The technological advances being made by 3-D printers are truly astounding. One can hardly keep up with the advances in this new technology. 3-D printers have been used to cheaply construct all kinds of products and objects. Indeed, one of today’s links notes that an entire apartment complex in China was built from parts made by 3-D printers. However, this post is going to focus on the fact that 3-D printers have now become 3-D “bio-printers” which make human body parts for insertion into human bodies as transplant devices, tissues and even organs to prolong human life. The first link and second link offer reports on the types of human body parts already being made by 3-D bio-printers. Besides such components as artificial bones for transplant patients, bio-printers are now making human ears, parts of faces and skulls, hip and spine parts, limbs, bladders, kidneys, blood vessels, etc. The third link is a TV report on how the Mayo Clinic is using 3-D bio-printers to construct a detailed copy of a patient’s inner organs and body structures so surgeons can better understand a patient’s unique biology and practice their surgical techniques on the model before doing it on the actual patient’s body.
Theoretically, as this technology advances, mankind may be able to construct any human body part with 3-D bio-printers, making a kind of medical immortality available to those who can afford it or those who are deemed important enough to receive such benefits. This allows for a “brave new world” in the future where the rich and powerful elites are given a de-facto medical immortality while the masses die without receiving such benefits.
This technology also raises some questions from a biblical perspective. As mankind’s technology advances to ever more unthinkable levels, several biblical prophecies and scriptures become increasingly accurate and relevant. Genesis 11:1-6 records that mankind, which was created at the level of the Creator Elohim in a human body (Genesis 1:26-27), had already reached a technological level circa 4000 years ago where God himself observed that mankind was about to implement anything they imagined to do. To stop mankind’s technological development from exploding then, God confused the languages of mankind’s original nations/clans descended from Noah’s three sons and daughters-in-law and cut them off from understanding the pre-Flood written or spoken language which was the medium through which all pre-Flood technological development was being transmitted to the post-Flood world. It was not God’s will that mankind duplicate the pre-Flood world’s advanced technologies soon after the Flood [For a glimpse into the pre-Flood world’s technologies, please listen to my free audio taped message, As It Was In the Days of Noah. That message was taped in 1989 so it reflects my thinking on the topic as of that year.] It is within God’s permissive will that the pre-Flood world’s technologies and society (including its rampant sins) be redeveloped in the latter days of our current human age just before the Second Coming of Jesus Christ (Matthew 24:37). The knowledge explosion now occurring in human society not only fulfills Jesus’ prophecy in Matthew 24:37, it also fulfills a prophecy in Daniel 12:4 that there would be a knowledge explosion in mankind’s global society at “the time of the end.”
Now let’s explore some biblical possibilities that the explosive advance in 3-D bio-printers now raise. The fact that mankind is now making all kinds of human body parts makes the possibility of building androids with artificial intelligence ever more likely. Indeed, that may be one of the goals of the 3-D bio-printer technology. I’m not sure how the artificial intelligence of an android “brain” would be mated to a body constructed of 3-D printed human body parts, but I personally think this will be attainable if God permits this age to continue long enough without his Divine intervention. Genesis 11:6 says mankind can reach a technological “tipping point” where, literally, anything is possible. This brings another possibility to mind. Please understand that I’m not making a specific prediction in what follows: I’m merely offering something for readers to think about as latter-day prophecies are fulfilled in the future.
Revelation’s prophecies speak of a “beast” political leader, a real flesh and blood human being who will be Satan’s tool during the very end of this age. However, many scriptures also include a reference to the “image of the beast,” not just the beast himself. These references can be found in Revelation 13:14-15, 14:9-11, 15:2, 16:2, 19:20, and 20:4. The Apostle John, who wrote the book of Revelation, was handicapped by trying to describe the high-tech things he saw in his vision of our time with the low-tech vocabulary of his time. I’ve generally assumed the term “image of the beast” could mean John was seeing a televised or holographic image of the beast leader and had no other way to describe it other than as an “image” (some kind of representation or likeness) of the actual beast leader. That may yet prove to be true. However, mankind’s leaders have sometimes used body doubles to thwart assassination attempts or camouflage where a leader actually was at a given time. The fourth link details reports that Hitler, Churchill, Stalin, Saddam Hussein, Rudolf Hess and other leaders had or may have had body doubles. With advances in plastic surgery techniques, it would be far easier for modern leaders to have body doubles made for them than leaders had during the World War II years. However, the advances in 3-D bio-printers make it theoretically possible that an animated body double could be made “from scratch” with manufactured 3-D body parts that would make a “copy” identical to the actual human being that was the original template for the manufactured body double. This also brings to mind another biblical prophecy. Revelation 13:3 and 12 make a cryptic reference to a “beast” whose “deadly wound was healed.” II Thessalonians 2:3-9 refer to a “man of sin” who will come in the latter days who will have “power, signs and lying wonders.” The Greek word for “lying” is “pseudos” which means deceptive or faked wonders. Might one of those faked wonders be a pseudo-resurrection where an identical body double is wounded unto death with a mortal wound, but the actual leader isn’t wounded at all, but emerges later as if resurrected from the dead?
Another thought comes to mind. The Bible records that the few named pre-Flood individuals we know about had extraordinarily long life spans. Many (including me) have believed that this was a result of a canopy (or “firmament”) of water vapor that insulated the earth from the aging rays of the sun, perfect water, perfect soil, perfect genetics, etc. Since Matthew 24:37, Genesis 11:6 and Daniel 12:4 all indicate the pre-Flood world was an advanced, high-tech civilization like our own, might they also have had 3-D bio-printers which were far more advanced than what modern mankind now has? If so, the very long life spans of pre-Flood mankind may have been the result not only of genetic and environmental factors, but also from 3-D bio-printers giving pre-Flood people a form of medical immortality (a technology lost soon after the Flood). I don’t know if this is the case, but I wanted to mention it to stimulate the thoughts of readers on the subject.
The invention of 3-D bio printers makes us realize that we need to be flexible concerning our concepts of how biblical prophecies will be fulfilled. As modern mankind’s technologies advance to dizzying heights, it may greatly change our expectations of how prophecies might eventually be fulfilled. As an example, remember when some Christians thought bar codes might be the “mark of the beast” when they were first introduced? That concept now seems quaint given the new technologies that have been invented since then.
One final thought. 3-D bio-printers were invented by very intelligent scientists who brought their inventions into being with guided, intelligent design. The same is true for all other examples of mankind’s high-tech inventions. If an android-like human life form is brought into existence via 3-D bio-printers and artificial intelligence applications, that android will not have “evolved” by accident on its own. ALL inventions and products of technological developments are brought into existence via outside intelligent design acting upon elements and compounds to bring them into existence. This reality firmly disproves the theory of evolution. Living species are the product of a design ability and power far greater than any human design and power utilized to bring technological products into existence. Anyone who asserted that 3-D bio-printers (and their products) came into existence “on their own” by random mathematical chance would be regarded as a fool or imbecile. The same thing goes for one’s viewpoint toward all living species, which are far more complex than anything produced via a 3-D bio-printer. It makes me think of Psalm 14;1 which noted that only a “fool…says in his heart, There is no God.”