Monday, July 6, 2015

A radical orthodox perspective on the life sciences

There is a challenging essay.
Love Your Enemies: Life Sciences in the Ecclesial-Based University by M. Therese Lysaught
Here are few extracts.
Genetics [and] .... the life sciences, ... are embedded within a context of violence. Political and military metaphors shape contemporary discourse about biomedicine and biotechnology. For many, and certainly for the media, clinical medicine through the auspices of biotechnology is engaged in a war against disease, disability, suffering, and death? Drawing on the history of the field of genetics and the Human Genome Project, as well as on the rhetoric surrounding medicine and biotechnology more generally, I will first seek to show how the current practice of the life sciences cannot help but to entangle us with war and the violence of the liberal democratic state. 
Moreover, the violence allied with science signals its underlying cause: a religious commitment to science as salvific: For Christians and institutions who are committed to nonviolence as a central component of discipleship and who locate salvation not in the hands of the scientific community but in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, these twin facets of contemporary science cannot but give pause. How then do we situate the life sciences in the ecclesially based university such that the disciplining that is part of their practice is consistent with our call to witness the Good News through lives of peaceableness? The beginning of the answer to this question lies, I will argue, in Christian attitudes toward death,...
The cartoon above is discussed at the beginning of the article. It was from a news article in Nature in 1989, featuring James Watson, then director of the Human Genome Project, wrapping himself in the American flag [where the stripes are now genetic strips], in order to persuade the US government it was in their national interest to fund the project.

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