Stem Cells Are Intelligent Design
On the horizon are two issues set on cataclysmic collision courses.
They are: funding of embryonic stem cell research in Florida and "intelligent design" science instruction. Watching these issues explode all over one another in the looming campaign and policy debates will be insightful. And, if you're into that sort of thing, fun.
Putting them into the same sentence has gotten me to thinking.
Let's assume that the genuine of heart but deeply misguided proponents of "intelligent design" are right. At the base of their argument is that life, and humans specifically, are too complex to have evolved by accident. Fine. God exists. He/she used vast intelligence and unlimited power to create the universe, earth, life and people.
But when the same "intelligent design" advocates line up and lock arms against stem cell research, I am puzzled.
If they are right and "intelligent design" is the way everything went down, we must assume that God was intelligent enough to create life but careless enough to leave the blueprints lying around. The "intelligent design" advocates must believe that God was omniscient enough to create humans but powerless to keep humans out of the laboratory.
That doesn't make a ton of sense to me.
I have to believe that, if God exists, he or she is smart enough to keep stem cell technology and science out of our hands.
Just maybe God wants us to understand how stem cells work and use that information to make our lives better. Why isn't it at least possible that God's "intelligent design" includes the ability to understand things for a reason?
I haven't seen the "intelligent design" advocates and other Christian conservatives calling for the abolition of penicillin. Or DVD players. In fact, I've seen Dr. James Dobson (Focus on the Family) on satellite television.
And what about this excerpt from the televangelist Pat Robertson's 700 Club, "A team of nine medical doctors, two pharmacists, four nurses and four laboratory scientists worked side by side with 20 other non-medical volunteers ..." [in a free clinic in Africa where] " ... 38 surgeries were performed."
Obviously, devout Christian leaders can use cutting edge medical science and technology when it suits them. I am left to believe that the "intelligent designer" of the world must have told Dobson and Robertson that surgery is fine. AIDS vaccines are cool. Child immunizations are Godly. But medical cures that involve stem cells are off limits.
And that's baffling.
I just don't believe that God is stupid enough to let us discover the nearly limitless benefits of stem cells for no reason.
Of course, we can always let the misinformed have their arguments that our "designed" ability to learn new skills and make new tools is some kind of trap. But we must then be left to conclude that maybe the universe is actually a "not quite so intelligent design."
To be honest, I have a great deal more faith in stem cell science than "intelligent design" theory. But what really frosts me is the lack of a loud voice on the other side of this debate.
Have our liberal leaders been so far bullied as to believe that supporting stem cell research is un-Christian? If anything, stem cell research is the Christian approach. Or at least it should be.
If our political leaders don't step up to defend science, we'll get what we deserve. We will continue to elect leaders like the former members of the Lake County (Florida) School Board who wanted to teach that dinosaurs became extinct because they couldn't fit on the ark.
We all know better. Am I am asking too much for a real Democrat to step up and say so?