don't know what's about to happen.

Resources:

 

Today for My 2 Cents: I would like to stop for a moment and ponder as to why some of our youth act the way they do.

I am referring to the way they speak to adults, how they treat people of authority, as well as each other. As I write this, I am well aware that not all youth act in this way, but there is a growing majority that does act this way.

So what caused this? What has happened that cause our youth to get to the point that they are at now?

Here is a list of steps, that explain the reason why we are in the position we are at now with some of our youth. Please note, that if something is not done soon, this will get much, much worse.

Please examine these steps and ask yourself, am I doing these things to my own children? If we are not careful, this will lead to their destruction.

 

How to Make a Child into a Delinquent in 12 Easy Steps

(This list is thought to have been prepared over fifty years ago by a police captain.)

1. Begin at infancy to give the child everything he wants. In this way, he will grow up to believe the world owes him a living.

2. When he picks up bad language, laugh at him. This will make him think he's cute.

3. Never give him any spiritual training. Wait until he is twenty-one, and then let him "decide for himself".

4. Avoid using the word "wrong". It may develop a guilt feeling. This will condition him to believe later, when he is arrested for stealing a car, that society is against him and he is being persecuted.

5. Pick up everything he leaves lying around: books, shoes, clothes. Do everything for him so that he will be experienced in throwing all responsibility on others.

6. Let him read any printed matter he can get his hands on. Be careful that the silverware and drinking glasses are sterilized-but let his mind feast on garbage.

7. Quarrel frequently in the presence of your child. In this way they will not be too shocked when the home is broken up later.

8. Give a child all the spending money he wants. Never let him earn his own. Why should he have things as tough as you had them?

9. Satisfy every craving for food, drink, and comfort. See that every sensual desire is gratified. Denial may lead to harmful frustration.

10. Take your child's part against neighbors, teachers, and policemen. They are prejudiced against your child.

11. When he gets into real trouble, apologize for yourself by saying, "I never could do anything with him!"

12. Prepare for a life of grief. You will be likely to have it.