Recent recipients of the Nobel prize have me wondering what such an award is worth.
First, last week, the Nobel Foundation awarded the Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine to the designers of a technique that has permitted biologists to key out the function of genes easily. Mario Capecchi from the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, Martin Evans of Cardiff University in Wales and Oliver Smithies of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill will share award "for their discoveries of principles for introducing specific gene modifications in mice by the use of embryonic stem cells". It is clear what this research is intended for. The technique, using embryonic stem cells, permits researchers to bring forth ’knock-out’ mice mutant strains in which specific genes are modified. These can be used to establish the specific functions of genes in health, development and diseases of animals and to create animal models of human diseases. So in essence, the research is a set up for using human embryonic stem cells to treat human diseases.
Many of the various breakthroughs in science are noble and valuable, yet, such accomplishments must respect human dignity and uphold the common good. Using embryonic stem cells, except for those taken from placenta and umbilical cords, requires the creation and destruction of human embryos. Such a practice is unacceptable biblically as life begins at conception (Jeremiah 1:5, Psalm 139:13,16). Killing an embryo is murdering a person. We cannot do this, not even within the secret sterile walls of a research institute or in the name of physiology or medicine. God has endowed humanity with awesome deductive capabilities- certainly we can do better than murder to advance the quality of human life. Nobel's decision to give a world-renown prize to scientists for their leadership down the path of human embryo destruction is both telling and sad.
Second, and somewhat laughable, the Nobel Foundation gave former U.S. Vice President Al Gore and another man their prize "for their efforts to build up and disseminate greater knowledge about man-made climate change, and to lay the foundations for the measures that are needed to counteract such change". I'm not a whole scale denier of "global warming", I just contest several of the more popular propositions being made by the junk scientists of our day. I tend to think such climate matters are cyclical. Some Earthly eras are hotter, some are colder. We have to adjust accordingly (can we make it colder during November this year? The deer don't move well when it's warm). Surely each of us should be good stewards of God's Earth. There are many ways each of us can conserve energy, emit less of this or that, and generally be careful to restore what we use up. No problem with any of that. It lines up with exercising responsible dominion over the earth- our mandate from God- we are stewards. But as for Al Gore's receiving this award- give me a break. The guy is a mouth piece for a humanistic, radical, imbalanced movement that has been granted a level of mainstream acceptance because of good ole' Hollywood's production of his political film- An Inconvenient Truth. Al Gore isn't a scientist. He's a politician. On this matter of global warming- he's nothing but a well-paid spokesperson.
A British Court recently gave a telling ruling when challenged with whether the film should be shown in public schools as "science". Notice their handling of the question (Foxnews reporting):
Al Gore’s award-winning climate change documentary was littered with nine inconvenient untruths, a judge ruled yesterday. An Inconvenient Truth won plaudits from the environmental lobby and an Oscar from the film industry but was found wanting when it was scrutinised in the High Court in London. Justice Burton identified nine significant errors within the former presidential candidate’s documentary as he assessed whether it should be shown to school children. He agreed that Gore’s film was “broadly accurate” in its presentation of the causes and likely effects of climate change but said that some of the claims were wrong and had arisen in “the context of alarmism and exaggeration.” In what is a rare judicial ruling on what children can see in the class-room, Justice Barton was at pains to point out that the “apocalyptic vision” presented in the film was politically partisan and not an impartial analysis of the science of climate change. “It is plainly, as witnessed by the fact that it received an Oscar this year for best documentary film, a powerful, dramatically presented and highly professionally produced film,” he said in his ruling. “It is built around the charismatic presence of the former Vice President, Al Gore, whose crusade it now is to persuade the world of the dangers of climate change caused by global warming. It is now common ground that it is not simply a science film – although it is clear that it is based substantially on scientific research and opinion – but that it is a political film
There have been several rebuttals to Gore's movie, I advise every thinking person to check them out. I found one, five part series, to be particularly informative- Global Warming: Doomsday Called Off. Check it out. I doubt CBC will be winning a Nobel Prize for it- not nearly fantastic enough.
All this to say- what is a Nobel Prize really worth today? Why hold Nobel in esteem any more? It seems overtaken by humanism- a modern day Tower of Babel, if you will.