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President Obama and Stem Cell Research


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#1
Great Ape

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President Obama has been proved right on stem cell research. Thanks to his courage and foresight, stem cell research in the United States is making major breakthroughs in health therapies. The republican candidates running for President today would have criminalized these advances.

If any of the four Republican canidates currently threatening to become President had been in office today, America would have missed a chance to return vision to the blind.

What do Romney, Gingrich, Paul and Santorum have in common?

All four have accepted the ludicrous "personhood" stand that full human rights begin when sperm meets egg, caving in to the religious right in terms of stem cell research. On national television, Romney pledged to support a personhood Amendment to the Constitution, and the other three have signed a personhood pledge, as well as appearing at personhood rallies.

This new legal definition would not only have removed forever women's freedom of choice, but also criminalized many forms of birth control, the In Vitro Fertility procedure -- and embryonic stem cell research.

Such nonsense would have prevented the glorious news that Advanced Cell Technology, Inc. has not only had a safety success in the world's first embryonic stem cell attempt to treat blindness, but has actually achieved a degree of improvement.

... two women, both registered as blind, saw their vision improve in a matter of weeks after being given the embryo-derived cells in the US safety trial. The breakthrough holds out the hope of cure in the future for age-related macular degeneration....
--"Human stem cell therapy works in blind patients in first trial", Stephen Adams, The Telegraph, 1/23/2012.

It is not a miracle, but rather one in a long series of steps that must be taken if we are to deal with chronic disease and disability.

As a presidential candidate, Obama understood that science must be protected from the fanatical fringe of anti-science religion. He could easily have played it safe and stayed neutral, taken a wait and see attitude, but he did not. He promised in his campaign that he would overturn the Bush restrictions on stem cell research, and he kept his word.

As a result, today we are one step nearer to restoring sight to the blind. But what a step! Imagine slowly going blind as happens so often in age-related blindness -- and then having sight return. Macular degeneration is the number one cause of adult onset blindness.

And it would have been illegal under presidencies of Gingrich, Romney, Santorum or Paul -- the un-fantastic four.

[Source]


Continued in next post.....

Edited by Great Ape, 18 February 2012 - 09:37 AM.

“It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change.”

~Charles Darwin~
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#2
Great Ape

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Not only has stem cell research brought us one step nearer to a cure for blindness but consider how much closer stem cell research has brought us to a cure for these other health issues.



There is also this article from COSMOS Magazine, describing how aging stem cells from a centenarian have been rejuvenated. Which I found fascinating because this could lead to a potential reversal of the aging process. Yes, longevity for the human species is on the horizon. It is only a matter of time before it becomes reality.

These breakthroughs would have been prevented had the Christian right had their way. Stem cell research would be much more advanced today, if their opposition to it, had not delayed its progress. I can only imagine, the lives that could have been altered for the better and the lives that would have been saved, had this not been so.

Opposition to stem cell research is mostly from religious, social conservatives and pro-life advocates. Controversies over the source of stem cells have slowed research and government funding. These groups have set back stem cell research by many years in the United States.

Sam Harris blasts Christians for their religiously motivated opposition to stem cell research in his book, Letter to a Christian Nation.

“Religion allows people to imagine that their concerns are moral when they are not- that is, when they have nothing to do with suffering or its alleviation. Indeed, religion allows people to imagine that their concerns are moral when they are highly immoral- that is, when pressing these concerns inflicts unnecessary and appalling suffering on innocent human beings…[This] explains why [Christians] are more concerned about human embryos than about the lifesaving promise of stem-cell research.”


That this is so is unforgivable. The stem cell war is one more example of the conflict between science and religion. Science has been the loser here and ... patients and their families have suffered.

How much longer will stem cell research in the United States continue to be set back, if one of the four remaining republican presidential candidates wins the Presidency? How many more people will die or be forced to live in a degenerative or chronic state, when stem cell research holds the promise for a cure? And all because these men cater to the religious right. It certainly does bears thought. I can only hope that President Obama is re-elected to office in 2012.

Edited by Great Ape, 18 February 2012 - 11:31 AM.

“It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change.”

~Charles Darwin~
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#3
Ungodly

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I'd be keen to volunteer for a trial if they were to develop a stem cell treatment for celiac disease. It sure would be convenient if I did not have to avoid three common grains.

But apart from that, stem cell research has the word research in it, which has a powerful positive association for most folks.

I have always felt that as a man I should reserve my judgment for male forms of birth control, and of course I wish everyone who wants to use birth control were able to get it without a big sacrifice of time, money, or Jesus-brand ballot measures in the way.

I strongly support the freedom for women to have absolute unrestricted control over their own bodies. It makes no sense that this should even be a subject for discussion at any time in the twenty first century. How Dark do we want the New Age to be? I suggest zarro.

With the issue of women controlling their bodies resolved I would expect there would be no remaining objections to stem cell research, at least on a planet without any organized religions.

The Republicans desperately need the pawns right wing Christian vote, so they play to the Sanctity of Bigotry crowd directly and through their Faux News affiliates. Let any story hit the news the contains the words abortion or gay, or that refers to a lawsuit to get Jesus out of government and Faux News and the campaign management for these Republicans will pounce on it, trying to out-Jesus the competition with the overblown, hysterical reactions. Case in point the convicted drug addict Rush Limpblob.

"Weapons are the tools of violence; all decent men detest them."

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#4
Joe Bloe

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Great Ape, here's something that may interest you. I downloaded the whole book as a PDF a long time ago, but cannot remember from which site. There is a version HERE that can be read on-line (the site also has a PDF version, but it's not working for me today - you may have better luck).

This, from chapter 13, will give you a taste of what the book contains:


History of the Warfare of Science with Theology in Christendom - Andrew Dickson White (1896)

I hasten now to one of the most singular struggles of medical science during modern times. Early in the last century Boyer presented inoculation as a preventive of smallpox in France, and thoughtful physicians in England, inspired by Lady Montagu and Maitland, followed his example. Ultra-conservatives in medicine took fright at once on both sides of the Channel, and theology was soon finding profound reasons against the new practice. The French theologians of the Sorbonne solemnly condemned it; the English theologians were most loudly represented by the Rev. Edward Massey, who in 1772 preached and published a sermon entitled _The Dangerous and Sinful Practice of Inoculation_. In this he declared that Job's distemper was probably confluent smallpox; that he had been inoculated doubtless by the devil; that diseases are sent by Providence for the punishment of sin; and that the proposed attempt to prevent them is "a diabolical operation." Not less vigorous was the sermon of the Rev. Mr. Delafaye, entitled _Inoculation an Indefensible Practice_. This struggle went on for thirty years.


Believe nothing you hear and only half what you see.

#5
Ungodly

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If we start with this inoculation it will be a slippery slope and then we'll have vaccinations and sanitation, both of which really piss off Jesus.

I guess it is very interesting, actually, to see snippets like this of what the stupid was like hundreds of years ago. There is such a rich supply of modern stupid to use for comparison.

Great topic folks.

"Weapons are the tools of violence; all decent men detest them."

--Lao Tzu

 


#6
nogodbutdog

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I guess it is very interesting, actually, to see snippets like this of what the stupid was like hundreds of years ago.

Hundreds of years ago? The modern form of Teh Stupid thrives pretty much unchanged. We can't innoculate against HPV, because god needs the threat of ovarian cancer to keep the loose girls in line. Final eradication of the polio virus would interfere with his grand design. Affordable antivirals only contravenes god's authority to punish the gays and drug users with AIDS.
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#7
Great Ape

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Great Ape, here's something that may interest you. I downloaded the whole book as a PDF a long time ago, but cannot remember from which site. There is a version HERE that can be read on-line (the site also has a PDF version, but it's not working for me today - you may have better luck).


Thank you for the link Joe. It is working fine for me and I was able to flip through the pages. It looks like some real interesting reading. Just the kind of thing I am interested in. I may have to see if I can find it in my local bookstore. There is nothing like a real bound book made of paper. Until then, I will look at the .pdf. Thanks again.

When you read about how much religion has fought against science throughout the ages. It makes one wonder, just how more advanced we could be as a species, if this wasn't so. I think it is fair to say, that religion has set back the human race significantly, in regards to science in all it's fields.
“It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change.”

~Charles Darwin~
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#8
Great Ape

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I guess it is very interesting, actually, to see snippets like this of what the stupid was like hundreds of years ago. There is such a rich supply of modern stupid to use for comparison.


It really is enlightening to realize how religion has been fighting against science since the dark ages. It puts the danger of religion in truer perspective. Because of religions battle with science, many lives have no doubt been lost, throughout our history. The blame for this can be laid squarely at religions door.

Edited by Great Ape, 19 February 2012 - 03:27 PM.

“It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change.”

~Charles Darwin~
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