April 28, 2005
Should scientists write ethical rules that govern themselves when it comes to human embryonic stem cell research?
Should bankers write their own rules on handling other people's money?
The National Academy of Scientists says the government has been lax in writing stem cell research rules, so it has compiled its own.
The academy recommends setting up a system of local and national committees for reviewing stem cell research.
Whatever else these committees come up with - and you can read all about it in yesterday's New York Times - science is beginning at the wrong point.
The beginning point ought to be: where does life's value come from?
If we begin with an evolutionary premise that all of life is but an accident and that human life is of no greater moral significance than a plant or a dog, then why have ethical guidelines at all.
Get on with doing whatever science can do.
But if God has created us in his image and for his purposes, then the ethical guidelines should begin there.
That is the tension in all of life and in this situation.
Who gets to define life and ethics -- God, or man?
I'm Cal Thomas in Washington.
Cal Thomas is a nationally syndicated columnist based in Washington, D.C. Watch his television show, After Hours with Cal Thomas, on the Fox News Channel, Saturdays at 11 p.m. Eastern Time.