Thursday, March 10, 2005

Cloning vs. Stem Cells

Conservatives Draft a 'Bioethics Agenda' for President (washingtonpost.com):

The loose-knit group of about a dozen people -- largely spearheaded by Leon R. Kass, chairman of the President's Council on Bioethics, and Eric Cohen, editor of the New Atlantis, a conservative journal of technology and society -- have been meeting since December. Their goal, according to a document circulating among members and others, is to devise “a bold and plausible 'offensive' bioethics agenda” to replace a congressional strategy that has been “too narrowly focused and insufficiently ambitious.”
The strategy is to separate cloning and stem cell research, a blow to the strategy Sam Brownback has followed.

Roger Pielke thinks that Kass is abusing his position. Essentially, Kass is using his status as leader of the President's Bioethics panel to push a separate agenda, as if it were the panel's finding. Leo Kass was a popular professor at the University of Chicago, and it's a shame to see him abusing his status like this.

Why are people so afraid of embryonic stem cells? Why can't the bioethicists focus on creating rules on the ethical use and production of embryonic cells?

Is this anti-science, or is it a different view of science?