Will The Advancement of Life Sciences Change Our Vision of Man?

October 17, 2011

On November 9-11, 2011, the Pontifical Council for Culture will host a conference at the Vatican on Adult Stem Cells: Science and the Future of Man and Culture. Fr. Nicanor Pier Giorgio Austriaco, O.P., Assistant Professor of Biology at Providence College, will give a talk as part of the conference titled “Will The Advancement of Life Sciences Change Our Vision of Man?” Below is the abstract of his paper:

One of the most significant philosophical developments of the past five hundred years involved the replacement of the substantial view of the human person pioneered by Aristotle and Aquinas with the more mechanistic view championed by Descartes. This change has had profound ramifications on how we understand the nature of the human being at all stages of his biological development. It has also made it difficult for philosophers to provide a coherent account of the identity and continuity of the human organism. However, recent developments in the life sciences, especially in the emerging field of systems biology, provide us with conceptual tools to recover a more substantial view that better explains the constitution of the human organism than its mechanistic rival.

The conference will take place at the Aula Nuovo del Sinodo in Vatican City. For more information, visit the conference website, or read this story about the June 2011 press conference announcing the event.

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