Miracles from Heaven

One of our wonderful Year 11 students who has almost finished her time at Thomas Knyvett College has emailed to let us know there’s a great film to revise Religious Studies Unit 1 Section 1 ‘Believing in God’ called Miracles from Heaven.  Apparently it shows evil and suffering, miracles as well as unanswered prayers. Could this be a good revision film to watch for Year 10 students before Thursday?

On IMDb it says: MIRACLES FROM HEAVEN is based on the incredible true story of the Beam family. When Christy (Jennifer Garner) discovers her 10-year-old daughter Anna (Kylie Rogers) has a rare, incurable disease, she becomes a ferocious advocate for her daughter’s healing as she searches for a solution. After Anna has a freak accident, an extraordinary miracle unfolds in the wake of her dramatic rescue that leaves medical specialists mystified, her family restored and their community inspired.

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Human Organs Grown in Pigs

An incredible coincidence again, that our section 2 topic in Year 10 is about to be medical ethics and organ transplants. Freaky!

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This was some amazing news on Monday: that human organs are going to be grown inside pigs to be used later as organ transplants. Wow!

The BBC have a short video clip to explain how human stem cells have been inserted into pig embryos to produce human-pig embryos, called chimeras. This research has been going on in the US to attempt to overcome the worldwide shortage of organs for donation.

The Guardian also reports on this story, explaining that from the outside they will look like normal pigs but one organ inside it will actually be human. There are heaps of ethical issues with this. For example what happens if the brain is human inside a pig’s body? Obviously from an RE perspective there are questions about meddling with nature and God’s creation, or whether if God gave us this intelligence and free will it is actually acceptable?

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Quickfire Genetic Engineering Videos

Need a quick peek at informative videos about genetic engineering? Here are some easy videos for Unit 8 Section 1.

Gene Editing

Horizon – Playing God This is just a commercial for the TV programme

Horizon – Are we still evolving? This is just a commercial for the TV programme

Nature Vs Nurture 5 minutes BBC documentary

GM Food Debate 

Should we make designer babies?

1984 Battle of Orgreave

GCSE History is so useful when trying to understand the world today. History is never just something in the past, to study and be interested in, it bubbling with facts, events and influences that help make sense of the world in the news right now.

So here we go, the Battle of Orgreave, which all GCSE History students know was part of the Miner’s Strikes of the 1980s and when thousands of miners and police clashed in South Yorkshire, is in the news today 2016.

You might already have put 2 and 2 together to work out why its in the news today… well the same police who were found so flawed in the recent Hillsborough enquiry were the same ones on duty at the Battle of Orgreave. So some politicians think that if Hillsborough finally criticised the police and uncovered official wrongdoings, well maybe the same can happen for the miner’s strike.

If you can’t remember what the Battle of Orgreave was then check out these documentaries: The Battle for Orgreave and Orgreave/ Hillsborough.

A Breakthrough in Growing Embryos

Scientists are excited about their findings after leaving embryos to grow past the normal moment they’d be implanted into a womb. There is a legal limit on how long you can allow an embryo to develop outside the womb, 14 days, but even that might soon change as scientists argue it should be extended so they can discover more.

It used to be up to a week that scientists would study a fertilised egg before it was implanted into the womb, but with the extra days scientists have discovered many things about the early stage of development which often results in developmental defects and failure to implant. So all this extra information that they’ve been able to glean should help them reduce infertility in the future.

embryo -a new organism in the earliest stage of development. In humans this is defined as the developing organism from the fourth day after fertilization to the end of the eighth week. 

foetus – a prenatal human (before birth) which is between its embryonic state and its birth.

Remember that at 24 weeks of pregnancy in England a foetus can no longer be aborted. Meanwhile Catholics believe that from the moment of conception a new life has been created and Muslims think that even though abortion is wrong if the mother’s life is at risk then up to 120 days the mother’s life has more value than the foetus.

Everyone deserves human rights, even a cold blooded killer

A few weeks ago we reported on the the Norwegian killer Anders Behring Breiviks who’d successfully argued that his human rights were being denied in prison because there’d been so much isolation forced upon him. Some people feel that if you’ve killed someone that you no longer deserve the same rights as a citizen who keeps to the law and respects others. Meanwhile others take human rights law exactly as it says: all humans are born equal and deserve their rights no matter who they are or what they’ve done.

Anders Behring Breivik arrives in court on fifth day of trial

Well a survivor of Breiviks killings, where 69 people died, has spoken out that he thinks it shows Norway’s strength that they’ve taken Breivik’s complaints seriously:

“We can see his grievances separately from his acts. We can say that everyone is equal before the law in Norway, including Breivik. He should be treated with the same respect for human rights as any other inmate in our prisons.”

Why are local elections important?

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On May 5th 2016 there are local elections in 124 boroughs; but most people are still only talking about the EU referendum later in June. The BBC points out the numerous reasons we should care about the local elections, and if you are over 18 years old make sure you go and vote. In our GCSE RS Unit 8 Section 1 we need to be able to explain why voting is important. Below are some ideas from different sources:

WhyVote

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