Monday, March 21, 2005

George Bush and The Wrath of Khan

The Baltimore Sun shows where one Bush advisor received her views on stem cell research: "Diana Schaub, a Loyola College professor and adviser to President Bush, is convinced that cloning and embryonic stem cell research are evil. She says this belief was formed, in part, by watching Star Trek."

Most likely this view is based upon the stories on Khan, who appeared in a 1967 episode and in the 1982 movie The Wrath of Khan in which genetically enhanced humans wage war with humanity.

Star Trek does have some valuable lessons, which we previously discussed. Certainly we must always be watchful for potential misuse of science. However, there is a limit to how much to decide policy based upon adverse events in a television show. For example, denying people the benefits of stem cell research based upon fear of war waged by genetically enhanced humans is rather absurd.

It would have been far better if advisors to Bush learned from the positive lessons of Star Trek, including tolerance, accepting science rather than religious rule and superstition, and noninterference in the affairs of other cultures.


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