Monday, March 9, 2009

Obama Abolishes Constraints on Stem Cell Research

In removing the Bush era constraints on stem cell research, president Obama claims that "It is about ensuring that scientific data is never distorted or concealed to serve a political agenda - and that we make scientific decisions based on facts, not ideology." Tell me another! If you want to get politics out of science, then you must get government out of science. If politicians are involved in any way, then by definition, politics is too. And most importantly, the Enumerated Powers prohibit it. It is too easy to hide political agenda in funding choices. Research that produces contrary results loses funding, and vice-versa. You can't tell me that most politicians are above this sort of thing. They have demonstrated time and again that they are among the most craven creatures on the planet.

The agenda surrounding stem cell research is abortion (on the left), and the right to life (on the right -- particularly the religious right). The difference is, the right is up front about their concern. But the left tries to hide the abortion agenda behind the idea that stem cells might produce medical miracles, but they rarely mention -- at the expense of aborted fetuses. That's evil enough, but embryonic stem cells are freely available without killing fetuses. Furthermore, the government ban was on obtaining stem cells from aborted fetuses using government money. I see nothing wrong with that ban. It means that someone who is philosophically opposed to abortion won't be required to fund it with their tax dollars.

And while we're on the subject, let's discuss Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW). It has been a long time since I have seen something so disgustingly, blatantly politicized. Anyone who knows a shred of the scientific method and the philosophy of science, knows that AGW cannot be proved. Without reproducible results, no one can use the hypothesis to predict anything. It might be interesting, it might be compelling, but it is of no use -- except politically. The sad thing is, I'm not sure Al Gore even understands that. Or worse, maybe he does.

Many people seem to think that privately funded science is somehow tainted, and that science funded by NASA or the EPA, or Greenpeace is as pure as the driven snow. That is absurd. In fact, privately funded science, e.g., by big oil, usually needs to be more factual, because the company's bottom line depends on actual results, not propaganda. They want to know what works. They might use their findings as propaganda, but they rarely fund the research expressly for that purpose. And if they make a testable hypothesis, then anyone else is free to test it, and report on its veracity.

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