Matters of Morality

Americans have always disagreed passionately when science and religion come into conflict

Arthur Estabrook Papers / University at Albany Libraries

Carrie and Emma Buck at the Virginia Colony for Epileptics and Feebleminded, Lynchburg, VA circa 1924.

In June, President George W. Bush vetoed a bill that would have funded research on stem cells harvested from human embryos. Bush said he was not against science; he encouraged research on stem cells drawn from amniotic fluid or created by genetic reprogramming. But he insisted that "our conscience calls us to pursue the possibilities of science in a manner that respects human dignity and upholds our moral values." Bush's vision of a moral dilemma caused by scientists and resolved by politicians seems like a characteristic scenario of the religious right. But these triple knots of science, morality and politics go...

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