Bridging Solutions to the Religion and Science Conflict over Human Embryonic Stem Cell Research




Ericson, Robin

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The religion and science conflict over human embryonic stem cell (hESC) research carries high stakes; should embryos be protected as potential human life or should they be studied as possible cures for debilitating diseases? With the current technology, we cannot simultaneously satisfy both of these objectives—it is necessary to destroy embryos to create totipotent stem cells. Both religion and science provide significant inputs to the bioethical aspects of hESC research methods and practices. The data includes structured interviews with clergy, educators, lobbyists, and scientists. To objectively analyze and organize the data, the author developed pre-positioned assessment criteria and the Shared Vision Model. The results include recommendations for fully integrated solutions. As participants recognize their shared visions, problem solving sessions in academic and religious settings could produce widely-accepted solutions, leading to greater respect for both emerging and aging human life.



Stem cells, Science, Religion, Bioethics, Conflict, Habermas