There was a village that contained three exceptional men known for their great learning. They excelled in many of the sciences and were renown for their intellect. One day, the three learned men got together and decided they were tired on living in the village.
“The people of this village are superstitious simpletons and cannot possibly understand our learning,” said one.
“There is nothing here for us to apply our superior skills to. We have so much to offer the world and we cannot do it in this simple place,” said another.
“And there is so much to see that we have not yet seen. We should go explore and find new challenges to apply our great minds to,” said the third.
They resolved that their voyage of exploration should begin in the forest. So they set about exploring. After several hours, they happened upon the bones of a lion in the middle of the forest.
One of the learned men exclaimed, “Look! We have finally found a problem which we can apply our great learning to… Among my many studies, I have studied all the skeletal structures of all the earth’s creatures… I could easily reconstruct this lion’s skeleton!”
Another of the learned men added, “In my studies, I have studied the muscles and sinews of the earth’s creatures and have learned the art of sewing skin… If you can repair this lion’s skeleton, I can make it new muscles and skin.”
“Oh we make a great team indeed,” chimed the third, “for I have learned in my studies the art of life. If you two can repair this lion’s body, I can concoct a potion that will give it blood and breath!”
So the three learned men set to work applying their great knowledge to the problem of the dead lion. One carefully reconstructing the skeleton, another adding the muscles and skin, and the third restoring the blood and breath, until at last they had brought the lion back to life. The three learned men marveled at their accomplishment.
“Look!,” said one, “A fully restored, living breathing lion! Surely such a thing has never been done before!”
“I know!”, said another, “It is a true scientific breakthrough! Imagine the implications!”
Before the third could speak, the lion lunged at the three learned men, mauled them, and ate them for dinner.
This elegant African folktale is a great parable about the responsibility that comes with knowledge. Just because we have the power to do something does not mean it should be done. We can build machines that can destroy the earth a hundred times over… Should we? Biological engineering, singularity, and advancements in warfare, raise important ethical questions that disciples have an obligation to speak into. We are not called to be neophytes. Rather we are called to engage the great questions with integrity and conscience. It has been said religion without science has no brain and that science without religion has no heart. God requires us to love Him with both.
Whoever has ears to hear, let them hear…