How many people really like spiders? I suspect that the number is relatively small. And the bigger and meaner the spider looks, the more that people question why such a creature exists in the first place. Another way of saying this, especially within religious circles, is why would G-d create such a thing that is so detested by so many people.
There is a very famous biblical story regarding the young, not yet King, David who was running for his life from a family member who wanted him dead. David ducked into a cave hoping that his enemy would pass it by without noticing it. But it was clear that David had no means of protection, so that one soldier sent to inspect the cave would end his life. While David sat frightened within the cave, the story goes that a spider built a web that covered the entire cave’s entrance. By the time David’s enemies had arrived to the cave’s location, they saw the untouched web over the entrance and legitimately concluded that no one could have entered it. David’s enemies marched on. David was saved, and then ultimately became King of Israel.
Of late, there have been multiple articles about the health of the bee population in the United States. Bees are fundamentally important for the pollination of a whole range of fruits and flowers and other grown foods. Without bees at all, food production would drop dramatically to such a point that even basic foodstuffs would be in short supply. As frightening as bees can be, and as deadly as they are in cases where a stung individual is acutely allergic to the bee venom, it still seems clear that as a society, we desperately need a healthy bee population.
As time goes on, we discover the need and then possible uses for insects and infectious agents that can help us overcome environmental and personal diseases. But with advanced technology, it is now possible to turn insects into mini 007’s that can help track down lost people, after a major calamity.
In the following article, “Cyborg Cockroaches Could Save Your Life If You’re Trapped In A Disaster”, there is a description of how really nasty looking cockroaches are converted into half machine/half disgusting-insect, with the purpose of scrambling through wreckage and locating missing people. As the author of the article notes “by sending a group of the bugs into the rubble, they can use their small size to their advantage to easily make their way to trapped humans, and then send a signal to rescuers with the exact location.”.
One of the theories about the potential success of such a system would be that the scream by the trapped human would already draw safety workers to his or her location. I suspect that my reaction to multiple cyborg cockroaches would be to crush the little buggers who are in fact trying to save my life. Perhaps if these cy-bugs are given a Walter PPK and trained to say “Bond, James Bond”, people will feel much more at ease with them.
Of course, the point here is that insects will likely become more and more important in the battlefield and in medicine. In the battlefield, imagine a swarm of 1 million bees that are all digitally controlled from a central location, and are trained to attack the opposing forces. Guns are extremely ineffective against such swarms. Water cannons and flamethrowers would be more effective but their scope is still limited. Imagine using such cy-bugs to eradicate ISIS. War would never be the same.
In the medical world, cy-bugs could be programmed to transport important medical materials from one location to another. A swarm of bees or other flying insects could collectively lift a unit of blood and transport it across difficult terrain to the medical sites in need. Under certain circumstances, where wireless transmission via cell phone is ineffective, these flying swarms of insects could deliver messages back and forth between medical teams. With a little imagination, one can easily see how the insect world can be Incorporated into our day-to-day lives in order to help us combat disease and security issues.
There is a new Marvel movie coming out called Antman. The idea behind this superhero is that he can shrink down to the size of ants and then communicate with them in order to form an insect army that can take on major foes. Given people’s natural repulsion at the site of swarms of flying insects, it seems pretty clear how effective a weapon this would be.
So it seems that we have entered a new age of using nature to help us live healthier and safer lives. Perhaps this is not what certain nature groups imagined when they spoke of human–nature interaction. But I personally think that this is a very clear message from G-d/another deity/mother nature/the universe that we have a tremendous amount to learn from the majesty of nature that surrounds us.
I guess the only real risk is if someone accidentally swallows one of these cyborg bees. Then the user will need to be fed a bird to catch the bee. And if that does not work, the user will need to be fed a cat that will eat the bird that caught the bee. By the time they get to the big Doberman Pinscher that needs to be swallowed to catch the cat, I think I would leave the room.
Thanks for listening