Center for Inquiry Responds to President Bush’s Block of Embryonic Stem-Cell Reserach


For Immediate Release: July 26, 2006
Contact: Jefferson Seaver, Communications
press@centerforinquiry.org - (207) 358-9785

Issues White Paper Analyzing the Administration's Policy

Contact: Nathan Bupp

Phone: (716) 636-4869 x 218

Fax: (716) 636-1733

E-mail:

nbupp@centerforinquiry.net

Amherst, N.Y. (July 26, 2006)—On Wednesday, President Bush issued the first veto of his presidency, rejecting a bill that would have removed some restrictions on federal funding of embryonic stem-cell research. The Center for Inquiry vigorously opposes the Bush administration's policy on this issue, which it describes as "as ill-advised as it is harmful."

The Center's Office of Public Policy, located in Washington, D.C., has prepared and issued a white paper on embryonic stem-cell research-analyzing in more detail arguments for and against such research. The Center believes that this paper will contribute significantly to the continuing debate over this important issue.

Paul Kurtz, the chairman and founder of the Center for Inquiry, declared that "a religious coterie in Washington is attempting to thwart scientific progress, all on archaic grounds, by claiming that the 'soul' is implanted in a biological process." Kurtz pointed out that such antiscientific attitudes increasingly threaten America's future as the preeminent scientific and technological nation. "Bush has blatantly defied the will of the American people; this research will most likely continue unabated in Europe and the Pacific Rim," said Kurtz.

Ronald Lindsay, Legal Director of the Center's Office of Public Policy and author of the Center's white paper, said that as a result of Bush's veto "immeasurable potential good resulting from scientific research in which [embryos] could be used will be delayed or lost needlessly." Lindsay believes that the Bush administration's policy is based on a flawed and indefensible view of the moral status of the embryo. The Bush administration considers spare embryos from IVF procedures, which are destined to be discarded, as the equivalent of human persons, even though they lack most of the capacities and properties of human persons and have absolutely no prospect of developing such capacities and properties. "The Bush policy on stem-cell research demonstrates once again that slipshod science and misguided ethics combine to make bad policy," continued Lindsay.


The white paper can be read and downloaded in PDF by going to


www.centerforinquiry.net/StemCell.pdf

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The Center for Inquiry (CFI) is a nonprofit educational, advocacy, and research organization headquartered in Amherst, New York, with executive offices in Washington, D.C. It is also home to the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason & Science, the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry, and the Council for Secular Humanism. The Center for Inquiry strives to foster a secular society based on reason, science, freedom of inquiry, and humanist values. Visit CFI on the web at centerforinquiry.org.