The Possibility of Genetic Engineering
Technological advances in the 1970's enable scientists today to mix the genes of different animals, and the genes of animals and plants. Some of Ellen White's earlier writings from 1864 suggest just such technology:
If scientists remove the zona pellucida, they can produce some cross-species fertilization, as in humans and hamsters. In fact, such a procedure is routinely used in order to test male fertility in humans. The zona pellucida of hamster eggs is removed, and then the percentage of eggs fertilized by human spermatazoa is determined. If that percentage is below a certain level, then a diagnosis of infertility is reached.
(One might wonder whether Ellen White would object to such a test, on the grounds that it might constitute the "amalgamation" of man with beast. But whether she would or not is impossible to verify, since she died 109 years ago.)
Yet the removal of the zona pellucida only facilitates cross-species fertilization to a point. Scientific experiments have demonstrated that even then, the vitelline membrane still prevents the crossing of certain species, such as the fertilization of mouse or rat eggs by human spermatazoa, and the fertilization of rat, mouse, or rabbit eggs by guinea-pig spermatozoa (J Exp Zool. 1979 Dec; 210(3):497-505; 1978 Feb; 203(2):277-85).
Thus, since such crossings between species are naturally impossible, Ellen White's statements appear to suggest some sort of technologically advanced process in the pre-Flood civilization. As we shall see later in another statement, she referred to amalgamation being done through "ingenious methods." But, were the antediluvians really that bright? According to Ellen White they were:
The evolutionist who believes that man is gradually becoming more and more advanced might scoff at the above, but we should remember that Ellen G. White did not believe in evolution. She was a biblicist, and as such believed that the human race is "devolving" rather than evolving. For that reason, she believed that man is getting dumber and dumber, not smarter and smarter.
We also take note that while she indicates that the pre-Flood amalgamation was something done by man, she doesn't explicitly implicate man as the perpetrator of the post-Flood amalgamation. Another statement by Ellen White, alluding to some sort of genetic tampering and written in 1899, suggests another possibility as to the culprit: Satan engineered some of the amalgamation using his "ingenious methods":
Ellen G. White's writings are by no means the only source that suggests that some sort of genetic engineering and mixing of species took place in the distant past. Egyptian, Assyrian, Greek, and Roman myths and architecture abound with creatures that are a cross between humans and horses, goats, fish, snakes, bulls, lions, and hawks. All these amalgamated creatures are evidence of either overactive imaginations, or genetic engineering conducted by ancient peoples.
The Book of Enoch speaks of ravenous, man-eating giants that resulted from the pre-Flood crossing of fallen angels and people (chs. 6, 7, 85-89). Maybe this idea was inspired by a mistaken interpretation of Genesis 6:2-4. Or perhaps the Book of Enoch contains a garbled account of how fallen angels worked with human beings to genetically engineer such strange and ravenous creatures as Tyrannosaurus rex.
Whatever was going on before the Flood, Ellen White called it a "base crime," and the sin above all others that brought down the divine judgment of the Flood. That something had gone awry even in the animal world is clear from the following Bible verse. Not only was man evil, but even "all flesh" had become corrupted:
Would it really be a sin, a base crime, to cross a camel and a turkey? Moses, the writer of Genesis, definitely thought so, for he recorded God's prohibitions against the crossing of divergent species:
There are a lot of people today that are skittish about genetic engineering. They worry about the potential hazards if something goes awry, for example. Now if it be true that Ellen White wrote about genetic engineering more than a century before it was scientifically possible, and if God got upset at the antediluvian race for tinkering with the genetic code, then there may be more hazards to genetic engineering than what most people think.
We should also consider the possibility that Ellen White was describing other technologies as well, such as the adding of cells of one species to the embryos of another species. What this procedure does is produce composite creatures called chimeras that have parts of both species.
No, we didn't get the following from The National Enquirer. We got it from a January 25, 2005 article on NationalGeographic.com:
Weird, huh? You'd think the world was coming to an end. . . . Well, maybe it is.
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