As I predicted last week in my column at Skeptical Inquirer Online, opponents of the House stem cell bill are arguing that science advocates have hyped both the promise and the public demand for research, while recent studies show a "middle way" compromise where funding for new embryonic stem cell lines is not needed. Consider, for example, this column by Yuval Levin at the Weekly Standard.
Meanwhile, the Bush White House, in a 67 page report strategically framed as "Advancing Stem Cell Science Without Destroying Human Life," argues that the latest adult stem cell studies make embryonic research funding unnecessary. Over at bioethics.net, Art Caplan calls the report "ridiculous" and says it has about as much substance as previous presidential statements that all embryos currently frozen at IVF clinics could find parents to adopt them.
Speaking of "middle ways," isn't it about time to emphasize the distinction between ESCR and the the question of how ESCR gets funded? I know that I am not alone in favoring the vigorous pursuit of ESCR but opposing tax-based funding of such research.