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.

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 […]

Six Facts About the Evolution Debates

Natural Sciences, Social Sciences

For Darwin Day, 6 facts about the evolution debate: This piece from Pew begins by saying, “When Darwin’s work was first made public in 1859, it shocked Britain’s religious establishment.”  That statement itself needs more attention, and Darwin’s work was initially received with mixed responses.  Nevertheless, here are Pew’s six facts for today.

Embryonic Autonomy and Life’s Beginning

Self-organization of the human embryo in the absence of maternal tissues: Remodelling of the human embryo at implantation is indispensable for successful pregnancy. Yet it has remained mysterious because of the experimental hurdles that beset the study of this developmental phase. Here, we establish an in vitro system to culture human embryos through implantation stages in the […]


Models, Examples, and Suggestions for Instruction

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