Comments: more on the embryology bill

Christian Concern for our Nation has a very clear outline of the legal issues involved via

Posted by Stephen H Smith at Friday, 28 March 2008 at 4:09pm GMT

rowan williams:

scientists don't understand morality
an embryo is a person
evolution has limitations
darwinism is flawed

some of these ideas have some very limited truth, but the overall effect of saying these sorts of things is a disaster. this clown is an embarrassment to us. can't anyone get rid of him?

Posted by poppy tupper at Friday, 28 March 2008 at 5:15pm GMT

Right on Poppy.

It was the secular rather than the priests who responded to John the Baptist. Similarly in this generation, the secular and scientists have been faster and more credible to recognise divine inspiration than the priests.

Oh, and morality is a non-biblical word (doesn't exist in it).

Yes, an embryo is a person. Just as a GLBT, woman, non-Christian or sentient entity (even if metaphysical) is a person. God is in charge of and loves ALL creation.

Evolution has limitations. So do priests and theology. That's why God sends prophets.

Darwinism is flawed. So is fundamentalist biblical theology that denies or distorts reality to justify elitist castes' rewards and privileges at the expense of "the others".

That said, I don't agree with using embryos for research. Stem cells can be created from adult cells or umbilical/placental blood taken just after a baby is born. We don't need to murder souls, however immature they might be. It's rather like eating all the seed and then complaining there's no crop. Go and plant the seed and then eat the fruits from a mature plant.

Posted by Cheryl Va. at Friday, 28 March 2008 at 6:42pm GMT

"Yes, an embryo is a person . . . We don't need to murder souls, however immature they might be."

Cheryl Va,

I really have NO idea of what you mean by "person" or "souls" in this context. Is any organic mass w/ Homo sapiens DNA a "person" (w/ a "soul")?

I have almost become inured to Rowan Cantuar *embarrassing* me. Almost. >:-/

Posted by JCF at Saturday, 29 March 2008 at 4:04am GMT

"Is any organic mass w/ Homo sapiens DNA a "person" (w/ a "soul")?"

An embryo isn't merely an "organic mass with Homosapiens DNA". My appendix is an organic mass with homo sapiens DNA, yet it can never, not even with stimulation, develop into an entire person. An embryo can, and all it needs is the right place to reside for 9 months. I think there are probably two logical starting points for life: conception or birth. I lean towards the former, since, at fertilization, something happens that is akin to a switch being activated. But then, I also have a sneaking suspicion that, like the consecration of the Eucharistic elements, there might not actually BE a point at which it happens, but there might well be a point by which it can be said to have happened. Ps 139 speaks of God numbering all our bones when as yet there is none of them. Whatever the resolution of this issue, it is pretty clear that a fertilized ovum is not merely a group of ordinary cells.

Posted by Ford Elms at Wednesday, 2 April 2008 at 7:50pm BST
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