Now, even if Obama meant it (and obviously he doesn't), allowing scientists to run policy could bring spectacularly dreadful consequences. We do not forfeit our tax policy to economists. Doctors do not run the health care industry. We don't let climatologists administrate energy policy, or we all would be cycling to community gardens for dinner and using solar panels to shield us from the cold, driving rain at night.
By permitting government to get into the embryonic stem cell funding business -- which, despite what some reports claimed, never was "banned" -- the issue was politicized by the White House. Washington funding, however it is allocated, threatens to generate and promote an industry of embryo creation and destruction in the name of research.
Whether you believe the existence of such an industry is a moral crisis or not is one thing. I don't know. But I do know that whatever promise stem cell research holds, it doesn't erase the fact that embryos aren't merely clusters of cells, but the initial stages of human life. That is about the only scientific "fact" in this debate.
After referring to budgets as "moral documents," some Democrats who support funding embryo destruction research demand hypocritically that their opponents expunge ideology from an issue that actually holds ethical implications.
Worse, they have dismissed anyone who opposes them as an anti-science troglodyte. It's a nifty way to undermine a debate. It's unfortunate, though, because this complex issue deserves more than cheap political posturing.
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