Wednesday, March 11, 2009


I'm not sure how people do not see these two lines of reasoning as contradictory:

On the one hand Obama says 'human cloning is "dangerous, profoundly wrong" and has no place in society.' He is reported as saying 'he would ensure that the government never opens the door to the use of cloning for human reproduction.'(source)

On the other hand he says via Harold Varmus co-chairman of his scientific counsel:
"We view what happened with stem cell research in the last administration as one manifestation of failure to think carefully about how federal support of science and the use of scientific advice occurs. This is consistent with the president's determination to use sound scientific practice, responsible practice of science and evidence, instead of dogma in developing federal policy." (source)

OR he says:
"It is about letting scientists like those here today do their jobs, free from manipulation or coercion, and listening to what they tell us, even when it's inconvenient--especially when it's inconvenient." (source)

Here's my questions: So why not apply that to cloning? Why not open the door if that's where the science leads?

SO why is it not a dogma to say 'human cloning is dangerous and profoundly wrong' and promise to ban federal funding in this area but it is a dogma to impose limits on the spending of federal funding in stem cell research. Keep in mind Bush was the first president to fund stem cell research and he only banned federal funding on embryonic stem cell research. (see here and here)

It doesn't take a science fiction geek to think of a host of possible advances available with cloning. We might well be able to save lives in untold ways. Now I am not in favor of cloning. I am just calling to question the idea that 'we won't let dogma define our policy' when very clearly everybody defines their policy by some set of standards, ideology and dogma.

Lest I remind people to call anything "wrong" is a dogmatic statement that cannot be proved by science itself. There is of course a worldview driving these decisions but was it extremely frustrating is the naivete that assumes itself to be unbiased and uninfluenced by a deep abiding worldview. This naivete is something both side is too often oblivious to.

(HT: Frank Turk)

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