Items included on this page come from a variety of sources. The perspectives conveyed may or may not express a Lutheran ethos. They can serve our instruction as discussion-starters, examples (positive and negative), and illustrations of intersections between God’s two kingdoms, intersections sometimes characterized by tension, sometimes by congruence. Inclusion does not imply endorsement.

Title IX: When Applying a Law Nullifies That Law

Supreme Incoherence: Transgender Ideology and the End of the Law — Agree or disagree with the author, this careful analysis will challenge students to think carefully about language, positive law, and the claims our words make to natural and revealed knowledge.  This might be the essay to help students on any side of the gender identity […]

Consciousness, Soul, or More?

Daniel Dennett’s Science of the Soul: This lengthy article explores Daniel Dennett’s (Darwin’s Dangerous Idea, Simon & Schuster, 1996)) views on consciousness and physicalism: a materialist view on human nature.  Students may find it useful as a conversational introduction to the various current positions on consciousness, soul, and the transcendent: the physicist’s world of matter and […]

The 1851 Crystal Palace: Shrine to Modernity

A celebration of peace through progress: This article can introduce students to London’s Great Exhibition of 1851 and modernity’s coming-of-age.  The Crystal Palace resembled a mighty cathedral: the great nave, more than half a kilometer in length, was intersected by a transept where the immense barrel-vaulted glass roof dwarfed the elm trees enclosed by it. When the […]

Building Synthetic Embryos

A New Form of Stem Cell Engineering Raises Ethical Questions: The journal eLife reports that researchers can now produce synthetic embryos by assembling stem cells that will then organize themselves into biological structures.  This technique may make it possible to produce specific tissues and organs including synthetic human entities with embryo-like features: SHEEFs. See also Addressing the […]

Jumping Genes: Four Articles

KRAB zinc-finger proteins contribute to the evolution of gene regulatory networks: the science journal Nature has published new research on transposons, indicating ways in which the human genetics system is species-specific and suggesting the protein activity of  “KZFPs contribute to make human biology unique.”  See also: The proteins that domesticated our genomes Harnessing the Human […]

Gilbert Meilaender on CRISPR Gene Editing

Gene Editing: Promise & Peril–Is Caution Enough? This Lutheran bioethics scholar comments on CRISPR: What is deemed necessary is the use of countless embryos—always, of course, with caution and with relief of suffering as the ultimate end in view. [And] there remains one further possibility on the gene-editing horizon. Beyond basic research, there is the possibility […]

 

Models, Examples, and Suggestions for Instruction

 
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