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Jonathan Moreno and Sam Berger put in what I take to be their last word. They find this exchange “fruitless.” Having been caught misrepresenting facts, and being unwilling to admit it and unable to deny it, they can’t, I suppose, go much further. They reiterate their claim that “the scientific community” does not believe alternative sources of pluripotent stem cells have as much promise as embryonic stem cells. “We [have taken] pains to cite scientists, scientific organizations, and the relevant scientific community, relying on their expertise in these matters.” I, they claim, haven’t cited any scientists.

So here’s my last word. It isn’t enough to cite a scientist; it’s necessary to make the citations accurate. At least twice, Moreno and Berger put words in people’s mouths. (Dr. Anthony Atala’s, for example.) Their claim for the existence of a scientific consensus supporting them rests largely on, first, their mischaracterizations of other people’s statements, and second, their own say-so. It’s true that I haven’t directly quoted (or misquoted!) any scientists myself. But I have quoted Rick Weiss. We have reason to believe his second-hand reports on the views of scientists; given the slipperiness and carelessness of their work, we have no reason to believe the second-hand reports offered by Moreno and Berger.


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