Carmen Rasmusen Herbert: Is science trying to replace God?

Published: Tuesday, July 9 2013 5:20 p.m. MDT

My friend says she feels like she’s done all she can, naturally and scientifically, to bring more children into her family, and the rest is up to God. His timing, his will, his plan.

And so she trusts. And waits.

Everyone in this world, regardless of race, religion or sex, has this same innate, natural connection to — and longing for — family. We all came from a mother and father. Some change families, stick with the ones that brought them here, or are in the process of beginning their own. But "family," at least genetically speaking, is an unbreakable bond.

And that bond is strengthened by how we are brought into this world. How much of that connection would be lost if science were to take out that human connection?

The role of a woman would be far less crucial. Science would say, “We don’t need your blood to pump nutrients, your breasts to make milk, your uterus to grow babies, your body to make children.”

It’s like saying, “Thank you, God. But science will take over from here.”

I read a book recently called “Matched” by Ally Condie. In this young adult novel, “The Society,” as the leaders are called, match youths according to genetic makeup. They analyze each person’s strengths and weaknesses and assign them two things: a job and a spouse. They are trying to create the perfect world, where disease is eradicated and mental illness is a thing of the past.

You read it and think, “Weird! That would be crazy.” But the crazier thing is how fiction can work its way into reality.

I’m not saying we would ever have a world like the one in "Matched." But I’m sure 20 years ago I couldn't imagine a world like the one we are currently living in, either.

We need both men and women, male and female. We still need procreation, the “natural” way. We need families, for it is on that very foundation that societies and nations are built.

I believe that God is the master scientist. I believe he allows us to take part of the glorious creation process by bringing children into the world.

Science is good. It has helped families, like my friend’s, to be able to do this when it can’t be done. But I also believe there is an ethical and spiritual limit to what we as mortals can and should do when it comes to creating a family.

In other words, we had better be very careful when we start to play God.

“There is but one good; that is God. Everything else is good when it looks to Him and bad when it turns from Him.” (C.S. Lewis, “The Great Divorce,” 1945)

Carmen Rasmusen Herbert is a former "American Idol" contestant who writes about entertainment and family for the Deseret News.

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