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Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Sunspots 24

Things I have recently spotted that may be of interest to someone else:

Face transplants have been proposed. The ethics of such transplants are considered here and here.

Scientists in the UK will be allowed to experimentally produce early embryos with mitochondrial DNA (which is separate from that in the nucleus) from a third "parent."

Transcript of Sunday, September 25, "Meet the Press," on lots of issues. One quote:
Mr. Russert: Is there the political will for Democrats and Republicans to come together and try to wean ourselves off of foreign oil?
Mr. Friedman: Well, there should be. It's obviously the centerpiece of something that could solve many problems at once. It can deal with the climate change issue. It can deal with our status in the world. It can be an inspiration to get young people to go into math, science and engineering, which we're desperate to do. I'm not saying it's the cure-all of everything . . .

Ken, at Schenck Thoughts, has been evaluating different versions of the Bible. Here's his take on the ESV. Other posts, which you will see listed in the "previous posts" sidebar of his blog, deal with several other versions. (Ken is well qualified to do this, by the way.)

Google Earth has a free version. This is a program you install that lets you see the earth, using satellite photos. Takes a fast connection. Note that pictures are not the same resolution in all areas, so you may have to adjust the altitude to see much of anything. We could clearly see autos in some locations. Also, all photos weren't all taken at the same time, so your house may be too new to be shown. Some physical features (e. g., Hayes Bluff) are identified by name.

Duh . . . I just noticed that the Firefox browser has a little red icon in the upper right corner that indicates that critical updates are available.

Paul J. Cella, III, "Technology and the Spirit of Ownership," The New Atlantis, Summer 2005. Sample:
We are told that we must make our decisions on a question like cloning human embryos on the basis of “good science,” leaving “theological” objections to the side. In this context, a critic of Leon Kass once scoffed: “Is [he] really citing the God of the Patriarchs as a guide for contemporary medical regulation?” But it is very important to recognize that, whatever one thinks of the God of the Patriarchs, someone (though he may go unnamed) must be cited as a guide for contemporary medical regulation. Perhaps it will be Jeremy Bentham and utilitarianism; perhaps Rousseau and perfectability; perhaps it will simply be the “bioethics” industry and the amoral authority of the stock analyst. The point is that it will emphatically be someone. To follow the compass of “good science” alone usually means doing what is good for the scientists. But what is good for the scientists is not always good for everyone. And a nation that stands idly by as its moral imagination is silently ushered out of the room is an emasculated nation; it is the very opposite of a free people.

Apparently [part of] the leadership of the US House of Representatives continues to believe (or want to believe) that there is no such thing as global warming, and that, as long as they are in charge, there isn't going to be. (Note added 10/4/05 -- the previous link no longer works, and I can't find the article I referred to here, as the periodical has been updated. This link, about the same events, works as of 10/4/05. I added the two words in brackets at the beginning of this paragraph on the same date.)

Laura has posted a story about high school, which is meant to encourage us to encourage others.

For the first time, a giant squid has been photographed in its natural habitat. (The photo isn't that great, but the article is fascinating)

Hebrews 11:3, which, in English, seems to say that we understand by faith how the world came to be, may not exactly mean that. Whoops . . .
Thank you, Google Alerts! (You can sign up, and have Google e-mail you whenever it finds a search item.)

This week's Christian Carnival is here.

Image source (public domain)


Anonymous said...
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Bonnie said...

Some great stuff here, Martin. My kids will like the squid story :-)

A friend of mine who is an environmental scientist told me that determining the amount of global warming that is due to human factors is not easy. He didn't elaborate, though. I'm wondering whether, while it's clear that global warming is a fact, perhaps it's unclear as to what extent humans are contributing to it.