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In recent years, a number of projects have focussed on providing opportunities to help young people and those who influence them explore their questions about the interactions between scientific and religious thinking. In this talk, Lizzie Henderson and Steph Bryant will review some relevant research, the growing positive impact of various interdisciplinary approaches and some of the methods and resources available to help communicate a positive message of science-faith interactions with children and young people.

Both hold degrees in Natural Sciences from Cambridge University and are leading voices in the communication and public understanding of the interactions between science and faith. In recent years, through hundreds of interactive sessions, books and resources, they have guided many thousands of children and young people through discussions about science, faith and their interactions in the modern world.

They are also involved in developing a variety of teaching resources and offering training to teachers, church workers and other influencers on communicating positively about science-faith interactions within their roles. Dr Bateman has worked in research and clinical rehabilitation since , the year in which he qualified as a Chartered Physiotherapist at the University of East London ; he completed a PhD in Neuropsychology in at Birmingham University.

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He led brain injury rehabilitation research in East London for a few years before lecturing and then moving to an NHS management role - he led the Oliver Zangwill Centre for Neuropsychological Rehabilitation in Ely from Dr Bateman is interested in a wide range of topics; his current projects include helping clinical teams to develop their research strategy, gaining access to sport for patients after brain injury, lobbying for policy changes to support rehabilitation, assessing cognitive functions, and carrying out rehab outcome data analysis.

No matter how hard scientists work, our impact will almost always be limited to our immediate academic circles if our results never catch the attention of those who have the power to act on them. These people are often policymakers — local, state or central-government officials who write laws and regulations, craft budgets and govern communities. But effective collaboration requires strong communication. The policy world can be tricky to navigate. Institutions can seem impenetrable, and decision-making is often opaque.

Fortunately, simple strategies can help scientists to communicate effectively with policymakers. Know who you want to reach.

Perhaps your research shows that overflowing storm drains are harming a nearby ecosystem. Your best partners might even be outside the government. Have clear and actionable recommendations. Providing specific recommendations makes it easier for your audience to act.

Specificity also prepares you to defend your recommendations by forcing you to think through the details. Your suggestions should be feasible. Every government body is constrained by its mission and budget. Finally, remember that making recommendations is not the same as advocacy.

One of the most valuable roles a scientist can have is laying out likely pros and cons of different policy options. Repackage your work. A new audience demands a new format — one that is accessible and understandable. Consider synthesizing your key findings and recommendations into a two-page policy brief that can be distributed easily in person or online. Former US president Barack Obama met with traditional fishers near Dillingham, Alaska, as part of a trip in to call attention to climate change.

Write well. Both advocates for and opponents of human enhancement spin a number of possible scenarios.

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Science and Religion: CQR

This enhancement revolution, if and when it comes, may well be prompted by ongoing efforts to aid people with disabilities and heal the sick. Indeed, science is already making rapid progress in new restorative and therapeutic technologies that could, in theory, have implications for human enhancement. It seems that each week or so, the headlines herald a new medical or scientific breakthrough. In the last few years, for instance, researchers have implanted artificial retinas to give blind patients partial sight.

Still others have created synthetic blood substitutes , which could soon be used in human patients. To those who support human enhancement, many of whom call themselves transhumanists, technological breakthroughs like these are springboards not only to healing people but to changing and improving humanity. Up to this point, they say, humans have largely worked to control and shape their exterior environments because they were powerless to do more. But transhumanists predict that a convergence of new technologies will soon allow people to control and fundamentally change their bodies and minds.

The science that underpins transhumanist hopes is impressive, but there is no guarantee that researchers will create the means to make super-smart or super-strong people. Questions remain about the feasibility of radically changing human physiology, in part because scientists do not yet completely understand our bodies and minds.

For instance, researchers still do not fully comprehend how people age or fully understand the source of human consciousness.

The Warfare Between Science and Religion - Dr. Jeff Hardin & Dr. Ron Numbers

There also is significant philosophical, ethical and religious opposition to transhumanism. Many thinkers from different disciplines and faith traditions worry that radical changes will lead to people who are no longer either physically or psychologically human. We are already living in an age of enhancement.

Even minor enhancements, critics say, may end up doing more harm than good.

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For instance, they contend, those with enhancements may lack empathy and compassion for those who have not chosen or cannot afford these new technologies. Indeed, they say, transhumanism could very well create an even wider gap between the haves and have-nots and lead to new kinds of exploitation or even slavery.

Given that the science is still at a somewhat early stage, there has been little public discussion about the possible impacts of human enhancement on a practical level. But a new survey by Pew Research Center suggests wariness in the U. And a majority of U. And yet, perhaps ironically, enhancement continues to captivate the popular imagination. Many of the top-grossing films in recent years in the United States and around the world have centered on superheroes with extraordinary abilities, such as the X-Men, Captain America, Spiderman, the Incredible Hulk and Iron Man. Such films explore the promise and pitfalls of exceeding natural human limits.

In the Greek myth, Daedalus fashioned wax and feather wings so that he and son Icarus could fly. But Icarus fell to his death because he flew too close to the sun, melting the wax. The ancient Greeks told of Prometheus, who stole fire from the gods, and Daedalus, the skilled craftsman, who made wings for himself and his son, Icarus. Of course, while Adam and Eve gained a new awareness and self-understanding, their actions also led to their expulsion from paradise and entry into a much harder world full of pain, shame and toil.

This theme — that hidden dangers may lurk in something ostensibly good — runs through many literary accounts of enhancement. Whether these fears surrounding human enhancement are real or unfounded is a question already being debated by ethicists, scientists, theologians and others. This report looks at that debate, particularly in light of the diverse religious traditions represented in the United States.

First, though, the report explains some of the scientific developments that might form the basis of an enhancement revolution. O n Feb. The first prototypes already are being built, and if all goes as planned, American soldiers may soon be much stronger and largely impervious to bullets. If the NHS moves ahead with its plans, it would be the first time people receive blood created in a lab. While the ultimate aim of the effort is to stem blood shortages, especially for rare blood types, the success of synthetic blood could lay the foundation for a blood substitute that could be engineered to carry more oxygen or better fight infections.

In April , scientists from the Battelle Memorial Institute in Columbus, Ohio, revealed that they had implanted a chip in the brain of a quadriplegic man. Roughly around the same time, Chinese researchers announced they had attempted to genetically alter embryos to make them HIV resistant. Only four of the embryos were successfully changed and all were ultimately destroyed. Moreover, the scientists from the Guangzhou Medical University who did the work said its purpose was solely to test the feasibility of embryo gene editing, rather than to regularly begin altering embryos. As these examples show, many of the fantastic technologies that until recently were confined to science fiction have already arrived, at least in their early forms.

The road to TALOS, brain chips and synthetic blood has been a long one that has included many stops along the way.

Are religion and science always at odds? Here are three scientists that don't think so

Many of these advances come from a convergence of more than one type of technology — from genetics and robotics to nanotechnology and information technology. In the field of biotechnology, a big milestone occurred in , when American biologist James Watson and British physicist Francis Crick discovered the molecular structure of DNA — the famed double helix — that is the genetic blueprint for life. Almost 50 years later, in , two international teams of researchers led by American biologists Francis Collins and Craig Venter succeeded in decoding and reading that blueprint by identifying all of the chemical base pairs that make up human DNA.

Finding the blueprint for life, and successfully decoding and reading it, has given researchers an opportunity to alter human physiology at its most fundamental level. Manipulating this genetic code — a process known as genetic engineering — could allow scientists to produce people with stronger muscles, harder bones and faster brains. In recent years, the prospect of advanced genetic engineering has become much more real, largely due to two developments. First, inexpensive and sophisticated gene mapping technology has given scientists an increasingly more sophisticated understanding of the human genome.

While gene editing itself is not new, CRISPR offers scientists a method that is much faster, cheaper and more accurate. CRISPR is already dramatically expanding the realm of what is possible in the field of genetic engineering. Indeed, on June 21, , the U. An even more intriguing possibility involves making genetic changes at the embryonic stage, also known as germline editing. Those at the conference also raised another concern: the idea of using the new technologies to edit embryos for non-therapeutic purposes.

Under this scenario, parents could choose a variety of options for their unborn children, including everything from cosmetic traits, such as hair or eye color, to endowing their offspring with greater intellectual or athletic ability. Some transhumanists see a huge upside to making changes at the embryonic level. Eugenics ultimately inspired forced sterilization laws in a number of countries including the U.

There also may be practical obstacles. Some worry that there could be unintended consequences, in part because our understanding of the genome, while growing, is not even close to complete.


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