Human Stem Cells Found in Amniotic Fluid

Well this is pretty cool:

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Stem cells nearly as powerful as embryonic stem cells can be found in the amniotic fluid that protects babies in the womb, U.S. researchers reported on Sunday.

They used them to create muscle, bone, fat, blood vessel, nerve and liver cells in the laboratory and said they believe the placenta and amniotic fluid can provide one more source of the valued cells, which scientists hope will someday transform medicine.

They would also provide a non-controversial source of the cells, which are found with difficulty throughout the body and in days-old embryos.

The Evolution Of Insurance Claims - How UHC Changed The Way It Listens
Breaking: All Cargo Operations Suspended at the Port of Miami
  • Brian

    There’s plenty of darn good objective science to go around without making claims that aren’t scientific in nature and putting people of faith on the defensive.

    The theory of evolution is excellent objective science. The fact that it’s even still called a “theory” just goes to show how much science values the truth and objectivity. Although many scientists would just as well call it proven, it doesn’t meet the rigorous scientific definition of proof, and therefore must remain a “theory”.

    However, just because it is a “theory” and doesn’t answer every question doesn’t make it not science. All conclusions about evolutionary science are published and reviewed by other scientists. Despite the wishes of those who want to obfuscate the issue, there is no debate in the scientific community over its validity.

    “People of faith”, as you say, are on the defensive because they choose to so narrowly define their beliefs as to be incompatible with the natural world. Many (I would even guess the “majority”) of evolutionary scientists are also people of faith–just those who find ways to incorporate what their logic tells them into their beliefs. Those who support ID make the conscious choose to not do this, so it is they who put themselves on the defensive, and no one else should feel responsible for that.

  • Publicus, The brain and consciousness do certainly develop over time and much of that time is *after* a child is born full term. This is one reason why I don’t care for a “no one is home” test for an organism to pass for human.

    Mantis, Origins can certainly be taught evangelically. “Science” is right and God is wrong? Yes, it’s a religious issue. That observed evolution and genetic simularities point to a common source for life on Earth does not justify presenting that common source in a way that insists that God does not exist. Does all school science do that? Not at all. Does it happen? Yes.

    Science *must* consider only the natural and limit its theories to the natural. This is a limit on Science, not on the world or existance. Taking that limitation and insisting that it apply to everything… that not only can science not measure God, but that anything science can not measure is a lie, is being evangelical in a very real sense of the word.

    ID is essentially an attempt to compromise, to say, just leave room for God, give our kids an “out” so they can learn about our world without feeling as though their faith is under assault. Sometimes it’s just a request for a “Science does not address the question of the existance of God” disclaimer pasted in the front of books.

    By reactions you’d think that it was the New Earth Creationists attempting to push “spontaneous generation” of mice in rag boxes and insisting teachers call it science.

    The outrage and the anger at the idea of Intelligent Design is the outrage and anger of people who’s God has been blasphemed. It’s incredible.

    Is there any real effort to adress the concerns of parents who worry that the “science” being taught their children is being used as an active assault on their religious beliefs? Or do we only have to be sensative to *legitimate* concerns? All those fruitcake religionists can just be ignored because they are wrong?

    Does anyone step forward and say, “You’re right. Science class should not be percieved as an attack on religious faith, so lets figure out a way to do this that gets the job done that we both can live with?” No. They don’t.

    ID is already a *huge* concession by those who anyone would call “Creationist”. But lord almighty does it gore someone’s sacred cow.

    And let us admit, please, that we’re talking nothing higher than high school science here. Nothing at all would be lost from it by teaching what can be observed and repeated and avoiding “One day life just started and eventually it turned into us. We don’t know anything much about how, but we do know without a doubt that God didn’t do it.”

    Science education could be much better. Part of what could make it better would be if the elementary through high school abberation of presenting everything as hard and fast answers was replaced with a more scientific focus on questions. If one is focused on the pure joy of discovery and the way every thing we learn or observe leads to ever more inquiry and questions and even uncertainty, it would make no difference at all if part of the class viewed it as exploring and discovering the glory of God’s creation. It would all be better.

    Insisting on the doctrinal purity of science isn’t *useful*.

    As for why not complain about astronomy… some sorts of science are less squishy than other ones. More like math. Physics and astronomy come close. Biology is probably the most squishy and the most likely to leave the strictly observable and what can be measured. It’s the sort of subject teaching candidates who like science but can’t do math tend to go into.

    A Creationist could make a fabulous brain surgeon. When people complain about how “bad science” (i.e. Intelligent Design or Creationism) will have all sorts of bad results because people won’t be properly or adequately informed and won’t understand the issues… they’re gonna be talking about the lack of “right thinking” about population growth, climate change and disease control. Right thinking about social rather than scientific issues.

    Test it.

  • Publicus

    Brian —

    Oops. Sorry to misquote you.

    🙁

  • Brain, there are two sorts of evolution. There is, as you said, evolution that is basically a fact. We can observe it. We understand the mechanism. It hardly counts as a theory. And then there is Evolution, or evolutionary origins. The fact is, that we don’t *know* where life on Earth originated. Seriously, we could be seeded by aliens for all we know. I’ve argued and observed arguments about evolution often enough to know that what is being argued is most often two separate and distinct things. It’s not *just* that some people narrowly define their faith, it’s that some people on both ends of the spectrum narrowly define their faith.

  • Robert

    Jo.
    Re: Rove’s indictment.

    Yeah. That went as well as W’s Iraq war, without the half-million fatalities and war-profiteering for his buddies, of course.

  • mantis

    “Science” is right and God is wrong?

    Not sure where you’re getting this. What is “God” in this sentence, and how is it wrong? If you are saying that “God” is the literal truth of the bible, than yes, science is right and God is wrong. If you are saying that the position is “science is right, and there is no God” than I want to know what schools you think teach biology this way. When I asked for examples, either policy or anectdotal, I was serious. Without them many of the claims you make about how science is taught are merely straw men.

    That observed evolution and genetic simularities point to a common source for life on Earth does not justify presenting that common source in a way that insists that God does not exist. Does all school science do that? Not at all. Does it happen? Yes.

    Where does it happen? Is it policy or simply a teacher here and there? Examples please.

    Science *must* consider only the natural and limit its theories to the natural.

    You do realize that this statement clearly places ID outside of the realm of science, right? ID presupposes existence of the supernatural, thus according to your definition (and mine), cannot be science. I’m glad we agree on this.

    This is a limit on Science, not on the world or existance. Taking that limitation and insisting that it apply to everything… that not only can science not measure God, but that anything science can not measure is a lie, is being evangelical in a very real sense of the word.

    Who says anything science cannot measure is a lie? Is this taught in schools? Which ones?

    What is actually insisted is that anything science cannot measure is not science, and thus should not be taught in science classes. Simple enough for me.

    ID is essentially an attempt to compromise, to say, just leave room for God, give our kids an “out” so they can learn about our world without feeling as though their faith is under assault.

    If they feel their faith is under assault by the existence of scientific inquiry, too bad. Their faith, such as it is, should not even be mentioned in science class, let alone disputed. I agree that if that is what happens in the science classroom, it would be wrong, but I see absolutely no indication that anyone is doing that. Science need not be sullied by unscientific speculation, which is exactly what an ID “compromise” would do.

    Sometimes it’s just a request for a “Science does not address the question of the existance of God” disclaimer pasted in the front of books.

    This goes without saying. If students want to take a class discussing the question of the existence of God, they can take a comparitive religion, theology, or philosophy course. The mention of God is inappropriate to science classes, for the reasons you yourself gave above.

    By reactions you’d think that it was the New Earth Creationists attempting to push “spontaneous generation” of mice in rag boxes and insisting teachers call it science.

    Scientists get a bit pissed when people try to inject supernaturalism into their fields, and rightly so.

    Is there any real effort to adress the concerns of parents who worry that the “science” being taught their children is being used as an active assault on their religious beliefs?

    If any evidence existed that this is what is happening, then there would be. But it’s not.

    Or do we only have to be sensative to *legitimate* concerns? All those fruitcake religionists can just be ignored because they are wrong?

    Yes, we should only respond to legitimate concerns. Yes, religionists can be ignored because they are wrong. What they are wrong about is their contention that biology teachers are teaching atheism. They’re not, just accepted science.

    Does anyone step forward and say, “You’re right. Science class should not be percieved as an attack on religious faith, so lets figure out a way to do this that gets the job done that we both can live with?” No. They don’t.

    They would if such “perceptions” had any basis in reality, which they don’t.

    ID is already a *huge* concession by those who anyone would call “Creationist”.

    Who cares if it’s a concession? It isn’t science, so it shouldn’t be taught in science class. Real simple.

    And let us admit, please, that we’re talking nothing higher than high school science here. Nothing at all would be lost from it by teaching what can be observed and repeated and avoiding “One day life just started and eventually it turned into us. We don’t know anything much about how, but we do know without a doubt that God didn’t do it.”

    Once again, examples please. Who is teaching this?

    Science education could be much better. Part of what could make it better would be if the elementary through high school abberation of presenting everything as hard and fast answers was replaced with a more scientific focus on questions.

    Well, we can agree on that. I would love if more science curriculum approached it as a method of exploration, a means to arrive at knowledge, as opposed to a series of facts. However, such science classes would still have no room for ID. It isn’t science.

    As for why not complain about astronomy… some sorts of science are less squishy than other ones. More like math. Physics and astronomy come close. Biology is probably the most squishy and the most likely to leave the strictly observable and what can be measured. It’s the sort of subject teaching candidates who like science but can’t do math tend to go into.

    Define squishy. If the definition is “likely to leave the strictly observable and what can be measured,” then physics is way squishier than biology. Much of quantum physics and astrophysics has not yet been directly observed or measured.

    A Creationist could make a fabulous brain surgeon. When people complain about how “bad science” (i.e. Intelligent Design or Creationism) will have all sorts of bad results because people won’t be properly or adequately informed and won’t understand the issues… they’re gonna be talking about the lack of “right thinking” about population growth, climate change and disease control. Right thinking about social rather than scientific issues.

    No, the problem is that high school students going on to university study will be unprepared as they have been misinformed about the very basis of science itself, not to mention the unifying concept of all biology.

    Again, I request examples, preferably policy examples.

  • Brian

    The fact is, that we don’t *know* where life on Earth originated. Seriously, we could be seeded by aliens for all we know.

    Yes, we might. I don’t believe evolutionary theory discounts this possibility. It begins with life starting. How did it start? Alien seeds? Random amino acid concoction? God’s will? That doesn’t matter. What matters is that once it started, it evolved.

    That’s why evolution is wholly compatible with a belief in God. Why can you not believe that God affected change on His earth through an evolutionary process that He invented? It seems the only reason is that the Bible says the earth is only 6000 years old. In that case, your faith denies you not only biology, but also geology and a host of other sciences. But given that a large population of scientists are also of faith, it seems that they have reached a compromise that you and others are just flat-out unwilling to consider.

  • “the Bible says the earth is only 6000 years old”

    The Bible says no such thing. Not in any translation of any language currently spoken on earth. Not in the ancient Greek texts. Not in the ancient Hebrew texts.

    Someone with poor reading comprehension, bad math skills, and an agenda said that the earth was 6000 years old based on their own shody scholarship. Some Christians who want it to be so believe it. The majority of us know better and recognise that the real significance of the Genesis account has nothing to do with how old the earth might be or how long it took God to make it all.

    People who want to believe that Christians would believe something that is so demonstrably false continue to act as if we all believe that the earth is only 6000 years old.

  • Brian

    People who want to believe that Christians would believe something that is so demonstrably false

    It’s only demonstrably false if you believe in the science that demonstrates that. I’m glad you seem to be so enlightened. But there are those who say that rocks are carbon-dated to 4 billion years because God faked it for us to think that.

    Regardless, if you don’t believe the earth is 6000 years old, then there’s one less reason to reject that perhaps evolution is a mechanism of God.

  • if you don’t believe the earth is 6000 years old

    Not only do I not believe such a thing I also pointed out why. I also pointed out the majority Christians world wide know better than to believe such a thing. In fact quite a few of us know and readily admit that evolution has absolutely nothing to do with matters of faith. What scientists speculate about about how life came to be on this earth is irrelevant to our belief that God exists.

    The next time you come across someone who actually states that they believe that the earth is 6000 years old based on what the Bible says then you can point out to them (as I did to you) that there is no biblical basis for that belief. As no one asserted here that they believed that the earth was 6000 years old I thought you might need informing about the reality concerning that bit of fluff.

    Just as a reminder you did say,
    It seems the only reason is that the Bible says the earth is only 6000 years old.

    But there are those who say that rocks are carbon-dated to 4 billion years because God faked it for us to think that.

    Again no one here has argued such a thing so I’m curious why you bring it up. Anyway, when you do come across someone who actually argues such a thing feel free to point out the same things to them that I have to you.

  • Brian

    As I said, I’m glad you don’t think the earth is 6000 years old, but there are plenty of those who do. If I meet one of these people, I will certainly tell them what you’ve said.

    Anyway, as I also said, if you don’t believe the earth is 6000 years old, then there’s one less reason to reject that perhaps evolution is a mechanism of God. And if you don’t reject that notion, then my comment isn’t really directed at you anyway.