When the Vatican invited Swarthmore biologist Scott Gilbert to Rome to discuss the beginning of human life, he wasn’t sure why he was chosen. . . Gilbert . . . said he was the only speaker to suggest that very early embryos were not equivalent to human beings. That led to lots of yelling and gesticulating . . . But that didn’t hurt Gilbert’s standing. He will return to Rome next month to continue the dialogue with church leaders . . .
He said the fact that the fertilized egg contains a complete set of human DNA is often used to argue that it is not just a human cell but a human being. But the emerging science of epigenetics shows that’s not the case, Gilbert said. . . .
he has been invited back to the Vatican in March to speak on another controversial issue: evolution. . . . It’s hard to say whether Gilbert’s trip will soften opposition to stem-cell research, but he said some of the priests were at least receptive to his ideas. “The priests and I had discussions about biology and philosophy throughout the conference - and I had a good time speaking with them.”
In the prior conference, admirably, the priests were more polite than some other participants towards this renowned biologist. [Read the article for details] I am sure the priests will be just as polite this time around and will be as reported “receptive” to his ideas. It seems these priests are laid back and not so dogmatic as the non-priests that go to these things.
I’m glad the Vatican invited him back. Maybe the findings of epigenetics will lead the Vatican to reevaluate some of its positions which draw from ever evolving science.
There’s no chance this conference will be televised is there?