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On Religion and Biotechnology


"I think modern science is a religion for many of its practitioners, by which I mean they have utter faith in the sufficiency of their concepts to give a full account of life. But science cannot be a source of wisdom. By design it is morally neutral and indifferent to the pursuit of wisdom about human life that was the goal of pre-modern thought. If modernity went wrong, it was in taking the partial truths of science to be the whole truth about the world." --Leon Kass, former Chairman of the President's Council of Bioethics 

"For the first time, I noticed that the story [of Adam and Eve] deals with two trees, not just one.  They eat the fruit of the first, but it is the second tree that matters, the tree of life.  This is what God sought to protect...setting the cherubim and a fiery turning sword at the gate to guard it from us, lest flawed human beings also eat of the second tree and live like God, forever.  At some point, the cherubim and the fiery turning sword must have left their posts because biologists are definitely swarming all over this tree of life.  They are grafting on new branches, meddling with the tree's molecules, stretching out their hands to eat and live forever.  How did this happen?  Where will it end?"  --Elaine Dewar, investigative reporter 

 "It's true that once we can clone a human, that's the first step towards eternal life.  If we can reach some kind of eternal life, then God disappears.  Too many people are trusting their belief in God, but we are going beyond that.  Science is our religion, and you can't stop science."  --Bridget Bosselier, Ph.D., Clonaid Scientific Director, cloning advocate

"The great challenge to mankind today is not only how to create but to know when to stop creating.  And, when we celebrate a Sabbath to remind ourselves that God initially created this world, we celebrate not his creation in the six days.  We celebrate that he knew when to stop."  --Lord Emmanuel Jacobovitz, former Chief Rabbi of Britian

"Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness.... It is part of our mandate as Christians to pursue such medical advances, attempting to emulate Christ in his healing role."  --Francis Collins, M.D., Ph.D., director of the National Center for Human Genome Research, NIH

"Every human being should have not only that right but the passionate duty to reach out with all his or her strength to help others, even if it involves such controversial technology as cloning.  If that means playing God, then it is playing God in a good way."  --Michael West, Ph.D., Advanced Cell Technologies; therapeutic cloning advocate