Today, the shoddiest piece of journalism I have seen in a long time landed on my front step. The L.A. Times article “Obama Moves to Strengthen Role of Science in Policy” was printed in my Colorado Springs Gazette. It is the most blatant form of secularist “if you don’t agree with our science, you are religious and should be dismissed” ideology since John Kerry’s presidential campaign. The “journalists” Jim Tankersley and Noam Levey write:
President Obama made his most forceful break yet from his predecessor’s controversial scientific agenda Monday, opening the door to a major expansion of government-funded research on embryonic stem cells and ordering federal agencies to strengthen the role of science in their decision-making.
The twin announcements marked a clear departure from former President George W. Bush’s approach to science, which had caused a rift between that administration and a large segment of the nation’s research community. Many complained that scientific data had been ignored or skewed as the Bush administration set policy on climate change, oil and gas drilling, and other aspects of environmental and health policy.
In particular, Bush’s limits on federal funding for embryonic stem cell experiments had become a touchstone for many scientists angry at the administration, as well as for advocates for patients who have hoped the research would lead to cures for a wide range of diseases.
The problem here is that few presidents have been as thoroughly vindicated on a particular policy decision as George W. Bush was on his decision to restrict federal funding for embryonic destructive research. For a clear history of this, see the November 2008 article by Joseph Bottum and Ryan Anderson “Stem Cells: A Political History.”
Where Bottum and Anderson are correct is that with the astounding success of adult stem cells (stem cells acquired from sources that do not require the destruction of the embryo), and the exciting developments in regard to induced pluripotent cells (non-embryonic cells “reprogrammed” to behave like embryonic stem cells) there remains few scientific reasons, if any, to pursue the ethically questionable research that destroys the most innocent among us. We certainly do not think we should fund every scientific venture with tax dollars. Why this one?
Where Bottum and Anderson are wrong is in their suggestion that since this issue was a minor one during the election, it is therefore no longer a political issue. Clearly, after yesterday’s dismal decision by President Obama, it still is.
This is a decision worse than Roe V. Wade. In cases of abortion, one can at least wrongfully argue that immediate hardship will be alleviated. In this case, there is no reason to believe any hardship will be alleviated, and certainly not immediately. Not to mention, where on earth are we going to get any federal funds at this time? Has our President forgotten the real crisis now is not that scientists cannot find money (Note: embryonic stem cell research was never banned, contrary to Kerry’s claims. President Bush restricted federal funding. States — and many did — and private investors — and very few did since it was such a bad investment — were still allowed to provide funding), it’s that our country cannot find money?
Without all of the ethical questions surrounding this, it is a poor economic decision! It’s bad enough that President Obama thinks that all problems need to have government solutions. Now, he is fabricating problems so that the government can solve them! There is no problem anymore! In fact, there never was!
So, why is this ignored in the “report” by the L.A. Times? Why are any arguments against embryonic destructive research considered merely religious and political? Why are all arguments for embryonic destructive research scientific when there remains next to no scientific reasons to pursue it any more?
(Note also how later in the article, the authors imply that those who oppose global warming do so only for political reasons. Are they unaware how increasingly ridiculous the accusation of human cause global warming is becoming? Are they at least aware that the scientific community has not come to a consensus about this issue?)
So, today I, and many Americans, are forced to fund murder and contribute our tax dollars to something which will – in the name of “science” – further our culture of death. Only, it is not science. It is politics. And, it is completely unjustifiable.