National Review gets out jackhammers, digs through rock bottom to find whole new low

They both support stem cell research, even embryonic stem cell research. McCain just wants more limits on it than Obama.

:runs through and nefariously snatches both cookies:

Sorry, but it is. Read the discussion thread linked, with evident approval, from Derbyshire’s column.

I think that means you feel that the Marx Brothers are a valuable part of our Culture.

Even if it’s not, it probably should be.

Well, a few liters of the Kool-Aid will generate the most amazing hallucinations, such as the following statement from Derbyshire’s column:

I knew libertarianism was a bit fractured, but I had no idea that it included a book-banning, earmark-grubbing faction. :rolleyes:

Yes, McCain wants “clear lines to be drawn” in such research. Where are those lines going to be? His emphases sound like they’re more about “moral values and ethical principles” than on encouraging research that could lead to medical breakthroughs.

And if he’s elected we’d have to hope that he’d go against the stands of his party and his running mate:

*"…as Hotline’s Jen Skalka points out, "During a 2006 AK gubernatorial debate, Palin was asked for her view on stem ©ell research:

“‘Well, another hypothetical, because I certainly have not seen it on the docket in our university system, stem cell research. But here again, with a Pro-life position, and its interesting that so many questions revolve around this centeredness I have of respecting life and the potential of every human life, but no, stem-cell research would ultimately end in destruction of life. I couldn’t support (it).’”

Skalka adds, “It’s worth noting, too, that the GOP’s 2008 platform included strong language” calling for a ban on “all embryonic stem-cell research, public or private.”

Just to throw this out there, as a PhD student working towards becoming a research scientist, I have become aware of the fact that during the Bush administration, research funding has dried up phenominally. All the professors I’ve talked to agree that things are as bad now as they have ever been in living memory, if not worse. Every scientist I know is desperately hoping for Obama to win, believing that a Democratic administration will at last give science some money. So to warn that science will suffer under Obama is a wee bit hypocritical, I’d say.

ETA: I’m referring to biomedical research in general here. I don’t know what the situation is in other research areas, but I’d guess it’s similar. And also, it was McCain that referred to funding research into bear DNA as an example of wasteful government spending.

I checked out the rest of the post (by “gc”) that that quote came from, and that’s probably the most reasonable assertion in the whole thing:

Since they decided it might reveal something which intersects with their worldview. This is hardly a new phenomenon, and certainly not limited to the right.

Offered without comment, other than the bolding and the underlining of “underlining” and the “quoting” of mine which was mine.

Derbyshire actually claims the nature-nurture controversy has been settled, and in favor of nature. News to me. I’ve started a GD thread.

Wait a second. McCain has also promised federal funding for embryonic stem cell research. The two differ, as I understand it, only on the issue of harvesting embryonic stem cells from embryos created for that purpose (“fetal farming”). McCain opposes the intentional creation of human embryos for research purposes and voted to ban the practice of fetal farming.

Obama doesn’t seem to have taken an explicit position on fetal farming, but he has explicitly said he favors the research use of embryos created in in-vitro fertilization clinics that ended up not being used for reproductive purposes, when they are freely donated for same. In other words, embryos that would ultimately be destroyed anyway, says Obama, can be ethically be used for research. On this point, McCain does not appear to have taken an explicit position.

Here’s Obama’s quote:

Was this the “initial stumble” you refer to, or the reversal?


Unless there’s a clarifying quote from either side, I don’t regard their positions as separated by wide gulf. Do you?

Any comment on the OP, Bricker?

I’m hesitant to comment, because before reading the linked article I was unfamiliar with the author.

Based solely on the article, I’d say it’s absurd to imagine that an Obama administration would restrict research in the way that the author fears, and that his (the author’s) views don’t generally come across as credible.

While the quote from Obama on vaccinations isn’t great, it isn’t as bad as it initially seemed. Turns out he wasn’t referring to himself when he said “This person included.” The video in the attached link indicates that he was referring to someone in the audience when he said that.

Nevertheless, I hope that he more clearly now understands that the research is pretty strong and pretty conclusive.

This is a chestnut. Mooseolini has an unrealized potential for language, perhaps even English! I propose we adopt this delightful little construct as an officially recognized SDMB stock phrase!

When he said this he was responding to an audience member’s remarks at a public forum. “This person included” was apparently a reference to that individual, not Obama himself.
I regard Obama’s not expliciting refuting a vaccine-autism connection (including previous remarks on the subject) as a stumble, for which he’s somewhat redeemed himself by subsequently standing up to an Age of Autism antivaxer with the following comment:

“I am not for selective vaccination, I believe that it will bring back deadly diseases, like polio.”

McCain has personally endorsed, in the face of mounds of research, the belief that the thimerosal preservative that used to be in most childhood vaccines caused autism. He has not retracted that claim.

Dunno about a “wide gulf”, but I see a clear separation.

I suggest you look again at the relative level of enthusiasm between the candidates for this research, and who is emphasizing the science as opposed to ethical concerns - as well as continued hostility to embryonic stem cell research by the Republican Party and McCain’s own running mate. If he wins, are you assured that he will back federal funding of this research at the risk of further alienating a G.O.P. base which is already suspicious of him?

I have to say, I’m only familiar with NRO’s “The Corner,” where contributors make gay jokes about Barney Frank and believe that painting Obama as a tax-and-spend liberal is a mistake because it distracts from the fact that he is a terrorist-sympathizing Manchurian Candidate.

If that reflects the wider organization, then this is low, but I’m not sure “new low” is an accurate label.

I am sure Bush and Cheney don’t represent all repubs. There are lots of intelligent,scientific types pushing the repub brand, There’s …well there has to be somebody. I can not think of any body i will get backatcha.

We should be accepting, nay, encouraging! A few levels lower, and Jonah Goldberg will be seized by Morlock! A twofer! Tighty righty eaten, Morlock poisoned, as good as it gets.

They are indeed separated by a wide gulf, although both positions are equally risible in their own ways. Obama hides behind the coward’s battlecry, “more research is needed” (a phrase now banned from the British Medical Journal, incidentally). The results are not inconclusive; there is no decent evidence to show a link between vaccines and autism, and a substantial amount which suggests the opposite. Obama’s failing is a craven unwillingness to actually examine the evidence, blithely writing off the mountain of work that could quite easily inform him.

McCain, by contrast, stands actively contrary to fact in declaring that there is “strong evidence” of a link. I suppose one might congratulate him for having the courage to take a definite position, but the fact remains that he is utterly at odds with the well-performed science, and is perpetrating a scare which carries a significant threat to public health. It’s breathtakingly irresponsible to wade in to such an important issue with such casual regard for the facts.

The current vaccine/autism scares popular in both the USA and the UK (although suggestively, they focus on completely different causes) are examples of the travesty that the public understanding of science has become. The scientific position is not “inconclusive” because two different people in white coats disagree. The data speaks, but nobody listens. It’s hard to say which of the candidates’ positions is more damaging, but the fact is that both of them are significantly damaging understanding of an informal issue because they’re too cowardly to risk offending people with autistic children.

For an overview of how these scares have progressed beyond all reason, see this article by the Guardian’s Ben Goldacre. It focuses on the UK’s MMR farrago, but the epidemiology of the scare is essentially the same.