Wednesday, November 28, 2007

In praise of President Bush

President Bush has been exactly what Evangelicals voted for, particularly in 2000: a staunch pro-life President. One of the things he did early in his presidency was prevent scientific experimentation on human embryos.

Now, a remarkable scientific breakthrough has occurred, in which scientists have been able to create the equivalent of embryonic stem cells from not embryos, but skin. While this breakthrough is new, and the long-term benefits are uncertain, nevertheless it's being hailed as a major step toward being able to do stem cell research without the dubious ethical practice of using human embryos.

This breakthrough would have been much less likely to occur without President Bush's opposition to embryonic stem cell research--as it would have been unnecessary for scientists to seek alternate ways to conduct stem cell research. The breakthrough should be seen as a major victory for his presidency.

(which is not to say I'm not voting for Barack Obama next time around)


Jeff said...

I think the moral quandary introduced by embryonic stem cells would have driven the skin-cell research regardless of Bush's decision to defund embryonic research, but the decision definitely gave new urgency to developing skin-cell stem cells.

So answer me this - if Bush knew that government regulation can help drive scientific innovation, why does he refuse to consider a higher fuel-efficiency standard for cars, which would drive (heh) technological innovation in Detroit?

kennyching said...

I wouldn't necessarily say "Bush knew that government regulation" would drive innovation, but just that it's a happy result--from a pro-life perspective.

As to why Bush won't consider higher fuel standards, I don't know specifically...however, let's assume it's a conservative free market position, that is, he thinks that markets will more efficiently bring about innovation in Detroit.

But the question then may be why wouldn't markets be the most effective way to bring about stem cell innovation, and my answer would be that there's just somethings you don't put on the market; cars are one thing, embryos another.

jose said...

I remember reading an article in Time last year saying that Bush has done more for the progress of stem cell research than the previous administration.