A federal judge’s ruling this week that appears to have derailed federal funding of embryonic stem cell research will, in the long run, be just another bump in the road.
No matter what the legal and political climate is today, the march of science will move forward. Most Americans support embryonic stem cell research, but a vocal minority has long opposed the practice. Opposition comes mostly from religious groups who believe the destruction of embryonic stem cells is akin to destroying life. Many of those groups say working with adult stem cell is just as effective, a point on which the medical community is divided.
Nevertheless, the march of science and scientific research will move forward. It’s inevitable, a fact proven over and over again across the centuries. Opposition from the Catholic Church in the 1500s didn’t stop science; nor did opposition to Darwin’s theory of evolution stop research; nor did moral objections to the atom bomb stop nuclear development.
Science and the human imperative for research and greater knowledge will always trump objections; it cannot be stopped.
No one really knows where embryonic stem cell research will lead. Those engaged in that science may find all kinds of cures, or they may not.
But just because the federal government refuses to fund that research doesn’t mean it will stop. Private money in this country will continue and other nations will, on their own, pursue it.
One judge’s ruling here won’t stop it.