Guest Column: Tiny Forests

According to Cara Buckley with The New York Times, a growing number of “tiny forests” are appearing across urban areas in the U.S.  

In addition to absorbing carbon dioxide, reducing water runoff, and providing homes for wildlife, “[T]iny forests can help lower temperatures in places where pavement, buildings and concrete surfaces absorb and retain heat from the sun.”  

The concept was pioneered by Japanese ecologist Akira Miyawaki and suggests that people are the best stewards of nature. What the world needs is not some return to vast, unspoiled “wilderness” by massively reducing the human population, as so many suggest. Instead, we need more of this: creating space for people to use their ingenuity, resources, and innovation to increase creation’s fruitfulness. 

Our screens and concrete jungles disconnect us from God’s creation, while bad ideas about “nature” and the environment treat humans as its biggest problem. But humans were created to care for the rest of creation. In fact, only humans can.

Copyright 2023 by the Colson Center for Christian Worldview. Reprinted from with permission.

Human Extinction?

John Stonestreet, Radio Host and Director of the Colson Center for Christian Worldview

In a recent essay, Oxford Professor Roger Crisp toyed with the idea that human extinction may not be a bad thing after all. With so much suffering on Earth, he argues, if NASA were to locate a massive asteroid hurtling towards our planet, we would be justified in letting it obliterate us.  

“I am not claiming that extinction would be good;” Crisp clarified, “only that, since it might be, we should devote a lot more attention to thinking about the value of extinction than we have to date.”  

This is an Oxford philosopher of ethics, but he’s wrestling with an idea that long ago left the ivory tower.  

 Wesley Smith of the Discovery Institute put it this way: “With our supposedly best minds suggesting that human extinction could be desirable, is it any wonder that so many of our young people seem to be despairing?”  

When God is taken out of the moral picture, reason evaporates, as does the rest of our moral logic. Someone tell Bruce Willis and the rest of his team from Armageddonthe mission is off.

Copyright 2022 by the Colson Center for Christian Worldview. Reprinted from with permission.

Scientists in Oregon Kill Human Embryos For “Research”

This week the MIT Technology Review reported that scientists in Oregon have become the first in the U.S. to edit the DNA of human embryos.

The MIT Technology Review writes,

The effort, led by Shoukhrat Mitalipov of Oregon Health and Science University, involved changing the DNA of a large number of one-cell embryos with the gene-editing technique CRISPR, according to people familiar with the scientific results.

Until now, American scientists have watched with a combination of awe, envy, and some alarm as scientists elsewhere were first to explore the controversial practice. To date, three previous reports of editing human embryos were all published by scientists in China.

To call this research “controversial” is an understatement. It is unconscionable for two reasons.

First, in order to carry out their research, scientists created human embryos. These human embryos were living human beings–albeit very small, helpless human beings. Researchers in Oregon created these human beings; experimented on them; and then apparently killed them.

Ethically speaking, this is no different from embryonic stem cell research in which human embryos are created and then killed in order to harvest their stem cells for scientific use.

The second reason this research is unconscionable is that it could pave the way for “designer babies” in which embryos are edited to produce certain characteristics. Scientists who support this research say it could one day allow doctors to correct genetic abnormalities in unborn children, but it could also allow parents and doctors to engineer children with certain traits or enhancements.

It’s worth noting this is not the first time these researchers in Oregon have engaged in this type of activity. In 2013 they published research claiming to have cloned and killed human embryos in order to obtain their stem cells.

As we have said many times, human beings are not research material. All scientific research must respect the sanctity of human life. And we should not do anything that might encourage or allow doctors to produce customized “designer children.”

You can read more about the research in question here.