Posted by: Randall Niles | March 13, 2009

The Heart of Bio-Ethical Issues

This week, with a cloud of witnesses in the East Room of the White House (“more happy scientists than I’ve seen,” said Alan Leshner, CEO of the American Association for the Advancement of Science), President Obama abolished the Bush-era restraints on stem-cell research and declared the following: 


“Our government has forced what I believe is a false choice between sound science and moral values. It is about ensuring that scientific data is never distorted or concealed to serve a political agenda—and that we make scientific decisions based on facts, not ideology.”


Wow, I’ll just let that sink in, without any commentary…


When I think of the latest arguments in the area of bio-ethics, such as cloning, stem-cell research, etc., I recall a story I once heard:

Several scientists in the not-too-distant future had successfully cloned a human and were gloating over their achievement.

In a fit of pride, they boasted to God, “We finally understand biology sufficiently to do what only you have been able to do before – create a human being.”

The scientists went on to say that, under the circumstances, they really didn’t see a need for God any more.

God thought this over and said, “I’ll tell you what. Let’s have a competition. Each of us will create a human being just as I did in the beginning. If you are successful, I’ll agree to let you go on in life without me.”

So, the scientists went back to the beginning and consulted Genesis, which says, “the LORD God formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.”

The scientists gleefully said, “Great! Let’s get to work.” And they picked up some dust to start the process.”

“Hold on just a minute,” said God. “You have to create your OWN dust.”

I like this story. I think it points out how we view the intricacies of creation through a broad lens of naturalism, and how easily we sell God short. We’re not just simple genetic material somehow pumped out on a biological assembly line. God knows each of us personally — even in the womb.

In the Jewish scriptures, the ancient thinkers understood that God creates our inmost being; it’s He that knits us together in our mother’s womb. They understood that we are fearfully and wonderfully made. In fact, they had no problem declaring the miracle of life as a wonderful work of God.


But, I guess those were simple, ancient peoples… We’ve somehow cracked the genetic code and we’ve fertilized an egg outside of the womb. Therefore, the science of mankind has taken the miracle out of life.

Here’s a thought… Next time you’re personally considering the latest issue in bio-ethics, drive to the heart of the matter – What’s mankind’s purpose for the individual fetus being created in the laboratory? Is it being created for the miracle of life or in the name of science? Whether a fetus for impregnation, cloning, stem cells, spare parts, or shear human pride in the name of science, check your own heart… I think it will beat with the truth each and every time.


A final thought from President Obama regarding his stem-cell policy:


“[It] never opens the door to the use of cloning for human reproduction. [Such cloning] is dangerous, profoundly wrong, and has no place in our society or any society.”


Wait, I thought you just said moral values have no place in “sound science” – We should make scientific decisions based on facts, not someone’s ideology…


Pretty slippery stuff, eh Mr. President?


Keep Thinking,

Randall Niles



  1. Amen! The level of pride in our generation is staggering. Thanks for sharing such a timely message.

  2. Randall,

    It is good to read this and see that God is working through you to bring truth to people. Thanks for standing up and speaking on the issue.

    Don Sullivan

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