Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Let's talk about sex...!

Let’s talk about sex…

I’m just playing with you! I only said that to get your attention (we probably will talk about sex one of these days, just not today) because I really need your input on this. Seriously though, while we won’t be directly talking about sex today, in a roundabout sort of way we will be. You see I’m closely following a story about stem cell research, which obviously has to do with reproduction and so you can make the argument (quite a stretch I admit) that we are talking about sex. Here’s the headline on MSNBC.com from a couple of days ago: Obama to reverse Bush-era stem cell policy. As you well know if you haven’t lived under a rock the last eight years, stem cell research has been a hot-button issue primarily because Bush took a moral stand on the use of embryonic stem cells for research, claiming that it could lead to the harvesting of embryonic stem cells for research, or potentially lead to human cloning. In essence a modern day Jurassic Park with cloned humans instead of dinosaurs, just waiting to happen. In case you are truly in the dark about this, embryonic stem cells are master cells that can morph into any cell of the body. Knowing the depravity of humanity, his fears were not totally unjustified.

Obama has stated that he will reverse Bush’s policies limiting federally funded stem cell research, while adding a statement in his new policy, declaring that science – not political ideology – would guide his administration. Harold Varmus, a Nobel Prize- winning biologist who also serves as chairman of the White House’s Council of Advisers on Science and Technology said, “We view what happened with stem cell research in the last administration as one manifestation of failure to think carefully about how federal support of science and the use of scientific advice, occurs.” Dr. Curt Civin, founding director of the University of Maryland Center for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine was quoted as saying, “We’ve got eight years of science to make up for now that the silly restrictions are lifted.”

Melody Barnes, Obama’s domestic policy adviser, in an attempt to downplay the harsh divisions that exist between both sides of the debate, had this to say: “I think we all realize, and the president certainly understands, there are people of good faith on both sides of the issue, and we recognize there are a range of beliefs on this.” Hold the phone! Didn’t the President clearly state that his administration will be guided by science and not political ideology? Well, here’s the definition of science according to Webster’s unabridged dictionary: Systematic knowledge of the physical or material world gained through observation and experimentation; knowledge, as of facts and principles; knowledge gained by systematic study. How does Melody’s statement line up with these definitions, and why does the Obama adminstration even care that there are different beliefs on both sides of the issue since they are governing through science? If, as indeed is the premise of Christianity, God created mankind, then science is not competent to address the inner workings of God’s creation because science deals with the physical or material world and not the spiritual world. What are your thoughts about stem cell research? Can you help a brother out???

3 comments:

Ash said...

Well, as it happens, I am in a relationship w/ a scientist/ engineer who's sister is a professor of physics (her husband in chemistry) and father also an engineer, I have come to see the usefulness of God created science in the last few years. That's right, God created....understanding how God made the physical world to work is fascinating...through it's existence, the physical world around us gives Glory to it's creator.

One of the things Richie's sister and I mauled over w/ this was the actual science of the matter- that is stem cells. While ultimately there is the struggle of utilizing embryonic on a moral level, one question I keep wondering is-- could it be useful to take something BAD and use it for GOOD? If they are planning to discard the stem cells anyway, why not research a way to say...treat/cure Parkison's disease?? Again, I have to admit that I don't know enough to have a strong opinion. And by no means am I for abortion or cloning humanity for that matter.

On the other hand- I prefer an alternative. There are articles I've read where scientists are able to manipulate, skin cells, for example into stem cells...necessary for the research. Now that might be something. And I am definitely for finding ways to better treat, if not cure diseases.

Don't know if that is much. But maybe it's a start..

Joseph said...

Great start Ash, thanks for your honesty and willingness to leap into the 'unknown.' :)

Hope said...

I don't know enough to make an educated statement or opinion, but I do believe that creating life - any kind of life - should rest in God's hands. But to be honest - what would we say about invitro fertilization or fertility drugs - is that God's idea? On the flip side, what about harvesting organs from those who have just passed on to save lives? I'd hate to have to make a decision that would affect an entire nation. On a very personal note - I think we all have to make personal decisions lead by the Spirit and pray that we are doing the right thing.