Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Verify, Verify, Verify

My youngest daughter was home over the Thanksgiving holiday and one night we got into a discussion over an article I had read on-line. The article was on the discovery by genetic scientists who had discovered a way to create embryonic stem cells from skin cells.

What made this discussion all the more fascinating is that my daughter is in her second year of her PhD program at Duke. Her field of study is molecular genetics and microbiology. So she is much more versed on the subject than this doctor of theology. She had a hard time believing that someone had been able to devolve a cell that had already been determined in it’s life cycle to be a skin cell. This could be a major break through for science and for medicine, to say nothing of the theological implications.

My daughter questioned my source and was dismissive of the claims that are made and stories that are reported in the media today. She like many of us has little respect for the way stories are reported. Often in an attempt to be first with the news or trying to simplify the story important data is left out or not thoroughly vetted.

She wanted to know my source and the source that the news reporter used before she was willing to accept this new information. I told her that I often found interesting information on the Drudge Report. The article was listed and it came from a decent source but she googled the story and found that it had been reported in a number leading scientific journals.

As fascinating as this discovery is, I was more fascinated by my daughter’s desire to know the truth and to verify my perception of the truth. My daughter is becoming a true scientist. I hope that she is also a true Berean. That when she hears preaching she will demand the same proof from reliable sources.

As soon as it was night, the brothers sent Paul and Silas away to Berea. On arriving there, they went to the Jewish synagogue. 11Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true. 12Many of the Jews believed, as did also a number of prominent Greek women and many Greek men.
Acts 17:10-12 (NIV)

My hope is that each of you, too, will be like the Bereans in your lives today.

Dr Val

PS If you’d like to read more about skin cells devolving into stem cells check out this article.

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