Embryonic stem cells: what’s the big deal? So, what’s so special about embryonic stem cells? Here’s how President Obama described them in the speech we looked at in a previous post:
At this moment, the full promise of stem cell research remains unknown, and it should not be overstated. But scientists believe these tiny cells may have the potential to help us [...]Human embryonic stem cells: ’sound science’ and ‘moral values’ A few months ago, when President Obama lifted the ban on federal funding for research on human embryonic stem cells (HESCs), he seemed to portray his action as an affirmation of “sound science” as contrasted with “moral values” and “ideology.” From his speech that day:
In recent years, when it comes to stem cell research, rather [...]How to Be More Moral: Think Less, Go to Church More? I’ve been stewing on this column by David Brooks in the New York Times last month on the supposed irrelevance of moral reasoning in an age of neuroscience. Brooks quotes Michael Gazzaniga’s book Human:
”[I]t has been hard to find any correlation between moral reasoning and proactive moral behavior, such as helping other people. In fact, [...]Creavolution? Can God and evolution coexist? This debate that has been simmering for years, both publicly and privately, in religious and non-religious circles. Most media coverage would suggest that the answer is a vehement “NO” from both sides. Christians claim that evolution is impossible and that Genesis is a literal description of the beginning of the [...]Shades of Green There is a debate running through American Evangelicalism about the religious value of ecology. In short, should the church stick to proclaiming the core gospel, or do we have a responsibility to preach Green?
My first thought is that Christianity is a remarkably creation-affirming religion, so being Green does matter. The Gospel of the Christ starts [...]What if religion could be “biologized”? You’ve probably seen variants of this question in popular magazines and books over the years: is there a “God gene” that explains why human beings tend toward belief in the supernatural? Can the human impulse to search for the divine be traced to a specific, biological imperative?
Perhaps it’s slightly heavy reading for the day after [...]On the frontlines of the creation/evolution wars: one teacher’s story I’m not a schoolteacher, but I’ve always imagined that teaching high school biology must be a bit like walking through a minefield: say the wrong thing about evolution here and outraged parents mob you; say the wrong thing about creation there and… angry parents mob you. It’s probably not quite that dramatic in real life, [...]The rapture of the nerds It’s rare that I have a chance to expose my truly geeky interests here on TC, so when something semi-relevant crosses my RSS reader (like the old Klingon version of the Bible chestnut), you’ll have to forgive me for indulging. So file this under strange but interesting:
If you read a lot of science fiction, you [...]Wise as serpents, innocent as doves: are Christians “sneaking” their views into culture? In talking about the upcoming Ben Stein movie, John Derbyshire made a provocative comment yesterday about creationists, intelligent design, and the theory that intelligent design is a backhanded way of promoting creationism without playing the religion card:
[It’s something] I’ve said before here, and repeated as politely as I could in panel discussions with creationists: they’re [...]Taking a Pill to Stop Being a Pill
This entire article from Newsweek is well worth reading. It has me thinking quite hard about medication and our emotional states. Here are a few excerpts:
Students tell him [NYU professor, Jerome Wakefield] that their parents are pressuring them to seek counseling and other medical intervention—”some Zoloft, dear?”—for their sadness, and the kids want [...]