Wednesday, July 19, 2006

In which Bush hinders scientific research yet again

It's now being reported that Bush has vetoed a bill that would have allowed federal funding of research on new embryonic cell lines. His reasoning?
“This bill would support the taking of innocent human life,” Mr. Bush said at the White House, surrounded by scores of children born as a result of an embryo-adoption program and their parents.

“Each of these human embryos is a unique human life with inherent dignity and matchless value,” Mr. Bush said.
Um, no. These embryos are little balls of cells that are completely unlike a human adult or child. Take a look at this illustrated post by PZ Myers if you need a demonstration. That something has potential to become a human does not mean that it is a human or should be treated as though it were a human. An acorn is not an oak tree.

In fact, the vast majority of these little balls of cells will just sit in a freezer or be destroyed; using them to further our understanding of basic biology makes a lot more sense to me. We have enough trouble finding parents for children who already exist.

This little snippet from the New York Times is also interesting:
The White House ceremony was accompanied by happy children and their smiling parents. But one element was missing: a flourish of the pen that Mr. Bush typically uses to sign a measure that he likes. The president had already signed his name on the veto before appearing in public. The actual signing was not photographed because, Mr. Snow said beforehand, Mr. Bush did not think it would be appropriate.
So Bush is willing to drastically slow US research in biology and actively hinder the search for treatments that could reduce the suffering (or save the lives) of many, but he's not willing to be pictured vetoing the bill that he's so morally outraged at.

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