Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Stem Cells and Religion

Opponents of stem cell research won't tell their real reason for opposing it: they believe God plants a soul in every fertilized ovum at the instant of fertilization.

Otherwise their opposition is nonsensical. But I don't know how they arrive at this believe. There isn't a single verse in the Bible that supports such an idea. No one in Biblical times thought any such thing.

No one thought it until some 19th century Pope interpreted the scientific findings of the time as meaning that God ensouls us at the moment of conception. Then the Catholics sold Protestant Fundamentalists on this novel idea. And now they all act as if Christ's mission on Earth was to stop abortion and stem cell research.

Doesn't anybody read the Bible any more?

Moreover, science has moved on quite a ways from what we knew in 1850. Turns out a fertilized ovum may or may not be a "potential human being." Innumerable fertilized ova and foetuses are spontaneously aborted because either they weren't viable--that is, they had no chance of becoming a human being--or because they were biochemically incompatible with the mother's uterine environment.

Others get born but still have no chance at living much past the point of birth. For example, anencephalic foetuses can be delivered but there's only fluid in their skulls. Again, no potential.

And then what about identical twins? They don't form at conception. Does each get half a soul then? Or what about chimeras, which coalesce out of two fertilized ova? They look perfectly normal but have the DNA and body parts of two different people within themselves. Do they have two souls?

Besides, the biggest source of dead fertilized ova is infertility clinics. When was the last time anti-abortion fanatics marched and prayed in front of such a clinic, or shot the doc who gave so many childless couples hope but "killed" thousands of fertilized ova in the process?

Anyone who thinks God puts souls in human eggs fertilized in a petri dish obviously thinks God is a robot who can't tell a petri dish from a uterus.

They don't give God much credit, do they?

Actually, the "God" they worship is their own warped ideas, which they're too busy listening to to notice the "still, small voice" telling them to do right by actual human beings--some of whom have terrible genetic diseases that stem cell research may one day cure. In which case these opponents of stem cell research are actually serving the Adversary. Ironic, huh?

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