A group of researchers from North Carolina State University have wired electronics to cockroaches and controlled them remotely from a Microsoft video game console. Using the joystick, scientists were able to move the insects left, right, or straight ahead. According to ABC News, they used Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches, the kind that grow to a monstrous several inches long. The immediate intention is for search and rescue in areas unsafe for human workers, such as earthquake zones or collapsed buildings.
Now I realize not many are going to care much about cockroaches. But one of the cherished values of religions is our free will. Although God is sovereign over all that exists, he does not interfere with human free will. So what about insects? Do insects have free will also? And if they do, is it moral for human beings to interfere with the free will of cockroaches? To be fair, the scientists at NC State are not wired into the insect’s brains, they are stimulating their antennae. But still, are we daring to tread where even God does not even tread? And might this scary scheme eventually be applied to higher life forms. Like us?
Bruce Meyer writes about the relationship between the physical universe and the pursuit of spirituality.