View Full Version : Discussing stem cells with a young candidate for the Oklahoma house of Representative

8/25/2004 3:59am,
well, I mistakenly posted about this thing over in general BS (here (http://www.bullshido.net/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=15826)), but that was before I asked this guy about his stance on stem cell research; I feel justified in making a second thread about this in a far more appropriate forum :D

Anywho, here's what I asked first.

Oh, and I'm legally blind- granted, state representatives aren't exactly capable of setting policy on these things- what's your stance on stem cell research?

To which the young republican stated

State Representatives can actually do quite a bit for the blind, supporting state funded schools for the blind is just one example. As for stem cell research, I fully support private and publically funded stem cell research. What I do not support is tax payer funding for embryonic stem cell research. The conflict rests with this embryonic stem cell research, not adult stem cell research or umbilical cord stem cell research for example. It's important to keep in mind a few things.
For one, while stem cell research has provided hundreds and hundreds..perhaps thousands of advancements in medicine....embryonic stem cell research has not yielded a single one. Furthermore, most scientists agree that embryonic stem cell research holds very little research promise especially when compared to other forms of stem cell research.

I support President Bush's position on embryonic stem cell research which continues to fund current embryonic stem cell lines, but does not provide further public support for additional lines. However, it is important to remember that private embryonic stem cell research is completely legal.

Yay, the party line.... woo-bloody-hoo! So I counter:

The research is legal, yes- thank god. However, what is not legal is the cultivation of new embryonic stem cell samples. I'm not entirely sure where you were told that "most scientists agree that embryonic stem cell research holds very little research promise especially when compared to other forms of stem cell research", but most people in the field I've spoken to are quite frankly offended by the Bush position ($25 million in research for the entire nation is negligable considering the promise of the research and just how many scientists are trying to work on this). Also, one of the reasons that the research has yet to see the sort of results that I'm looking for (new eyes please) is the lack of stem cells to work with; there are roughly only 50 available lines and most of those have been contaminated by lab rat DNA in the process of researching their potential, making them useless for further research.

I don't want to go into just how troubled I am that the agenda of the religious right is dictating the progress of our entire species.

I'd really rather not have to go to Europe to be able to see the way everyone else does.

I just thought I'd share with those of you perhaps more versed in the debate than myself, see if I put my foot in my mouth.

Feel free to jpoin up and give the running man your opinion.


Just linked you to the thread so you knew where it was from the outset....

Hmmm, yeah, I'm sure I'll enjoy this discussion, but I doubt my ever so subtle recruitment gag is gonna work out.

Toby Christensen
6/02/2005 3:55am,
We get a similar line from the "Liberal" party, the main "conservative party in Australia.

But as a paraplegic said with regards to stemcell research "Nobody has the right to tell anybody else what to do with their body."

6/02/2005 5:48am,
Sorry to ask an off-topic question but...erm..just how blind are you? And how do you post/read? Just use a big ass font or is it enough to use seriously heavy presecription glasses?

I always knew you were legally blind but I don't really know that that means.

Wounded Ronin
6/02/2005 10:04am,
Way to go! Shove an antiquated Mk 2 hand grenade up that republican's ass!

6/02/2005 12:29pm,
Their typical argument is that it is not right to spend taxpayer dollars on something that a segment of the population believes strongly is unethical. Of course, they conveniently forget that a respectably sized segment of the population believes that several other things on their platform, including the Iraq war, the war on marijuana, and the death penalty are unethical.

The argument that this research has shown absolutely no results is kind of ridicules, considering that the research is being hamstrung by the current laws. What else would you expect.

Unfortunately, the people who are most opposed to this research are not the sort of people who will be pursuaded by any sort of rational argument, no matter how strong.

6/03/2005 12:40am,

This thread is nearly a year old.

20/200, complete color blindness, bad peripheral, bad depth perception, high sensitivity to light, no available correction. I just have my face about 5 inches from the screen.

6/03/2005 12:46am,
This thread is nearly a year old.

It takes Angry a while to get through that much text.

6/03/2005 4:53pm,

Anyways...I learned something today.

Judah Maccabee
6/03/2005 4:56pm,
There was a column by a Catholic who said "If a fireman had to make a choice between saving a 6 month old baby and 12 frozen embryos in a lab fire, there's no question people would tell him to save the baby, even though saving the 12 embryos would be saving more life, under Catholic doctrine.

Then they proceeded to explain Catholic justifications for how life DOESN'T begin at conception, but is acquired through consciousness and experience.

Quite a column:

Here's the situation. You're a firefighter. You're also a devout Catholic. One day an alarm calls you to a fertility clinic. The embryos it houses may be potential sources of precious stem cells for research scientists or of babies for childless spouses eager to have childrenYou have a professional obligation to save as many human lives as possible; a 6-year-old child, imperiled by the fire, is crying for help next to a refrigerator containing dozens of human embryos. Circumstances prevent you from saving both the kid and the refrigerator. So what do you do? Abandon the dozens of lives in the refrigerator and save the kid? Or abandon the kid and save the fridge? My hunch is you won't find one Catholic, lay person or priest, within a thousand miles of here who'd abandon the child.

And that's the strange thing: If we Catholics really believe what our church is saying about human embryos--that those embryos are fully human from the moment of conception--then the firefighter's "dilemma" wouldn't be a dilemma. It would be a no-brainer. You'd forsake the kid and save the fridge. You'd opt to rescue dozens of lives, sacrificing one, rather than save one, abandoning dozens. In reality, though, the no-brainer would go just the other way.

And that's the strange thing, if you're a Catholic. But maybe it isn't so strange. The great doctor of the Catholic Church, Thomas Aquinas, believed that our humanity was the result of a gradual process of development that occurred over the weeks and months following conception, not something that instantly appeared at conception. Catholic theologians today argue that, had Aquinas known what we now know about embryology, he would have changed his position.

I disagree. Precisely for embryological reasons, Aquinas might well have adhered to the position he actually took.

But, be that as it may, to base an argument on what a medieval scholar might have said is deplorable reasoning. At best it puts words into the mouth of a great theologian who, conveniently, can no longer speak for himself. At worst it's an attempt to exploit his stature as a saint and a thinker to support a position that no Catholic, if pressed like that firefighter, would ever act upon.

Author(s): Michael W Drwiega, Wilmette

6/03/2005 6:00pm,
You must spread some Reputation around before giving it to samurai_steve again.