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Nuclear Chemistry and Medicine: Why "Young-Earthers" Cannot Have It Both Ways.


One underappreciated, but potentially important, tool for navigating tensions in science and religion dialogue is understanding the way in which scientific frameworks have applications that are appropriated across "party lines." Technological applications of scientific discovery produce smartphones, medical advances, and an ever-increasing number of conveniences that are appreciated and appropriated by those with differing perspectives on any hot-button science and religion issue. What is sometimes not recognized, however, is the connection between the piece of technology we can touch and see, and the scientific framework which made the creation of the technology possible.

For example, suppose that Sue gets thyroid cancer and her doctor prescribes radioiodine therapy as part of her treatment. Or suppose that Bob has symptoms of a gallbladder attack and his doctor recommends a radioisotope scan in order to give an image of the gallbladder that will aid diagnosis. Both of these features of modern medicine--radioisotope imaging and radioiodine therapy--are applications of a more fundamental framework of nuclear chemistry. But the applications of nuclear chemistry do not stop with medicine; the same scientific framework that results in radioisotope imaging and radioiodine therapy also generates radiometric dating, one of the pieces of information scientists use to determine that the earth is approximately 4.6 billion years old. Now it turns out

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Amanda J. Nichols, PhD, is Associate Professor of Chemistry and Associate Dean of the College of Natural and Health Sciences at Oklahoma Christian University. In addition to teaching chemistry, she co-teaches an honors class on science and Christianity.

Myron A. Penner, PhD, is Professor of Philosophy and Director of the Humanitas Anabaptist-Mennonite Centre at Trinity Western University in Langley, British Columbia. His research areas include philosophy of religion, philosophy of science, and cognitive science of religion.

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Title Annotation:Article
Author:Nichols, Amanda J.; Penner, Myron A.
Publication:Perspectives on Science and Christian Faith
Date:Dec 1, 2019
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