Ryan T. Anderson is back in the saddle, once again writing on his old beat, the stem cell wars:
On March 9, 2009, President Obama signed an executive order spending federal dollars—for the first time ever—on embryo-destructive stem-cell research. Yesterday, Dr. Shinya Yamanaka, the scientist who showed us that destroying embryos wasn’t necessary to produce the stem cells we want, won the Nobel Prize for Medicine.
When Obama signed his executive order funding embryo-destructive stem-cell research, I argued in The Weekly Standard that his decision was “bad ethics, bad science, and bad politics”—bad ethics because it created further incentives for the destruction of human beings in their very earliest stage of life; bad science because embryo destruction is no longer necessary for the types of stem cells doctors seek; and bad politics because it needlessly perpetuated a stem-cell war where an easy peace was available.
The core of Yamanaka’s discovery was that scientists could create stem cells with all the same properties as those derived from embryos without killing—or even using—embryos at all. (When this scientific breakthrough was first announced in November 2007, I explained the science and ethics of this new technique in “The End of the Stem-Cell Wars.” Alas, a better title would have been “What Should Be the End of the Stem-Cell Wars.”)
More here. Yamanaka’s award is a due and fitting recognition of his achievements and—not to be overlooked—a vindication of First Things’ careful, sustained critique of embryo-destructive research.