President Bush has singlehandedly ended all scientific progress in the United States. Or at least you’d think so to read USA Today‘s editorial from last week.
Not only did he halt scientific progress–
Unlike some presidential vetoes, Bush’s would be more than symbolic. Because the House isn’t expected to muster the two-thirds vote needed to override, it would kill the bill. The veto would impede medical progress at potentially enormous human cost, allow abortion politics to trump science and go against the wishes of most Americans.
[in other words, USA Today is satisfied only with meaningless vetoes, unless they go their way] –the results of embryonic stem-cell research will nonetheless be happily achieved in 25 years: “A quarter-century from now, when the benefits of embryonic stem cell research are being realized, Americans are likely to shake their heads in astonishment at this week’s events in Washington.”
Despite the fact that USA Today is now able to see the future with absolute clarity, the editors also make unfounded rhetorical moves designed to cast all those who oppose the needless abuse of human life as anti-science neanderthals. Besides, “These microscopic clusters of cells aren’t life as most people think of it. They have the potential to become human only if they are successfully implanted in a woman’s uterus.” My question is, what do they have the potential to become otherwise? Cows? Before painting others as anti-scientific progress, maybe the USAT editors should get their biological facts straight: no matter whether a fertilized egg is implanted in a woman’s uterus, it still has the “potential” to become only a human being. Of course, this is dismissed by the glib statement that they aren’t life “as most people think of it,” meaning, as “we the editors think of it.” I’m sure the medical community has a different take on it.
“Anti-progress” is a common point of attack, but let’s think about that one. Progress is only important relative to the goal at which one aims. If the goal is libertine scientific experimentation by means of which some utilitarian goal might be reached, progress cannot be good in any objective sense. On the other hand, cutting off the beginnings of further destructive experimentation on human lives deemed expendable for the sake of science is indeed progress toward a good end, namely, that each life is valued for the end to which God has ordained it. To suggest that scientific “progress” undefined is a good to be pursued at any cost is ridiculous on the face of it. It all depends on which end and whose progress.