From evolution to stem cells: you reap what you sow

On his blog, Carl Zimmer writes:

"As I wrote in my original post, President Bush stopped federal funding for research on stem cells using new lines derived from embryos, despite the fact that most of the already existing lines were contaminated by this lost sugar. American scientists have been making some progress with stem cells with private money and state initiatives, but guess where scientists finally figured out how to solve this evolutionary problem with cell sugars? South Korea.
Reading about this research, I was also reminded of an article I read last week during the Kansas "trial" over evolution and creationism.
Leonard Krishtalka, the director of the Kansas University Natural History Museum, was quoted pointing out how Kansas is raising $500 million to foster a bioscience and biotech industry in the state. It was ironic, he said, that the state's board of education was simulataneously 'trying to remove and water down the basic fundamental concept of evolution that underlies all of biology.'"

Churchlady David is the first to comment:

"You are the perfect evolution evangelist! You speak of evolution as dogmatically as a creationist speaks of creation. You obviously have great faith in the god of chance. What you fail to recognize is that the scientific method you espouse, and the genetic principles you use to "prove" your point, were both designed by people who did not believe in evolution. Sheer irony I believe. You can never or will ever understand an opposing point of view on the subject of origins from either an intelligent design or a creation proponent. The point of the Kansas debate is that the theory of evolution, at who's alter you worship, has a number of problems that have been pointed out by the other side, and by evolutionists themselves. A rational discussion of the pros and cons of the theory is what is sought."

The point is you reap what you sow. In this case, conservative Kansans aren't interested in a rational discussion, but rather an imposed filtering of what scientific principles are acceptable to the churchgoing majority. The school board is doing with with full knowledge of the fact that if they want to impose intelligent design, Kansas will become unattractive to scientists. Not that I'd be all that willing to move there in the first place, but let's say there was tons of money available to do research there and stellar facilities, I don't know if I'd want to accept a position there. And that's even if I wouldn't plan on having a child who'll need to go to school someday: just the thought that a majority of Kansans want this or at the very least sit idly by and allow this to happen indicates to me that Kansas isn't a good place to live for scientists. Afghanistan or Cambodia aren't all that great either even if there were peace and prosperity there right now. But, as opposed to Afghanistan and Cambodia, the rest of the US shouldn't allow this to happen in Kansas because every child growing up in this country should have a chance to compete with the best in the world and not be mired in superstition when it comes to science. Similarly, we as a country should not fall behind when it comes to technology. But, as it is with an energy strategy that does nothing to foster and nourish promising new technologies and we wind up with GM and Ford junk bonds, Bush will veto any advance in stem cell research funding.