Thursday, June 28, 2007

In a recent UK poll, 4000 people were asked about global warming and a surprising 71% of them feel that global warming is a natural, not a man-made, phenomenon. And this was in the UK, not in the US Midwest. So what gives? I thought the book was closed on this. I thought human-induced climate change was so generally accepted worldwide that anyone who didn’t believe it was naïve and irresponsible.

This supports my previous suspicion that so much of global warming is media-driven hysteria generated from an anti-West, and specifically an anti-American, mentality. In other words, it’s politics as usual. And when politics is in full bloom, I generally find that the people are able to see past it and have a better, more reasonable grasp on the issue. Such is the case here. These people just haven’t seen enough evidence to convince them that we are killing the planet, and that’s because there is way too much conflicting evidence out there. You wouldn’t know this from the news, of course.

The ultra-Left will sneer. They’ll consider it from their elitist, enlightened point of view and see people like me as ill-informed, ignorant and naïve. Of course, these are the same people who can’t tell me when human life begins, but let’s not split hairs. They have the answers. They have the knowledge, and everyone else just needs to be educated. Thank you Al Gore.

I predict impending doom for the theory of human-induced climate change. As we learn more about the subject, we’re discovering more sound explanations for the subtle changes in earth’s climate, and none of them involve carbon footprints. I predict the elite Left will continue to sneer and look down on the unenlightened, until the evidence overwhelms them and they have to find a new reason to hate America, not that this will be difficult. After all, in America people get rich and most of them do it without the aid of the government, and that’s reason enough for these people to hate us.


Anonymous said...

Elitist is the right word for them. I hate arguing global warming with them, because they think they have all the answers, and no one does yet. Those are the facts.

Anonymous said...

Hello again. As for Global Warming: Since no one has all the facts yet, why not err on the side of caution? What's at stake will be the problem of future generations. Besides, using sources of home made energy means less money in the pockets of Saudi's and "evil doers".

But I am here to speak of some earlier posts. I thought it best to bring them up on the top post for today since this is the post that will most assuredly be seen by the blog author. Anyhow, I'm the same anonymous, not on Blogger commenter who left a comment on an earlier post where this blog author blamed the Roe v. Wade decision for problems that are occuring in present day society.

Being a scientist and a Christian myself, and having read your point of view as to how there is some difference between a chicken egg and a human embryo. I was just wondering what you thought of the stance that some religious leaders in this country took on chimeras. There's a link I hope works on the last sentence where the word "chimeras" appears. A chimera is a fetus that already exists and is a product of experimentation by some scientists, me not being one of them. Some religious leaders believe that these chimera should be brought to life.

Remember, they are half human and have all been informally conceived. I am not comparing Him to an animal, just His immaculate conception to another form of conception. The question again is: Do you believe that a half human/half animal - insect -vegetable and/or mineral embryo should be carried to full term? I don't. In my eyes it is not human at all.

I'm not being a smart aleck or liberal nut. I would just like your opinion.

Anonymous said...

I don't think alarmism is erring on the side of caution. And I don't think regulating anything is either.

John Washburn said...

Welcome back!

In regards to global warming, I have no problems with taking steps to help us become energy independent and burn cleaner, renewable sources. But, I'm sure we can do that without drastic changes (like Kyoto) that could be disastrous to our economy all for the sake of a scientific theory that is not playing out. That would be irresponsible.

As for chimeras, I certainly don't pretend to have the answers to all of these ethical dilemmas, but I think if we simplify the problem we can come to a simple answer. Chimeras are basically a hybrid of two different species. The concept has been applied advantageously in agriculture, and has benefited us a great deal. But when it comes to human chimeras, I think we flirt with disaster.

Basically, I believe human life begins at conception. If a chimera is created with a human embryo, then that constitutes scientific experimentation on human life and is unethical, and should be illegal. We should never, under any circumstance, allow for scientific experimentation on human life. The end does not justify the means. Experimenting on human embryos to find a cure for Alzheimer's is no more right than experimenting on the Tuskegee men to find a cure for syphilis. Human experimentation is wrong, and anyone guilty of this should be punished harshly.

So to answer your question, if a chimera is created from a human embryo, then I believe it to be human and accorded the rights of a human. But I have no idea what these people mean when they say "brought to life". That would require implantation into a uterus, most likely a human uterus (we have not yet been able to a human without a uterus) and that would constitute human experimentation, which I am opposed to. So the simple answer is, don't create these things to begin with (Michael Crichton's latest novel addresses a lot of these issues, and raises some interesting ethical questions).

Which brings us to in-vitro fertilization, and the resulting embryos. I see these embryos as human life. Unfortunately, not all of them can live. It is a very difficult situation with no easy answers. These embryos are created through the miracles of science, but it is simply not practical or realistic to implant and attempt to "grow" every one of them to maturity. So, we do the only thing we can do while staying within the parameters of humanity, and that is allow nature to take it's course. These embryos will not survive without intervention, and we can't implant them all, so we allow them to humanely pass away. What we don't do is perform a scientific experiment on them with the rationalization that "they're going to die anyway". How insane is that?

A metaphor would be malaria. Lots of people contract this disease. It can be cured, and lives can be saved. But, unfortunately, it is not practical nor realistic to save everyone who gets malaria, so many of them die. Are we justified, because of their impending fate, to perform scientific experiments on them?

Hopefully, this answered your question. Now, I think it's fair that you answer mine. When does human life begin? And I would like you to back up your answer.

anonymous - rudy said...

Thank you for welcoming a difference of opinion John, BTW, my name is Rudy,

Common sense, law, medicine, and philosophy have long considered consciousness a central aspect of our moral existence as human beings. Pain is not felt in a body, cell, or fetus that is not conscious even when nerve cells exist in that body. In the minds of most scientists life begins when a body is conscious and can feel touch and pain.

There is no scientific evidence proving when life begins. There is no scientific evidence that life continues after death, but we bury those who are unconscious and cannot BREATHE. Consciousness and breath are the issues to consider. At least to the scientific minded.

For Biblical minded on who is to say what is right and who is wrong, I can offer this:

Ephesians 1:7 - In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God's grace

Isaiah 43:25 - "I, even I, am he who blots out your transgressions, for my own sake, and remembers your sins no more.

And as for the Bible and the beginning of life there is this:

Genesis 2:7 - the LORD God formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.

By God's own desire and design human beings born today don't
breathe the breath of life through their nostrils until they're born.

According to science life begins with breath, feeling, and consciousness. According to the Bible life begins with breath. I don't need to remind you of the rump pat that a doctor gives to a newborn to bring that breath of life into him/her.

And I agree that a half human half animal, vegetable, or mineral is wrong to bring to life, even though science will soon allow a half human fetus to be carried to full term in the uterus of another mammal. I have heard that the Japanese are working with the uterus of whales.

Midwest Mommy said...

I am the mother of 2 young children (2 completely all-human children I might add, which I believe is as our Creator and Nature intended) and I agree with Rudy's point completely that the point at which pain is felt is key to when we should allow abortions to take place. Most experts agree that a baby's brain is not capable of feeling any sensation of pain until about 20 weeks gestation at the earliest, at which point the pain receptors begin to connect to the cortex, so the cut-off dates of most every state of allowing abortions to occur at 15 to 18 weeks is well before that 20 weeks "pain can possibly be felt" date.
Plus, Rudy's point of breathing is also very important. According to Jewish law, human life begins when one's soul is "given" to a person upon taking their first breathe during birth.
"God formed man out of dust of the earth, and blew into his nostrils a soul of life, and man (thus) became a living creature."
"For you are dust and to dust you shall return."
So, what is the meaning of God’s breath? God’s breath symbolizes the Almighty’s “essence”, as it were His “vitality”. Breath is human life. Time of death is determined in Jewish law as the point when respiration ceases, and the Hebrew word for soul, neshama, shares a root with the word for breath, neshima. Simply put, if ya ain't breathing, you ain't alive. Therefore, most Jews have very little issue with abortion and/or keeping folks on life support.

John Washburn said...

First, in regards to law and medicine you are way off. Life is defined as the presence of brain wave activity (except in a fetus, of course). Consciousness has nothing to do with it. A physician can't legally terminate life support measures (unless pre-directed by the patient) if brainwave activity exists...hence the term "brain dead". Brain wave activity, along with heart rate and blood pressure, is present in the human fetus by six weeks.

And if you consider that life does not exist without breath, then you've eliminated a lot of people currently on ventilators. Plus, you've eliminated the need for emergency C-sections (again, why implement life-saving measures for something that's not alive?). And I'm sure you'd support ending government-funded prenatal care as well, right?

Also, you're dead wrong about the fetus unable to feel. Look up the word "meconium". This is what occurs when a fetus is stressed. When things start going bad, like with preterm labor, difficult contractions or decrease in oxygen to the baby, the baby literally evacuates his or her colon. We in the medical field actually refer to this as a "stressed baby". The stool is highly toxic and can present a dangerous situation. Now, I ask, if a fetus can feel stress and react to it, how can it not feel other things?

In fact, there is limited evidence that a fetus is capable of feeling pain as early as nine weeks gestation and by the second trimester begins rhythmic breathing motions, simulating the action of breathing.

Now, as far as the Bible is concerned, I'm familiar with Genesis 2:7, but I don't know how someone could possibly get that life begins at breath from that verse. Unless I'm mistaken, this verse describes the creation of Adam, from dust. We don't make babies from dust. At that moment, Eve wasn't even around, so how does this verse apply?

But here are some that do apply: In Exodus 21:22 God gives a specific law regarding social order for the Israelites. He stated that if two men were fighting and hit a pregnant woman, thus causing her to give birth prematurely, they must be fined according to any damage done to the baby. The fine must be paid in relation to the amount of damage inflicted upon the child.

"Before I formed you in the womb I knew you. Before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations." Jeremiah 1:5

"The Lord hath called me from the womb: from the bowels of my mother hath he made mention of my name." Isaiah 49:1

I'm okay with you arguing your point, but to use a Bible verse to justify abortion is more than a stretch. You're barking up the wrong tree there. But, trust me, you're not the first to use the Bible to rationalize irresponsible and harmful behavior. And, you being a Christian, are you honestly prepared to state that God does not value the fetus just as much as the child, or the mother? Are you prepared to say that the fetus is a meaningless lump of tissue in God's eyes? If so, I'd love to see the verse you use to back that one up.

So, when it comes to your definition of life, you missed the mark. Science is against you, the law is against you, and the Bible is against you. But I'm sure you will continue to believe what you believe. Good luck with that.

John Washburn said...

Actually, 20 weeks is an overestimate for pain sensation as there is evidence that this occurs much sooner, and certainly varies from one fetus to another. So how do we establish a deadline for when it's OK to kill a baby? And just how does your theory about breath and pain mix? Seems like they are two very different moments in development. Which do you go with?

You guys end up talking in circles, and again it all seems to be in an attempt to justify abortion.

Midwest Mommy said...

Even the Republicans in the House of Reps in 2005 conceded that 20 weeks is THE point at which experts agree fetal pain can be felt.

As for the Jewish stance on when life begins and breath are you suggesting that it is incorrect? Firstly, how intolerant of you. Secondly, that would mean that the Christian basis for using the Old Testament to uphold beliefs about issues like homosexuality have to tossed aside too, huh?

Getting back to Old Testament law, according to Exodus 21:22 it is written: "If men strive and hurt a woman with child so that her fruit depart from her, but no other mischief follow: he shall surely be punished according as the husband shall lay upon him, and he shall pay as the judge shall determine."
It does not state that the person who caused the fetus to be removed from the mother must pay with their life, which is what is called for again and again in cases of murder and manslaughter in the OT (and as would be the case if the men were to cause the death of the mother of the child) but rather, payment is what is required. Why would that be? Because the unborn child is not considered a full living person, but the mother is. If one does not have to suffer the punishment of a life for a life when a miscarriage is caused, then Jewish belief that "real actual" life begins when one's soul is given to them upon breathing at birth is upheld.
Most folks believe that life begins at birth. If not, why does a newborn's age begin at the time of birth and not at conception? I guess my son, who was just born in late March of 2007, is actually almost a yr old already since I conceived him late in July of 2006, huh? What's next? Are you going to say that our decision to circumcise our son was wrong, too?

John Washburn said...

It's always interesting whenever a liberal considers my difference in opinion "intolerant". Disagreement is no longer acceptable for you people, and anyone who does is a racist, or a bigot, or a homophobe, or an anti-semite. Yet, you can slander my faith and beliefs without any problems. Isn't that bigotry? Or is anti-Christianity acceptable in your mind?

And am I not allowed to disagree with Jewish law? How theo-fascist of you.

Where do I begin? First, the homosexual issue is not just an Old Testament thing. There are plenty of New Testament scriptures condemning this.

I personally don't give a damn what the Republicans think about when life begins. They're a party of cowards and will cave to the Left at any opportunity. Not only that, but their POLITICIANS and are hardly qualified to make such a judgment. Funny how you just completely ignored what the experts thought about this. You also dodged the breath vs pain question. Which takes precedence? And DOES God value the fetus? No answers for this.

How about asking a few doctors their thoughts on the issue? Ever notice how few physicians are willing to perform abortions? In regards to age, we do correct for preterm births, modifying the age based on gestation. Speaking of this, are you ready to stop government funded prenatal care until 20 weeks? And what if Congress changes its mind next year and announces that pain can be felt at 15 weeks? Are we going to change the definition of life at that time? What about if they decide that life doesn't actually begin until someone is of voting age? Will you go along with that one? And if the Jews are so OK with abortion, then why isn't it mentioned in the Old Testament?

And if someone deliberately hit you in the belly and caused a miscarriage, would you be okay with just financial compensation? Do you really believe that God did not care for your child until the first breath was taken? Come on.

Why can't people simply admit that this is rationalization? Abortion is about our right to engage in inconsequential, irresponsible sex, and now it's gotten to the point where we're using the Bible to rationalize this practice.