I was watching Pardon the Interruption on ESPN this past Tuesday, and they had a little note about hockey legend, Gordie Howe, probably the greatest players in the sport's history, celebrating his 87th birthday.
This surprised me, since the last I heard was that Howe had suffered a massive stroke late last year -- and not long after, he suffered a second stroke. It was reported that the family had gathered at his home, and he wasn't expected to survive long. As the ESPN host's noted, the family had prepared his obituary.
That's not why I'm posting this. It isn't that Gordie Howe hasn't passed away yet and was able to celebrate his birthday. It's that -- when he was near death, the family had taken him to Mexico for stem cell treatment (where it is legal, and not in the United States), and he not only hasn't died, but he recovered enough that he spent his birthday this week...going fishing with his sons!!!
Which returns us to the comment made here the other day of it being impossible when hearing a story like this not to think about those who deny science, and who fought stem cell research as somehow being related to "abortion" that the Bush Administration blocked its development except in only limited cases of research, and all other such astounding research in the United States is illegal.
That's yet another example of what happens when you don't believe in science -- which, of course, is not a belief system, but a physical reality.
(Here's a story in USA Today from a couple months ago when news of Howe's treatments were initially reported. As this other story from the UT San Diego newspaper notes, however, "Such use of unproven stem cell therapies outside the U.S. clinical trial system draws objections from some American health care professionals. They warn of the potential for abuse, say there's a lack of rigorous scientific standards...." And indeed there are potential problems when science is blocked in the U.S. and pushed off-shore. But then, that's the very point proponents of such research were making at the time during the Bush era, to allow for that very research, rather than it being illegal.)
As I said, it's hard not to envision a spot in hell that is deep enough for these people who keep blocking science. And that God is looking down on it all and saying, "Why do you people think I invented scientists?!!"
Meanwhile, while they rant and protest and throw themselves prostrate weeping at the doors of clinics, Gordie Howe is going fishing.
Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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