I read Michael Crichton’s book “Jurassic Park” before I saw the movie. The book displayed wisdom and deadly foolishness in detail. The movie, WOW! It was a lot of fun! I loved it. The book is wisdom combined with enjoyment, wisdom carefully and appealingly explained. But the emotional immersion of the movie “Jurassic Park” mostly eclipsed the very serious warning Crichton was delivering about genetic engineering.
What Crichton feared about genetic engineering is a perfect illustration of the moral and spiritual defectiveness of the entire human race. A perfect illustration of the need for an all-powerful, holy, righteous God with infinite wisdom, Who could change human nature. Although Michael Crichton was not a Christian, he highlighted the need for morality as well as intelligence in science and medicine, in an adventure novel so potent that us bookworms couldn’t put it down. He was one of America’s finest writers. Steven Spielberg said, “There is no one in the wings that will ever take his place.“
In the introduction to the book in 1990, Crichton wrote that biotechnology research was “carried out in more than two thousand laboratories in America alone.” He mentioned that “much of the research is thoughtless or frivolous” – paler trout so fishermen can see them better, square trees, injectable scents to keep you smelling nice. And worst of all, Crichton pointed out, no one supervises it. Not the government nor the scientists themselves. As Crichton described, scientists had moved from truth-seekers to profiteers, in a big way.
This is not a dead issue. Last week, I received a newspaper titled “Money & Investments Today”. One of the articles was titled, “The Death of Big Pharma?” That sounded great, but when I read it, I discovered it was about investment possibilities in medical cannabis. In fact the subtitle promised this was “…creating a potential profit bonanza”.
They’re not going to make medical cannabis more cheaply available, purer or more potent. What started out as the hope of an inexpensive treatment that would be available to all will, in their hands, become a way to satisfy their pathological greed. They will not replace Big Pharma. They will become Big Pharma. Medical cannabis is the wedge that will open the door for them to invade Big Pharma’s turf.
I have no opinion on medical cannabis. I don’t need it and haven’t investigated it. I’m not arguing one way or the other about it. All I’m saying is that greed rules behind a mask of good intentions. Just like Michael Crichton predicted in Jurassic Park.
In Jurassic Park, the investors’ attorney, Donald Gennaro, is sent to investigate Jurassic Park because of safety concerns. He has orders to “burn it to the ground” if there’s a problem. He has listened to Chaos Theory explained by the mathematician Ian Malcolm which tells him that the Park will fall apart with catastrophic consequences.
And then he comes face to face with living dinosaurs, and his first thought is, “We are going to make a fortune on this place. A fortune.”
“Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.” (1st Timothy 6:9-10)
When we wander away from the God of the Bible and His laws, we set ourselves up for disaster. It is inevitable.
Jurassic Park, as the mathematician Ian Malcolm points out, was doomed to fail from the beginning. He explained why to the founder, John Hammond, but Hammond had a dream, and no inconvenient truth was going to stop him. As John Arnold, Hammond’s head engineer, relates problem after problem in the park, Hammond’s replies are, “That’s a minor detail … You’re just a worrier … It’s not as bad as that …”
But Arnold is right: “There are no minor details.” Just ask the devil. He took his eye off Bethlehem, and the Messiah was born and extracted before he could react. The devil took his eye off Nazareth (because, as Nathanael said, ‘Can anything good come out of Nazareth?’ “) and the Messiah sheltered there until His public ministry began.
This world, this one planet, is too massive and too complex for the devil and his demons to manage. It’s too much for humans to manage. As Malcolm says, “What we call ‘nature’ is in fact a complex system of far greater subtlety than we are willing to accept. We make a simplified image of nature and then we botch it up.”
And sometimes we lie about it to further a political agenda, as with global warming.
If we humans are honest, we have to admit that we can’t even manage our own lives. Yet the devil and millions of humans deny these facts.
As Ian Malcolm put it, “It’s quite obvious. It’s just a matter of your assumptions.” If we assume that there is no God, we have to try to manage our own lives. If we want to satisfy desires forbidden by God, we have to at least act as if we don’t believe He exists. But reality intrudes and we get dam failures, live vaccines that cause the disease they were supposed to prevent, salmonella outbreaks, a booming homeless problem …
At one point, far too late, Hammond tells his head engineer, “These are engineering problems. Get the engineering under control and the animals will fall into place … They’re trainable.” I assume the devil thinks the same way. He’s tried almost every possible form of government, and they’ve all failed. Like Hammond, the devil refuses to acknowledge his own incompetence.
“Trainable”? Oh yeah? When the devil got Adam and Eve to sin, thus separating them from God, they were afraid. But they retained enough common sense not to partner with, or submit to, the evil one who had tricked them into rebellion against God. And government after government has discovered that maintaining a viable culture is impossible over the long term, because people often aren’t trainable.
“Trainable”? The moment I was proudest of the Tea Party was a photo I saw of one demonstration in which an older guy was holding a sign that said in big letters, “We are Americans! You will never control us!”
But we do have a need for someone to help us control ourselves. Someone who is wise enough and capable enough to “lead us in the paths of righteousness”. Because without righteousness, everything collapses. It’s not even wisdom that is at the core of civilization and individual happiness. It’s righteousness.
And throughout history, the people and nations whose lives have reflected righteousness and happiness most have been those who chose to submit to and obey the God of the Bible. The Holy One of Israel.
“Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord!”
We can’t change the course of history. We probably can’t save our own nations. But we can save ourselves. Which will it be for you – a failing Jurassic Park or Heaven? It’s your choice.
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil.” (John 3:16-19)