When John G. West’s Darwin Day in America: How Our Politics and Culture Have Been Dehumanized in the Name of Science (ISI Books) came out in 2007, I called it “a superb overview of what happens once we start seeing man as an overachieving worm. John West shows how a Darwin Day worldview affects everything from sex and philanthropy to crime and euthanasia.” So it’s great news that a new edition is coming out on Monday, with an update on recent developments.
Well, they do want to make it a national holiday.
Excerpt at worldmag: From science to scientism in the Obama era
Our culture is witnessing the rise of what could be called totalitarian science — science so totalistic in its outlook that its defenders claim the right to remake every sphere of human life, from public policy and education to ethics and religion,” says West. “Science is a wonderful enterprise, but in the Obama era, it’s being twisted in ways that are unhealthy for both science and society.
Just how far some [Obama] administration officials were willing to take the idea that science should override ethical concerns became apparent with the disclosure of a multiyear experiment funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) involving more than 1,300 premature infants. As part of the experiment, premature infants were randomly assigned to receive higher or lower levels of oxygen. Those receiving lower levels of oxygen were more likely to die, while those receiving higher levels of oxygen suffered serious eye damage that could lead to blindness. Parents were not informed of the possible increased risk of death for infants enrolled in the study. Nor were most of them informed that researchers recalibrated oxygen equipment to generate false readings, thus preventing medical staff from adjusting oxygen levels based on the individual needs of the infants in their care.
Medical ethicists were appalled. “The word ‘unethical’ doesn’t even begin to describe the egregious and shocking deficiencies in the informed-consent process for this study,” said Michael Carome, MD, the director of the Health Research Group at the nonprofit (and politically liberal) group Public Citizen. “Parents of the infants who were enrolled in this study were misled about its purpose. … They were misled to believe everything being done was in the ‘standard of care’ and therefore posed no predictable risk to the babies.” Carome, who previously served in the Office for Human Research Protections in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, helped lead the effort to expose the misconduct of researchers and to ensure that the abuses did not recur.
And get this:
Chief among the defenders of the premature-infant study was NIH head Francis Collins. One of Obama’s key science appointees, Collins was known for his work as head of the Human Genome Project as well as for being an outspoken evangelical Christian. Unlike most evangelicals, however, Collins had supported Obama for president in 2008, and many of his views were out of sync with those of other evangelicals. He was among the NIH officials permitted to review the OHRP’s second compliance letter, and according to Public Citizen, he led a public relations campaign to undermine the OHRP’s initial findings. Citing e-mail messages, Public Citizen accused Collins of seeking to have the second OHRP compliance letter issued the day before an article coauthored by Collins was to be published in the New England Journal of Medicine defending the premature-infant study. Public Citizen found it “disturbing” that Collins and his coauthors “essentially leaked” to journal editors “the fact that OHRP soon would be issuing a compliance oversight letter to UAB putting on hold all compliance actions related to the investigation.”
Hey, wait a minute. Francis Collins founded BioLogos, that Christians for Darwin outfit:
BioLogos invites the church and the world to see the harmony between science and biblical faith as we present an evolutionary understanding of God’s creation.
And sure enough, there’s Francis Collins’ face grinning away at BioLogos Basics.
Medical ethicists were appalled. “The word ‘unethical’ doesn’t even begin to describe the egregious and shocking deficiencies in the informed-consent process for this study,” said Michael Carome, MD, the director of the Health Research Group at the nonprofit (and politically liberal) group Public Citizen.
So that’s what “the language of God” really means! Glad someone spelled it out.
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