Naturalism and Religion Aren’t Friends (Part 2): Kill One to Fix Another

I want to mention this article that I alluded to yesterday “Science and Religion Aren’t Friends,”[1] better titled, “Naturalism and Religion Aren’t Friends.” What this author Jerry Coyne does is he equates naturalism with science, which is a huge faux pa. “Science and faith,” he says, “are fundamentally incompatible.” Why? Because “irrationality and rationality are incompatible,” and, therefore, you’ve got to get rid of all religion, in his view religion has nothing to add to science. Of course, that is one of the most absurd remarks imaginable. If there are no ethical boundaries that govern science, anything becomes permissible.

 

Coyne goes on to say, it is “faith’s certainty that it has a grasp on truth…that produces things such as…opposition to stem cell research and euthanasia…. How much clearer our spectacles would be without the fog of superstition!”[2] Well, it turns out that he has the superstition. He’s still embedded in nineteenth century superstition. In the nineteenth century, people thought that the universe was eternal, unlike Christians who knew that the universe came into existence in a moment of time.

 

Unlike Christians, he does not recognize that an embryo has full personhood from the moment of conception. That is plain old experimental evidence. So his science not governed by ethics and morals leads to the worst of all quagmires. In fact, it leads to exactly what is chronicled in the newspaper today. And I think people should be aware of this, otherwise we’re going to be like the Germans, who lived in their homes next to crematoriums, and did nothing as the smoke from the chimneys of the crematoriums wafted over their homes. They were blissfully ignorant or not willing to act. And I find Christianity often times in the same place, for convenience sake or non-rocka-boat-tus (Don’t want to rock the boat), we’re not going to say anything about destroying embryos. When you sit, however, as I did, a week and a half or so ago, with a little girl named Alysse, who was a frozen embryo, frozen over two years, thawed, implanted in the uterine wall of her precious mom, who has the same name as one of my daughters, Christina, and that embryo develops into a little girl that I read Bible stories to, you recognize that these issues are not merely abstract ivory tower issues. This is a life and death issue.

 

How many today have passed by or looked the other way when reading in the newspaper or seeing on television for the first time surgeons have injected a spinal cord injury patient with human embryonic stem cells in a federally approved experiment? Think back to the experiments on human beings in past days, in Stalin’s Russia, in Hitler’s Germany—all for the good of the powerful the weak are exploited. So you have research today using human embryonic stem cells and their taken by destroying five to six day old human embryos. These aren’t my words. This is in the newspaper. This is corroborated by evidence. This information comes out of the Shepherd’s Center. This is an Atlanta, Georgia hospital specializing in brain, spine and related ailments.

 

And you say, “Don’t you want to help someone that has a brain malady, a spine injury, or some other kind of an ailment?” Yes! But do I want to kill someone in the process? Look, I make this point emphatically, an embryo does not have a fully developed personality; it does have full personhood, from the moment of conception. You didn’t come from an adolescent, you once were an adolescent. You didn’t come from an embryo, you once were an embryo. All human beings are created in the image of God and endowed with the right to life.

 

It’s not just a Jerry Coyne because he happens to be strong. It’s not about survival of the fittest in the struggle for life. That’s a dogma that flies in the face of ethics and morality. To suppose that it is important that the unfit die as that the fittest survive because if the unfit survived indefinitely they would infect the fit with their less fit genes, is a horrifying notion. All human beings—Black, White, Asian, Latino—all human beings are created in the image of God and they’re endowed with the right to life. That is regardless of size! Whether you are little Alysse, an embryo, or you are Jerry Coyne writing an article for the Forum in USA Today. You are created in the image of God and endowed with the right to life. He thinks religion has nothing to add to science? It is not only absurd, but terrifying. Make no mistake, extracting stem cells from an embryo, kills an embryo. While we should sympathize with those who struggle with debilitating diseases and injuries, cures and therapies must be sought within appropriate moral boundaries. Killing human embryos in the search for cures is tantamount to subjecting one class of people to harmful experimentation for the sake of another class of people. To do that violates the biblical injunction against murdering human beings who are made in the image of God. Why do it?

 

Thank God that George Bush limited federal funding of research using human embryonic stem cells and it is tragic to know that has now been reversed by President Obama, which has led to the FDA approval of a clinical experiment that is killing human beings, in light of the promising results of adult stem cell research. State funding, federal funding or any kind of funding for the destruction of embryos is not only morally repugnant but it is fiscally irresponsible. Stem cells extracted from non-embryonic sources, like bone marrow, or blood, brain cells, or baby teeth are similar to embryonic stem cells in their ability to grow into all kinds of tissues. While embryonic stem cells used in research have demonstrated a tendency to grow into tumors, adult stem cells have already shown success in human trials for all kinds of maladies. Ideas have consequences, and the consequences of what we are reading by those that hate the notion of ethics and morals by an objective Lawgiver, have something to think about. 

 

 

 

 



1.        [1] Jerry Coyne, “Science and Religion Aren’t Friends,” USA Today, http://www.usatoday.com/news/opinion/forum/2010-10-11-column11_ST_N.htm

2.        [2] Ibid.

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