Speaking of science and policy

Since we’re talking about the politics of science and the limits between the two…

There’s plenty of scientific advances I wish the US conservative movement would not be so uncomfortable about, like anthropogenic climate change and evolution.

If there’s one scientific fact I do wish, however, that the American left would come to grips with, it’s this one: that an embryo is a human being, by any reasonable definition of those words.

Now, just like recognizing the reality of the warming of the planet does not mean embracing a carbon command economy, recognizing the fact that a unicellular human being is still a human being does not automatically entail embracing the pro-life position.

As Jim rightly notes, the borders of actual science are not as wide as many people seem to think. What kinds of human beings should get which rights is a moral and political decision, not a scientific one.

But if we’re going to insist (as we should) on political actors embracing scientific consensus, we should do so consistently.