A curious statement in Guy Ringler’s “Get Ready for Embryos From Two Men or Two Women“:
…There likely will be a time when reproductive science could create an embryo from the cells of two men or two women.
Anti-gay forces will not want to hear this news, but science will continue to explore it in an attempt to explain biology. This is the role of science in our society: to improve the quality of life of all of us and to advance human equality. Scientific breakthroughs that can help two people who are committed to having children together—regardless of their sex—are inspiring developments.
Ignore the simulated, conspiratorial pathos about “Anti-gay forces” (which he used four times), and we’ll come back to the bit about explaining biology. What does Ringler say is the role of science? To improve the quality of life and to advance human equality.
That might sound wrong or incongruous, but he’s right. Increasing knowledge for the sake of knowledge was always an afterthought, an amiable side effect, of the Enlightenment. From the beginning, the stated purpose of men like Baron d’Holbach, Enlightenment leader, author of La Contagion sacrée (pdf), and Encyclopédist, was to better life. D’Holbach, and many like him, thought that goal could only be met about by removing religion, advancing some form of socialism, and lightening man’s burden. Science was to contribute to all.
Latterly, science for the sake of science has been heard from university pulpits, in part for the sake of pure knowledge, but also because ministers of scientism believe falsely that “Science” is the ultimate answer to every question. This accounts for the mania (from all sides) over evolution. Scidolators are certain sure that once all accept evolution, religion becomes a useless adaptation.
Ridiculous, of course. But it explains why Ringler thinks that tinkering with DNA will “explain” biology. It won’t, and can’t. Experimenting with creating designer babies will tell us what makes viable people and, tragically, what won’t. Insert gene X here before this time, or the life will die or be born malformed, etc. Here, as in many areas, over-confidence and the refusal to see the negative abounds.
Anyway, science will never explain biology, simply because explaining any science isn’t itself a scientific matter.
Scientism is, of course, a philosophy: though it’s an inconsistent and fundamentally broken philosophy which pretends it isn’t one. It’s a sort of evangelical Whiggish empiricism. Anything that can be tried ought to be tried. There are nothing but brute facts, brute facts which must be acknowledged and which lead to the salvation of non-existence.
Nowhere is the failure of scientism more keenly felt than when it is asked What is Man? What is the Good? What is the Best Way To Live? Answering “Science!” fails, hence the marriage with progressivism and its constant appeals to “fairness” and “equality”.
“Just like straight couples, many gay men and lesbians are eager to have a genetic relationship with their children.” Dust off those test tubes, because it would unfair to deny couples “genetic relationships”. How do you even begin to argue with such immaturity? Does Ringler not see that once we allow designer babies (which won’t stop at “couples”), it’s a short ride to government guidelines and the brave new world of Bokanovsky’s process? Does Ringler not care what the creation of a caste system (scientifically produced babies will be thought superior) will do to our culture and humanity?
Of course he cares. Whatever Ringler desires is, by progressive definition, good. His opponents who dispute his desire are not just scientifically wrong, but immoral. And that follows because denying a good is iniquitous.
But no one’s identity—be it race, gender, or sexual orientation—should ever play into the advancement of medicine. What’s important here is that we bring children into this world from a desire to love and provide a happy and healthy environment for their growth. These ingredients can be as powerfully provided by a same-sex couple as they can by heterosexuals. Studies have shown this, and I have seen it first hand in the hundreds of gay families from around the world who I’ve helped to conceive.
Medical science has transformed our society for the better in so many ways. It has helped the deaf to hear. It has cured many diseases and is pioneering the genetic targeting of agents to cure cancer. It has lengthened our lives and made them more fulfilling. And it has helped people—gay and straight, black and white, Christian, Jews, and Buddhists—to become parents.
When the time comes for two men or two women to have a biological child together, we should embrace it as another positive advancement to a happier world of fulfilled lives.
Pathos, special pleading, assumption as fact, scientism, shocking over-certainty, improper comparisons, rank zealotry, fallacy upon fallacy. Even though there are a few voices urging caution, it’s a good bet Ringler’s arguments will carry the day.
Early words on science progress as recorded by Matthew: For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?
— William M. Briggs (@mattstat) March 20, 2015