Thursday, December 01, 2011

Iran's Stem Cell Fatwa

by Salman Hameed

This is from a couple of years ago, but it is still a fascinating piece that complicates the usual relation of science & religion, and also of our general impression of Iran. At a time when embryonic stem cells research is a hot-potatoe issue for US politics, it is interesting to see the reaction in Iran. Yes, part of this has to with the definition of the beginning of life in Islam (often considered at 4 months - instead of at the time of conception), but still, this provides an nice insight into the dealings with science in deeply religious societies. By the way, evolutionary biology is also included in biology textbooks and we found the same positive reaction when we interviewed a few Iranian medical doctors who recently arrived in the US.

In any case, here is the segment on Iran's Stem Cell Fatwa from Frontline (Tip from Abu'l-Rauhan Al-Biruni):

Watch Iran: The Stem Cell Fatwa on PBS. See more from FRONTLINE/WORLD.

1 comment:

Sana Hafeez said...

This was really interesting. Thanks for sharing.