Chimeras, Personhood, and Ultimate Capacities

In stating his opposition to a proposed ban on the creation of human-animal hybrids, or chimeras (the Human-Animal Hybrid Prohibition Act of 2007), Wired blogger Brandon Keim writes, “People — and, for that matter, animals — can’t be reduced to a few discrete biological parts. Continue Reading...

Pope Benedict’s Second Encyclical Is Out

It’s called Spe Salvi, or “In hope we were saved”, and was released this morning, the Feast of St. Andrew the Apostle. The title is taken from St. Paul’s letter to the Romans 8:24; the theme is, of course, Christian hope. Continue Reading...

2008 Acton Lecture Series

The schedule for the 2008 Acton Lecture Series has been released. The following is a quick overview of the line-up. Detailed descriptions of these lectures as well as time, location, and ticket information are available at the Acton Lecture Series page on Acton’s Web site. Continue Reading...

Follow-up on Stem Cells

In my Acton Commentary this week, I argued against government funding for stem cell research. The developments that served as my springboard have unsurprisingly prompted a lot of other reflections from various quarters as well. Continue Reading...

Movie Review: Beowulf

When I first heard that the epic tale of Beowulf was being made into a feature-length film, I was excited. Ever since I had first seen the live-action version of The Fellowship of the Ring from Peter Jackson, I had thought that a similar project could do a wonderful job with the Beowulf epic. Continue Reading...

Family Friendly Cities

Joel Kotkin explains that the fastest growing cities are not the ones that cater to singles, but those that cater to families. Read it all here. Cross-posted at my blog. Continue Reading...

Pro-Growth Environmentalism?

This article at the WSJ reviews a book that purports to be about progressive environmentalism. Doomsday is out. Nobody cares. People need material well-being before they are interested in environmentalism at all. Continue Reading...

Spilling the Wrong Beans

Von Wernich at his 2007 trial in La Plata. Rev. Robert Sirico, president of the Acton Institute, has an article in today’s Detroit News on the recent conviction of Rev. Christian von Wernich, a Catholic priest sentenced to life in prison for his role in supporting the totalitarian regime during Argentina’s National Reorganization Process. Continue Reading...

On History, Education, and Great Books

Does a good education demand an appreciation for history? It would seem so. What arguments are there to support such a contention? Neil Postman writes, There is no escaping ourselves. The human dilemma is as it always has been, and it is a delusion to believe that the future will render irrelevant what we know and have long known about ourselves but find it convenient to forget. Continue Reading...