Windows of the Soul

The sight of a human face has a personal impact that hardly anything else can match. There’s power in a human face that shows what numbers and data can’t show. But believe it or not there are scientists today who think they've gotten to the point where they can even capture a human face in a test tube through digitally reconstructing a human face through DNA testing. Every human cell we leave behind on doorknobs, car handles, anything we touch has genetic code inside that a scientist can tease apart under a microscope and analyze. In forensics, this is a common practice today, where we can figure out whodunit by matching genetic codes that have been tested. But imagine what it would be like for the police to submit a DNA sample and then get a mugshot of the criminal a few days later? This could change the investigation completely. But many have concerns about this new ability too. What if a little anomaly in the genetic code ends up giving us a faulty picture that sends an innocent person to prison? Or what if this new DNA research is combined with digital facial recognition and wipes away any privacy we might otherwise have in our society? There are plenty of questions and misgivings and possibilities (Curtis and Hereward). But this new research opens up a fascinating question. What is the difference between mapping out the manifestations of a person’s genetic code and actually recognizing, deep down, a familiar face? To put it another way, what is the difference between just objectively studying and personally knowing? Jeremiah tackles this question when he says, “Thus says the Lord: ‘Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, let not the mighty man glory in his might, nor let the rich man glory in his riches; but let him who glories glory in this, that he understands and knows Me, that I am the Lord, exercising lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness in the earth.
For in these I delight,’ says the Lord.”

Curtis, Caitlin and James Hereward. “How Accurately Can Scientists Reconstruct A Person’s Face from DNA?” The Conversation: Smithsonian Magazine Online. 4 May 2018. Accessed December 13, 2019. Online.