Tag: scientist

Shiite law and stem cell advances in Iran

October 17, 2009 | By | 1 Reply More
Shiite law and stem cell advances in Iran

While many Americans continue to try to halt embryonic stem cell research, Iranian scientists are forging ahead with this cell research with the aim of curing people suffering from real life medical conditions, especially military veterans who have suffered disabling spinal cord injuries. That is the issue brought front and center by this episode of Frontline. In the Shiite view, the soul enters the embryo only once it is viable–only after viability is can the organism growing in utero be considered a “human being.”

In the U.S., many of us continue to treat stem cells as though they are harvested from organisms that are fully human, even though these embryos lack the biological equipment necessary for any semblance of sentience. As best I can understand the dispute, many of those in the U.S. who oppose embryonic stem cell research consider an embryo to be fully human even though it has merely the potential to someday become a thinking human being. They focus on the potential rather than sentience–on what will someday be rather than what is.

The Iranians, in focusing on viability, illustrate that two versions of religious practices (conservative Muslims and conservative Christians) that both believe in supernatural “souls” and are both conservative look at the exact same thing (embryos) and come to opposite conclusions.

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The correlation between religiosity and intelligence.

May 21, 2009 | By | 7 Replies More
The correlation between religiosity and intelligence.

Gad Saad of Psychology Today reports that really smart people tend to not be religous. I know that this topic is going to stir up a lot of emotion, but it is quite clear that our smartest scientists tend to not follow religions. Not that there aren’t lots of blisteringly smart believers out there, some of them first-rate scientists. The trend says that Nobel Prizes mostly go non-believers.

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White House muzzles yet another government scientist

October 26, 2007 | By | Reply More
White House muzzles yet another government scientist

The story was published by the Washington Post: Testimony that the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention planned to give yesterday to a Senate committee about the impact of climate change on health was significantly edited by the White House, according to two sources familiar with the documents. For commentary see this […]

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Humble scientists with a sense of wonder

July 2, 2007 | By | 3 Replies More
Humble scientists with a sense of wonder

I am tired of reading creationist accusations that scientists are robotic, dogmatic and unfeeling know-it-alls, unredeemable determinists incapable of having any sense of wonder regarding the world. This general accusation that scientists lack any sense of wonder is untrue based upon my own acquaintance with scientists who I know personally as well as those who […]

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