Christian Ethics in Embryotic Stem Cell Research


(Mason) #1

Hi, my name is Mason (despite my goofy username) and I’m a freshman in high school.

In my Biology class, we have a project where we have to make a five minute presentation on biotechnology. From the list of available topics, I chose Embryotic Stem Cells. I did this because I’ve heard atheist criticism regarding Christians and this topic and I wanted to find more.

Being in a Christian school, we have to include a Christian ethical perspective on the topic from someone deep in the faith like a theologian. Do any of you happen to have articles or posts of any theologians’ perspective?

Thank you!

(Mervin Bitikofer) #2

Hi, Mason, and welcome to the forum!

I’m a science teacher at a Christian School (math and physical sciences rather than life sciences, though), but I’m familiar with the landscape.

You can certainly search Biologos for articles on embryonic stem cells. Just click the resources button at the upper right of the main site (or use the link I just provided). And then you can type in search words (magnifying glass) or just peruse articles by topic. By typing in “Cell” as a search, I found this one that might cover some areas of interest for you. Being from 2013 it might be a bit dated given the pace of that field lately. But for high school level, I imagine you may be leaning more for overview than anything getting overly technical?

And there are many knowledgeable scientists (from the life sciences no less) who could answer questions as technically involved as you could want. And of course we are here to give support and encouragement generally where we can.

May you find your time here fruitful.

(Christy Hemphill) #3

There was just a monthly focus on bioethics, but I don’t know if it delved into embryonic stem cells. That is kind of a touchy issue for a lot of Christians. I know that Francis Collins, the Christian scientist who started BioLogos supports the use of stem cells for research, so you could try to look into that and see if you can find some articles where he talks about his Christian perspective on that.

Here is the recent position statement of the CDMA, a professional organization of Christian doctors. (Page 171 of the pdf has the part about stem cell research.)

You might also try contacting the Center for Bioethics and Human Dignity out of Trinity University. They might be able to point you toward good resources.

@Andy_Walsh Does the Emerging Scholars Network have any good articles on stem cell research?

(Christy Hemphill) #4

I found this from The Center for Theology and Natural Sciences:

Book Symposium: Sacred Cells? Why Christians Should Support Stem Cell Research A Response to Sacred Cells? , by Robert Roger Lebel
A Response to Sacred Cells? , by Richard M. Gula, S.S.
A Response to Sacred Cells? , by Ronald Cole-Turner
A Response to Sacred Cells? , by Lisa Fullam
Sacred Cells? Response to the Respondents, by Gaymon Bennett, Karen Lebacqz, and Ted Peters

Faraday Institute is a Christian organization that promotes science in the UK and they have several lectures on stem cells available here:

(Andy Walsh) #5

Thanks for asking. Unfortunately, while the topic has come up several times in passing, it appears we do not have a solid treatment stem cells specifically.

@CrossCarl - I did find this resource written by a Catholic priest who specializes in bioethics. Perhaps it might be of value to you.

(system) closed #6

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