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Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Bush Was Right

"This is just one example of how the president puts ideology before science, politics before the needs of our families -- just one more example of how out of touch with reality he and his party have become," Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) in 2007 after then President George W. Bush vetoed legislation that would have expanded federal funding of embryonic stem cell research.

After reading this article it would appear that this is one that GWB actually got right. Dr.'s Jan Dudt and Durwood Ray of Grove City College's Biology department recently attended a summit on stem cell research and had this to say about the current state of affairs regarding adult vs. embryonic stem cell research...

"There’s a growing gap between embryonic and adult stem cell research. The NFL is to adult stem cell research as peewee football is to embryonic stem cell research. Adult stem cell research is making tremendous advances while embryonic research seems to be still in the, well, embryonic phase. And the gap appears to be widening.


I get the clear sense that the scientific advancements in the adult stem cell area are so far outpacing those in the embryonic stem cell field that those of us concerned about the ethics of embryonic research will simply shift our arguments to highlighting the superior efficacy of adult stem cell therapy. Moreover, private investment/R&D money seems to be breaking toward adult stem cell research because that arena is demonstrating superior profit potential... embryonic therapy is still considered to be very risky compared to adult stem cell therapy."

I find it interesting that the Lizard Queen isn't trumpeting the direction that "science" is taking us after this announcement. It's probably because promoting that life at any stage as actually being precious and something to be valued is anathema to the mindset of the left.







20 comments:

belfast cabby said...

I must admit i was never a fan of President Bush but i do think he got this one right!

Froggie said...

If fundamentalist christians had their way most of the scientific disciplines would be shut down.

Chris Mackey said...

It's probably because promoting that life at any stage as actually being precious and something to be valued is anathema to the mindset of the left.

If I wrote a post about the right wing's war-mongering and love of the death penalty and ended it with
"It's probably because promoting that life at any stage (except fetuses) as actually being precious and something to be valued is anathema to the mindset of the right."
would you think that was fair?

JD Curtis said...

You would actually be making an apples and oranges comparison Chris.

You can distinguish between innocent human life and enemy combatants in wartime along with convicted murders, can't you?

Chris Mackey said...

Sure, 'cos war has only ever killed enemy combatants... I might point out that the last war the right wing started was invading another sovereign nation.

And you want to give the state the right to kill you?

I may as well start saying "See! The right-wing hates human life!" because that would be as clever as you saying the left thinks life is worthless at any stage.

ATVLC said...

JD, you distinguish between a blastocyst and child and adults, can't you?

JD Curtis said...

"To be sure, there are also civilian casualties in war, and these – especially the children – are innocent of wrong doing. That they are injured or harmed is a terrible injustice, but is even this morally equivalent of abortion? I think not, because of several other considerations. Nearly 90,000 have been killed by fellow Iraqis, not by American soldiers. Along with this we must consider the intention of the American forces. While the American invasion of Iraq may have opened the door to the internecine atrocities, the Americans never intended for civilians to be killed, and have made huge sacrifices to eliminate the terrorists and end the atrocities and anarchy by bringing law and order

..In judging the morality of any action we not only consider the objective act itself, but we also consider the intention. A general who plans to go into battle does not consider first and foremost how he can best kill enemy combatants. His first goal is something else, like the liberation of a city or the elimination of a military threat or a strategic facility of the enemy. He accepts that he may have to kill enemy soldiers, but that is not his first objective. Even when a soldier goes into combat he may be trained to kill, but he is also trained to kill only as a last resort. He is first trained to avoid killing and to take the enemy prisoner if at all possible, and he is supposed to treat the prisoner humanely. It is true that in war this does not always happen, but we are considering here the intention, not the ultimate outcome.

In contrast, the abortionist or one who procures an abortion sets out to kill as the first intention. They may have an ulterior motive that seems good, but the primary intention of their action is to take an innocent life. Politicians who support abortion therefore enable those who wish to kill innocent and defenseless children. Even if the particular war is unjust, the soldiers and politicians who instigated the war were doing so (even if in a debased way) not to promote killing, but to promote an ultimate goal of justice and peace." Link

ATVLC said...

..In judging the morality of any action we not only consider the objective act itself, but we also consider the intention...

What do you think the intentions of embryonic stem cell researchers are?

JD Curtis said...

What do you think the intentions of embryonic stem cell researchers are?

Tell me.

GentleSkeptic said...

I think their intentions are to conduct research and search for cures for diseases, using embryos that are already slated for destruction. I think it's holistic and elegant.

But that's just me.

Whateverman said...

Psh. The researchers are atheists, gathering proto-humans for the weekly chili cook-off. The Lizard Queen has been on the judge's panel for several decades...

Ross said...

We're having the same debate here, which I'm trying to follow as a scientific lay person. The Australian government is about to pass legislation approving embryonic stem cell research in Australia. We live in interesting times.

Froggie said...

Yes, we do.

Shift happens


Don't say we didn't tell you.

veggiedude said...

Lets suppose I am the President. In my all knowing wisdom, I prefer wind power over solar. I tell every one that solar is crap and wind is the way to go. So over 8 years I finance Wind power with billions of dollars and at the same time I stop all government funding to anything solar. Ten years later, I now look like a prophet, because Wind power is now way ahead of solar. Wow! Amazing!!!

JD Curtis said...

It is my understanding that there has not been a single effective treatment utilized with embryonic stem cells. Not one.

Am I wrong?'

ATVLC said...

Yes.

ATVLC said...

Locomotor recovery in the spinal cord-injured (who have had their injuries no longer than two weeks, ie, before scar tissue forms). Etc...

Whateverman said...

To be fair (both to JD and his critics), human clinical trials of ESC therapies have only just begun in 2010. This means we don't have a lot of FDA approved methods available yet.

Seeing as researchers haven't been able to research them for very long, this is neither surprising nor damning.

The Maryland Crustacean said...

Back to the atticle, having already chased down several red herrings: adult stem cell research is much more promising than embryonic stem cell research because... well, because it is.

I don't think it has anything to do with funding. Which brings up the whole other question of why the government should be funding any of it. Why not make those evil and greedy pharmeceutical companies pay for their own R&D?

Whateverman said...

At the very least, the government puts up huge road blocks that slow down (re. make more expensive) the release of medical advances into the marketplace. Simply put, FDA regulation makes drug research a risky/expensive business. Having them fund it is proper, and it can also provide benefits to tax payers.

Obviously, drug companies aren't saints, and it's proper to ask why one particular group/item gets funding while others do not. I just think it's substantially less black and white than "those evil greedy pharmaceutical companies" would imply...