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A free floating commentary on culture, politics, economics, and religion based on a passionate commitment to the truth and a desire graciously to refute that which is contrary to it….
"He must hold firm to the sure word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to confute those who contradict it."
--Titus 1:9, Revised Standard Version
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Some Republican presidential candidates are breathing easier because of the news on stem-cell research, and some religious leaders are proclaiming a truce in their conflict with scientists. But I wouldn’t bet on any longterm peace, for a couple of reasons.
First, despite the breakthrough in producing stem cells without using embryos, researchers will continue working with embryos. Some still believe it’s the most promising approach for stem-cell therapy, as Nature reports. Shoukhrat Mitalipov, the scientist who reported the first creation of stem cells from cloned monkey embryos (the other big stem-cell news this month) says that the embryos is the only “perfect reprogramming machine” and is confident that this method of producing stem cells will be the first to show therapeutic value.
Second, no matter what happens with stem-cell research, there are lots more areas of conflicts between religion and biotechnology — and lots of religious leaders, politicians and bioethicists ready to fight. Leon Kass, the former chairman of the President’s Council on Bioethics, recently gave a lecture at the Manhattan Institute in which he listed some of the threats to our “human nature” coming from biotechnology: cloning, genetic engineering, organ swapping, mechanical spare parts, performance-enhancing drugs, computer implants into brains.
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