BioEthics and Acting Like Jesus

Today I shared a lesson in our Sunday School class titled, “BioEthics and Acting Like Jesus.” We discussed and explored the appendix of Francis Collins’ book, “The Language of God: A Scientist Presents Evidence for Belief,” titled “The Moral Practice of Science and Medicine: BioEthics.” I recorded the audio from the lesson, and this evening edited the audio a bit and synchronized it to make a video I’ve shared on YouTube. In this blog post I’ll share that video, along with the lesson slides, our Bible focus verse for the lesson (Philippians 2:5-11) and additional, related books and videos I mentioned during class. These resources and others for our class, “Curiosity and Questions: Jesus and Science” are available on followjesus.wesfryer.com.

The video of recorded audio and synchronized slides for this lesson is 50 minutes and 20 seconds long.

Here are the slides from our lesson, which include embedded links to referenced videos and books.

Our focus Bible verse was Philippians 2:5-11:

‘In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death— even death on a cross! Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. ‘

Philippians 2:5-11

Some of the images of Jesus I used in this presentation are shared in the Google Arts and Culture article, “Representations of Jesus Christ in Art and Paintings.”

I mentioned and recommended Alec Ross’ (@alecjross) book, “The Industries of the Future,” during our lesson, and also mentioned his 3.5 minute video for Big Think in 2016, “Genome Mapping Will Expand Our Life Expectancies.”

I also mentioned (but did not play in class) Joe Hanson’s (@DrJoeHanson) 2017 video for PBS Studios show, “It’s OK To Be Smart,” (@okaytobesmart) titled “CRISPR and the Future of Human Evolution.”

In addition to genetic engineering, in vitro fertilization, and Somatic cell nuclear transfer, we also discussed a variety of “body enhancements” including Neil Harbisson, who “…is best known for being the first person in the world with an antenna implanted in his skull and for being legally recognized as a cyborg by a government.” I referenced the 2016 Business Insider article about Neil, “I talked with a real life cyborg, and now I’m convinced ‘cyborgism’ is the future,” and the included 4.5 minute video.

During our lesson I also mentioned a favorite book of mine, “Technopoly: The Surrender of Culture to Technology” by Neil Postman.

Next week we’re going to take additional time to discuss BioEthics, and most likely watch the 36 minute Braincraft video, “The Ethics of Gene Editing.”

During our lesson, I also mentioned the remarkable November 2019 PBS Frontline documentary, “In the Age of AI.” It’s two hours long, and I’m planning to spend one of our upcoming Sunday School lessons discussing it and watching a short excerpt. It’s possible I may be able to lead a multi-week study and discussion of this video over the summer, likely in June. AI is already reshaping some aspects of our society and the way we live, and it’s projected to transform even more in the years to come.

I hope these resources are beneficial for you as you learn more about bioethics and the topics addressed in this presentation. In addition to these resources, you can follow me on Twitter @pocketshare (my Christian channel) and @wfryer, (where I share things generally related to educational technology and learning.) You can also access my book, “Pocket Share Jesus: Be a Digital Witness for Jesus Christ” on pocketshare.pressbooks.com.

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