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Religion and values



 

We are on the verge of being able to consciously control human genetics  . One can foresee a day when we can create a baby to specifications. The first reaction of traditional religion is not to do it. Thus the Catholic  church with the logical consistency that is characteristic of that institution draws the line at in vitro (in glass or more generally outside the body) fertilization. That is a consistent way to deal with the dangers presented but it is one that will ultimately fail. Too much can be accomplished that is obviously beneficial. The development of these capabilities cannot be stopped. It is essential that we develop religious values that can deal with the enormous new power these techniques present.

This is a necessary and inevitable step in evolution, albeit an enormously dangerous one. Just as evolution over the eons teaches us how to consciously use more of the resources of earth she inevitably will teach us to use and control evolution  . Religious leaders are correct in urging caution. We are on the verge of taking conscious control of processes that are governed by unconscious laws developed over the eons. Without consciously acquiring some measure of the wisdom innate in those laws we will make a terrible mess of it. Wisdom is not in abundance in our institutions. A small part of that wisdom can come from the mathematics of creativity. This can teach us a few of the fundamental constraints that evolution operates under and provide specific guides on what is definitely a mistake and what is necessary to preserve creativity.

Religious values do not come from mathematics. Our values will determine how we use our mathematical understanding and if this new power will be our undoing as a species. We can not create or control our values but we can develop them and sensitize ourselves to them.

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