Monday, August 23, 2010

Christian group has stem cell research expansion blocked

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Public opinion on stem cell research
Favor: 47% | Oppose: 29% | Don’t know: 13% [circa 01/09/06]
[source: | click for full size (395×310)]

In their seemingly neverending mission to irk me, a Christian group has once again succeeded in (provisionally) stinting scientific research in getting federal US District Judge Royce Lamberth to block the Obama administration’s regulations to expand stem cell research until they can argue their case in court. And as usual, you can always expect them to come up with the sort of rationale for their arguments that makes any knowledgeable person facepalm:

The nonprofit group Nightlight Christian Adoptions contends that the government's new guidelines will decrease the number of human embryos available for adoption.

Two things: A) Why is it whenever someone blocks some form of civil or scientific progress, it’s always at the bequest of some conservative Christian group? I honestly don’t recall ever hearing about any religious group (be it Muslim, Jewish or even atheist) ever doing anything like this in the US, at least not as far as I can recall. And B) Why is it that whenever Christians do succeed in (temporarily) blocking advancement, they always do so by coming up with some of the lamest and most ignorant arguments out there, legal or otherwise?

In case anyone needs to have their memory refreshed (which certainly seems to include Nightlight Christian Adoptions): Stem cell research does absolutely not affect adoption and the availability of “human embryos available for adoption” (and nor does it increase abortion rates! Just felt like throwing that in there). The only stem cells used in stem cell research are obtained from rejected embryos that would never have been available for adoption to begin with. It’s like claiming that rodents who eat out of your garbage are limiting the amount of food you can put on the table. Ergo, claiming that expanding stem cell research will somehow limit the number of “human embryos available for adoption” is just totally moronic.

I wonder if it would be less tiresome and irritating if conservative groups (especially Christian ones) would at least try base their arguments on some modicum of knowledge about the subject rather than just pulling wild claims out of their whiny posteriors.