Bill Murchison

In America, 2009, things happen that you once wouldn't have thought would happen, such as deference toward human life smacked down as outworn ideology. By the President of the United States, no less. So it goes in the Age of Obama.

"Promoting science," said our new chief executive, in overturning a George W. Bush executive order limiting stem cell research on embryos, is "about letting scientists … do their jobs, free from manipulation or coercion … It is about ensuring that scientific data is never distorted or concealed to serve a political agenda -- and that we would make scientific decisions based on facts, not ldeology."

The "ideology" of human life -- life as good, valuable, worthy of protection from unprovoked violence -- underlay the Bush policy of ruling out experimentation on new embryos to find, supposedly, new ways of combating diseases, such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's and other physical disorders.

Now an ideology isn't the same as a philosophy: It's a structure of pure ideas that someone or other has concocted out of thin air to suit himself. Lenin was an ideologue. Hitler was an ideologue. Get the idea?

Those who regard the destruction of human embryos as equivalent to the destruction of people have made up this stuff -- see? Just spun it out of cotton candy. No "people" there! Just -- you know -- embryos. That's according to the Obama administration's fantastical account.

The President has things precisely backwards. In a stem cell context, the "ideology" is that Science, the great abstraction that only really smart people understand, trumps competing considerations. What Science wants, Science deserves -- didn't you know?

The "facts" of the matter are twofold: 1) a human embryo contains human life -- is human life (as any scientist will acknowledge), at least until destroyed for research purposes; and 2) not even Obama can "guarantee that we will find the treatments and cures we seek" -- though we're going to burn through some goodly number of embryos while trying.

Bill Murchison

Bill Murchison is the former senior columns writer for The Dallas Morning News and author of There's More to Life Than Politics.
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