1. STEM CELLS: PRESIDENT BUSH CHOOSES SUPERSTITION OVER SCIENCE.
On Wednesday, Mr. Bush vetoed the “Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act.” The first veto of his presidency was exercised to protect surplus embryonic stem cells in fertility clinics from research, thus preserving their “dignity” so they can be put out with the garbage. He did so on the grounds that using them in research would be “murder.” This is based on the ancient belief in a “vital life force,” or “soul,” which is said by some Christians to be assigned at conception. The first sign of differentiation in embryonic cells occurs in about 8 weeks. Jews, however, say that infants don’t get a soul until they draw their first breath. They cite Genesis: “And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.” On the other hand, superstition may not be the best guide. Why not turn to science?