Inquiry Project Final Draft!

Well folks, we are finally at the finish line! Here is a link to my final inquiry project. I decided to use the website medium.com as I felt that it provided a great platform for my project. As you all know, I wrote about how the ethical, societal and political debate on stem cells have effected our society.

I had a lot of fun writing this inquiry project and throughout this whole process. I have really learnt a lot from all the great feedback everyone has given me, not only my inquiry project posts, but also the entire blog as a whole. I worked extremely hard on completing this project so I hope you all have the chance to read it and feel free to comment on it as well!

Inquiry Project: First draft!

Hey guys, here is my official first draft of our inquiry project. Take a look and make any comments you’d like! I appreciate any feedback 🙂

https://medium.com/@poojaeagala/the-stem-cell-debate-b4ba7c837b50

I am 85-90ish% done with my inquiry project. I just have to site all my sources more formally and finish off my conclusion. I also have a couple more minor details to add to a couple paragraphs to finish off the rest of my project.

I hope you enjoy reading and please comment and give me feedback if you think I need to change something around!

 

Persuasion map & thoughts

Stem cell persuasion map

Part 1

The stem cell debate has caused our society to more deeply examine core ethical issues while also challenging political, ethical, and societal/cultural divides. In this research paper I will talk about the stem cell debate and how it has challenged many ethical concerns on human life. I will also touch upon the ethical issues the stem cell debate has amongst the political lines, including he change in political opinion from when it was first discovered in 2001 to present day. And lastly, I will write about societies values and belief in ethics of medical technology. This includes current advancements in technology in this area. Therefore this debate has influenced United States significantly in several different areas.

Part 2

I used the https://workflowy.com/ website to create a more in depth concept map outlining my ideas.

  • Stem cell research
    • Introduction
      • http://stemcells.nih.gov/info/basics/pages/basics1.aspx
    • The stem cell debate has challeneged ethical concerns about human life.
      • http://www.frc.org/content/the-ethics-of-embryonic-stem-cell-research-and-human-cloning
        • Embryonic stem cell research involves the destruction of the embryos from whom stem cells are harvested, federal funding for it was banned by an act of Congress. 
        • IS AN EMBRYO A HUMAN BEING IN THE FIRST PLACE? Now, in principle (some claim that it has already been done in fact) it should be scientifically possible to generate new human beings. Those who favor the reproduction of human beings by cloning argue that it would enable people to have a desirable control over the qualities and genetic characteristics of the children they have.Those who oppose the reproduction of human beings by cloning–I among them–insist that it is a dehumanizing procedure that will lead our culture down the road–or further down the road–to the commodification of human life. 
      • http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/miracle/stemcells.html
      • http://www.eurostemcell.org/factsheet/embyronic-stem-cell-research-ethical-dilemma
        • In the case of embryonic stem cell research, it is impossible to respect both moral principles.To obtain embryonic stem cells, the early embryo has to be destroyed. This means destroying a potential human life. But embryonic stem cell research could lead to the discovery of new medical treatments that would alleviate the suffering of many people.
    • The deep ethical issues we are forced to confront from the stem cell debate fall along political lines and have hardened opinions 
      • http://www.frc.org/content/the-ethics-of-embryonic-stem-cell-research-and-human-cloning
        • Because embryonic stem cell research involves the destruction of the embryos from whom stem cells are harvested, federal funding for it was banned by an act of Congress. The Department of Health and Human Services under President Clinton, however, reinterpreted the provisions of that act to permit the funding of research using stem cells harvested from embryos destroyed with private money. When President Bush came into office, he was faced with a decision whether to uphold the ban as originally understood or stick with the Clinton Administration’s interpretation.
      • http://stemcells.nih.gov/policy/pages/2001policy.aspx
        • On August 9th, 2001, Former President George W. Bush announced that federal funds may be awarded for research using human embryonic stem cells if the following criteria are met:
        • The derivation process (which begins with the destruction of the embryo) was initiated prior to 9:00 P.M. EDT on August 9, 2001.
        • The stem cells must have been derived from an embryo that was created for reproductive purposes and was no longer needed.
        • Informed consent must have been obtained for the donation of the embryo and that donation must not have involved financial inducements.
    • The stem cell debate forces society to rethink their values and question their belief in ethics of medical technology
      • http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/06/06/AR2007060601345.html
        • Person’s own skin cells could be converted directly into stem cells without having to destroy embryo
        • Cloning proves scientifically that life begins at conception, a position most Christians adhere
      • http://www.icr.org/article/ten-problems-with-embryonic-stem-cell-research/
        • Cloning proves scientifically that life begins at conception, a position most Christians adhere

Stem cell research is the process of using specific cells, usually found in the embryo, to aid and replenish other cells. Stem cells typically have a controversial connotation behind it. There is much debate on using these cells because they typically require the unborn fetus in order to proceed with the research. The topic is problematic because it is settled now but at the time had sparked several controversial topics. The stem cell debate has caused our society to more deeply examine core ethical issues while also challenging political, ethical, and societal/cultural divides. 

Concept experience: Part 1&2

Part 1: 

In my opinion the article does not have a strong stance on the argument; he simply presents evidence and expects the reader to draw his or her own conclusions. However majority of the facts were scholarly and had scientific facts supporting the argument in each claim, so to me everything but the argument itself was strong. The author used media in addition to text so it justified the argument more. Overall I believe that it strengths the argument more. The design of the paper was very interesting. The flow was similar to a research paper but still seemed informal in its reasoning. It had a lot of interesting ideas and facts I found interesting to read about.

 Part 2:

For my inquiry project, I have decided to use WordPress over other blogs sites such as Medium, for various reasons. These reasons include the familiarity of the websites, for example, my current blog that I am using for this UNIV 200 course is WordPress. I feel comfortable and at ease while using WordPress. While I was deciding what website I wanted to use for my inquiry project, I visited several websites, one being Medium.com. Although I was very intrigued by the “story book” idea, I felt that it would have taken more time for me to figure out how to use the website than focus on the actual inquiry project. With WordPress, I can freely add different sorts of media without spending too much time figuring out how to do so. I also felt like WordPress was more user friendly because we are able to link to other classmates blog posts. All in all, I really liked the idea of websites such as Medium.com, however the user-friendliness and simplicity of WordPress won me over.

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If the World Began Again, Would Life as We Know It Exist?

In, “If the World Began Again, Would Life as We Know It Exist”, Zack Zorich ponders the idea of how evolution would be different a second time around.The non debatable thesis of this article explores the question, “If you could replay the “tape of life” would evolution repeat itself?”. The article also analyzes the breakdown of evolution and assess its ability to reproduce itself.  The author uses majority of scholaraly sources as evidence for his claims, because it’s the only way to verify the credibility of the scientific data presented. Because the sources are all scholarly, the evidence is credible. The article uses specific representative case or facts and then draws generalizations or conclusions from them. Most of the article uses logos to convey the argument and more specifically, inductive reasoning. Most of the arguments the author presents consist of logical arguments. The evidence follows clear logical flow and significant evidence supporting claims. There were no logical fallacies which would’ve weakened the author’s argument. The author had a lot of evidence and statistics to back up his point however I feel like his argument wasn’t really persuading any argument per se but more focusing on getting the answer to the question presented.

Nugget #5: Personal Dynamic Media

““Devices” which variously store, retrieve, or manipulate information in the form of messages embedded in a medium have been in existence for thousands of years. People use them to communicate ideas and feelings both to others and back to themselves. Although thinking goes on in one’s head, external media serve to materialize thoughts and, through feedback, to augment the actual paths the thinking follows. Methods discovered in one medium provide metaphors which contribute new ways to think about notions in other media.”

The article as a whole talks about how the media was first established as means of communication. However it eventually has become used for singular purposes. Technology has been implemented to make the media stronger.

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This passage explains the role of the media in the exchange of information. People have always needed to explore and manipulate information to one another through a common medium. The media provides this  medium. The media portrays thoughts from ones head into reality. I believe the media is very important to society because they have a significant role in the exchange of information. However I believe that having this power isn’t always used for society’s best interest.  I think that this ability could potentially be used in a corrupt manner, to promote ideas and thoughts for economic benefits with a selfish manner in mind.

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Updated Research Proposal

My first proposal was generalized on the idea of stem cell research. After the feedback I received from my peers and Professor Becker I narrowed my thesis statement to be: “What impact has the stem cell debate had on our society?” I looked up several articles trying to find both sides of the argument, however what I found was mainly on the advocates of stem cell research. I tried to find neutral sources that did not advocate any side per se, because I wanted an unbiased view on this particular topic.

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This first source provides research on a technique that uses skin cells to create the stem cells, rather than damaging the embryo. This source is important to my research because it gives a position for the pro-stem cells side by alleviating the ethical concerns of stem cells.

This second source is an interesting source because it provides a downside of embryonic stem cell research. It gives a list of ten problems surrounding what this research represents. This important because it gives a topic for debate and asks questions that could hinder the advancement of this research.

I chose this source because it gives a good introduction to what stem cells are as well as answering underlining questions that have the potential to spark controversies.

This source provides a neutral standpoint explaining the stem cell debate from a not entirely one sided and takes both opinions into consideration.  This will give information on what to consider when analyzing the controversy.

This last source also provides an an introduction to stem cells as well as the highlighting the main sides of both the argument. It gives a timeline of the main debates in stem cell research. Especially President Bush’s Decision on Stem Cell Funding.

Address to the Nation on Immigration. Oval.

After reading and synthesizing these articles, I learned a lot of new things. I learned that this particular debate was very significant during the Bush era. So I decided to focus more on these specific questions: how the debate has impacted the way we think about ethical problems, stem cell research/societal/cultural popular opinions, how society’s opinion has evolved over time and specifically since the Bush era, the specific comments/opinions Bush and other important figures diplomacy on stem cell research. I think answering these questions are really important to make this inquiry project a great research paper!

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Inquiry Project: Day 4

I realized finding sources is a lot harder than it seems, so for the majority part of the day I was trying to find credible sources I could use for my project.

Today, I found a study, “The ethics and politics of stem cell research” which discussed the issue of stem cell debate and this study serves to document the efforts of one scientific community to deal with a legislative initiative to criminalize stem cell research for both the scientist and the patient. I will probably use this study as a reference to when I write my research paper because the study was published on the National Institute of Health (nih) page. It provides significant information on both the scientific and  legislative aspect of stem cells. It does not divulge completely towards one side of an argument which makes it a credible source to work with. 

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I think I need to find more research articles to better explain the process of stem cells and the more biological aspect of it, before exploring more on the different political and ethical implications.

Inquiry Project: Day 3

Today I focused on finding at least 2-3 sources I could use to build my argument for my Inquiry Project. The source I found talked about the pros and cons of stem cell research.

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The pros listed include:

  • Parkinson’s Disease
  • Alzheimer’s Disease
  • Heart Diseases, Stroke and Diabetes (Type 1)
  • Birth Defects
  • Spinal Cord Injuries
  • Replace or Repair Damaged Organs
  • Reduced Risk of Transplantation (You could possibly get a copy of your own heart in a heart-transplantation in the future
  • Stem cells may play a major role in cancer

The cons listed include:

  • “We should not mess with human life.”
  • “Humans should not be trying to play God”
  • Some argue that stem cell research in the far future can lead to knowledge on how to clone humans. It is hard to say whether this is true, but we have seen devastating consequences of other research-programs, even with good intentions, such as nuclear research.

 

Inquiry project: Day 2

Today, my main goal is to find a particular argumentative research question…..and, I did it with the help of all my classmates and Professor Becker.

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So the research question I came up with is: “What impact has the stem cell debate had on our society?”

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This question is specialized and has many categories to strengthen my argument of the effect of stem cells on our society today. This thesis has the potential to get a better understanding of questions that have been already answered. These subcategories, listed below, will give a better understanding of:
-how stem cells work
-how the procedure works
-how and when they first came about
-how the moral and ethical implications result in a partition society
-the long term and short term positive and negative physical outcomes towards the patient
-and also (if any) environmental effects