Thursday, July 9, 2009

Perfect Timing

A few hours after reading an article on the CNS News website reporting that GE will receive and use human embryonic stem cells to test new drugs in order to avoid testing on animals, I came to the end of Chapter two of Caritas in Veritate, struck by a devastating contrast. In the first we have scientists dishing out empty, over-used words as they maintain that "'they take very seriously the ethical and societal issues associated with research using stem cells derived from embryonic or fetal tissue." So seriously, in fact, that they manage to "'conduct [their] research in an ethically and scientifically responsible manner,'" a truly remarkable feat considering the research is in itself unethical. I wonder if GE means the same kind of responsible, loving, intelligent science to which Pope Benedict referred when he spoke of the Catholic social doctrine allowing "faith, theology, metaphysics and science to come together in a collaborative effort in the service of humanity." On the other hand, perhaps the GE scientists are proud to practice 'responsibly' that "excessive segmentation of knowledge, the rejection of metaphysics by the human sciences" so eloquently decried by the Bishop of Rome.

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