Thursday, January 06, 2005
First, excellent rebuttal. It's always good to debate somebody who actually knows something. I'm also not sure if I can win since I made such a horrible mistake on getting the South Korean story mixed up with other promising results regarding embryonic stem cells. Then again, I am the guardedly optimistic atheist who expects his vote for democrats to actually be counted...Into the breach...
1) Embryonic stem cells have done nothing noteworthy. Adult stem cells have.
One: That's actually not true. There have been promising embryonic research results here, here and here. (I read them carefully this time! One of the problems with starting a paper all by yourself is that you're usually in a rush...!) This also skips over the point of basic research. We do research because some of us aren't in the common everyday communion with Our God Jehovah Cthulu or the Great Pumpkin. We do research because we wish to find out. That should be left up to Scientists by the way and not the same clergymen who tortured Galileo.
2) Umbilical cord stem cells are categorized under "adult" because they are not from embryos.
Two: You're right. I made a mistake and got it wrong. Let's move on. I'm sure you would do the same if science proved that your Sunday wine didn't turn into Christ's blood or DNA extracts from the Turin Shroud proved Christ was just another guy (with kids, you can trace genetic heritage don't you know) or that the pope was fallible, especially during the holocaust. Of course, that's the great thing about science: you can admit your mistakes and your worldview doesn't crumble around you like so much dust.
3) The federal government hasn't banned privately-funded ESCR. If it's really the market that matters to you and not the science, why care about government involvement? The government didn't drive the microchip revolution.
Three: Actually, the government drove both the microchip revolution and the development of the Internet by way of the space program's need for miniaturization and the military's need for a robust communications system that would survive nuclear attack. Government funding determines which markets will thrive in the future. That's why it would be nice if we had an administration that was pro progress. And again, stop being parochial. We're competing against other countries for what could conceivably be the most important market ever: The Better Health/Short Term Immortality Market.
4) Given #1, why would you want the government to invest in a less promising line of research? Do you like wasteful spending?
Four: Because the argument you make in one is incorrect. We just don't know. Again, some of us don't talk to God on a first name basis.We have to explore and research things to truly know something. By the way, the fate of those donated stem cells is the trash can. And as Futurepundit has pointed out we may have a way of doing the research without harming the "sanctity" of the embryo.
5) Just because other countries are doing something doesn't mean we should. If other countries were making lots of dough by continuing Josef Mengele work, should we follow suit? How about genocide? I bet that has some hefty financial rewards.
Five: Let us agree to disagree. I don't think that this kind of research is the equal of the experiment s done by Mengele. And if you follow the Futurepundit prescription no harm would be done to the embyro, that you would eventually throw away, anyway. Any pro lifers willing to accept implantation to make sure these "people" reach their potential? I'll hold my breath...By not addressing this point by the way you get to the heart of the matter. Your war against science is a war against the future. It's a war you can't win, unless you can get fundamentalist theocratic tribes to initiate nuclear strikes and set back progress by centuries. You might get your wish. I'm hoping I'll be off planet by then. Think of it as a voluntary rapture.
6) Not publicly funding ESCR makes Americans dumb and stupid? Huh? Show me a connection between stupidity in America and ESCR.
Six: If you base your scientific research based on myth or fairy tale or make believe (religion), then, yes, that is a kind of gross stupidity. American preeminence is based upon science, not prayer. Everything can be weaponized. What you don't know can definitely hurt you. You learn things not just for your own self awareness and improvement but because your enemies can use your ignorance against you.
7) Theocratic rule? What?!? You've obviously been listening to too many conspiracy theories. There are lots of people who object to ESCR from non-religious standpoints. I read that Futurepundit link. Begged questions, myths, and lies were abundant. This comment really cracked me up: "Religion offers endless conflict,where as science offers a world without conflict." Riiiiiight.
Seven: Is Osama Bin Laden a secular humanist? Or Jerry Falwell? I would never kill you because of your religion because I find such beliefs to be meaningless. By the way, Futurepundit does trend libertarian. I don't agree with him about the war though. It's not right and certainly not Christian to slaughter 100000 Iraqis for their oil. And if the choice is between science or religion, then I choose science. I don't need or want the bliss stations that religion offers. Or to quote Woody Allen: "If the choice is between air conditioning and the pope, then I'll take air conditioning".
To Jerry: Again, let's do the research. Perhaps you think Jesus or Santa Claus or Krishna is opposed to terabyte storage memory on a keychain. That's great. But let's do the science anyway and find out. And what happened in South Korea was a miracle. I'll take that and air conditioning over prayer any day of the week...