Friday, July 21

stem cells == white paint

Since my post on Wednesday, I've been trying to think of an analogy that a 3rd grader (and hence, Our Beloved President) could understand regarding ESC [Embryonic Stem Cells]. While it may take additional work, I'm thinking the example of PAINT may be workable.

For the moment, let's equate ESC with white paint. If you've ever had a custom color mixed, you know they always start with white and then add stuff to achieve the desired color. ESC and human tissue appear to be a little like that. Start with an ESC, mold it this way or that and it becomes bone marrow, or lymph glands, or a pancreas.

If you don't use the white paint in a certain amount of time, it drys up and must be thrown away. The ESCs at the heart of The Argument are leftovers, from couples who used the frozen embryos to conceive a child. Once that task was done, the remaining embryos (400,000 at last count) are either kept until they're no longer wanted by the couple, or thrown out. Like garbage.

Here's the rub: President Quagmire and his ilk don't seem to be concerned when they're thrown out with the trash, but they don't want that "garbage" used in ESC research, either. Maybe they're assuming that frozen embryos are, by definition, future liberal voters. Using my analogy, they don't want anyone to use their white paint to make shades of blue; they'd rather the paint dry up. That's what I don't understand: what (quote) "ethical" statement that's making.

Does my analogy work? Do you think it's too complex for Rove's Puppet (President Quagmire) to understand?


shannon said...

First, when the guys at home depot mix a custom color, they don't always start with white.

Second, the stem cells aren't "leftovers." They are taken from frozen embryos (check your high school biology: conception has already occurred). Since conception has already occurred, those embryos are human beings.

And you are wrong on another point: the ones that are thrown out aren't future liberal voters: the future liberal voters are the millions of aborted fetuses. Which is why there are now fewer abortion advocates that pro-lifers: evenutally, you will abort those who would put you and your "ilk" in the majority. Same idea as homosexuality. If you can't pro-create, you'll never be a majority. Maybe that's why God made men and women.

Bush didn't outlaw stem cell research, he vetoed FEDERAL FUNDING of stem cell research, which means that people like me, who believe those embryos are babies, don't have to pay to have them killed in the interests of "science." He also believes, as do I, that adult stem cells are far more beneficial for stem cell research that are embryonic stem cells. And nobody, not even a pre-born baby, has to die for the reserch to happen.

As a conservative, Bush believes in the free market - let the private corporations (who get the money from the private sector) try to find a use for stem cells. The company or companies that succeed will earn billions in profits for their investors, providing jobs for everyone and investment in our economy. As the USSR, East Germany, Cuba, China, and all of the other communist countries have demostrated over the last 60-75 years, capitalism is far more successful at advancing a society and creating overall wealth than communism. Let the free market work, keep the federal money and government out of the marketplace, and watch the wealth increase (and in case you're about to say that I care more about the money than the research, I guarantee you that the private sector will be successful in stem cell research than any federally-funded research. Just look at what a mess Massachusetts is in with the Big Dig: that's the government at work for you).

This type of research should not be federally funded - neither should abortions, even if those aborted babies ARE future liberal voters.


Gene said...

"embryos are human beings". uh, no. only in the minds of the Radical Right. To follow my paint analogy, that's like saying paint = a painting.

Embryos are embryos, pure and simple. It's in all the textbooks. Except in Texas and Mississippi, which are the 49th and 50th worst places to educate a child in America (and not in that order).

William Bob said...

Gene, I know you're far too smart to believe that this issue (or, indeed, most issues) is "pure and simple". Most things are actually pretty complex, with lots of subtle factors to consider.

The issue of when life begins is just such a complex issue.

I'm perfectly happy with you having the position you have, because I'm sure that you've considered the many questions involved and come to a decision about when and under what conditions a fertilized egg becomes a human being. What bothers me is your apparent attitude that this is a simple issue with an obvious answer and that anyone who disagrees must be an idiot.

And your analogy about white paint, while pretty good, only describes the role of stem cells. It addresses none of the issues of when life begins or when or why it is okay to terminate it.

How about writing an article about the beginning of life issues, from fertilization to birth? What is your position and why? What are the consequences and side effects of the various positions? Can you frame it without raging about the "radical right"? If not, then your position may be nothing more than a reaction to a group which has offended you rather than a reasoned position.

William Bob said...

Shannon, God created homosexuals, too. None of the gays I know "chose" to be gay. They all struggled against it for many years, often engaging in self-destructive behaviour in an attempt to suppress their feelings.

And coming out isn't the end of their struggle. Once out they often face rejection, anger, hatred -- even violence -- from family, (former) friends, co-workers, and complete strangers. Who would "choose" that?

Gene said...

Anyone who disagrees with me is an idiot. That's the definition of the word. It's right there in My Dictionary.

Sheesh .. what's so hard to understand?

</end sarcasm>