I'm guessing Serge will eventually be all over this editorial in the Washington Post by Phillip Clayton, especially where he says,
"Some who integrate science and values in this way do so in religious terms, others eschew religious categories and adhere instead to a humanist philosophy. Human life has value and dignity for me, in part, because I believe that it was created and intended by God. But I look for the miraculous in the entire process by which life emerges from nonlife, not in individual miracles at each moment of conception. Similarly, I believe the qualities of personhood -- what religious people call "the image of God" -- emerge slowly during the months leading up to and following birth."
1. The entire process by which life emerges from non-life? Paging Redi, Pasteur, and Spallanzani. What Law of Biogenesis? I'm guessing he's referring to sperm and egg as 'non-life' but that statement could basically mean anything.
2. He asserts that religious people equate being in the image of God with "qualities of personhood." Talk about faulty broad generalizations.
3. According to Clayton (a professor at a school of theology), we're not created in the image of God but that the image of God slowly emerges in us as we begin to gain more cognitive abilities including abilities that emerge months following birth. "That 6 month old baby bears only 60% of the image of God but once it begins to have object permanence then we'll bump it up to 80%."
4. This reasoning and some of Clayton's previous quotes would lead one to believe that he thinks that Terri Schiavo no longer bore the image of God because she lacked certain cognitive abilities or that she bore only a certain percentage (say 40%) of God's image.
Clayton also says, "A permanent vegetative state represents an irreversible brain failure -- the permanent loss of consciousness and cognition -- but not the death of the body."
But Terri wasn't in a permanent vegetative state. She was supposedly in a persistent vegetative state.
Interestingly, Dr. David Reardon has cited a 1991 study and says, "According to a recent medical study of 84 PVS patients, over 52% of the patients recovered within one year. After three years, 58% had regained consciousness. After extensive review of the data, researchers were unable to identify any reliable way to predict who might recover and who might not. In other words, every PVS patient has a chance of recovery.1 " HT: After Abortion
(1. Levin, "Vegetative State After Closed-Head Injury", 48 Archives of Neurology, 580-585 (June 1991) cited in LIFE AT RISK, 1:( 6) Dec. 1991)