Pain and Suffering

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PAIN AND SUFFERING
Scientific, Philosophical, and Religious Perspectives
December 1, 2012
FICTION OR FACT??
HYMENOPTERA – PARASITIC WASPS
WHAT IS LIFE?
Characteristics of Life (Biological)
• Organization (cellular)
• Reproduction
• Responsiveness
• Evolution (continuous change)
• Homeostasis (internal maintenance)
• Energy Transformations
THERMODYNAMICS
The study of energy transformations
•
First Law of Thermodynamcis (conservation of energy)
• E = mc2 is one expression of this
• Second Law of Thermodynamics (disorder in a system)
• Systems tend to proceed from ordered to disordered states
• Free Energy changes in a reaction ( A + B → C + D ):
G = H - TS
• If G = 0, reaction is at equilibrium
• If G < 0, reaction proceeds as written (spontaneous)
• If G > 0, reaction will not proceed (non-spontaneous)
WHEN IS A REACTION SPONTANEOUS?
EPotential Energy
ergy
Potential Energy and Order
(Entropy)
High
tential Energy and Order (Entropy)
High potential energy
High potential energy,
more order
Low
Low potential energy,
less order
Low potential energy
ATP HAS HIGH POTENTIAL ENERGY
ATP consists of three phosphate groups, ribose, and adenine.
Adenine
Phosphate groups
Ribose
Energy is released when ATP is
hydrolyzed.
ATP
Water
ADP
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Inorganic
phosphate
Energy
EXERGONIC PHOSPHORYLATION REACTIONS
“Activated”
substrate
ATP
A
BPi
AB
A
∆G
B
Energy is required
to synthesize AB
Reactants
•
Products
ATP is the energy currency of all living organisms
© 2011 Pearson Education, Inc.
SOURCES OF ATP FOR LIVING CELLS
• Autotrophs – can provide their own energy
• Phototrophs – light (plants)
• Chemotrophs – inorganic chemicals (some microbes)
• Heterotrophs – energy derived from organic molecules
• All animals
• Requires mechanisms for detection (sensory) and
acquisition (eating) of food (organic molecules).
© 2011 Pearson Education, Inc.
FOOD
• Reduced organic compounds that can be harvested to provide
chemical energy for ATP synthesis.
 Herbivores
 Carnivores
 Omnivores
• ALL require sensory systems for acquiring food.
• Many require sensory systems for avoiding predation.
© 2011 Pearson Education, Inc.
HOMEOSTASIS
© 2011 Pearson Education, Inc.
HOMEOSTATIC MECHANISMS
• Thermoregulation (temperature)
• Osmoregulation (electrolytes)
• Nitrogen Balance (elimination of waste products)
• Oxygen levels
• pH balance (acidity)
• Nutrient transport
→ ALL require energy (ATP) expenditure
>>> evolutionary imperative for sensory development
EVOLUTION OF SENSORY MECHANISMS
• Example, The Molluscan Eye
EYE DIVERSITY
VARIETY OF SENSORY RECEPTORS
NOCIRECEPTORS (PAIN)
EVOLUTION OF NERVOUS SYSTEMS
PARENTAL INVESTMENT THEORY
PAIN AND SUFFERING (A REDUCTIONISTIC VIEW)
• Thermodynamic need for energy to drive metabolic reactions and maintain
homeostasis
• Requires an interaction with the environment for detecting and acquiring food
• Evolution of a variety of sensory receptors including for pain
• Predator – prey relationships
• Increasing complexity of integration centers (brain development)
• Extended parenting time; emotional and social connections
• Can be expanded to include suffering due to illness (genetic, infection, injury)
>>>>>> Where is God in all this?
CHATECHISM OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH
•
“The Church’ Magesterium, as authentic interpreter of the affirmations of Scripture and
Tradition, teaches that death entered the world on account of man’s sin” (CCC 1008)
•
“Illness and suffering have always been among the gravest problems confronted in human
life. In illness, man experiences his powerlessness, his limitations and his finitude. Every
illness can make us glimpse death.” (CCC 1500)
•
“Illness can lead to anguish, self-absorption, sometimes even despair and revolt against
God. It can also make a person more mature, helping him discern in his life what is not
essential so that he can turn towards that which is. Very often illness provokes a search
for God and a return to him.” (CCC 1501)
•
“Christ’s compassion towards the sick and his many healings of every kind of infirmity are
a resplendant sign that “God has visited his people” and that the Kingdom of God is close
at hand.” (CCC 1503)
•
“By his passion and death on the cross Christ has given new meaning to suffering: it can
henceforth configure us to him and unite us with his redemptive Passion.” (CCC 1505)
ONE REFLECTION
• “Jesus promises us, over and over, that to follow him means taking the way
of the cross. Why are we surprised then, when life is dark and painful?
Why do we imagine God has abandoned us, or assume we’ve lost our way?
Servants are not greater than their Master, Jesus tells us (Matt. 10:24). If
Jesus new hardship, rejection, betrayal, shame, and apparent failure, why do
we expect our lot to be different? In our trials and troubles, we know the
privilege of being united to Christ in his suffering.”
- Susan Pitchford, Give Us This Day, Nov. 28, 2012.
GOD AND MODERN BIOLOGY PROGRAM
• Spring Schedule 2013
• Wed., February 6, 6-9 PM
John Haught book discussion (continued)
• Sat., March 2, time TBA
Lecture/discussion with students – topic TBA
• Thur., April 4, 5-9 PM
An evening with John Haught; dinner and lecture event
• Wed., April 15, 7 PM
Elizabeth Johnson lecture
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