Archives For Science

Or, 50 Ways To Kill Your Baby – The Sequel. The following screenshot from this morning deserves a comment or two. It’s a very important issue.

Embryonic stem cell headlines

I decided to read a few of these links, and others, to see how this news was reported. My comments are in red.

From CNN – “The field of embryonic stem cell research has been highly controversial, because in most cases, the research process involves destroying the embryo, typically four or five days old, after removing stem cells. These cells are blank and can become any cell in the body. Because of the destruction of embryos, most opponents believe this is a moral issue. Supporters of the research point to the potential for saving lives.” [Seems reasonable. We can save lives and the destroyed embryos are only four or five days old. How can this be a moral issue? Just a microscopic mini-hunk of tissue at risk. Right? Maybe not.]

From NBC – “Embryonic stem cells have been the focus of fierce debate since the mid-1990s. Many scientists see them as a watershed in the treatment of serious ailments because they have the potential to grow into any of the body’s cell types, promising the eventual generation of replacement nerve lines and vital organs, including the brain and the heart.

“But anti-abortion activists vigorously oppose the research because the cells come from human embryos and days-old human fetuses, which they contend [my emphasis] are fully human. Many of them want to limit research to stem cells derived from adult tissue, which most researchers contend have less potential to transform into other types of cells.” [Contending that these cells are fully human is a bold statement from the anti-abortion activists. And contending that adult stem cells have less potential? I would have expected the reporter to dig into these two points a bit. If we get this wrong, aren’t we talking about the murder of humans?––not potential humans but humans with potential.]

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The last seven weeks represent the totality of my blogging life. Notwithstanding the work involved, I’ve loved every post. The feedback, as well, has been both gratifying and humbling. Why I didn’t start blogging sooner is beyond me. Maybe family lore is true.

I’ve heard tell that I was dropped on my head as a child during a quilting party. But then again, maybe Mom was just being a mom and kindly s’plaining away my limitations with her fantastical baby-drop story.

cosmic distance ladder

Bless my mother’s heart. I miss her terribly. She would have loved my stories on subjects so close to my heart. And to the extent that any of my posts have reflected my thoughts on faith, my intention from day one has been to accurately reflect Magisterial teaching. Therein the problem. I’m an educated man, wise to my unknowingness but have zero units toward a Master of Divinity. Consequently, I’ve been reluctant to do any heavy lifting in regards to Catholic dogma, doctrines or disciplines.

However, we all have a role to play in spreading the Good News. So I decided to go on a bike ride, burn some Corona calories and reason through this intimidation factor.

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Many years ago, Lisa Miller––Newsweek magazine’s religion editor––wrote an interesting piece titled Let’s Talk About God. A new book redefining the faith debate had inspired her article. Her introduction began as follows:

“The atheist writers Sam Harris, Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens have presented us with a choice: either you don’t believe in God or you’re a dope.” She went on to write: “Their brilliance, wit and (general) good humor have made the new generation of atheists celebrities among people who like to consider themselves smart. We enjoy their books and their telegenic bombast so much that we don’t mind their low opinion of us. Dopey or not, 90 percent of Americans continue to say they believe in God.”

Early Universe

She continued. “This iteration of the faith-versus-reason debate has gone on for years, with no real resolution. Yet despite the proliferation of viewpoints, I’m guessing few readers have ever closed one of these volumes and honestly declared themselves changed.”

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