Thinking Anglicans

Church Times on the embryology bill

Ed Beavan has this news report, Embryology vote leaves lobbyists out in the cold and there is a Leader, In the wake of the embryo debate, which has harsh words for some:

The second observation is that, in the main, the debate has been conducted at a disappointingly low level. It was only to be expected that the different lobby groups would simplify the issues in order to attract support; but the ludicrous invocation of Dr Frankenstein at every turn has degraded the arguments, not least those of some Christian lobbyists. The Church has been justifiably scornful of Richard Dawkins’s efforts to construct a case against religion. Religious commentators ought, at least, to ensure they have a secure grasp on the scientific constraints contained in the Bill before dismissing them in such a cavalier fashion.

This is not the first time for such criticism, remember this earlier leader, Church fails its Biology exam, from 28 March this year. It ended with:

Theologians have been rightly dismissive of the ignorant forays that scientists have made into theology. They must beware of giving scientists the opportunity to return the compliment.

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16 years ago

I agree with the inadequate levels of empirical comprehension, let alone the failures of much in the most vigorous conservative sides of the debate to take into account careful yet fine details of empirical method and biological technique. This mirrors, sadly, a widespread failure of many in ethics or theology or church life to bother at all carefully with the radical shifts that the human sciences have been experiencing, especially over the past twenty to fifty years of surprise after surprise in biological, psychological, and developmental research. (Most religious believers are still struggling and wrestling with the hot button shifts,… Read more »

Christopher Shell
Christopher Shell
16 years ago

I agree with the CT that specific knowledge of details is key to proper conduct of debate and voting. But in the case of various parts of this bill there would have been no discussion of secondary issues in the first place had there ever been the slightest discussion of the primary (and far more central) issues relating to the value of human life; centrality of fathers; etc..

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