I find it very discomforting when leaders, influential people of the world, take positions without proper understanding of the subject. Well, I am talking about the Bioethics document that the Vatican has come out with yesterday. It says, the Vatican slams cloning, stem cell research, IVF, 'the morning after' pill etc.. While the Vatican's leanings have always been along these lines in the past, one would hope that thinking changes with time.. Alas, I am so wrong.. the Vatican has come down so strongly against any scientific advances, that I wonder if they are in touch with reality. They say cloning is bad, all the new medicines produced today are through cloning. So, are they saying we stop taking medicines when we fall sick? With each year, we have more people to feed and lesser land for agriculture, if not through genetic modification, how else can we produce more food?
We already are 6 billion plus today, far more than the Earth's carrying capacity. But the Vatican says 'the pill' is wrong and so is abortion. So, the message is keep procreating and test the earth's limit!!
My point is that all human actions have pros and cons. Its up to us to weigh them and take smart decisions. These need to done by understanding the process, the methodology, weigh the risks and take informed decisions. For example, agriculture per se is harmful to the environment!! Now, did you all realise that??? But can we stop agriculture and get back to stone age and eat wild fruits and berries three times a day? Religious leaders need to change with time and adapt, to remain relevant in the new scheme of things. Unfortunately, leaders and in this case the Vatican has failed miserably.
Lets take the case of AIDS. In Africa, where its reached epidemic proportions for some years now, we have the Church opposing the use of condoms because its against the Church's teachings! I find this preposterous. We ought to revisit some of the rigid viewpoints taken earlier vis a vis the changing world and the new challenges for humankind.
For some more information on Cloning and other technical details, I would like readers to read my other blog - http://indianbioscience.blogspot.com/