Vail Valley Voices: Hooray for stem cell research! |

Vail Valley Voices: Hooray for stem cell research!

Richard Carnes
Vail, CO, Colorado

If you know someone who is diabetic, has spinal cord injuries, muscular dystrophy, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s, Alzheimer’s, lupus or just about any type of cancer known to man, then raise your arms to the sky and shout “Hallelujah!”

Yessiree, Uncle Sam has taken the fun out of fundamentalism and put the sizzle back in science, returning it squarely into the crosshairs of reality, where it belongs.

Unless you are one of those who wish to believe President Obama is Hitler II or the antichrist, it feels absolutely wonderful to have the growth-stifling, anti-progress, pro-supernatural fanatics quickly absorbed back into the recessed sponge of mythology, where they belong.

Our president accomplished this feat, this seemingly insurmountable hurdle for the last decade, by simply reversing the Bush administration’s insistence that a small clump of cells about the size of the period at the end of this sentence deserve a dignified death (in a hospital trash bin) as opposed to the horrific waste of, oh, let’s say, helping the blind to see or the paraplegic to walk.

They believe the very instant male and female gametes fuse to form a single zygote cell, then bing! a bell rings, an angel gets its wings and a soul is appointed.

Yes, the stem cell issue is eerily similar to the abortion topic.

Their severely misguided attempts of self-righteous indignation (based loosely on convoluted moral high ground which is based upon pure mythology) to stop the evil clutches of science from helping alleviate the pain and suffering of the living had as much chance of working as Bernie Madoff does of being the new head of AIG.

These are the kinds of people who constantly belittle science up until the moment they need to fill a prescription at Wal-Mart.

Anyway, now we can allow science, helped greatly by the backing of federal funds and clout, to do its thing, which is identifying the aspects of this world that just don’t make sense, like quarks and Michael Jackson.

Using a self-correcting methodology based upon rational reasoning, science can uncover the reasons why a shattered spinal cord no longer allows its owner to feel anything below the waist, and with thorough research can hopefully someday develop a way to reverse the damage.

Science can possibly help our very own Jimmy Heuga someday stop the ravaging neurological deterioration of muscular sclerosis.

There are literally millions of examples of people living today and millions more in the future than might be prevented untold suffering due in part to embryonic stem cell research.

Of course, government funded research by itself pales in comparison to what the private sector can achieve, but the mere stroke of a pen by the president has taken the fear of public prosecution away from the brilliant men and women who can now charge forward with their explorations into the unknown.

Not to confuse it with any other Obama issue, but this is a “change” I am more than happy to accept.

How anyone could ever think otherwise is beyond me.

Richard Carnes of Edwards writes a column for the Daily. He can be reached at

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