first_imgNature’s editorial on religion and ethics last month (see 12/09/2004 entry) motivated two medical professionals to write in and give the journal a piece of their mind.1  Apparently indignant over the editorial’s patronizing view of religion and its simplistic view of ethics, they made it clear that the scientific establishment is no judge of truth and righteousness.Ben MacArthur, a bone and joint researcher at University of Southampton, reminded Nature that science without dissent is in danger of dogmatism.  He said that science, which has become the “orthodox worldview of the industrialized world,” has become a court from which there is no appeal, and in so doing, has become the mirror image of medieval religious intolerance:As you note in your Editorial, “Where theology matters” (Nature 432, 657; 2004), this is perhaps most clearly seen in medical research.  It is often presented as being carried out purely to relieve pain and maximize personal autonomy.  Yet most religious traditions would disagree with these aims, suggesting that well-being additionally depends upon other, ‘spiritual’, factors such as expressions of love and fulfilment of purpose.    Critical dissent has played a central role in advancing scientific understanding, and the right to dissent should be held in high esteem by scientists.  In the past this dissent has primarily been by thinking scientists against the religious establishment.  It seems ironic that these roles have now been reversed, with much dissent coming from thinking religious communities against the scientific establishment.    Like it or not, such dissent should be accepted, perhaps even embraced, since it may provide a means to a more balanced view of the place of science in society.   (Emphasis added in all quotes.)Did he have in mind the intelligent design scientists and the creationists as the dissenters that should be embraced?  The context seems to demand it.Stephen McSorley of the University of Connecticut Health Center gave Nature some advice about claiming the moral high ground.  In a tone of righteous indignation, he writes that it’s not just theologians who are morally troubled: on the contrary, the shoe is on the other foot:Your Editorial “Where theology matters” (Nature 432, 657; 2004) fails to mention that it is scientists, not theologians, who are out of step with society.  The seemingly important ethical question, “Why [should society] be denied a medical advance just because some of its members find it morally troubling?”, is disingenuous.    I question the assumption that only a small minority are troubled by the ethics of medical research.  In the United States, scientists who believe that “all scientifically sound lines of research should be pursued simultaneously” are in the minority.  Although US polls reveal a large majority in support of stem-cell research for therapeutic purposes, they also indicate broad support for President Bush’s stance on federal funding restrictions.  Scientific progress within strict ethical limitations seems to be the majority opinion.    Thankfully, we live in a democracy where public policy is decided by elected representatives, not a scientific oligarchy.  A better question is why certain individuals should be allowed to pursue a line of research when most members of our society find it morally troubling. A third letter, by a Indian mathematician, tended to agree with Nature.  Rahul Siddharthan wrote that followers of Eastern religions (Buddhism, Hinduism and others) stress following one’s own path within certain basic ideas of ethics, rather than following the holy writ of ancient texts.  He seemed eager to distance himself from Nature’s characterization of the “‘religions of the book’ that originated in west Asia, and to Christianity in particular.”1Correspondence, Nature 433, 355 (27 January 2005); doi:10.1038/433355a, b, c.Medical professionals may be the awakening giant among allies in the revolution against Darwinism and the naturalistic, secularistic Big Science oligarchy.  Highly intelligent, well trained and compassionate, doctors have no use for a philosophy that glorifies selfishness and survival of the fittest, even though the Darwin Party tries to wiggle its way into the medical schools (see 06/25/2003 entry).  Medical doctors have devoted their lives to the unselfish care of the unfit: the weak, the sick, the poor and needy, unlike followers of eastern religions that have viewed the suffering as better off left alone to work out their karma.*  Western doctors understand morals, love and purpose.  If you are a medical professional, follow the lead of these two bold letter-writers, and voice your opinion.  All that is needed for out-of-touch, dogmatic, disingenuous scientific oligarchies to triumph is for good doctors to say nothing.(Visited 34 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img