October 23, 2019
Syria | Why worldview matters | The Thai King, Queen and Consort | Biologists agree when life begins
It’s one thing to know what’s happening in the news is another thing to know what to do with it. The Good News of the Gospel bears on every bit of the bad news you’re hearing and reading today. Carmen talks with Drew Griffin from Providence Magazine about developments in Syria (a dynamic situation that has changed again since air time). Then they take a step back from particular stories to discuss the competing systems of values around the world. Value systems are not morally neutral – another reminder how much worldview matters.
In the second half of today’s show, Peter Kapsner and Carmen discuss King of Thailand – who is literally deified – and the very reality of an internationally recognized royal consort in the year 2019. Then they turn their attention to the question of when life begins. Steve Jacobs has a PhD from the University of Chicago and published his research findings under the title: Balancing Abortion Rights and Fetal Rights: A Mixed Methods Mediation of the U.S. Abortion Debate.
Here’s how he describes what happened: “I reported that both a majority of pro-choice Americans (53%) and a majority of pro-life Americans (54%) would support a comprehensive policy compromise that provides entitlements to pregnant women, improves the adoption process for parents, permits abortion in extreme circumstances, and restricts elective abortion after the first trimester.” That sounds really hopeful, right? That sounds like there’s an interest in conversation toward national compromise.
But that’s the not the portion of the research highlighted by the media. The media fixated on the finding that 96% of the 5,577 biologists who responded to Jacobs affirmed the view that a human life begins at fertilization. Yes, 96%.
So why listen to what biologists think about such a thing? Because his research also to him this:
- most Americans (82%) believe that the question of “when life begins” is an important aspect of the U.S. abortion debate
- most believe (76%) Americans deserve to know when a human’s life begins in order to give informed consent to abortion procedures, and
- most Americans believe (93%) a human’s life is worthy of legal protection once it begins.
Respondents also were asked: “Which group is most qualified to answer the question, ‘When does a human’s life begin?’” They were presented with several options—biologists, philosophers, religious leaders, Supreme Court Justices and voters. Eighty percent selected biologists, and the majority explained that they chose biologists because they view them as objective experts in the study of life.
Peter and Carmen discuss these findings and also this: Scientists captured the actual flash of light that sparks when sperm meet an egg