Strange Bedfellows: Science and Religion

By By Jeremy Manier '92

Hours before President George W. Bush spoke from his Texas ranch last August to explain the administration’s new policy on funding for embryonic stem cell research, his aides told reporters that the momentous decision was comparable to sending troops to war.

The metaphor rang true for a controversy that had bitterly alienated the scientific community from religious leaders. Many people of faith – especially Catholics – held that research which destroys human embryos is always unacceptable. Biologists, who claimed no lesser love for human life, stressed that stem cells from embryos could bring treatments for diseases ranging from diabetes to Parkinson’s. Almost nightly, the two camps hashed out their differences in the primal scream debate format of cable news shows.…

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