Gut Rumbles
 

May 20, 2005

morality, my ass

I totally disagree with this stance by the President. And "stance" might be the wrong word. "Posture" is more like it.

I don't believe that stem-cell research will be the magic pill that cures all human illness, but to NOT pursue such research sounds downright Luddite to me. I don't see the "moral" aspect of it. Stopping embryonic stem cell research isn't going to stop abortion, which I happen to believe IS a problem in this country today.

I think the President is on shaky ground here and I don't know who exactly he's pandering to. But it's a mistake.

Comments

Maybe he isn't pandering. Maybe he believes that embryos are the beginning of life. I don't like the idea of cloning either.

Posted by: Kim on May 20, 2005 08:56 PM

Rest assured, human cloning will be done somewhere, sometime. Rather than posture about preventing it, it is imperative that we affirm such people are human, with individual rights. Treating them as pets or slaves will be the true evil.

Posted by: Brett on May 20, 2005 08:59 PM

As I am an atheist I am 110% behind stem cell research. If it can help people with a cure to all the diseases that the overpriced drug companies and doctors cannot, then have at it. The manufactured embryos are not human beings. they are made in a test tube in a lab. They are not the result of two humans fornicating. If it could help my mom with her mutiple sclerosis (which she has had for 28 years, since I was 2 to give my age away) and she could get out of her wheelchair and walk then have at it. god has nothing to do with it. Hell take my genes. clone them and help my mom.

Posted by: gravdigr on May 20, 2005 09:10 PM

Bush isn't for STOPPING embryonic stem cell research. He is for limiting government (aka OUR money) funding for something which many scientists and MDs have stated is dubious at best.

The left has responded to this with their usual rhetoric and lies about how a Fundie President is BANNING stem cell research to please the far right religious wackos.

And, aside from philosophical and moral grounds, stem cell research has nothing to do with aborted fetuses. Stem cells are taken from unused embryos that were frozen for use in in vitro procedures.

Posted by: rightisright on May 20, 2005 09:15 PM

RightIsRight,

Couldn't put it any better! I guess I'm not the only one who understands this.

Posted by: Leuthen on May 20, 2005 09:17 PM

And frankly, I am surprised you drank the Kool Aid, Mr Rumbles.

Posted by: rightisright on May 20, 2005 09:29 PM

i'll bet the chinese have lots of stem cells. they might even be in the dollar stores soon.

Posted by: other brother daryl on May 20, 2005 09:38 PM

As I am an atheist I am 110% behind stem cell research.

I am Catholic and I am 100% behind stem cell research.

Because, you know, you can't go higher than 100.

Anyway, I am behind adult stem cell research, which has already produced therapies and has the added benefit of not messing with human life.

The next time you read a story or blog posting about stem cells, see what it says about adult stem cell progress. And then ask yourself why it gets such short shrift in the mainstream media--and some blogs.

Start here.

Posted by: Christopher Rake on May 20, 2005 10:19 PM

RIR, Preventing gov. funded research is still crippling to US stem cell progress, as most/all of our miracle techs have come from gov. funded programs.

The only thing getting hurt here is our economy, and thus country. It's not like this is going to slow down the global research.

Perhaps from a moral point of view this is soothing someone's conscious, but from a practical one its just plain stupid.

Posted by: William on May 20, 2005 11:06 PM

Sorry, but no treatments have ever been derived from embryonic stem cell research. In fact no treatment has been achieved by it. Cord blood stem cells have produced lots of treatments and there is no ethical problem with it. Why not fund it instead?
Chopping up your dead uncle may help feed a bunch of starving kids, but it doesn't make it right. Just because we can doesn't mean that we should.

Posted by: Mike on May 20, 2005 11:22 PM

Mike stole my thunder, but he is right on. And the president is not outlawing stem cell research. He proposed big funding for it, only using the cells already harvested....I think people are reading this story as the media gives it, spponfed the talking points. Bush has allowed embryonic research, just no new harvesting. And as Mike said, no show of anything major coming from embryonic cells, mostly from adult cells.

Posted by: Mark on May 20, 2005 11:41 PM

Yes you can, 110% thats higher than 100%

Posted by: gravdigr on May 21, 2005 12:15 AM

" He is for limiting government (aka OUR money) funding..."

BWAHAHAHAHA!
No, in all seriousness, are you friggin' high?

Posted by: Gold Star for Robot Boy on May 21, 2005 12:27 AM

I have trouble believing the hair-splitting over cellular tissue. Saying embryonic stem cells haven't produced cures yet so the research shouldn't be funded that would find the cures is rather a non-starter. God watches the sparrows and knows our (few remaining) hairs-- I am confident He would not overlook the multiplying cellular masses in petrie dishes.
If a cure derived from such means is offensive to anyone's beliefs, then the person is free to reject that treatment.
I see nothing wrong with trying to heal the ill by whatever means we humans can figure out. Opposing it makes even less sense than the ravings of the PETA crowd. At least the latter can cuddle their critters, unlike the Church of the Holy Blastocyte.
Here Endeth the sermon.

Posted by: Stu on May 21, 2005 01:15 AM

"There is a way which seems right to a man, but its end is death."

When the old prophet was asked why he railed so hard against those who obviously ignored him, his response was succinct:

"I say what I say that I might not become as they are."

Now, back to your regularly scheduled programming.

Posted by: jb on May 21, 2005 01:39 AM

The seed must not only be fertalized but be on fertile ground for it to grow into life.

The beginning of life requires two things.

The seed.
Fertile ground.

To focus on only the seed misses the process aspects.

Posted by: M. Simon on May 21, 2005 02:09 AM

M.Si

You just presented the perfect argument against abortion.

Congrats. :-)

Posted by: jb on May 21, 2005 03:39 AM

Are you hair -splitters trying to tell us that the entirety of the opposition inheres in government funding? Nonsense! It's just the tactic of the day.

Posted by: Brett on May 21, 2005 08:35 AM

gravdigr

If drinking the blood of a slaughtered newborn would cure your mom's ms, should she do that?

Understand that many people believe life begins at conception. The time when you have a unique genetic entity that the world has never seen and will never seen again. An entity that will grow into a unique human, with exactly the same set of genes it had the moment it was conceived.

Bush doesn't want to fund embryonic stem cell research because he doesn't want our tax dollars to be used as incentive to create disposable humans for use in research. Make no mistake, it is necessary to create a fertilized egg (a concieved human) and allow it to begin dividing the same way it would if it were developing into a baby in order to create human embryonic stem cells.

The 'if you don't want it, don't accept the treatment' answer requires that I simply stand by and allow the destruction of human life to benefit others. It is simply not worth it to me when there appear to be other ways to achieve the same goal.

Just because it is possible to do something, that doesn't mean we should.

We still have much to learn from animal studies on the developmental biology of stem cells.

We are creating treatments right now using adult stem cells and umbillical cord blood.

You may believe people that oppose human embryonic stem cell treatment are luddites, but there are scientists in the field who feel the same way. They aren't against advancing technoloy, nor am I.

They are agianst what they feel is the destruction of human life for the purpose of medical experiments.

Posted by: tom on May 21, 2005 09:23 AM

Actually my only issue with stem cell research IS federal funding. Since some Americans think it is morally wrong, I don't think we can force them to pay for it. And remember paying your taxes isn't optional - ask the IRS.

If all the Americans who want embryonic stem cell research would set up and fund a private research foundation - I have no problem with that. What is so bad with that approach?

Posted by: Patel on May 21, 2005 09:24 AM

(1) Bush is the FIRST president to give federal money to stem cell research.

(2) He has NOT banned any stem cell research. Researchers can do what they want.

(3) The only thing he did was to put a qualifier on the federal money ... it should be used for already EXISTING stem cell lines.

Posted by: Maggie on May 21, 2005 09:25 AM

The reason the President thinks it's a moral issue is because the scientists have to manufacture human lives and then kill them in order to do the research. It's pretty sick if you think about it.

Posted by: tim on May 21, 2005 10:33 AM

Ok, people...listen up.

(1) It IS NOT cloning. Scientists use already existing embryonic stem cells from fertility labs.

(2) They ARE NOT "manufacturing" life. Again, they use already existing stem cells from fertility labs which would otherwise be INCINERATED as medical waste. They're going to be "killed" anyway folks.

(3) Yes, labs can use cells from existing lines, however these lines are becoming old and contaminated due to the process in which they are stored and grown. Scientists need a fresh influx of new cells if their research is to progress much further.

Posted by: MrPilot on May 21, 2005 12:16 PM

Maggie wrote: "(1) Bush is the FIRST president to give federal money to stem cell research."

Really? I thought it was Jefferson.

Posted by: Davey on May 21, 2005 12:19 PM

Really? I thought it was Jefferson.

Nah, that sitcom was cancelled a long time ago and he never got to be president. Not even on the show.

Posted by: Heartless on May 21, 2005 01:02 PM

Pat, If he's threatening to veto a bill (from the elected house) supporting research, then woul that not suggest that Americans are for it?

Tim, alot of science is sick, that doesn't mean its wrong. If we're against abusing the dead to save the living, what are organ transplants all about? The embryos wouldn't exit/would be destroyed anyway if it were not for the research, and isn't it a whole lot sicker to say that this embryo's "life" is more important than a fully developped human?

Mag, if we're getting beaten by South Korea, obviously our scientists are not getting enough resources to get things done.

Posted by: William on May 21, 2005 01:04 PM

Acidman: How exactly is embryonic stem cell research different from abortion? Both kills the developing human.

It's not a morality issue per se, it's a right-to-life issue. Bush probably sees prenatal life as human life deserving of the right to life.

In any case, why should the federal governmen fund such research anyway? If proponents are really confident of its prospects, why not put their money into the research?

Posted by: Rajan R on May 21, 2005 01:11 PM

As far as government funding of research goes, none of it is constituional

But don't kid yourself this issue is only about such funding. It's simply the tactic of the day. Once this one is won, the moralists will take the next step toward prohibition.

Posted by: Brett on May 21, 2005 02:12 PM

To date, embryonic stem cell research has viewed but one constant; uncontrollable cell division and growth. Or to use the term you are probably more familar with, embryonic stem cells frequently turn cancerous.

Yes, that cancer.

Are you real excited to have this stuff injected into your body now? I didn't think so.

On a purely scientific level, adult stem cells are a viable line of research that are showing progress today. Embryonic stem cells have an on-going problem with uncontrolled cell growth (becoming cancerous) and may not lead to any sort of viable end product for decades... if ever.

It could just as easily prove a dead end if science cannot find a way to control cell growth, and even if they do, adult stem cell research will be still be decades ahead. Becuase of these reasons, investing in embryonic stem cell research is pouring money down a biohazardous toilet. I'd prefer that this toilet waste not be sponsered by my tax dollars, thank you very much.

Purely from the logical perspective, it makes a lot more since to mine gold where you know it exists and refine it (adult stem cell research) than try to turn other substances into gold, such as lead (embryonic stem cell research). Gold and lead are oh so close--but trying to make the simple proton and electron addition has proven a dead end for hundreds of years. You can't turn lead into gold.

This is a purely logical look at it.

Ethically, growing humans for spare parts is repulsive, and that is what embronic stem cell research is. You create human life for the parts you want, kill that life, and harvest what you want from it. That cannot be excused, not matter how you try to sugar-coat it.

Posted by: Confederate Yankee on May 21, 2005 02:57 PM

Yankee, its good to look at this logically. Logically, back in the 50's, telegrams & telephones were working a hell of alot better than any "computers" & anyone talking about spending millions/billions on some "internet " would have sounded really illogical. That's why the government, which has no responsibility to turn a profit, put forth that upfront investment, and now, 50 years later, I'll say it payed off.

If a concept has got the kind of potential this one does, the government has an obligation to go with it, lest we lose our edge in one of our mainstay industries, healthcare.

If the choice between killing an embryo which only came into being for the sole medical purposes vs. a human life is still still not an obvious one, look at it another way. Ethicity has never bothered the government in regards to keeping us on top. Is a nuke was sick? Yes. Are we getting rid of them? Hell no. Let's keep the US on top.

Posted by: William on May 21, 2005 03:13 PM

Ethically, growing humans for spare parts is repulsive, and that is what embronic stem cell research is. You create human life for the parts you want, kill that life, and harvest what you want from it. That cannot be excused, not matter how you try to sugar-coat it.

-----

Bullsh*t. Embryonic stem cells (and some adult stem cells for that matter) show the ability to be coaxed to form whatever tissue or organ specifically is needed. This research is not about growing full humans for "spare parts" as you incorrectly assert.

Posted by: MrPilot on May 21, 2005 04:21 PM

This whole argument is a proxy war concerning abortion.

Maybe the Koreans who are doing amazing work with adult stem cells had an advantage in their because they werent lasered in on embryo stem cells.

Meantime we are already extrapolated out to roe vs wade vs spare body growing in the bath tub.

Posted by: John on May 21, 2005 07:59 PM

Bush has not opposed all stem cell research. He is only against embryonic stem cell research. There is no scientific evidence that that particular type is a lot more promising than others. I believe his concern is that it will open the door to creating embryos in labs strictly for stem cell harvest.

Posted by: Karen on May 21, 2005 09:50 PM

I hate making long comments on another man's blog... but here goes.

The argument that the development of the Internet has any relation to this Federal funding of embryonic stem cell research is rather specious, at best.

The underlying structure of the Internet (IP, Internet Protocol) was one of many DARPA projects. It was created with military interest, and a lot of work was done by universities out there to boot. The government paved the way for the underlying protocols and then other researchers slapped systems on top of that to make something that, mysteriously, became something that could be used for profit by businesses.

I don't think anybody saw this Internet thingy becoming a viable business opportunity until LONG after the Feds got out of the research game. What we're using today was pretty much said and done back in 1994, when I first got in the Internet (which I brushed off as 'neat' and nothing more) and it didn't become a business of sorts until, when, 1996? I forget, but I do know that the first time I actually got on the Internet was for FREE. No smoke and mirrors, no gimmicks, it was FREE. You dialed into a number of a local university, and you had yourself a number of programs to go about the Internet.

THAT is why Federal funding, via DARPA, was necessary to get the Internet working: nobody thought anybody would make money off this crap.

Now, the Feds have, apparently, shown that embryonic stem cell research is looking like a dead end. They're not making any gains, but for some reason every Tom, Dick, and Harry out there thinks that this is going to be the end-all be-all cure of everthing that sickens mankind. Without any evidence to prove that this is, in fact, the right path people are willing to rob me at gunpoint (tax me) for this research.

On the other hand we have SOLID work coming from adult/cord stem cells that are being used in the real world and getting real results by corporations. If this pans out for said corporations then they are going to have some SERIOUSLY huge profits. If any corporation thinks that embryonic research is going to pay off, and the Feds are a bunch of hapless retards then THEY will pick up the banner and start running with it, keeping all the research to themselves.

Before MY tax dollars go to some project that hasn't produced a damned thing yet I want somebody, anybody, to come forward with a hypothesis as to why embryonic stem cells are going to produce better results than the already producing adult/cord stem cells.

I say we let corporate America exhaust every single avenue of adult/cord stem cells (which appear to be workable) until we even THINK about embryonic research. Now, if there is actually an argument out there besides, 'Meh, might work better!' I'll listen to you.

There is OBVIOUS economic benefit to corporations that can make this stem cell research work. People will pay to be cured of their diseases... there's no disputing that. That is what makes this vastly different from the DARPA funding of the Internet: nobody knew the Internet would ever make any money.

Now, maybe some folks thought they could, but not the majority. If you think you can find somebody in 1977 that thought the Internet would be a good business opportunity then you'd better be able to find sombody today that thinks a cure for cancer/MS/whatever stems are supposed to cure today.

Posted by: Justin Buist on May 21, 2005 11:10 PM

Before MY tax dollars go to some project that hasn't produced a damned thing yet I want somebody, anybody, to come forward with a hypothesis as to why embryonic stem cells are going to produce better results than the already producing adult/cord stem cells.

Because embryonic stem cells have yet to grow into any certain type of tissue. Adult stem cells are generally able only to form into one certain type of tissue (liver tissue for example). Not all tissues in the body have adult stem cells which can be used to create that kind of tissue. Embryonic stem cells show so much more promise because they could be made to grow any type of bodily tissue - not just limited tissues like adult stem cells.

Posted by: MrPilot on May 22, 2005 02:25 AM

Rob

Try this simple test. If NOW is for it and the Pres is against it, then who are you with?

Posted by: Ivan Ivanovich on May 22, 2005 09:00 AM
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