Friday, May 4, 2007
Last month's 5-4 decision upholding a ban on partial birth abortion
ensured that the composition of the court will be an issue in the coming
election. The awkward fact is that all five justices in the majority are
Catholic. Stem cell research draws similar religious opposition from the
Catholic Church and fundamentalists. It's based on the magical belief
that a soul is assigned to the zygote at conception. The zygote is
certainly alive, with its own unique DNA, but that's true of a bacterium.
Based on a Genesis passage in which God breathes life into Adam, Jews and
liberal Christians usually argue that the soul arrives when the newborn
draws its first breath. However, there is not shred of evidence that
a “soul” even exists, and it certainly has no place in science or law.
Ironically, just a week after the Court rendered its decision protecting
the fetus from late-term abortion, a 30-member International Theological
Commission appointed by the Vatican abolished limbo. Limbo was where
babies who died before being baptized were sent, including aborted
fetuses. Because they were saddled with original sin, they couldn't go to
heaven. But now the panel has decided that because God is merciful, he's
going to let them into heaven anyway. It's not clear what new information
they have. Pope Benedict XVI agrees. While still a Cardinal he wrote a
report saying limbo was “only a theological hypothesis.” Isn't that all
any of it is, Benny?
What a turnaround! According to a tiny story in this morning's NY Times,
Bush told Congressional leaders yesterday in a 2-page letter that he would
veto any measures that “allow taxpayer dollars to be used for the
destruction of human life.”
A House Subcommittee yesterday created a bipartisan commission to
reevaluate our nuclear posture, paid for with money from the President's
plan for a new generation of warheads.
Sea ice in the Arctic is melting far faster than estimated. Molly Bentley
points out in BBC News that the NRC found our ability to monitor change
from space deteriorating as NASA collapses under the weight of human space