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The OpenWorm Project

from the December 01, 2014 eNews issue



The media outlets are abuzz with the news that a group of researchers may be on the verge of creating artificial life.

A group of people in California calling themselves “the OpenWorm Project” team are leading an effort to recreate the brain of a worm in a computer.

According to the OpenWorm website:

OpenWorm aims to build the first comprehensive computational model of the Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans), a microscopic roundworm. With only a thousand cells, it solves basic problems such as feeding, mate-finding and predator avoidance. Despite being extremely well studied in biology, this organism still eludes a deep, principled understanding of its biology.

These researchers have come together in a virtual forum to try to reduce the actions and behaviors of a very simple organism and upload it into a machine.

What has caused a stir in the media is the claim that they have, “implanted the digital ‘mind’ of the worm into a Lego machine.”

Earlier this year they ran a successful internet fundraising campaign thought the Kickstarter website and raised $120,000, enough they say to fund the creation of a worm you can download onto your computer.

This newest project has the same goal as the Bina49 Project has: to continue the quest toward immortality.

What these and other people seem to miss is the fact that immortality is not something that man can create. It is left to the province of God. Man may gain immortality only as a gift of the Divine Will.

For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in union with the Messiah Jesus our Lord.

— Romans 6:23 ISV

The acquisition of immortality is a privilege reserved for the righteous rather than the prerogative of all mankind. Potentially immortal by nature, man actually becomes immortal through grace. Immortality is conditional in the sense that there is no eternal life except in Christ. But this does not imply, of course, that existence beyond death is conditional. Because, in its New Testament sense, immortality has positive content, being more than mere survival beyond death, its opposite is not nonexistence but the “second death” (Rev. 20:6, 14; 21:8), “the punishment of eternal destruction and exclusion from the presence of the Lord” (2 Thess. 1:9).

Man consists of both the body and the soul, and the Bible never contemplates the disembodied existence of the soul in this world.

To be in Christ is to be a new creation (2 Cor. 5:17). Therefore, immortality is not inherent in the old creation. As Christ is the first fruit of the resurrection, so Christians are born anew (1 Pet. 1:23). The life of the new creation is the life that proceeds from Christ.

Until these people realize this, they will always be searching for something that is unobtainable, except through Jesus Christ.

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