Protecting God from Science and Technology: How Religious Criticisms of Biotechnologies Backfire

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Abstract

Many religious critics argue that biotechnology (such as cloning and genetic engineering) intrudes on God's domain, or plays God, or revolts against God. While some of these criticisms are standard complaints about human hubris, I argue that some of the recent criticism represents a “Promethean” concern, in which believers unreflectively seem to fear that science and technology are actually replicating or stealing God's special deity–defining powers. These criticisms backfire theologically, because they diminish God, portraying God as an anthropomorphic superbeing whose relevance and special nature are increasingly rivaled by human power.

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