Monday, March 09, 2009

What Ideology Does Science Trump?

The other day President Obama reversed the presidential policy of blocking federal funding for embryonic stem cell research. His remarks included characterizing this change as a victory of science over ideology. My first reaction was to ask what was the ideology that was vanquished?

While conservatives will assume it is their view that is being attacked and Christians will assume it the Christian view that is meant, it seems clear to me that the ideology that is meant is the liberal view that humans possess rights due to their being human. The issue of when human life begins, in our time, is not a matter of faith but well documented by science. What is at dispute is not the science but the politics of which humans' rights are to be protected.

"As if the Republicans didn't have enough political problems already, embryonic stem cell research is another sticky wicket for the GOP. According to Pew, 60 percent of Democrats and 55 percent of independents back the research, while just 37 percent of Republicans do. That explains why support for embryonic stem cell research is such a no-brainer for the Democrats—it's the rare wedge issue in which the wedge breaks the Dems' way."

What stikes me is is how large the minority is that does not back the use of tax dollars for for reseach that destroys human embryios. It seems that the Democrats have a huge wedge of their own. 40% of Democrats, those who most likely were among those voting for Barack Obama, oppose this change!

The media seems willing to foster the impression or assumption that support for stem cell research, which is widespread, is somehow equal to approval of the destruction of human ebryios. The Pew statistics suggest that this is a suspect assumption.

No comments: