Intel Corp. Chairman Andy Grove kicked off the "Stem Cell Challenge" last week. The San Francisco Chronicle reports that Grove is offering a $5 million grant to the University of California-San Francisco to conduct research on the stem cells of destroyed embryos and finance "studies that can't be conducted with federal funding."
Worried that the National Institutes of Health will only support this controversial research with a limited number of tax dollars, Grove is encouraging other philanthropists to respond to his "challenge." He promises to match private gifts ranging from $50,000 to $500,000, "up to a total of $5 million," so that UCSF can reach its "goal of raising $20 million for privately funded stem cell studies by 2005," reports the Chronicle. (Grove's interest in UCSF's stem cell research apparently followed his treatment there in 1995 for prostate problems.)
In a revealing aside, the Chronicle reports that UCSF already operates an embryo experimentation lab -- off campus. "Since September, UCSF has been using private funds to create new stem cell lines at an off-campus site that it is keeping low key for security reasons," the Chronicle reports.
What does "creating new stem cell lines" mean? It means killing 2-week-old embryos.
But so what? says Grove. He dismisses moral objections to this research with the breezy rejoinder that "outlawing research is something you associate with medieval times, not something you associate with the 21st century."
Yes, man is obviously so much more enlightened now. Liberated from those medieval hang-ups about God and morality, he can kill the defenseless, use them as spare parts for research, and call it philanthropy.
Grove isn't the first Silicon Valley executive to present high-tech barbarism as high-minded charity. Groups like the Packard Foundation boast of their work on behalf of humanity, even as they underwrite projects that degrade man's dignity. According to the pro-abortion, pro-population control Packard Foundation, nothing "helps the children" so much as not being born.
The rich and strong, according to the liberal planners, deserve medical attention and technology's aid. But not the unborn -- that is, unless the rich and strong want them born, in which case they go from insignificant embryos with only utilitarian value to beloved children in the womb.
Andy Grove is certain that embryonic stem cell research proves the progress of man. But is the moral code that justifies it any more sophisticated than that of the earliest barbarians? Stripped of all the phony rhetorical packaging, the modern moral code still says that might makes right. The weak still exist for the exploitation of the strong. What was once done with a stick is now done with a scalpel. Babies once left on hills to freeze are now left in labs to freeze.
Something as ghoulishly glib as a "Stem Cell Challenge" can only meet with praise in a culture of stunning impiety. The moral enlightenment of which Grove speaks is nothing more than selfishness mislabeled charity. That we casually treat human embryos as guinea pigs for medical research simply confirms that modern man is consulting his own will and mind, not God's.
The Groves of the left consider George Bush's unwillingness to finance future embryonic research an outrage. The outrage is that Bush and Congress permit it at all.
Such is the moral confusion that the Congress of the United States can't even ban cloning! Whether humans should be able to create miniatures of themselves for harvesting in a medical pinch is just one more issue to "debate."
In a "Stem Cell Challenge" society, health trumps honor; the great fear is not the corruption of the soul, but the corruption of the body; the unborn must die for the longevity of the living.
Is this really a way of life worth prolonging?