Turning lead into gold

gold-bars

I started college as a philosophy major. While my friends were agonizing their way through calculus and organic chemistry, I was happily holed up in the library stacks with musty volumes by Nietzsche, Socrates, Pascal, Descartes, Leibniz, et. al., or in the Student Union having deep conversations ... Continue reading

Confessing our national guilt

aboriginal-children

May 26 is National Sorry Day in Australia, a national attempt to heal the wounds of the century-long practice of forcibly removing mixed-race children from their Aboriginal mothers. This government policy, which was carried out for about 100 years from 1860 to modern times, is known to have ... Continue reading

William Saletan on the stem cell debate

Slate Magazine's William Saletan made an apt and useful comparison between the debate about embryonic stem cell research and the use of water boarding in CIA interrogations: "On Monday, President Obama lifted the ban on federal funding of stem-cell research using destroyed human embryos. If you ... Continue reading

Fine young cannibals

Stem_cells_diagram

"Today, with the executive order I am about to sign, we will bring the change that so many scientists and researchers, doctors and innovators, patients and loved ones have hoped for, and fought for, these past eight years: we will lift the ban on federal funding for promising embryonic stem cell ... Continue reading

What are you worth?

baby-dollar

$7.22 million — that's the value of the average, generic American, according to the US Environmental Protection Agency. Not too shabby, I say, except that the agency has just cut its previous estimate, which used to be about $800,000 higher.Should I feel insulted?Maybe not. The EPA is ... Continue reading

Candidates speak out on waterboarding

Emily_Litella

As we approach the primaries, many voters are interested in the candidates' positions on the controversial subject of waterboarding. As a public service, I am providing the following quotations:Rudy Giuliani on waterboarding: I'm in the same position now that I was 12 years ago when I ran for ... Continue reading

The world has changed

The world has changed. It is the beginning of the end of the controversy that has surrounded this field. Over time, these [induced] cells will be used in more and more labs. And human embryo stem cell research will be abandoned by more and more labs. — James Thomson, University of Wisconsin ... Continue reading

IVF and the ethical dilemmas of infertility

3-day-old-embryos

Justin and Heidi Dierking started trying to have children within months after they were married in 2004. At 32, Heidi married late (typical of many modern women) and knew that her body was in the late stages of its reproductive capabilities.Still childless two years later, the Dierkings began ... Continue reading