Thursday, January 20, 2011

Don't let 'miracles' trump science - Michael Kinsley

Opinion: Don't let 'miracles' trump science - Michael Kinsley -

You thought Parkinson’s was incurable? So did I. And I have it, as did John Paul II in his last years. But apparently not — if you know whom to pray to. Sister Marie Simon-Pierre of the Congregation of Little Sisters of Catholic Maternity Wards prayed to John Paul II. Then she woke up one morning, two months after the pope had died, and all of her symptoms were gone. According to the AP story, from all appearances, she remains symptom-free.

Of course, there is another possibility: Maybe she didn’t have Parkinson’s in the first place. There is no way to diagnose Parkinson’s for sure. You just eliminate other possibilities that are generally far worse, such as brain tumors, until Parkinson’s is the last malady standing and, often, a welcome one, considering the alternatives. But, according to the AP, “Vatican-appointed doctors” determined that “her cure had no scientific explanation.”
I don't care what posthumous titles Catholics bestow upon John Paul. Whatever. It's the unmitigated gall of their rubbing the rest of our faces in the fact they are the leading opponents of stem cell research, which might lead to a real cure for real Parkinson's, that annoys me.
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