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Abstract

Scientific discoveries have done much to complicate matters of life and death. Perhaps the most significant such revelation in recent decades has been that every cell in our bodies has a built-in, and genetically controlled suicide capability. This is also true of most other organisms. Cells know how to die! It has been discovered that programmed cell death turns out to be vitally important in many life processes such as: the development of the mature organism from a single cell, combating foreign threats, such as infections, and controlling rampant cell growth, as found in various cancers. It is also important in the normal regeneration of skin and gut lining. Cell death appears to be much more inextricably intertwined with life than may have been earlier supposed. This paper introduces this discussion and explores some of the implications of programmed cell death for a Christian understanding of the relationship between life and death.

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