Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Shameless Plug . . . and other voices

I don’t know how many of you have noticed, but over on the left-hand-side of this page are several “sponsors” links. As part of my theory of shameless self-promotion, I’m going to invite you to click on those if they look interesting. See, if you click on them, and in some cases participate a bit (like snag free music), whether you send them money or not, I get paid. Or I get free advertising. Either way it helps. It’s not much money, but it does help pay the electric bill. All proceeds go to the Newman Children Shoe Fund. Or the Newman Family Mortgage Fund. Or the Help John Newman Buy More Soda Fund. Soon it may go to the John Newman Memorial Tuition Fund. Wherever. It’s all good.

Okay, enough shameless and obvious money grubbing.

The more I try and get my head wrapped around Chemistry for my final, the more my mind unravels. I’m seriously thinking of taking it over again. That solution does offer some benefits. First, not all of the grad schools I want to attend will accept my first semester Chemistry class. It wasn’t at the 1200 level (that was a “specialized” class for health science majors) and I had to get permission from my school to go on to 1220 anyway. It also allows me to get my head back into the game more fully.

The downside, of course, is that’s going to add an extra year onto my time, and more costs in tuition. Hey, I’m forty years old. I’ve waited this long, what’s an extra year? On the other hand, hey! I’m 40! I’m getting too old for this! I don’t know. I can’t decide if having extra voices in my head is a good thing or not.

What? You don’t have extra voices in your head talking to you? I think you’re just jealous that they don’t talk to you, too.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Stem Cell Research

This morning on my way to work I was listening to the Doug Wright Show on KSL radio. He was talking about stem cell research. The question placed before the audience was what to do with the frozen embryos we’ve already got. Do we throw them away, because doing research on embryos is wrong, or do we just trash them?

While I understand people fears that what we are doing is tampering with life, and by doing this research we are destroying potential life, potential humans, trashing them is doing the same thing, we just don’t benefit from it. Some say we shouldn’t.

I disagree. We’ve already got them; why let them go to waste? If you want to think about it in terms of human development, human life, why let these potential lives be wasted when we can honor them, and let them contribute to society?

One of the various concerns that people have had is that we don’t want to create stem cell factories. The idea of people buying and selling human embryos is pretty vile, in my opinion. This gets worse for me when you couple if with abortion. I certainly don’t want people to profit from abortion. I’m against abortion as a form of casual birth control. I don’t want to encourage it by attaching stem cell research to it.

One man called in that made me think, though. He and his wife had difficulty conceiving and decided to go the in vitro fertilization route. Several eggs were harvested and then fertilized. The doctors who performed the procedure asked if they could use the unused eggs for research. The couple was happy to say yes. (They went on to have a set of twin girls, by the way.)

This gave me pause. If in vitro fertilization is a potential source for embryonic stem cells, why not make that the norm for the acquisition of new lines? Do just what happened here: leave the choice to the couple involved. If they say yes, used those already harvested cells rather than destroy them. If they say no, respect their wishes and destroy the cells. Let NONE profit from it, in terms of money anyway . . .

. . . or maybe we should let them. If it became an optional procedure, and the harvested cells were being sold to researchers, the cost of the in vitro procedure would come down and more couples who want children, but can’t have them, would be able to afford in vitro fertilization as an option. This might take away from the attraction of adoption, but that’s the only downside I can see.

Think about it. Instead of researchers buying stem cells from abortion clinics, profiting and supporting a culture of death, they can buy them from in vitro clinics, and support a culture of life.

And the research can go on.