The ability to both produce all cell types and to organize them into a coherent body plan is the defining feature of a human organism. All stem cells lack essential elements supplied by the egg cell and cannot develop into a fetus.
Biology continues to offer us new and exciting insights into the world. These insights need to be integrated into a philosophical perspective that is richer than the reductive materialism that is often linked with the empirical sciences. In this endeavor, biology needs the philosophy of nature.
A surprising new method for making stem cells offers scientists an easy alternative to destroying human embryos. But there is a disturbing possibility that the technique may create not stem cells but actual cloned embryos.
Men and women struggling with infertility know real heartache. However, as citizens of a country founded on the struggle for rights and freedom, Americans have a civic and moral duty to confront laws that marginalize the already marginalized and threaten to create a second-class citizenry.
If we believe that human beings should not be for sale and should not be trafficked or manufactured like products, and if we believe that women deserve better than to be treated as mere baby machines, then we must oppose third-party reproduction.
Hidden behind misleading terminology, the facts emerge: emergency contraceptives such as Ella and hormonal IUDs can and do cause abortions
New neurological research reveals that porn is as potently addictive as heroin or cocaine.
Adults are bending time and space to satisfy their desire for children by adopting long-frozen embryos.
Is it wrong to study the natural sciences using a metaphysical framework that sees unity in reality?
The layman’s understanding of the world can’t be considered mere guesswork—it’s the necessary starting point for understanding reality.
While evolutionary theory shows us that we can’t divide living things into stable, distinct species, this doesn’t mean that it imperils the foundations of knowledge.
Thinking presupposes a functioning brain, but it cannot be reduced to the brain.
Darwin rejected a theory of knowledge that best accords with the common experience of the expert and the layman: a process of induction or intuition whereby sense impressions become memories, and memories become experience.
The “eye test” is no more a problem for the evolutionary origin of species than it is for the atomic structure of matter or for the motion of the earth.
Darwin’s evolutionary theory doesn’t ask us to “overlook” how we usually “behold the face of nature,” but instead asks us to consider more carefully what we do see.
Darwin’s evolutionary theory rests on a problematic premise: Our senses don’t tell us the truth about nature.
It remains unclear whether sexual orientation is genetically determined. Even if it is, that doesn’t justify advocacy for same-sex marriage.
The invention of Rex, a bionic man with artificially created organs, helps us see why it is impossible for any machine to be a human being.
With money as the biggest incentive for sperm donation, donors are set up to be absent fathers. Politicians, charitable organizations, academics, and donors themselves should counter the ills of sperm donation through law, journalism, and funding for anti-sperm donation advocacy. The second of a two-part series.
Commercialized sperm “donation” degrades and objectifies men, promotes a culture of irresponsible parenting, and hurts children conceived through donation. The first of a two-part series.
Religion isn’t outdated simply because some people claim that we can only know what the natural sciences tell us. Philosophy and theology are the next steps in our search for truth about nature, human nature, and God.
Young adult men’s support for redefining marriage may not be entirely the product of ideals about expansive freedoms, rights, liberties, and fairness. It may be, in part, a byproduct of regular exposure to diverse and graphic sex acts.
Science can and should help determine sound public policy on matters that involve basic human rights.
A physician-philosopher argues that modern medicine is oriented toward the dead body because it is no longer informed by an ultimate purpose for human existence.
Mark Regnerus’s response to his critics shows more clearly that instability is characteristic of same-sex relationships and that stable same-sex parented households are virtually non-existent. Second of a two-part series.
Attacks on sociologist Mark Regnerus after he challenged the “no differences” thesis haven’t obscured the high quality of the New Family Structures Study or its troubling findings. The first of a two-part series.
Richard Mourdock’s comment didn’t imply that God wills rape; instead, it reminds us that God wills a great good in the coming-to-be of any human life, regardless of the evil circumstances surrounding its conception.
Distinguished philosopher Thomas Nagel rejects both evolutionary materialism and theism as adequate accounts of the origin and nature of human life, proposing instead a naturalistic “nonpurposive teleology.” But naturalistic teleology, just like existence itself, calls for a cause that transcends the created order.
A report from The Witherspoon Council, a newly-formed bioethics body, argues that even the noblest aspirations of the scientific enterprise must be guided by ethics and governed under political authority.
Two new peer-reviewed studies show that family structure matters and children do best when reared by their married biological mother and father.
Nature exhibits finality and purpose in its various activities, and chance is not, indeed cannot be, an explanation for this activity.
The fertility industry is booming because we desire genetic and memetic immortality—the preservation and reproduction of our bodies and ways of life.
Think overpopulation, poverty, climate change, and abortion can all be solved by more birth control? Think again.
Modern science does not require us to abandon notions of nature and human nature upon which so much of traditional ethics depends.
In a new bestseller, David Brooks contends that the “new sciences” point to the incredible reality and importance of old-fashioned things like education, character formation, and virtue.
Pure scientism is insufficient as a basis for criminal justice.
Judging from the media’s response to Rick Perry’s Galileo reference in the Reagan debate, our discourse is still governed by the modern view that science and religion can only clash.
The problem with reductionist accounts of life.
Women are hard-wired for relationships—and a woman’s relationship to her baby is one of the most powerful of all, whether she realizes it or not. The hard-wiring of the brain may explain many women’s disturbing post-abortion feelings.
Scientists have begun to doubt whether there was a “Big Bang.” But in claiming that this disproves the existence of a Creator, they confuse temporal beginnings with origins.
Biological reductionism doesn’t disprove the notion of free will.
Seeing that scientism is unsustainable, we must embrace a return to philosophy. The second article in a two-part series.
The problem with scientism is that it is either self-defeating or trivially true. F.A. Hayek helps us to see why. The first article in a two-part series.
As we celebrate the 200th anniversary of Charles Darwin’s birth and the 150th anniversary of the publication of On the Origin of the Species, it is time to realize that the best way to honor his legacy is to fight its over-extension and misapplication into the realm of politics. The second in a two-part series.
In the wake of the "Climate-gate" controversy, a scientist at Princeton University argues for a sensible view on climate change and CO2.