Friday, August 29, 2008

I wanted you to see this

I am convinced that God wanted us to see the world we live in.

That's why He designed our eyes the way he did, giving us a slice of the electromagnetic spectrum to explore to our heart's content.

Medically and forensically, He gave us a "leg up."  Can you imagine if blood wasn't red, if myeloperoxidase didn't produce a green color in pus, if bilirubin (and thus a bruise, a jaundiced baby, or a hepatitis patient) was colorless?

And then, for those regions of the spectrum that we couldn't sense directly, He gave us the curiosity and ingenuity to probe them with instruments and careful analysis.

What an incredible God!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Organ Transplantation Stops... A Beating Heart?

A friend just sent this article to me:
Here's my thoughts:

This is logical.
Man is an animal. Each man defines his own reality: there is no God to answer to. The strong prey upon the weak. Only the strongest survive.

As secular humanists and Marxist-Leninsts begin to shed their inconsistent shreds of morality, we're going to see a lot more of this.

This isn't the first case. At least these children were born, at least someone saw them, and at least only their hearts were taken -- but not sold! The children who are the victims of abortion or embryonic stem cell research don't have the chance to be born, their families never see them, and their bodies are either discarded like trash, or sold for profit.

"Because the procedures reopened so many contentious fault lines, two other ethicists proposed scrapping the fundamental ethical tenet that has guided organ transplantation for decades: the 'dead donor rule,' which states that organs should never be removed from a patient who is not dead." (stance of Robert D. Truog of Harvard Medical School and Franklin G. Miller of the National Institutes of Health)


"You shall not murder." -- God, 6th Commandment
"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." -- Declaration of Independence
"Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter.
" -- Isaiah 5:20

The article doesn't even address the reason why, to this point, a person had to be dead before their organs could be removed. This was logical to a society that acknowledged the existence and authority of the God of the Bible, and the special role of man, who was made in God's image.

To a society that has rejected God's revealed truth, it is illogical to protect vulnerable lives. You'll notice the prestigious groups that Truog and Miller represent. These are not people on the fringe: these are successful, influential men consistently living out their worldviews.

God deal with our society before it becomes entirely consistent with the lies it has accepted.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

What do you say?

Strawmen are easy to beat up.  Problem is, a blackbelt in strawman fighting don't mean beans on the street.

Realizing this, I decided to see what some real arguments for abortion are, and if I could make heads or tails of them.  I did a search of Facebook groups for abortion.

One group had the following posted as their group description:

Pro: Being for; approving something.
Choice: The power, right, or liberty to choose; option.
Pro Choice: The right for all women to decide for themselves. The choice to parent, to give up for adoption, or to terminate. The power for a woman to decide what to do within her own body.

The 12-week fetus experiences pain.
At this stage of the pregnancy, the brain and nervous system are still in a very early stage of development. The beginnings of the brain stem, which includes a rudimentary thalamus and spinal cord, is being formed. Most brain cells are not developed. Without a cerebral cortex (gray matter covering the brain), pain impulses cannot be received or perceived.

A fetus is indistinguishable from any of the rest of us.
A fetus of 12 weeks cannot in any way be compared to a fully formed functioning person. At this stage only rudiments of the organ systems are present. The fetus is unable to sustain life outside the woman's womb; it is incapable of conscious thought; it is incapable of essential breathing. It is instead an in utero fetus with the potential of becoming a child.
Is it appropriate to refer to a fetus as unborn child, with the same right as other human beings?
No. Constitutionally, a fetus has no rights of personhood. Most legal precedent in English law attributes personhood to the live born.

A fetus has brain activity at 40 days/6 weeks.
The absolute earliest brain activity has ever been recorded is at three months; this was evidenced in an experiment conducted by Okamoto and Kirikae, in which very basic brainstem activity was recorded. Axons, dendrites, and synapses, all of which are necessary for higher brain function, are not present until approximately the 24th week. The factoid of brain activity at 40 days comes from a misquotation by Dr. Hamlin in one of his lectures, in which he references the Okamoto and Kirikae experiment and describes the fetuses as being at "some 40 days" of development. This statement is false, as the fetuses were over 90 days old.

I emailed one of the group administrators the following...

Hi, ________!
I was browsing some Facebook groups today and saw this one.  As I read through your group's description, and I had a couple of thoughts.  Please let me know what you think!

You write about a 12-week fetus and whether s/he feels pain.  Is there a reason why you talk about the fetus only at this age?   I think we can both agree that a fetus develops the ability to sense pain at some point in their development, and that abortions are not only carried out on 12-week old fetuses.  Do you think that an abortion should be carried out on a fetus who is able to feel pain?

Also, on the point about a fetus and whether they can be distinguished from their mother, this is what I wondered:

1) In answering this question, you have ignored the fact that every child is genetically distinct from either of the parents, since half of his/her DNA comes from each parent.  Once the nuclei of the sperm and egg have fused (the process called "conception," a genetically distinct cell is formed.  This cell is a unique person.  Based on DNA alone, yes, a fetus is distinguishable from his/her mother.

2) You mention that "The fetus is unable to sustain life outside the woman's womb... it  is incapable of essential breathing."  By this reasoning, an organism cannot be considered to be a real person unless they are functioning autonomously.  Thus, any person who is currently breathing through a respirator is not a person.  And anyone who suffers from severe asthma has episodes where their essential breathing is impaired.  During those episodes, do they somehow become less than a person?

3) To make the claim that a fetus "is incapable of conscious thought," you must show evidence.  Are you arguing that their brain is not developed enough?  How developed does a person's brain have to be before they can think?  Do you have any evidence to back up this claim?

4) Your description states, "It is instead an in utero fetus with the potential of becoming a child."  That's great that you used some medical terms in this sentence, but "fetus" is simply Latin for "offspring."  "Fetus" and "child" are not mutually exclusive, any more than "toddler" and "child" are mutually exclusive.  The term "toddler" simply provides more information on the age of the child.  The same is true for the term fetus.  A fetus does not at some magical point become a child; a fetus is already a child.

After examining the description for your group, I think that you have missed an important question.

Have you ever asked yourself, "What makes a person a person?"

Does it really have anything to do with their ability to breathe with/without assistance?  Does it really have anything to do with their age, or their physical position (in or ex utero?)? 

What makes a person a person?

I'd be interested in hearing your thoughts on this.
Thanks, and have a great weekend,

Monday, August 04, 2008

Power, yes. But clean power?

I know of a power source that does not increase carbon dioxide atmospheric concentrations.  And, unlike "wind power," switching to this source is actually feasible.  It's called (you ready for this?) nuclear power.

No wonder environmentalists don't like this idea.  It actually works.

Hmm.... maybe we should get a clue.  Environmentalists say they're looking for a clean power source.  Then, when you show 'em a clean power source, they bitterly reject it, and begin lobbying against it.

Makes you think that maybe, just maybe, they're not actually looking for a clean power source.  Maybe they're just looking for power: political power in the form of increased central government, with the reins in their hands.

Friday, August 01, 2008

Meet My Friend, Amber Guity

Have you ever used an ambiguous word?  Yeah?  So have I. 
Why'd you use it?

Usually when I resort to ambiguous words, I don't know what I mean, but I'm hoping that you do.  It's a verbal "Make Your Own Adventure."

And sometimes it works!  The person I'm talking to adds meaning to my non-meaning, and if all goes well, they like the meaning they've constructed.  If I'm talking to a group of people, there's the chance that most everyone will construct a meaning that they like, and run with it.  It spares me the trouble of figuring out what would best suit them, and it allows everyone to tailor their own version of meaning.  It's called "Happiness on the cheap."

It's those off-times that burn, though.  When the person either doesn't like the meaning they've construct from the too-little information I provided, or they ask the cards-on-the-table question, "What do ya mean?" the game's up.

As comfortable as I have sometimes been in my haze of ambiguity, I really think it's better when someone forces me to be forthright.  If I actually know what I mean, but I chose poor words, I get a second chance to explain.  If my head really was stuffed with giant white cotton balls like it sounded, at least the truth's out.

So from one convalescent to another, I think somebody needs to ask Obama "What do ya mean by 'Change'?"