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Praise the Lord and Pass the Stem Cells: The Balance Between Religion and Science

The entire purpose of bioethics is to apply morals and ethical standards to the increasing scope of biological sciences. To set limits on what should not be done, or allow the continued progress of science for the benefit of all humanity. The majority of the world derives its ethics from those dictated by religion, which places a great deal of religious influence in modern biology. Yet religion is in a slow decline around the world, particularly parts of Europe. With religion on the decline and science uncovering new mysteries daily, we find ourselves in a changing world with an outcome yet to be determined. Consider this quote:

“The history of Science is not a mere record of isolated discoveries; it is a narrative of the conflict of two contending powers, the expansive force of the human intellect on one side, and the compression arising from traditionary faith and human interests on the other.”
-John Draper, History of the Conflict between Religion and Science

Is there an integral, ever-present conflict between religion and science? Does the fact that religion relies on personal faith and revelation, while science depends on empirical, objective facts, demand that the two cannot be reconciled? Should they be? Explain! What is the relationship between religion and science? Does science need the presence of religion to serve humanity’s best interest, or does religion impede scientific development?

Consider traditional religious viewpoints on evolution, euthanasia, capital punishment and abortion, and compare them with your own. Consider the violence perpetuated by the Crusades, or the ignorance supported by the Catholic Church's silencing of Galileo's findings. What role, if any, should religion and religiously-derived ethics play in our current and future understanding of biology?

  • Apr 28 2011: I personally, think that there should not be limits to science. I hate seen animals dying just because we don’t know how to cure them. For me, letting a live go, just because its wrong to find a cure is anti-ethic.
    Let me be clear, if by messing with my dead body they save even ONE living creature, so be it!
    Religios people mess with science people because they don’t understand them or what they do (in most cases). Still they are separate thing that should never be compared.
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    Apr 27 2011: religion and ethics are not the same thing, so no i do not think relgion should play any part in it, but ethics should indeed. like that movie splice, no bueno.