Sunday, March 19, 2006
"What makes us human among the other creatures of the world? What makes us individuals within the human race?
The huge breakthroughs in biology in the past decade - including the decoding of the human genome in 2003 - have given us new pathways to find answers to those questions.
But the more we learn, the more complicated the answers, - and the questions - become.
'It's revolutionizing society in every way,' said Jennifer Frederick, an assistant professor of chemistry at Western Connecticut State University in Danbury. 'It's leading us to the intersection of science, philosophy, theology and ethics.'
Frederick, who spoke recently at WestConn's Science at Night series, has a purely scientific area of research she's concentrating on - she's studying the chemical pathways in the body that lead to the sensation of pain.
But she's also a humanist and a believer in the value of a liberal arts education.
Together with her husband Stephen Healey, a professor of world religions at the University of Bridgeport, she hopes to form a group of like-minded colleagues to discuss how the disciplines of science, philosophy and theology can meet and where they diverge."