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Jews and Catholics on Stem Cells

The iconoclastic Will Saletan of the online journal Slate went to Rome for a bioethics conference at the Regina Apostolorum Pontifical Athenaeum run by the Legionaries of Christ. There were a number of Jewish scholars present dialoguing with Catholic scientists about the toughest and most-cutting edge issues in biology.

His account of the event is entertaining. But most interesting were his comments about the highly-learned priest-scientists he encountered. Of course he had to make a Galileo comment (but we will forgive him of his ignorance of both the Galileo saga and the Church's birthing of modern science in the medieval period), but he really hit home on the point that it was the Church that was the defender of the ability of reason and rational discourse to arrive at real ANSWERS about the toughest problems. Whereas the Jewish panelists raised multitudes of questions and provided few answers to the questions, the Catholics were confident in the tool of reason, even though, according to Saletan, they can be criticized for being faithful to reason and letting someone die even though they could be saved by embryonic research.

Hat tip: Open Book


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