The debate between some scientists and some religionists over creation, evolution and, among other issues, stem cell research continues. Dr. Francis Collins, who led the massive effort to discover the human genetic code, sees no conflict between the fields. From the National Institutes of Health, Collins led an international team that deciphered most of the human genetic code by the year 2000.
A government advisory committee recommended that 11- and 12-year-old girls be routinely vaccinated against a sexually transmitted virus that causes cervical cancer. The vaccine is most effective when it’s administered to girls before they become sexually active. But with the potential for premarital sex involved, the recommendation has been caught between science, politics and religion. More
Evolution, the theory that all organisms descended from a common ancestor, is widely accepted as a cornerstone of biology. Kansas will now also permit other ideas, including intelligent design. No designer is mentioned, but critics say intelligent design is disguised creationism, a religious view. More
Catholic leaders have often expressed their opposition to certain uses of science, such as anything that threatens human life. But the Church has no objection to basic scientific research itself — from it. That work is honored as trying to understand what God created — in the case of an observatory in Arizona, the entire visible universe. More
The John Templeton Foundation's Templeton Prize honors any living individual, regardless of profession or background, who has made significant strides in the study of science and religion. In 2002, distinguished mathematical physicist and Anglican priest John Polkinghorne was the recipient of the prize, nearly a million dollars, that he contributed towards further spiritual research and work.
When a person has a religious experience, what happens within the brain? What kind of changes take place? In one experiment, brain scans examine the parts of the brain that are activated during prayer. In another, mystical and religious experiences are simulated by using bursts of electrical impulses. These experiments have created no small amount of controversy. More
For many, the fundamental issue behind stem cell research is the moral status of tiny, one-week-old human embryos. Scientists think these cells can help them find cures for many severe illnesses, but harvesting those cells kills the embryos. Ethicists say the right and wrong of destroying even unwanted embryos in order to do promising medical research depends on what you think those embryos are.
- TRANSCRIPT: Bob Abernethy’s interview with Dr. Francis Collins, Director of the Human Genome Project at the National Institutes of Health
Read the full transcript of Bob Abernathy's e-mail with Dr. Francis Collins of the Human Genome Project at the National Institute of Health.