Pulling Out the Savoy Truffle

Reflections on music, literature, politics, and pop culture from retired rock musician, writer, and college professor Jim Booth. Email comments to Jim at jim@jimbooth.org.

Location: Advance, North Carolina, United States

Friday, March 05, 2004

Weird Science

Thomas Dolby's old professor....

See the following article from the Washington Post.

Hope I get this right. If I don't, my friend Steve will set me straight.

He's a scientist.

He's the real thing. He has a lab and everything. He works for our government. He does this phenomenal, brilliant cancer research that is helping and will help save lives.

Steve thinks that the kind of research that could be done using, say, stem cells from embryos could speed up cures for cancer and other horrible diseases that rob us of friends and loved ones would be well worth the use of those cells from embryos which couldn't survive anyway.

Steve also thinks that the stuff they taught him when he got all those letters after his name that helped him get his own lab and be the terrific scientist he is today, doing research that saves lives, etc., is correct. That's the stuff like, oh, evolution....

Steve doesn't think people should play politics with science. He thinks playing politics with the careful, reasoned methods of studying and understanding how the world, organisms, and diseases work that scientists have been struggling to develop in the last 500 years (facing menaces to their work like the Inquisition, witch burnings, alchemists, the Scopes Monkey Trial, Nazi pseudo-science as murder rationale, the co-opting of pure science by the American pharmeceutical business of the last 25 years) or so is unethical.

He thinks the Bush administration's decision to use politics to prevent stem cell research which could save lives even faster than the research he does is unethical.

I think he's right.


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