LESSON THREE: CHRISTIAN VIEW ON ISSUES RELATED TO SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY.

LESSON THREE: CHRISTIAN VIEW ON ISSUES RELATED TO SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY.

Learning outcomes:  By the end of the lesson you should be able to: –

  1. Define the following terms euthanasia, blood transfusion, organ transplant, genetic engineering and plastic surgery
  • Describe Christians’ view on euthanasia, blood transfusion, organ transplant, human cloning, genetic engineering and plastic surgery
  • State the reasons for and against euthanasia, blood transfusion, organ transplant, human cloning, genetic engineering and plastic surgery
  1. Euthanasia
  • Blood transfusion
  • Organ transplant
  • Genetic engineering
  • Plastic surgery

Euthanasia

It’s a Greek word, which means an easy and painless death. It is ‘mercy killing’ ending a person’s life so as to alleviate them from experiencing pain.

  • Its practiced with the sick person’s knowledge
  • It is involuntary when its practiced against or without the sick person’s consent
  • Its done by
  1. Injecting an overdose of sleeping pills to the sick person
  • Switching off life support machine
  • Exposing the person with chronic pneumonia to very cold air.

Christians view on Euthanasia

Christians are opposed to euthanasia for several reasons such as

  1. a) Life is sacred, a gift from God and only God can take away human life
  • Suffering is part of human life
  • Euthanasia is against medical ethos, which demands that doctors and nurses work for the sustenance of human life and alleviation of suffering but not to terminate it.
  • Jesus has power over sickness and through his name all sickness are healed
  • Accepting euthanasia discourages medical research on vaccines that may cure various diseases.
  • Euthanasia discourages patients and makes them to lose hope in life. They may feel unwanted and rejected.

Blood transfusion

– It’s the process of injecting a person’s blood into another person through his/her veins. The giver is a donor the receiver is a recipient.

Reasons for blood transfusion

  1. When a person is suffering from acute anemia (little blood in the body) low blood level.
  • To restore blood lost during fatal accidents, wars, or childbirth
  • To maintain blood levels for patients undergoing major operations
  • To correct the low haemoglobin level of some patients

5 Blood has to be screened for any diseases, and then kept in blood bank after determining the blood group. The transfusion should be in a hygienic way. The equipment used should be sterilized

6. Donors should not be below 16 years or above 65 years

Alternatives to blood transfusion

  1. Volume expanders – increase fluid levels in the body
  • Growth factors – intra operative / post operative

c) Blood salvage – same blood when on surgery is saved then transfused back to the patient

Christian view on blood transfusion

  1. Some Christian’s believe it is wrong to take blood from a healthy person and transfuse it to another person.
  • Blood is life and life cannot be taken from one person to another
  • Blood transfusion is essential as it saves life
  • Blood transfusion can transmit dangerous diseases like HIV / AIDS and Hepatitis B
  • God has given Christians the intelligence and capability to make the right decision and choice

Organ transplant

  • This is the removal of a defective organ and replacing it with a healthy one. Body organs transplanted are kidneys, heart and eyes small intestines, pan crease.
  • The purpose is to replace the damaged organ of a recipient
  • Common transplants are the heart, kidney, eyes from living and the dead (heart) within a span of hours. Eyes can be transplanted from animals.

Christian view on organ transplant

  1. It saves life hence acceptable to some
  • Its transferring human life from one person to another
  • Its wrong to transplant from animals – view by some Christians
  • Some support organ transplant by referring to the story of creation of Eve from parts of Adam
  • It is part of human beings continuing with the creation work of God.
  • It is an expression of love and concern for those suffering as taught by Jesus Christ.

 

Genetic engineering


  • – It’s a scientific technique used by scientists to change the biological characteristics of living organisms by deliberately altering the structure of individual genes.
  • There are genetically modified foods, genetically engineered seeds, test tube babies, human clones, and genes of human insulin.

Human cloning

This is a form of genetic engineering. It’s a creation of genetically identical copy of a human being, human cell.

  • Twins are a form of natural cloning
  • There’s therapeutic cloning and reproductive cloning (human cloning)
  • Therapeutic cloning is when cells from an adult are used in creating medicine or for research
  • Reproduction cloning is the making of human beings
  • More than 90% of cloning has failed.
  • Animals cloned have died young, had cancers or arthritis.
  • Human cloning is illegal worldwide
  • Genetic cells are used to treat Alzheimer, heart attack, cancer
  • Test tube babies are different from human cloning. Test tube babies are where the egg and sperm is fused together outside the body.
  • In cloning, a needle like device is used to draw out the cells from an embryo, then preserved using chemicals, then put in a womb/uterus to grow. Some do not need a sperm cell, they use other body cells for fertilization.

Reasons for advocating human cloning

  • Can clone people whose genetic composition is of a genius, people with special abilities or talents
  • Can be able to bring, revive back great extinct characteristics.
  • Those who support it believes it can reduce immorality

Reasons against human cloning

  1. 1. God is the sole creator. Cloning takes the place of God.
  • It de –humanizes human beings purpose of human reproduction
  • It destroys uniqueness of each individual (Cloning is an exact copy)
  • It can be abused and used to create antisocial people (rapists, thieves)
  • May create deformed people
  • It’s un-ethical, immoral experiment. Its destruction of the embryo hence abortion
  • 95% of clones have failed (animal) most animals died
  • It’s illegal
  • Closed animals died of cancer, had arthritis, deformities and an early death
  1. Cloning may bring a destructive copy of humans

Advantages of genetic engineering

  1. Implanting genes that are diseases free in people, plant and animals could prevent diseases.
  • Genetic crops yield more
  • Helps to determine the biological parent in case of dispute on babies (DNA)
  • Helps to increase disease resistance in crops and altering animal traits in plants and animals
  • Assists in classifying blood during screening before it’s transfused to another person.

Christian view of genetic engineering

  1. Christians support genetic engineering that is beneficial to human beings e.g. Cure of genetic diseases, production of drugs, plant and animals
  • Human beings are made in God’s image and are loved by God with or without defects.
  • The dignity of the human being is eroded or disregarded and should be upheld.
  • Christians oppose cloning and test tube babies
  • It’s against God’s will or teaching

Plastic surgery

  • It’s to change or mould the shape of something, to enhance or restore an area of the body
  • It’s repairing or improving of damaged, diseased or unsatisfactory shaped parts of the body with pieces of skin or bone taken from other parts of the body.
  • Skin grafting is the most common type of plastic surgery
  • Plastic surgery is done on cleft lips i.e. cosmetic surgery, breast surgery – reduction or enlargement, surgery done to look younger.

Reasons for plastic surgery

  • It can help restore ones confidence or self – esteem
  • It enhances beauty, attractiveness or youthfulness
  • It enhances a person’s life and can be a life changing procedure
  • It may help a person to get a new job Disadvantages
  • Its expensive
  • Can lead to transmission of diseases Christian views on plastic surgery
  • Some support it, as it has some benefits
  • Some Christian oppose plastic surgery in order to look younger
  • Some argue that some people do it because of a lack of self – acceptance, low self esteem hence should work on such issues first.

LESSON FOUR: THE CHRISTIAN VIEW ON THE EFFECTS OF MODERN SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY ON THE ENVIRONMENT (POLLUTION, DESERTIFICATION)

Learning outcomes:  By the end of the lesson you should be able to: –

1. State the various ways of caring for the environment

In Genesis 1, man was given the responsibility of taking care of the environment

Ways of taking care of the environment

  1. Cleaning up the environment, clean up rivers
  • Educating people on the importance of conservation
  • Dispose industrial wastes properly
  • Enforce use of environment – friendly fuel (unleaded fuel)
  • Factory owners to supply protective wear to factory workers
  • Planting of trees and flowers
  • Establishing airports, industries, and disco clubs away from residential areas.
  • Advocate for laws to be passed to minimize noise from vehicles, aircrafts, entertainment centres.
  • Waste to be managed through
  • Reuse e.g. bottles
  • Recycle – plastic bottles to be recycled to plastic bins, old newspapers to be recycled to tissue papers.
  • Recover – burning waste products to produce electricity

Waste can be managed to reduce use of ‘Throw away’ goods e.g. batteries to use of electricity.

LESSON FIVE: POLLUTION AND ITS EFFECTS.

Learning outcomes:  By the end of the lesson you should be able to: –

  1. Define the terms pollutant and pollution
  • Give examples of pollutants
  • State and explain the types of pollution
  • State the effects of the various types of pollution.

It’s introduction into the environment of substances or energy that is liable to cause hazards to human health, harm to living resources and ecological systems

In simple terms pollution is the contamination of the environment.

Substances that cause pollution are called pollutants. Some of the pollutants include;

  • Industrial affluent
  • Pesticides
  • Insecticides
  • Fertilizers
  • Ultra – violent rays from nuclear plants
  • Dust
  • Smoke
  • Noise
  • Waste heat
  • Exhaust gases from automobiles

Types of pollution

a) Water pollution

  • Air pollution
  • Land pollution
  • Radiation pollution
  • Sound pollution (noise)

Water pollution

This is the increase of substances in water in excess of its rightful chemical components thus making it unsuitable for human, animal or plant use.

– Disposing domestic and industrial waste into rivers, lakes, seas etc pollutes water.

  • – Disposing agricultural chemicals pesticides into water bodies.
  • Oil spilling into waters
  • Poor sanitation bathing or washing clothes in rivers or dams

Effects of water pollution

  1. Causes diseases, which are communicable such as cholera, typhoid, and dysentery.
  • Leads to death of marine life – birds (Flamingo) fish by oil spills
  • A Mercury (metal) lead, silver is poisonous. They kill organisms.
  • Water becomes unfit for human consumption

Air pollution

  • Presence of contaminants in the atmosphere caused by a. Smoke

b. Fumes

c. Dust – from mines, quarries

  • When there is an increased level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere that’s pollution
  • Other major atmospheric pollutants include gases such as chlorofluorocarbons (CFC), and sulphur dioxide (SO2)
  • Nitrogen Oxide (NO) i.e. fumes from vehicles, aircrafts, industries

Effects

  • Leads to diseases such as bronchitis, asthma
  • Leads to depletion of the Ozone layer leading to ultra – violent rays of the sun penetrating to the earth causing skin cancer, cataracts (eye problems), low plant yields.
  • Causes rusting of roofs
  • Causes acid rains
  • (v)            Carbon dioxide (02) in the atmosphere has led to global warming.
  • Formation of smog (thick fog), which can lead to accidents.
  • Colored rain due to large amounts of dust in the atmosphere
  • Eyesight loss due to gas leakages from industrial plants.

Land pollution

Land pollution is any physical or chemical alteration to land, which causes change in its use and renders it incapable of beneficial use without treatment.

  • Improper or excessive use of insecticides, pesticides makes land acidic
  • Land is also polluted by improper disposal of waste / garbage, broken glasses.

Effects

  • Waste is an eye sore spoiling the beauty of the environment
  • Broken glass can lead to injuries
  • Open mining leaves pits, which are a danger to people and animals.

Noise pollution

  • Experienced especially in urban centres, near roads, running water, mining areas, airports, music from bars, nightclubs etc.
  • An instrument called sound meter measures noise. The lowest unit is O Decitel, which is okay. More than 80 decibels is harmful to the ear.

Noise over 80 decibels can cause (effects)

  • Deafness, hearing problems
  • Psychological disorders – frustrations, irritation
  • Insomnia
  • Shock due to sudden noise

– Cracking of walls

Noise can be minimized by

  • Construction of sound proof buildings
  • Location of residential areas away from industries, airports, bars, main roads
  • Banning of unnecessary hooting, playing of loud music in public vehicles
  • Installing silencers in generators
  • Education people on the effects of noise pollution

Pollution caused by radiation

Mainly in developed countries

Atomic explosions e.g. Hiroshima / Nagasaki in Japan in 1945; The side effects of mutations of born children; Some children born with deformities; The radiation caused chromosome mutations. Some mutations on the cells of the parent / grandparents

  • Nuclear power stations also a danger
  • Medical equipment e.g. X ray machines when one is over exposed to these radiations (x – rays) it can lead to development of cancer.

LESSON SIX: DESERTIFICATION

Learning outcomes:  By the end of the lesson you should be able to: –

  1. Define the term desertification
  • Describe the causes of desertification

This is slow encroachment of desert – like a condition to land that was previously productive making it desolate, uncultivatable and uninhabitable. Human activity accelerates creation of deserts.

Causes of deserts


1. Natural

  1. Persistent rains in a semi – arid area
  • Exposure of an area to very high, very cold temperatures
  • Inadequate rainfall for a long period of time

2. Human

Human activities that lead to desertification are

  • Cutting down of trees (deforestation) for land use such as building, industries, and not replacing them.
  • Use of water from wells to irrigate land. Its harmful especially salty water – salt on soil salination is toxic to soils.
  • Incorrect use of pesticides and fertilizers destroy soil nutrients.
  • Industrialization – industries emit carbon dioxide (CO2) leading to formation of acid rain, which leads to unproductive land hence desertification
  • Overgrazing especially among the pastoralist communities
  • Poor farming methods like cultivation on riverbanks and slopes, which causes soil erosion, leading to desertification.

LESSON SEVEN: SOLUTIONS TO DESERTIFICATION

Learning outcomes: By the end of the lesson you should be able to: – 1.state the solutions to desertification

Land can be restored through the following ways;

  • Removal of people, livestock from certain areas e.g. forests
  • Installation of good drainage systems
  • Reduction of water logging / salination
  • (iv)          Use of alternative sources of fuel such as wind, solar, biogas instead of cutting down trees to use as fuel (charcoal)
  • Advocate for penalties to those who pollute the environment – factories
  • Replace trees that are cut down
  • Build water storage facilities to store rain water then use it for irrigation
  • Educate people on the importance of the environment
  • Use of manure instead of harmful fertilizers

Emulate Prof. Wangari Maathai implanting trees – 8th October 2004 she was awarded the Nobel peace prize, an international award, for her efforts in preserving the environment.

Revision questions

  1. How can modern Christians evaluate scientific and technological discoveries
  • Why is the church in Kenya opposed to plastic surgery?
  • How has science and technology improved human life?
  • What are the consequences of science and technology in our society?

Revision questions

1.   1990 Q 45 a, b

        (a)    Discuss Environmental factors that threaten human existence 

        (b)    Explains ways in which Christians can contribute to the conservation of the

                 Environment

2.    1992 Q 5a b

        (a)  Discuss how modern science and technology could enhance Christians      

   understanding of God’s creation

        (b)  Explain how science and technology challenges the Christian understanding

               of human dignitiy

3.    1994 Q 40

           Explain problems caused by industrialization in a community

4.    1995 Q 7

          State ways in which the church in Kenya is involved in rural development

5.     1997 Q 6 b   (pp2)

           (b) Explain the religious significance of the environment in traditional African communities                                                                                       (7 marks)

6.    2000 Q 20

           Identify five ways in which a Christian can show respect for life today.  (5marks)

7.     2002 Q 19

           What roles can Christians play in the national election?                               (5marks)

8.     2003 Q 6c (pp2)

         Why is the church in Kenya opposed to genetic engineering?                         (5marks)

9.     2004 Q 19

        State five ways in which modern science and technology undermine Christian teaching on respect for human life                                                                        (5marks)

10.   2010 Q 6 (pp2)

        (a)       Explain the Christian view on plastic surgery in Kenya today.            (10 marks)

          (b)       Describe four ways through which science and technology has negatively affected the environment created by God.                                         (4 marks)

          (c)       How can the youth in the Church carry out environmental restoration in Kenya today?                                                                                     (6 marks)

Answers

1990 Q45a, b

  • Destruction/exploitation of natural resources by man eg mining/poaching/exploitation of workers/child labour.
  • Environmental pollution e.g. air pollution, water pollution, garbage /toxic gases/forest fires/use of pesticides.
  • Modern science and technology e.g production of atomic welfare and other sophisticated armaments which threaten the destruction of the world and annihilation of humankind.
  • Natural catastrophist like drought/flood/ earthquakes /hurricanes /volcanic eruptions / famine
  • Accidents eg factory accidents, automobile accidents, plane accidents, house fires.
  • Soil erosion
  • Use of drugs eg bhang, heroin, overdose of certain medicines.
  • Urbanization /natural vegetation gives way to building. Overcrowding/homelessness as a result to urbanization.
  • Injustice in the society where suffering is inflicted upon people by people through such practices as racism/sexism/apartheid/classism.
  • Wars and use of war weapons.
  • Destruction of the environment by animals etc

(b)

  • Christians should understand that the environment was created and sanctified by God and should be revered/kept holy.
  • Teach others the need and importance of preserving, rescuing, and caring for the environment
  • Make contribution towards the preservation, protection/caring for the environment in terms of money, time, ideas and equipments
  • Participate in conservation project eg planting of trees, digging of terraces/gabions/cleaning the environment.
  • Set an example in conservation of the environment keeping the environment clean.
  • Avoid buying and using products made from materials obtained through destruction of the environment eg game trophies/charcoal.
  • Observing of personal hygiene /cleanliness
  • Caring for the needy/the poor/the sick/the disable accident victims.
  • Caring for the flora and the fauna
  • Through sharing the fruits of the environment with justice.

1992 Q5a, b

  • Science and technology have enabled human being to formulate rules/make tools which help them to control /rule over the universe (as God told to be masters of the universe.
  • Through increase experimentation human beings have developed sophisticated technology eg harness nuclear power/traveling/saying in outer space for months. (This has made them wonder about God’s creation. The astronauts who made it to the moon exclaimed the wonders of God).
  • Science and technology have been used to improve human/animals/plant life. Medical advances have led to disease control and even to extermination of some diseases thus prolonging life (eg more food production etc)
  • Science and technology have helped in raising the standards of living (with more-machinery being produced and provided to help workers produce more with less effort
  • Science and technology have been used to serve the material/spiritual needs of human beings, (church have used scientific knowledge and discoveries in spreading the word of God in the world and in initiating development projects to help the people
  • Through technological advances the world has been reduced to a global village (eg through faster means of transport).
  • Christian understanding of creation is that man actively participates in God’s creation (developments in science and technology are ways of man’s participation in the creative work of God.
  • In spite of all the advances in science and technology there are questions about the mystery of the universe/creation that they cannot ensure and therefore human beings turn to God for those answers
  • Science and technology  have been used to sustain /improve the environment for the benefit of human race /for the glory of God.
  • Science and technology have helped humanbeings to understand the wonderful order design in the universe and made them ask the fundamental question, (“Who designed this orderbecause it could not have happened by chance
  • Science and technology have helped Christians to share with others the wonderful works of Gad(eg by using modem mass media ) electronic media.

b)

  • Some scientists (eg Darwin) argue that man is a “chance” creature. (This view reduces the dignity of a person who according to Christian teaching was created by God in His (God’s) own image.
  • Science and technology have been used to “create” thus taking the place of God eg test-tube, babies, transplants, sex change.
  • Science and technology have sometimes been used to destroy what has created (eg Bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, used of chemical/ Biological weapons)
  • Some nations use their scientific and technology advances to oppress/humiliate other nations (or even to blackmail them, although all human beings are supposed to be equal.
  • Science and technology have created division in society in making some people richer than others.
  • Science and technology seem to have replaced human  labour (in some cases or reduced man to a mere  machine or a producing device).
  • The science theory of evaluation challenges the Christian view that man /woman created by God.
  • Science and technology have been used to deny peophjobs/employment which was done by human beings)
  • Some countries have use their scientific and technological advances to subjugate/subordinate and to exploit the countries that are not scientifically and technological advanced.

1991 Q40

  • May lead to breakdown of community norms values morals
  • Destroys personal/leads to individualism where there is little or no consideration for the welfare others.
  • May lead to breakdown of family/ties/time for __e family is limited the demands of the jobs.
  • May lead to other vices
  • May lead to exploitation of works
  • Causes health hazards /accidents in factories
  • May lead to pollution /air poisoning
  • May lead to exploitation of land resources

1997 Q 6b (PP2)

  • The environment was created by God/it is sacred/ to be reversed.
    • Each ethnic group believed that their homeland was given to them by God/it was a gift from God.
    • In some communities, the most important oaths were taken by one taking the soil as a symbol of land/environment.
    • African communities set aside certain places as sacred/ to symbolize God’s presence among them (e.g mountains/ forests/caves/rivers /trees). These places were also used as places of worship.
    • Some communities hat totemic animals/birds/heavenly bodies which were considered sacred.
    • The environment demonstrated the relationship between god and the people at given times e.g drought/flood/epidemics) showed that God was annoyed with the people/good rains/ a bumper harvest/ green vegetation showed God’s blessings.
    • People believed that it was their religious obligation to take care of the environment.
    • Used the environment to reveal / understand God’s attributes/his nature (e.g. thunder/ lightning/ rain/ clouds/earthquakes/ volacanicity/eclipses/sun moon/stars.
    • Rites of passages were connected to the environment/ circumcision blood flowed to the soil to blind the initiate to the ancestors/ birth –placenta was buried in the ground/upon death the body was buried in the ground.
    • The Africans believed that the environment was the abode of the spirits/the living dead / the ancestors.

2000 Q 20

  • Care for / conserve the environment (e.g. planting trees/grass/flowers)
  • Avoiding pollution of water, air and land/through proper disposal of waste.
  • Caring for the less fortunate members of the society/helping the needy.
  • Condemning abortion.
  • Discouraging capital punishment
  • Practicing responsible parenthood/ discouraging child abuse.
  • Sharing natural resources with those who are unfortunate
  • Discouraging capital punishment
  • Providing guidance and counseling on the value of life.      5×1= 5mks

2003 Q 6c (PP2)

  • It is against the teaching of God
  • It interferes with procreation
  • It may produce race which is undesirable
  • It makes man compete with God
  • It hinders God’s plan (like marriage)

2004 Q 19

  • People  are able to carry  out  abortions  which  lead  to death of unborn/ risk the  mother’s  life mercy killing euthanisa
  • Cloning/ test tube babies undermine  human sexuality
  • Machine. Fertilizer pollute the environment thus endangering the lives  of human  beings/ any  forms  of  pollutions
  • Information  derived from  pornographic  literature  video  films  cyber cafes/ tapes radio  pollute the  minds
  • Vasectomy, tubal  legation  undermines God’s  purpose for protection
  • Weapons  of  mass destructions lead to loss  of life
  • Human being  have been rendered jobless due to modern science  and technology/ unemployment
  • Accidents caused  by machines lead to loss  of life/ vehicles
  • Deforestation  leads to depletion  of trees/ soil erosion/ lowers food  production/ hunger
  • Organ transplant/ plastic surgery  undermines God’s creation
  • Drug abuse/ substance  abuse

2010 Q 6 (PP2)

  • Christian approves plastic surgery when used to restore/improve deformities/treatment.
    • It is not recommended for beauty/cosmetic reasons since that goes against Lord’s design.
    • Plastic surgery is like self-glorification thus it is discouraged.
    • God is more interested in one’s soul than a beautiful body.
    • Plastic surgery takes the place of God who is the creator/challenges God the creator.
    • The intention of plastic surgery in most cases is to created celebrities who become objects of worship.
    • Risks involved when performing surgery can lead to deformity/death.
  • It shows lack of appreciation of oneself.                   (5 x 2 = 10mks)
  • Use of chemicals has led to the pollution of water/soils
    • Emission of smoke from industries/nuclei factories leads to pollution of air.
    • Felling trees has led to desertification/drying up of rivers.
    • Manufacturing of plastic materials has led to environmental degradation.
    • Science and Technology has led to the over utilization of natural resources like fish/wildlife.
  • Quarrying/mining had led to environmental degradation.   

                                                                                                             (4 x 1 – 4mks)

  • The youth should sensitize people on the importance of protecting the environment/theatre performance in environment.
    • They should teach/on methods of environmental conservation gabions terracing contour ploughing etc.
    • They need to form church organizations/clubs/societies aimed at environment conservations.
    • The youth should raise funds to support environmental exploitation/degradation.
    • They should raise funds to support environmental conservation programmes.
    • They take part in the environmental days for planting of trees/cleaning occasions.
    • They should lobby the government to enact laws that are aimed at protecting the environment.
  • They should act responsible/be role models on issues regarding the environment.                                                                           (6 mks)
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