Monday, April 27, 2009

President Obama's address to National Academy of science - Monday 4/27/09

I just received a university email with the President's speech to the National Academy of Science - which I thought would be of interest to at least some. The speech can be accessed from the White House Press Office. I wanted to point towards a few things that struck me, just skimming through it. I had to do this analysis because in my field all of this affects me directly - very directly. Material quoted from the speech is below in non-italicized bold.

He talks about ”...more complex set of challenges” that we are facing “more than we ever have before”; about “...a medical system that holds the promise of unlocking new cures and treatments - attached to a health care system that holds the potential to bankrupt families and businesses...” and ultimately of “Threats to our security that seek to exploit the very interconnectedness and openness so essential to our prosperity." – This begs the question – in reference to research – which is the context he’s talking in – does this mean anybody that disagrees with medical but morally reprehensible “advances” such as Embryonic stem cell research or even people who oppose abortion (especially say in situations where the baby is known to be handicapped) is threatening security that seeks “to exploit the very interconnectedness and openness so essential to our prosperity.”....Is this a veiled reference to condoning eugenics?

Think I’m being paranoid – far from it – I know the mentality of the majority of the people associated with these organizations and MANY (not all) but a very good number – are ready and able to do anything.

His speech is full of contradictions - He mentions how the time for science in the back seat is over; how “Our progress as a nation - and our values as a nation - are rooted in free and open inquiry.” And he seems to forget the stifling that has taken place over and over again of scientists who express their beliefs in God openly. He mentions how undermining “scientific integrity is to undermine our democracy” and yet we can’t be democratic enough to let a child in a womb live!!!!

He talks about charging the White house office of Science and Technology Policy “with leading a new effort to ensure that federal policies are based on the best and most unbiased scientific information. I want to be sure that facts are driving scientific decisions - and not the other way around” – It IS out there regarding embryonic stem cell research vs adult; it’s out there regarding condoms/contraception vs abstinence etc. etc.etc.

And then he has the gaul to bring in morality and truth!!!! He concludes:

"At root, science forces us to reckon with the truth as best as we can ascertain it. Some truths fill us with awe. Others force us to question long held views. Science cannot answer every question; indeed, it seems at times the more we plumb the mysteries of the physical world, the more humble we must be. Science cannot supplant our ethics, our values, our principles, or our faith, but science can inform those things, and help put these values, these moral sentiments, that faith, to work - to feed a child, to heal the sick, to be good stewards of this earth."

This whole paragraph is contradictory and hypocritical – science “reckoning the truth”? Science and humility??? – That’s the TRUTH AND REALITY BEHIND TRUE AND HONEST SCIENCE BUT NOT with this administration or the current leaders at NAS, SFN or other similar organizations. Science and ethics? How can he say that science cannot “supplant” our ethics and values – when he’s giving them the go-ahead, AGAINST ALL EVIDENCE, to say, embark on embryonic stem cell research which goes against both ethics and values!!!!

There is an obstinacy in this speech along with all that this administration is doing. We need to stand up to it, fight it and pray…because ultimately it is an immense moral battle.

God bless America - and have mercy on us all

God bless you all.


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