Obama Reverses Ban on Stem Cell Research 71 replies

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Emperor Benedictine

You can't fire me, I quit

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16th April 2005

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#71 11 years ago
Bush though it was wrong to use embryos for research, while Obama doesn't, or atleast doesn't think the negative aspects outweigh the positive.

I'd be more inclined to think Bush opposed stem cell research out of blind partisanship and the desire to appease the religious right, rather than for any ethical reason.

Sheepeep Advanced Member

weirdal = new ptaq()

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2nd September 2003

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#72 11 years ago
Granyaskibut there is still a MASSIVE scientific and religous argument for when life starts.

Not really, at least on the scientific side.

As we continue to create advances in technology and medicine, we're finding more and more that the definition of "life" is a flawed question, for we have created devices that do all of the things that life defines (Even self-replication to a limited extent).

To explain, those who haven't given up trying to define life have been arguing over whether a virus (Of any kind) is "life". To you, sure, it probably is. To science, it probably isn't, but might be, but it's a bad question anyway. Viruses don't fit all the commonly-considered criteria for life, but are made of living material and definitely seem to be "alive" (Not to mention, in my opinion, creepy) in the common sense of the word. RNA viruses, for example, don't even contain DNA, instead using RNA as a base.

On the other hand, we have machines that can "think" to a severely-limited extent. We have machines that respire, can fuel themselves on bio-material (This one's new, or perhaps just a project proposal, don't quote me on this one and assume that if it exists, it's a horribly inefficient process at the moment), can respond to external stimuli... At the very least, they are as much a form of life as a virus, in my non-professional opinion.

Once you've removed "life" from the picture, it becomes much less of a controversial question where the stem cells come from, and it becomes a question of what stage of development the machine has reached. That might sound impersonal to you, but all things considered, the world is coming much closer to realising that we're all differing kinds of machines, rather than differing kinds of life.