There have been two revelations in the past week or so that bear some reflection and comparison.

Last week, researchers announced that they had figured out a way to make stem cells without embryos. This is good for all of us, as it will keep the abortion/right-to-lifers out of the treatment research for Parkinson’s and other diseases for which stem cells hold promise. Now all of those little abandoned embryos can live happily in the bottom of a liquid nitrogen filled tub.

This week the National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) said that Iran had shelved its plans for a nuclear bomb four years ago. This sort of dumps a bucket of cold water on the few remaining neo-cons in the administration that were talking about World War 3 and looming mushroom clouds.

These debates are interesting when juxtaposed because they have become so polarized in the past few years. The Bush administration still seems reticent to stop the saber-rattling. Keep in mind that the NIE was used to promote the Iraq war because it supposed that Iraq had WMD’s. Who’s to say that it isn’t wrong. For their part, the people that have been pushing for embryonic stem cell research aren’t quite ready to give up that fight either. Science is rarely a perfect study. There are many things that could still go wrong with the research and put us right back where we were 2 weeks ago.

Mr. Bush, I’ll make a deal with you. I’ll shelve the embryonic stem cell research for the rest of your term, if you will promise not to invade any more countries for the rest of your term. Deal?