Due to research at three different laboratories in the United Kingdom (King’s College London, Newcastle University and Warwick University) there is now concern that a scenario like that presented in this upcoming movie might be possible. Scientists at these three labs have created more than 150 of what they are calling, “human-animal hybrid” embryos. These experimental hybrid embryos were produced in secret research over about three years. The reason for the hybrid experimentation was to find cures in them for a wide range of diseases that affect mankind presently. One commentator on this so-called medical research accused the scientists of “dabbling in the grotesque.”
Three basic types of hybrids are being made in these laboratories. The first is an animal egg which is fertilized by human sperm. The second is called a “cybrid” which is a human nucleus that is implanted into an animal cell. The third is called a “chimera” which is a mixture of human cells put into animal embryos. It should be noted that no cure for any disease has come from these experiments. In fact, something that is not often stated in the media is that NO CURE for any disease has come from any testing on embryos or any harvesting of embryonic stem cells. Yet this is what is held out for us as the source of future miracle cures for diseases. It is a type of scientific blackmail that promises cures that have not materialized so that ethical and moral lines may be crossed. Scientific fact is that of the nearly 80 cures that have come from stem cell research and testing, ALL have come from ADULT STEM CELLS. None have ever come from any embryonic research – whether from pure human research of from this more grotesque mixing of species.
Those who have warned about a “Rise of the Planet of the Apes” scenario are calling for much stricter rules and laws against having laboratory animals injected in ways that would seek to give them human attributes. One such rule would prohibit having human stem cells injected into the brains of . . . you guessed it, apes. The lead author of the Medical Research Council’s National Institute for Medical Research, Professor Robin Lovell-Badge, sees no need for such rules or laws – stating that the existing laws in the United Kingdom state that these embryos have to be destroyed within 14 days. I don’t know about anyone else – but the simple fact that these scientists have sought to keep their research secret – along with a fair knowledge of mankind’s ability to deceive and manipulate circumstances – makes me less than impressed with the safety and the ethics that they promise to maintain.
But this brings up a larger question for those of us who study biblical prophecy. Is there any biblical reference to a hybrid human being or animal? Some might refer to the strange creatures that are mentioned in the book of Revelation – and question whether these could be the end of this grotesque mixing of species? Let’s take a look at this possibility by looking at the Scriptures.
Some wonder about this passage in Revelation 6, “I looked, and behold, an ashen horse; and he who sat on it had the name Death; and Hades was following with him. Authority was given to them over a fourth of the earth, to kill with sword and with famine and with pestilence and by the wild beasts of the earth.” (Revelation 6:8, NASB) They wonder if the “wild beasts of the earth” could refer to a hybrid animal? The Greek word used here for “wild beasts” is “therion.” Throughout Scripture this word is used to refer to a venomous creature like a snake of some kind. It is also used to refer to various other animals in the animal kingdom. It is also the word used here, in Revelation 9, and in Revelation 13 of strange looking beasts. The problem with calling these beasts hybrids is that the language that is used here is descriptive language – rather than a more literal statement. Here in this first passage in Revelation the wild beasts mentioned here are most likely just that – wild beasts. This means most likely that undomesticated animals would lose their fear of man – and begin killing men at a rate never before seen on earth.
A second passage some might consider to be indicative of hybrid experiments is the two types of beasts mentioned in Revelation chapter 9. In Revelation 9:7-11 we have a being that has the “appearance” of locusts. But as these strange beings come up out of the earth – they are described in the following way. “The appearance of the locusts was like horses prepared for battle; and on their heads appeared to be crowns like gold, and their faces were like the faces of men. They had hair like the hair of women, and their teeth were like the teeth of lions. They had breastplates like breastplates of iron; and the sound of their wings was like the sound of chariots, of many horses rushing to battle. They have tails like scorpions, and stings; and in their tails is their power to hurt men for five months. They have as king over them, the angel of the abyss; his name in Hebrew is Abaddon, and in the Greek he has the name Apollyon.”
Some would point to the fact that these weird looking “locust-like” creatures have faces, “like the faces of men.” They also have hair, “like the hair of women.” Yet in spite of these things – they also are described with aspects of lions, scorpions, and horses. Is this the result of embryonic research gone horribly wrong? Again, the language in this passage is that of description – not literal statements. Terms used here that clue us into this are the word, “like,” and the phrase “the appearance of.” Another clue to us that this is a more spiritual description than a literal human/animal hybrid is the fact that these beings come out of “the bottomless pit” and are eventually identified as having the “angel of the abyss” king over them. After this is stated, this king is further identified with names that are normally given to Satan – or which refer to him. Thus these are most likely not the result of human embryonic engineering gone bad – but are demonic beings instead.
Later in Revelation chapter 9 we read of horses that have the heads of lions and tails which have multi-headed serpents on them. This description though also includes a statement that their mouths have fire, smoke, and brimstone coming from them. Thus if this is some kind of sickening hybrid – it has attributes which no other animal on earth currently has. This more than likely is a first century description of some kind of machine used – which has the ability to shoot fire from it. Once again this is a “vision” as well as the word “like” used in it.
The final two beasts that might be some kind of human/animal hybrid are those described for us in Revelation 13. If these are hybrids – they are definitely hybrids of multiple animals. Yet the language used here is very reminiscent of that used in Daniel. The beasts described there represented kingdoms – and how those kingdoms acted when they ruled on earth. These two beasts seem to be a combination of all these beings – with their worst attributes being put forward. Thus we have here the representatives of Satan during the tribulation period – described in how they act and what kind of “rule” they exert on earth.
Although tantalizing to our imaginations, the idea of a “Rise of the Planet of the Apes” scenario is very, unlikely. It may make for great movie-making, but it would involve poor biblical exegesis at best. What we do have here though is an eventuality of the lie of evolution manifesting itself in the most grotesque of ways. The lie of evolution is that we can cross the barriers of species – and have some kind of hybrid that brings us something far better than God’s original creation. This involves man being smarter than God, who created this world with species barriers irrevocably in place. Mankind, though, in its rebellion against God continues to dabble in the grotesque, hoping to make a hybrid man/animal that can once and for all disprove that a Creator God has ever existed. Good luck professors . . . because your work, which may create a kind of sick curiosity in mankind at first, will never manifest itself in anything truly helpful to mankind. And for those of you who fear that one day apes may rise and take over the earth – subjugating man to a mere animal role – you should read your Bible with greater care. Man will continue to be the supreme manifestation of God’s creation. Yet while man will never be removed from the position of the most glorious of His creatures, the fact will still remain that something is seriously wrong with mankind. He was made to directly reflect the glory of God in a way no animal can – yet he continues to sin and live as a rebel to God’s ultimate purposes. Maybe a better title for a movie would be, “Rise of the Planet of the Fools,” which would chronicle for us the horror of a creature made to fellowship with God – who rejects Him and instead worships himself. Then again maybe our theaters are not quite ready for the scariest movie of all.